Macronutrients are a primary focus area while planning a diet. However, they are not the whole story. The human body must consume a balanced diet with micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, and coenzymes. In addition, micronutrients play a multi-faceted role in your health, from strengthening your bones to enhancing the immune system.
Vitamins, minerals, and other specialized micronutrients are essential for preserving one’s health. Micronutrients maintain your cells’ health and the proper operation of biological processes. Maintaining optimal cellular nourishment with micronutrients is necessary to generate energy, control stress, balance mood, sleep, and other vital functions.
It is challenging to plan the proper intake of macro and micronutrients in our daily lives. Also, with metabolic illnesses like diabetes, heart issues, cancer, etc., increasing, it becomes crucial to pay attention to food intake. One way of doing it is by subscribing to HealthifyPRO 2.0. It has various features like weight analysis, blood glucose level monitoring, metabolic panel testing, and personalized consultation with a coach. As a result, you learn to create optimum meal plans and healthy lifestyle habits that keep you metabolically healthy by modifying your diet plans.
Micronutrients, specifically several B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and zinc, are linked to cognitive and psychological symptoms like exhaustion on a molecular and cellular level, according to substantial biochemical and clinical data. They are rich in various dietary sources (naturally occurring or fortified nutrients) and supplements. In addition, cells also produce certain micronutrients through internal synthesis.
The HealthifyMe Note
Micronutrients play a crucial role in maintaining overall growth and development. But unfortunately, most people are unaware of its significance and tend to ignore its part in the daily diet. Each source of micronutrients has potential drawbacks when attempting to eat optimally. For instance, some kinds of supplementary nutrients are less effective than others, and malabsorption and inadequate microbial synthesis of micronutrients can be the outcomes.
Micronutrients: An overview
In general, vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. Proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are examples of macronutrients. Compared to macronutrients, your body requires fewer micronutrients. Since the body can rarely generate vitamins and minerals, humans must get their micronutrients from their food.
When you eat a nutritious diet, you intake adequate minerals and vitamins as each vitamin and mineral has a unique purpose in your body. Hence optimum health status requires an appropriate intake of all micronutrients.
Studies suggest that vitamins and minerals are essential for growth, immune system health, brain development, and many other critical processes. In addition, according to studies and reports, some micronutrients may also help to prevent and treat chronic diseases depending on their role.
Micronutrients and Metabolic Health: The Connection
Macronutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fat are essential for the metabolic fitness of an individual. However, while these macronutrients play a significant role in how the body makes energy and fights disease, they by no means work in isolation.
They are coupled with micronutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, trace metals, and others to work in conjunction to keep your immune system strong. Micronutrients play a crucial part in helping the cells to carry out their standard process and to let the body function at its peak at the cellular level.
Most nutrients play a significant role in the chain reactions that control every aspect of your body’s metabolism and involve proteins, enzymes, and hormones. The system will break down as a whole even if one of the linkages is weak or absent. They can function as catalysts for crucial chemical processes, constituents of essential proteins, and more.
Given the wide range of micronutrients, following a nutritious and balanced diet is vital to prevent scurvy, blindness, rickets, weak bones, and other congenital disabilities. According to a study, obesity and Type 2 diabetes can also impact the micronutrient level. In addition, research links insulin resistance to micronutrient deficiencies, particularly those in calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Effects of Micronutrients Deficiency
Consumption of micronutrients in a particular ratio is critical to carry out their specific activities in your body. A vitamin or mineral might have adverse side effects if consumed excessively or too little. A balanced diet will allow people to consume enough micronutrients for most healthy adults. However, some groups are more prone to dietary deficits than others.
Each nutrient’s indications, symptoms, and long-term impacts vary. Still, they can harm your body’s ability to function properly and maintain optimal health. Here’s how the deficiency of micronutrients can affect your metabolic health.
Since vitamins are essential for producing energy and are involved in overall processes, insufficient levels of vitamins can slow the process down and increase the likelihood of developing fatigue or weakness.
Even after eating, you might not feel energized or active because the body won’t be able to fuel the cells. Such vitamin deficiencies accompanied by fatigue happen due to poor diet choices, such as those high in sugar and saturated fats.
Satiety depends on the vitamins we consume and whether or not the stomach is full. The ability to control hunger and satiety depends on various amino acids and minerals, including B vitamins. If your diet is on track and you’re eating healthy foods, you may have noticed that you don’t feel hungry between meals.
One reason indicates the importance of concentrating on nutrition rather than calories when attempting to lose weight. You are more inclined to overeat to feel fulfilled due to lacking specific vitamins and amino acids, eventually resulting in weight gain.
Hair loss is another negative side effect of not providing your metabolism with the proper micronutrients. For example, suppose you experience excessive hair loss or thinning when you brush or shower could be a sign of a deficit vitamin level. Micronutrients are necessary for hair growth, and if there is any deficiency, the health of the hair and nails will be at risk. As a result, you experience severe hair loss, dandruff and others.
Depression and Lack of Motivation
With a balanced diet, you will feel motivated and want to take active steps toward your goals. Uncontrollable mood swings and a lack of motivation aren’t always personality traits. Numerous brain functions depend on vitamins and minerals, so deficiencies in these nutrients increase the risk of neurotransmitter depletion.
The neurotransmitter damage can cause mood swings, anxiety, despair, and a loss of enthusiasm for activities you once found enjoyable. Remember that your body functions mainly through chemical reactions like an engine. Thus it is not possible to perform at its best level if you don’t provide it with the necessary fuel.
Urge to Eat Even When Not Hungry
As mentioned above, vitamins have a role in appetite and fullness. Still, it’s not just about whether you feel hungry or not. Even though you’ve recently had a meal, cravings for certain meals (or simply any food) are more likely to occur when you’re micronutrient deficient.
