Micronutrients are essential nutrients required in small quantities by the human body to carry out various functions. They include vitamins and minerals, which are found in a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins. While they are required in smaller quantities compared to macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, they are equally important for maintaining good health.
Vitamins and minerals are the two different categories of micronutrients. Organic substances known as vitamins are required for several metabolic processes in the body. There are 13 important vitamins, which are broken down into water-soluble and fat-soluble categories. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins, and the body stores them in fat cells. B vitamins and vitamin C are examples of water-soluble vitamins that are excreted through urine rather than retained by the body.
Minerals are inorganic compounds necessary for several biological processes. Major minerals and trace minerals are the two different categories of minerals. Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iodine, and fluoride are trace minerals, while calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride are major minerals.
Micronutrients are essential for preserving health. They play a role in a number of physiological activities, including DNA synthesis, neuron function, immunological response, and energy consumption. The following are some of the crucial roles that micronutrients play:
- Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Together, they increase bone density and lower the chance of osteoporosis.
- Increasing Immunity: Iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, C, and E are crucial for a strong immune system. They support the body's ability to fend off infections and stay healthy.
- Blood sugar control is facilitated by the minerals chromium, magnesium, and vitamin D. They lessen the risk of diabetes and aid the body's efficient utilization of insulin.
- Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals selenium and zinc, are crucial for keeping healthy skin. They aid in defending the skin from deterioration brought on by the sun and other environmental elements.
- Reduce Inflammation: Selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E all have anti-inflammatory qualities. They aid in lowering inflammatory levels in the body, which are linked to numerous chronic disorders.
To make sure you are getting adequate micronutrients, it is crucial to eat a varied, balanced diet. Along with complete grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, processed foods should be avoided because they frequently have high-calorie counts but low nutritional benefits.
You could consider taking supplements if your diet does not provide you with enough micronutrients. But before beginning any supplements, you should consult your doctor for advice as the requirements may differ based on an individual’s health.