Now that we’ve covered off on Macronutrients, I wanted to chat a bit about the other group of essential nutrients, micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals. Called micronutrients because they are needed only in minuscule amounts, these substances are the “magic wands” that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development.

Although we can get vitamins and minerals through supplementation, getting them through your food can ensure that your body absorbs them properly. Micronutrients are found in whole foods of all kinds — meaning those that are found in nature and not processed. These nutrient-dense foods include vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, ancient grains, legumes and quality animal products.

Among micronutrients many roles are: breaking down macronutrients into usable energy, protecting the brain, allowing the muscles to move, and helping with tissue repair. Micronutrients nourish your body and keep you healthy, reduce your risk for chronic diseases, slow the aging process, and help every system in the body function well.

Many American adults have trouble getting enough of the following essential micronutrients. Let’s all focus on incorporating some of these foods into our diet this week!

Nutrient Food sources
Calcium Broccoli, dark, leafy greens, and sardines
Potassium Bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, nuts, fish, and spinach and other dark greens
Fiber Legumes (dried beans and peas), seeds, apples, strawberries, carrots, raspberries, and colorful fruit and vegetables
Magnesium Spinach, black beans, peas, and almonds
Vitamin A Eggs, milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe
Vitamin C Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, and red and green bell peppers
Vitamin E Avocados, nuts, seeds, spinach and other dark leafy greens

 

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