What are Micronutrients?

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Your body requires a lot of materials in order to maintain homeostasis or an internal balance. One of the more important materials comes in the form of nutrients. Nutrients can be divided into macronutrients and micronutrients.

What Are Micronutrients?

Micronutrient is a term used to describe minerals and vitamins in general. Relative to your body’s macronutrients (fat and carbohydrates), your body needs vitamins and minerals in a smaller amount, hence the name, “micro”. Micronutrients are also referred to as essential nutrients because your body cannot produce vitamins and minerals from the inside. This means that all of your vitamins and minerals have to come from your diet. 

Vitamins are compounds that are made by plants and animals which are broken down by a variety of materials, such as acid or heat. Minerals exist in water or soil, and they cannot be broken down. This makes them inorganic. It can be difficult to discern which food items contain the most amount of micronutrients, so it is recommended to eat a variety of foods to be on the safe side. 


Why Do You Need Micronutrients?

The reason why micronutrients are essential to the body is that there are a variety of factors that depend on a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients help maintain blood flow, your immune system, and maintain other parts of your body. For example, calcium is a mineral that is necessary for building bones and keeping them healthy. It also enables blood clotting. Potassium, on the other hand, regulates the fluid levels and muscle contractions in your body. 

Micronutrients have also been found to have a special role in your general well-being, and being in a state of micronutrient deficiency can have adverse effects on your health. Low levels of micronutrients have been linked to putting many at increased risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. 


How Can You Ensure You Have Enough?

As mentioned before, micronutrients cannot be synthesized by the body, which means they have to come from an external source. For most people who do not have a deficiency, a well-balanced diet that incorporates healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables will ensure your body has a great internal balance. For the sake of convenience, many opt to take supplements, such as multivitamins. 

For the sake of foods that you eat every day, there are many sources that can get you the proper micronutrients that you need. Calcium is most commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. Potassium can be found in a variety of fruits such as bananas. A lot of vitamins are commonly present in vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. 

As you can see, micronutrients are an important part of your body to function properly. So if you want to ensure that your body has the fuel it needs to maintain functioning, incorporate a well-balanced diet into your daily routine.

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