You probably might have come across the terms micronutrients and macronutrients. As the names suggest, the macro are required in large quantities and micro in smaller. Mistakenly, most of us, seeking good health focus only on the macronutrients.
What exactly are micronutrients?
These essential nutrients, I am sure you must have at least heard of them, are vitamins and minerals. The vitamins are further divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K. The body on a daily basis does not require these, hence they gather easily in the body.
The water-soluble vitamins are required to be replenished every day, as they are washed out of the body via the fluids in the body. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble, there are eight types of vitamin B and each of them have a chemical name as well. Commonly these eight types of B vitamins are known as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.
Moving on to the minerals, these are also split in the category of microminerals and macrominerals. The microminerals, required by the body in traces are iron, zinc, iodine, fluoride and copper. The ones required in larger quantities or the macrominerals include potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus.
There are a host of diseases associated with the deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Just to show the importance of the micronutrients we will mention a few of the diseases. It is practically difficult to mention all. First, let’s look at the diseases caused by the deficiency of Vitamin B alone, Beriberi, epilepsy, homocysteine, peripheral neuropathy, ariboflavinosis, weakness, insomnia, acne and more. Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy. Deficiency of zinc is related to slow growth in children, the chances of catch pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea are increased by its deficiency. The leading deficiency in majority of the people around the world is of Iron, which causes anemia. Calcium is a requisite for strong and health bones and teeth. The lack of calcium causes Osteoporosis.
Sources of micronutrients
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower, fish, chicken are rich in Zinc. Vitamin C may be sourced from citrus fruits, strawberry, parsley, broccoli and more. Eat legumes, nuts, leafy green vegetables, seeds for Vitamin B. Vitamin A may be derived from egg yolk, cheese, milk and vegetables. Dairy products, almonds, green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium. One can always go in for supplements to cover up the daily requirements of the micronutrients.
Adopt a healthy practice of replenishing the body with the micronutrients and save yourself from the ill effects and diseases caused by their deficiency.