All About Micronutrients
All About Micronutrients
We have talked a lot about the main parts of nutrition, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Now it’s time to dive into some other important aspects, micronutrients. When you have your macronutrients and your calories down the next area where you can make sure things are in check is micronutrients.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are made up of mostly vitamins, and minerals. We need them to help keep our bodies functioning. We can get micronutrients from our food and from supplements. The most important things to remember is that if we are consistently eating real food, with a variety of colors we don’t need to worry about the amount of micronutrients we take in.
Most of the time we can use some data fro biofeedback to see where we can improve our micronutrients. You can also look at your daily diary on MFP to see what you are lacking in. The micronutrients that MFP takes into account are; sodium, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Here are the daily recommended amount for each of those:
-Vitamin A: 5,000 IU
-Vitamin C: 60mg
How can we get enough of each of these in our diets?
Most of the time if we are eating a good amount of REAL food, including a good variety of fruits and vegetables we will hit these numbers easily. Since it is hard to get that amount in some days with our busy lives here are some foods for each of these that we can add more of into our diet.
If you are eating a regular diet this number will not be hard to hit. Sodium helps with fluid balance in your body. You will find sodium in most foods but I highly recommend changing your salt to Himalayan salt. That will add a lot more to your food.
Just like sodium potassium is involved in regulating your bodies fluid level, but unlike sodium we do not get enough potassium day-to-day. Potassium is needed for many functions, it helps with muscle cramps, and keeps blood pressure at a good level. You can get potassium from greens, potatoes, fruit, and beans. Prioritize getting potassium and you will see your health improve.
Vitamin A plays a role in many functions of the body. It helps with immune function, red blood cell development, and healing wounds. Not getting enough you might see dry skin, or trouble with vision. You can get this from dark leafy greens, egg yolks, and orange/yellow vegetables.
Vitamin C plays a big role in immune function, and helping build collagen proteins in the body. It Also helps protect your cells from free radicals in your body. The most popular way to get vitamin C is orange juice but that could come with some added sugar. Stick to real citrus fruits along with peppers and strawberries.
Calcium plays a role in bone and teeth formation, but it is also important with hormones secretion. Calcium has been somewhat overplayed in dairy products because you can get the same amount from vegetables.
Iron is the most deficient mineral in most people. We don’t get enough red meats and dark leafy greens. Iron helps with your blood and it helps build proteins and enzymes. IF you are low on iron look from more red meats.
A common theme on how to get more of these in your diet is REAL food. I’m not saying you have to stop eating processed foods, only that you will feel a lot better if you are adding these to your diet.
If you notice you are still low on these look for supplementation but only after you have tried using food first.