Cravings are a surefire sign that you need to increase your vitamin and mineral consumption. Iodine, zinc, selenium, and tyrosine, an amino acid, play an essential role in thyroid function. While chromium, inositol, and alpha-lipoic acid are for optimal insulin activity.
The HealthifyMe Note
It’s crucial to start consuming the correct vitamins and minerals and boost your activity level if you want to accelerate your metabolism. If you have dietary needs that make it challenging to meet all your nutritional requirements, combine a balanced, healthy diet with necessary supplements. Additionally, increasing your activity level by getting up to move around frequently and walking briskly for at least 20 minutes will improve your metabolic health.
Essential Micronutrients for Healthy Metabolism
Depending on heredity and lifestyle, all of us have unique micronutrient needs. Therefore, consult your nutritionist for advice on the recommended daily intake of each micronutrient.
Below are some crucial micronutrients and the ways to acquire them to prevent the onset of various metabolic-related diseases.
The liver breaks down vitamin D when consumed or created through sun exposure before kidney enzymes convert it to calcitriol, the active form. The calcitriol controls how the skeleton can utilize the nutrients and the metabolism of calcium and phosphate, the two main minerals that strengthen bones.
Ways to Get Vitamin D
Sunlight exposure accounts for 50 to 90% of vitamin D consumption, as the name indicates “sunshine vitamin.” Vitamin D3, one of the two primary forms of the vitamin, can either be created when sunshine strikes the skin or absorbed via eating meat, or taken as a supplement. The other primary type of vitamin D, vitamin D2, is typically consumed as a supplement or synthetic food additive. According to research, some vitamin D is better absorbed in higher-fat diets.
Three ounces of trout or salmon will get you close to the needed amount of vitamins. On the other hand, half a cup of UV-grown mushrooms has almost half the recommended vitamin D. Furthermore, a tablespoon of cod liver oil has a high level of vitamin D. Hence, please consult your coach if your usual diet is deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D doesn’t function metabolically by itself. Studies suggest that magnesium is necessary for Vitamin D metabolism. A meta-analysis with six trials and around 25,000 patients shows a strong link between magnesium insufficiency and metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that a person’s overall risk of developing metabolic syndrome fell by 17% for every daily increase of 100 mg of magnesium.
Ways to Get Magnesium
Pumpkin seeds, which contain 156 milligrams of magnesium per ounce, are one of the best food sources of the mineral. Chia seeds include 95 milligrams per ounce, while other healthy sources of magnesium include almonds, spinach, cashews, and peanuts. Additionally, black beans, edamame, soy milk, and peanut butter all contain it.
The magnesium most readily absorbed by the body when taken as supplements include magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium chloride. Also, remember that magnesium supplements can conflict with some antibiotics and osteoporosis treatments.
The body requires zinc in more than 300 metabolic pathways. Numerous enzymes responsible for synthesizing carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, insulin signaling, and vitamin D activation depend on zinc. It is crucial in assisting the immune system and is also associated with diabetes and insulin resistance. Furthermore, an unbalanced zinc level may increase a person’s risk for high blood sugar and obesity.
The body cannot store zinc; hence, you must obtain it through your diet. Nearly seven times zinc’s recommended level is present in three ounces of oysters. About half of the necessary zinc intake for men and almost the entire daily intake for women are present in an equal amount of beef or crab. An ounce of pumpkin seeds or cashews can satisfy roughly 15–25% of your daily calorie needs if you’re a vegetarian.
Just remember that some seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains contain phytic acid, phosphorus that binds to zinc and hinders absorption. It indicates that plant-based meals are less abundant sources of zinc than animal foods. However, phytic acid levels decreased using easy techniques like soaking, fermenting, or sprouting food.
The small intestine plays a metabolic role in the absorption of selenium by integrating it into the proteins of body tissues. The trace mineral is essential for metabolic function in several ways, including as a potent antioxidant. In addition, it aids in cellular glucose uptake and supports a functioning thyroid, which is crucial for cellular metabolism. Another critical antioxidant that selenium supports is glutathione.
The selenium content in one’s diet differs based on where one live and the level of nutrients in the soil where their food is grown. Selenium insufficiency is extremely rare in the United States, Canada, and Japan because these nations’ soils often contain large amounts of selenium. However, due to the shortage of selenium in the ground soil, food is grown in regions of China, and Eastern Europe, often containing little of the mineral. Selenium deficiency could affect up to 1 billion individuals worldwide.
Brazil nuts are the perfect food source of selenium. However, the amount of vitamins they contain (68–91 micrograms in a single nut) is so high that consistently consuming too many of them puts you at risk for selenium poisoning. A good supply of selenium is three ounces of yellowfin tuna, halibut, shrimp, sardines, ham, turkey, and steak.
According to reports, appropriate vitamin and mineral intake appears to be the best and safest obtained from food sources. Still, experts are conducting more research to understand the long-term consequences of toxins and supplements completely. However, taking supplements under the supervision of a nutritionist may be advantageous in particular nutrient shortages. If you’re considering taking micronutrient supplements, buy the ones with third-party certification. Avoid supplements that include “super” or “mega” doses of any nutrient unless specifically instructed by a healthcare professional.
The term “micronutrients” refers to vitamins and minerals, which include water and fat-soluble vitamins, trace minerals, and macro minerals. Micronutrients are essential for the body for metabolic processes. While minerals benefit growth, bone health, fluid balance, and other methods, vitamins are required to synthesize energy, immunological response, blood coagulation, and other functions.
These nutrients are indispensable for good metabolic health when consumed correctly. Even though most of the micronutrients cannot be produced or stored in the body, you can obtain them from the food you consume by slightly altering your diet. Therefore, ensure a balanced diet to receive the right amount of micronutrients.