When you hear people talking about healthy foods and healthy diets, you might hear them talking about micronutrients. But what the heck are those?
Well, macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. And relatively speaking, we need a lot of those for optimal health. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are those nutrients we need in pretty small quantities. But just because we don’t need much of them doesn’t mean they’re not extremely important. In fact, micronutrients are essential for our growth, development and regulation of body functions like proper immune function.
Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and other essential nutrients. And when we’re deficient in one or more of these micronutrients, our bodies and health can really suffer. Just think about what happens when we’re deficient in iron, iodine or zinc. Without enough iron, we feel tired and get sick. Without enough iodine, we feel exhausted. And without enough zinc, we have trouble fighting infections and healing wounds.
So what’s the best way to ensure we get all of our essential micronutrients? Eat a balanced diet of whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, grains, organic meats, beans and legumes. Look for variety in color, taste, texture and types of food. A balanced variety of whole foods will provide you with all of the micronutrients you need for optimal health and vitality.