What Are Micronutrients + Where Can You Get Them?
In the pursuit of a healthy and vibrant life, understanding the role of micronutrients is essential.
These tiny yet mighty nutrients play a crucial role in supporting various functions, from boosting immunity to maintaining strong bones and sharp cognition.
A micronutrient is a type of nutrient that our bodies need in small amounts but are essential for proper growth, development, and overall health. These include vitamins and minerals.
Micronutrients are important for maintaining various bodily processes and preventing deficiencies that can lead to health problems.
Micronutrients vs. Macronutrients
You have to know the difference between micros and macros.
- Definition: Nutrients needed in small amounts; essential for overall health and well-being.
- Examples: Vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, B vitamins) & Minerals.
- Role: Support bodily processes, immune function, bone health, cell function, & antioxidant protection.
- Amount Needed: Small quantities (e.g. micrograms or milligrams).
- Dietary Sources: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, dairy products, nuts, & seeds.
- Definition: Nutrients needed in larger quantities; provide energy and structural components.
- Examples: Carbohydrates, Proteins, & Fats.
- Role: Provide energy for daily activities, build and repair tissues, & regulate metabolism.
- Amount Needed: Large quantities (e.g. grams or kilograms).
- Dietary Sources: Grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, seeds, & oils.
The Difference Between Vitamins And Minerals
The body can produce certain vitamins and minerals, but we get the majority of our requirements from the food we consume.
Vitamins are molecules that contain carbon and are either water or fat-soluble. Heat, oxygen, or chemical processes can impact their composition, resulting in higher vitamin levels in raw food compared to processed or cooked food.
On the other hand, minerals are molecules lacking carbon and are not susceptible to destruction by heat or light.
Every process of the body requires vitamins and minerals and every specific vitamin and mineral will play a number of different roles – macronutrients might be providing the energy in the form of calories you require but it’s micronutrients that are assisting your body in utilising that energy.
If you eat a balanced and varied diet then you should be receiving all the nutrients you need, but a combination of modern farming methods, dietary restrictions or an increased requirement due to pregnancy or illness, have meant more and more of us are at risk of developing a worrying deficiency in these valuable nutrients.
The most recent statistics from the UK government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that 23% of women had low iron intakes and there was evidence of low levels of vitamin D in all age groups.
If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, then you’ll quickly see an impact on how efficiently your body performs and the potential development of a number of related health concerns.
26 Of The Most Important Micronutrients
The most important micronutrients include vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. Some of the key micronutrients include:
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and the body does not store them for long durations. When consumed excessively, they are flushed out of the body through urine.
These vitamins are vital for energy production and various bodily functions. Since the body doesn’t retain them, it’s crucial to include them consistently in your diet from different sources.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Essential for converting food into energy and supporting nerve function. Found in whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Helps with energy production, cell growth, and maintaining healthy skin. Present in dairy products, lean meats, and leafy greens.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Aids in energy metabolism and supports proper skin, digestive, and nerve function. Found in poultry, fish, and whole grains.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Plays a role in brain development, immune function, and protein metabolism. Found in meats, fish, and fortified cereals.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Essential for nerve function, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell production. Found in animal products like meat, fish, and dairy.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Acts as an antioxidant, supports immune function, and aids in wound healing. Present in citrus, strawberries, and bell peppers.
- Biotin: Important for energy metabolism and healthy skin, hair, and nails. Present in eggs, nuts, and certain vegetables.
- Folate (Folic Acid): Vital for DNA synthesis and cell growth, especially during pregnancy. Found in leafy greens, legumes, and fortified foods.
Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and can store in the liver and fatty tissues for future use. They are essential for various bodily functions and require dietary fat for proper absorption.
- Vitamin A: Supports vision, immune function, and skin health. Found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
- Vitamin D: Necessary for bone health, immune function, and calcium absorption. Created by the skin in response to sunlight and found in fatty fish and fortified dairy products.
- Vitamin E: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. Present in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
- Vitamin K: Essential for blood clotting and bone health. Found in leafy greens, broccoli, and soybeans.
The body requires macrominerals in larger amounts than trace minerals and they play vital roles in maintaining overall health.
- Calcium: Supports bone and teeth health, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Found in dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods.
- Phosphorus: Contributes to bone health and energy metabolism. Found in dairy, meat, and nuts.
- Magnesium: Essential for nerve function, muscle contraction, and bone health. Present in nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Sodium: Helps regulate fluid balance and nerve impulses. Often found in table salt and processed foods.
- Chloride: Aids in maintaining fluid balance and producing stomach acid. Commonly consumed as part of table salt.
- Potassium: Important for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. Found in fruits, vegetables, and beans.
- Sulphur: Present in proteins and contributes to various biochemical processes.
Small amounts of trace minerals are required, but they play significant roles in maintaining health.
- Iron: Essential for oxygen transport in the blood and energy production. Found in red meat, beans, and fortified grains.
- Manganese: Supports bone health, metabolism, and antioxidant defense. Present in nuts, whole grains, and leafy greens.
- Copper: Contributes to iron metabolism, connective tissue formation, and antioxidant defence. Found in nuts, seeds, and organ meats.
- Zinc: Important for immune function, wound healing, and enzyme activity. Present in meats, dairy, and legumes.
- Iodine: Required for thyroid hormone production and regulating metabolism. Often added to table salt and present in seafood.
- Fluoride: Supports dental health by strengthening tooth enamel. Found in fluoridated water and some seafood.
- Selenium: Acts as an antioxidant and supports thyroid function. Present in nuts, fish, and whole grains.
These are just a few examples of the micronutrients we need in our diets. There are many more out there that are vital to keeping us healthy. Luckily, we include a lot of them in our collection of IV vitamin drips.
The Dangers Of Low Micronutrient Levels
Low levels of micronutrients can have significant negative effects on your health. Deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to a range of health problems.
For instance, a weak immune system can result from low levels of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, making you more susceptible to infections. Inadequate intake of nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins can cause fatigue, weakness, and reduced physical performance.
Micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K are critical for maintaining strong bones, and deficiencies can increase the risk of bone-related issues such as osteoporosis.
Furthermore, certain micronutrients, like B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, are vital for brain health and cognitive function. Low levels of these nutrients might contribute to memory problems and cognitive decline.
Skin and hair issues, anaemia, mood disorders, digestive problems, and an increased risk of chronic diseases are also potential consequences of low micronutrient levels.
To avoid these dangers, maintaining a balanced diet rich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods is crucial. If you suspect you have a deficiency, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable to address the issue effectively.
If you’re worried that you might have a vitamin and mineral deficiency, there are a number of tests that can be carried out.
IV nutrient therapy is an effective method to ensure optimum levels of vitamins and minerals; our Myers Cocktail combines many of these essential nutrients, making it an increasingly popular choice.
If IV therapy isn’t for you then you can also energise your body with precisely crafted vitamin injections. These boosts help elevate your energy levels, enhance cognitive function, and bolster your immune system against viruses.
Our expert physicians are dedicated to tailoring the perfect vitamin concoction to achieve optimal outcomes. Vitamin injections offer a swift and efficient method of delivering essential nutrients directly into your bloodstream.
Unlike orally ingested vitamins, these injections bypass the digestive process, resulting in an impressive 90-100% absorption rate of vital vitamins.