The Importance of Micronutrients in your Diet

If you’re making the effort to eat better and be healthier, considering your intake of key micronutrients is vital. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, micronutrients have a major impact on our health and wellbeing. Are you getting what your body needs?

In this month’s blog, we take a look at what exactly micronutrients are, why they are important to our health, and how to ensure we get enough in our diets.

What Are Micronutrients And Why Are They Important?

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are only required in small quantities by our bodies, but have a big impact. In fact, micronutrients are essential for a number of different bodily functions, including growth and development. 

Although micronutrients are only required in trace amounts, becoming deficient in these micronutrients can cause a variety of problems in the body. And it happens easier than you may think. In fact, micronutrient deficiencies are quite widespread, affecting a third of the world’s population. 

Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E are all examples of micronutrients, as are iron, magnesium, iodine, and zinc. 

Micronutrients are essential for maintaining your brain, muscle, bone, circulation, skin, and immune system. Failing to get enough micronutrients leads to deficiency, which can contribute to a number of health problems ranging from fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, and headaches to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

How To Obtain Micronutrients

While a plethora of studies offer conflicting and often confusing suggestions about micronutrients and nutrition (including the effectiveness of certain supplements) one thing is certain: the best way to get vitamins and minerals is from a well-rounded diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, along with healthy fats, such as nuts and olive oil.

“You should ideally try to meet your vitamin and mineral needs through your diet rather than supplements,” says Dr. Howard D. Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Medical Editor of the Special Health Report Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals: Choosing the foods and nutrients you need to stay healthy.

If your diet consists of highly processed foods filled with sugar and salt, and if your diet lacks a well-balanced variety of fresh produce, you may be at risk for micronutrient deficiency.

Choose Fresh Foods Rich In Micronutrients

Five micronutrients in particular play vital roles in maintaining immune function and overall health: vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. While these and others are often sold as daily supplements, there is no evidence that such supplements have any more benefits than simply  following a fresh, healthy, wholesome diet. Adjusting your diet to include a variety of whole foods is always preferred to popping a supplement every day. 

Harvard Medical School suggests the following foods as great ways to get some of these essential micronutrients:

Obtain Vitamin B6 from…
Chicken, cereals, bananas, potato skins, chickpeas, tuna, salmon

Obtain Vitamin B12 from…
Fish, chicken, eggs, low fat cheese and milk

Obtain Vitamin C from…
Tomatoes, citrus fruit, sweet peppers, broccoli, kiwi

Obtain Vitamin E from…
Sunflower seeds and oils, almonds, peanut butter

Obtain Magnesium from…
Whole wheat, legumes, nuts, seeds, avocados, spinach, quinoa

Obtain Iron from…
Chicken, turkey, oysters, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, legumes

Are You Deficient In Micronutrients?

If you’re concerned that you may be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals, or if you’re feeling extra sluggish or have possible symptoms, contact Exceed Hormone Specialists today to schedule a consult. 

Dr. Chauhan and Dr. Pearson are trained to evaluate your vitamins and supplements based on your medical history, complete evaluation, lab studies, and a clear understanding of your nutrition and performance goals.

Our specific recommendations will be based on core medical knowledge and the latest reliable research. We will then tailor the recommendations to your particular situation and needs. Such an approach ensures that your ongoing supplement and vitamin choices are aligned with your individual health situation, your needs, and your aspirations.