What Are Micronutrients? And Why Do They Matter?

Written by on December 31, 2020 in Stuff with 0 Comments
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There are many important factors that come into play when it comes to our health and wellbeing. We all want to lead a healthy lifestyle, without any major health problems, but for many people all around the world, some of the things such as a balanced and healthy diet, along with regular exercise, are not so straightforward to attain.

Many people work long hours, have children or other family commitments to attend to, and simply don’t have enough hours in the day to prepare a healthy meal or visit the gym for a workout. In fact, many people only have enough time to throw a meal into their microwave when they return home from work.

The importance of micronutrients

It is very important that we take our daily recommended dosage of minerals and vitamins, whether they are in their natural form, or through supplements. These are also known as micronutrients, and are one of the most important types of nutrients that our bodies need. On the opposite end of the scale are macronutrients, which include things such as carbohydrates, fats and protein.

Minerals are important for things such as healthy bone growth, sustaining muscle, heart and brain function, and also for the production of enzymes and hormones that the body needs.

Vitamins help us to maintain a healthy and functional immune system, energy production and also blood clotting. There are a number of important vitamins that you should take on a daily basis such as magnesia, calcium and vitamin C and B-12.

Source of micronutrients

Our bodies cannot naturally produce minerals and vitamins, so we have to consume them through the food that we eat. Minerals are inorganic and exist in soil or water, and can’t be broken down. Vitamins however are organically produced compounds that can be made by animals and plants, and can be broken down, either through air, acid or heat.

By eating, we are consuming the minerals that have been absorbed by the plants or animals, along with the vitamins that they have created. This is why it is recommended that we eat a healthy and balanced diet each day, as different foods contain different micronutrient content. The purpose of a balanced diet isn’t only to avoid fatty or unhealthy foods, but also to make sure that we eat foods from which we can obtain the required minerals and vitamins that our bodies need.

Here you can find a good article about micronutrients that give you an easy to understand explanation and information about their importance to our health.

The interactive of nutrients

The micronutrients that we consume have the ability to interact with one another in ways that can be both productive and counterproductive to our health. For example, vitamin D can help to increase the absorption of magnesium, while decreasing the absorption of other minerals such as calcium and sodium.

This is why we need to eat a variety of different foods each day, in order to be sure that we are taking in our required daily intake of all of the micronutrients that we need.

Micronutrient deficiencies

As with anything that our bodies require, if we aren’t consuming the required amounts, whether it be minerals, vitamins, carbs or even fats, then we can potentially start suffering from deficiencies.

There are also other factors that can come into play with regards to developing micronutrient deficiencies such as the long term shortage of food that are nutritious or even infections such as worms. Even things such as illnesses where we experience diarrhea or constant vomiting can cause a very fast loss of nutrients from our bodies that need to be replaced.

There are a number of symptoms that can appear if you are suffering from any nutritional deficiencies such as general weakness and fatigue, lightheadedness, pale skin, breathing difficulties and even constipation.

Below we will take a brief look at some of the most common nutrient deficiencies that can affect people all over the world.

Iron deficiency

Iron is a very important mineral and a major part of the red blood cells, helping to transport oxygen around your body. Iron deficiency is said to affect over 25% of people around the world. Anemia is the most common result of an iron deficiency, where the ability of your blood to transport oxygen drops considerably, leaving you feeling tired, weak and dizzy.

Iodine deficiency

A third of the world's population is affected by iodine deficiency, with an enlarged thyroid gland being the most common symptom. People can also suffer from weight gain, an increased heart rate and breathlessness. It can be particularly harmful in children and can cause developmental issues and even mental retardation.

Calcium deficiency

Our bones and teeth rely heavily on calcium, especially during the period of our life where we grow at a rapid pace. Even as we get older, calcium plays a vital role in the health and maintenance of our bones. It is also an important mineral that allows our nerves, muscles and heart to function properly.

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