Sunday, 1 November 2015

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are nutrients needed by the body throughout life, in small quantities. They are dietary minerals and vitamins needed by the body in very small quantities as opposed to macronutrients that are required in larger amounts.
Examples of minerals are iron, cobalt, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, manganese and molybdenum.
The human body cannot make vitamins. Therefore we must obtain them from the food we eat.
Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in the foods we eat. Your body needs them to work properly, so you grow and develop just like you should. When it comes to vitamins, each one has a special role to play. For example:
Vitamin D in milk helps your bones.
Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night.
Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut.
B vitamins in leafy green vegetables help your body make protein and energy.
Vitamins Hang Out in Water and Fat
There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble and water-soluble. When you eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in your body and in your liver. They wait around in your body fat until your body needs them.
Fat-soluble vitamins are happy to stay stored in your body for a while - some stay for a few days, some for up to 6 months! Then, when it's time for them to be used, special carriers in your body take them to where they're needed. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are different. When you eat foods that have water-soluble vitamins, the vitamins don't get stored as much in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream. Whatever your body doesn't use gets excreted.
So these kinds of vitamins need to be replaced often because they don't stick around! This crowd of vitamins includes vitamin C and the big group of B vitamins - B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), niacin, B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, B12 (cyanocobalamin), biotin, and pantothenic acid.

Look closely at the types of food that are rich in the different vitamins. They are carbohydrates, proteins or fats. You will be including most of these foods in the right proportion so as to get a balanced intake of macro and micronutrients. We need macro and micronutrients to live a fit and healthy life. Now that you know the functions of all these food groups, do you think we should be neglecting any of these nutrients from our system? Should we be avoiding or missing out on foods that will fuel our bodies with vitamins?
So how much of what, is the question that must be running across your mind now.
There are so many diets out in the market today. It’s getting complicated and people are confused. Which diet should they choose? Are there side effects? Will the diet produce the desired results? How expensive will this diet be?
I must encourage you to start off by reviewing your current food plan first. Are you getting all of the macro and micronutrients? In most experiences gained through counseling and coaching, I have learnt that people who diet and keep changing their plans, never really had a balanced food plan in the first place. So we need to get things right, before we venture into the ‘glamorous’ world of diets and fads. 

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