Food & Nutrition 101: Micronutrients

As a follow-up to our post on micro-nutrients, it’s only fair if we also discuss micro-nutrients, they are just as important after all!

Although they don’t provide us with food energy (calories) micro-nutrients are nutrients that we need to facilitate all types of physiological functions within our bodies. They help with all the biochemical reactions that take place within us, effortlessly. Functions such as muscle movement, heart beats, breathing, digestion, vision, nerve impulses and the list goes on, it’s endless really! Not only do micro-nutrients ensure healthy body function, but they also play a large part in beauty. Yes, yes, it’s true. Want strong healthy nails? shiny hair? radiant skin? sparkly eyes? Having a healthy intake of all of the micro-nutrients will help you achieve optimal health and radiance in no time. After all, our bodies are walking, talking, breathing miracles.

So, first things first. Lets break down the micro-nutrients into manageable categories.  There are two types of micro-nutrients and they are:

1. Vitamins- 13 main types discovered to date

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalmins)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

2.  Minerals
-Major Minerals

  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Sulfur
  • Sodium
  • Chlorine
  • Magnesium

-Trace Minerals

  • Iron
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Molybdenum
  • Iodine
  • Selenium

It is important to include adequate amounts of all of these vitamins and minerals in your diet to maintain good health. Micro-nutrient deficiencies often lead to many diseases, fortunately for us most are not common in developed countries. Since there are so many micro-nutrients I will be making a separate post for each category so we can go more in depth about basic functions and food sources of each of these essential life supporting nutrients. Hopefully this will help you all avoid information overload. Stay tuned!

For dietary reference intakes (DRI) of vitamins and minerals please visit:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf

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