What are Micronutrients?
If you greatly prioritize your health, then it is essential that you are aware of what micronutrients are. When we look at the definition of micronutrients, they are the substances and chemicals that we need in trace amounts in order to properly grow, develop, and function.
The main thing our bodies need micronutrients for is to help carry out the typical chemical reactions that occur from within. Micronutrients are not a source of energy, instead energy is provided through calories, which come from macronutrients. These macronutrients, however, are not our primary focus.
What are the Three Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are available in three different forms: vitamins, nutrients, and water. While they are not a source of energy, it is absolutely necessary that you get enough of all three in order to function properly and maintain overall health.
Keep in mind that because micronutrients are needed only in trace amounts, it is possible to consume them in amounts that are actually harmful to the body. This can lead to unbalanced nutrition as well as serious illness (or even death!) in extreme cases.
While you are now aware of the three micronutrients, there is something special about each one. We will now go a little more in depth of what each micronutrient is and why it’s so important.
Vitamins are essential for the metabolism of the three macronutrients; carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Many of the processes these vitamins are useful for include blood clotting, protein synthesis, bone formation, as well as many more. We are aware of 14 different kinds of vitamins to this day.
It is important to know that vitamins are soluble in two forms: fat and water. What this means is these vitamins are stored in different ways when in excess. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fat reserves while water soluble vitamins are released through our sweat and urine.
Some examples of fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is recommended that you ingest only a small amount of these vitamins daily, since any excess is stored in your fat. Water soluble vitamins include vitamins B and C, and they are necessary to more often than fat soluble vitamins.
If you don’t know what antioxidants are, you may have heard of them before, but weren’t really sure of their importance. Antioxidants are popularly known for helping reverse and prevent the effects of aging, the development and progression of cancer, as well as the development of cardiovascular diseases. Important antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E.
While vitamins are organic substances, minerals are the inorganic elements that are necessary to carry out bodily functions. We know about 15 different types of minerals that we need. Some of the most important minerals include iodine, selenium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and many more.
Approximately 4% of the human body mass is made up of minerals, making them something you should definitely not ignore. It is recommended that you do not consume more than 2400 mg of minerals per day in order to maintain proper mineral levels, as well as make sure you do take in too many minerals. After all, the body only needs them in trace amounts.
It goes without saying that water is the absolutely most important micronutrient we need. 60-70% of the human body is made up of water, so it is important that you drink at least 8 cups per day! Even though macronutrients are important, a person will actually live longer if consuming only water than if they were to consume food. Crazy, right?
Water is important to help remove waste and to carry nutrients throughout the body. It’s also a regulator for body temperature as well as your ionic blood balance. Believe it or not, water is also shock absorbent for the body.
Wrapping Up on Micronutrients
Now that you’re aware of the three micronutrients, it is important that you eat a well-balanced diet and drink enough water in order for you to function properly, as well as live the longest life possible. Consumption of micronutrients can be done in many ways.
Vitamins and minerals can be consumed through supplements, though it is recommended that you do not rely on them. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to provide your body with extremely valuable vitamins and minerals, and they are even absorbed differently than when you take these micronutrients in supplemental form.
Overall, you should do all that you can to ensure you are getting the necessary micronutrients. The easiest way to do this is eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink at least 8 cups of water per day.