How Micronutrients Can Improve Your Health

How Micronutrients Can Improve Your Health

“Micronutrient” isn’t a word that gets tossed around a lot – that’s because we know them better as vitamins and minerals. Everyone knows that these micronutrients are good for you, but most people still don’t get the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals through their diet, potentially putting themselves at risk of health problems later in life. To understand why micronutrients are so important, we’ll take a closer look at what they are, why micronutrients make you healthy, and how you can easily add them to your diet.

What are Micronutrients?

A good way to understand micronutrients is to understand what they aren’t. The food we eat is mostly made up of macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – which break down to provide our bodies their main source of energy. Micronutrients, as you could guess by the name, are the small stuff – vitamins and minerals. But just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean that micronutrients don’t have a big impact on our health. They’re crucial for proper cell function and a host of different biochemical reactions that keep us going, and deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can even be detrimental to your health.

Micronutrients Can Improve Your Health

To understand why micronutrients make you healthy, you have to understand the science behind them. How exactly do they work in our bodies? When a health food item claims to be packed with vitamins and minerals, you know that means that it’s good for you, but you may not know exactly why.

Vitamins are organic nutrients that the body cannot produce on its own but are necessary to help the body’s cells function properly. Each vitamin serves a unique purpose – for example, vitamin A mainly supports eye health. Vitamins can be separated into two main groups – water soluble and fat soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K) can be stored in the body’s fatty tissues for long periods of time. Water soluble vitamins (B-complex, C) are short term – we flush them out every day in the bathroom. This means it’s especially important to replenish water soluble vitamins daily, either through the foods we eat or by taking supplements, to keep our bodies running at peak performance.

Minerals are the inorganic substances that we need to stay healthy. You probably already know that a healthy body needs calcium, iron, and zinc, but did you know that your body also needs small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and chloride? Magnesium, which can be found in leafy greens, beans, and nuts, plays a huge role in how the body creates energy, regulating thousands of different biochemical reactions in our bodies. When we eat meat and fish we absorb phosphorus, a mineral that strengthens and repairs our teeth and bones.

But hardly anyone thinks about how much of these crucial minerals they’re getting in their meals every single day – it’s just too much extra worry. That’s why micronutrient supplements are so helpful, taking away the worry of counting up milligrams of minerals and giving you the peace of mind that your body is getting exactly what it needs.

How to Add Micronutrients to Your Diet

The easiest way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals is through supplements and capsules. Your parents may have made you take gummy vitamins when you were kid to help you grow healthy and strong, but just because you’ve grown up doesn’t mean you should stop taking them. Yes, you can still take gummies – there are plenty of adult gummy vitamins, as well as chews, pills, and powders. Supplement powders that are stirred into a glass of water are the easiest for the body to absorb.

It’s especially important to take micronutrient supplements if there are gaps in your diet – if you’re vegan, you’re not getting any B12 vitamins in your diet. B12 is only found in meat and dairy products and plays a critical role in creating DNA, nervous system function, and the creation of red blood cells. Or you’re lactose intolerant and not getting enough calcium, which is important to bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis.

Start Getting the Micronutrients Your Body Needs Now

Even if you’re eating well, it can be challenging to get all of the nutrients you need in your diet. After learning why micronutrients make you healthy, examine your diet and try to see where you might be lacking, and use dietary supplements to fill in the gaps. Keep in mind that it’s just as important not to go overboard on your vitamin and mineral intake – there’s such thing as too much of a good thing. As with most things, balance and moderation are key to living a healthy lifestyle.