Micronutrients 101

The human body needs macronutrients and micronutrients to carry out its daily functions. 

Macro means large and micro means small. Macronutrients are needed in large amounts, such as grams, while micronutrients are needed in small amounts, such as micrograms or milligrams.

The micronutrients that the human body needs are vitamins and minerals.

There are 12 essential vitamins and 14 essential minerals.

The essential Vitamins are:

  • A

  • K

  • E

  • Niacin

  • Riboflavin

  • Thiamin

  • Pyrodoxine

  • Pantothenic Acid

  • Biotin

  • Folate

  • Cobalamin

  • Ascorbate

The essential Minerals are:

  • Calcium

  • Sodium

  • Potassium

  • Chlorine

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Iron

  • Copper

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

  • Iodine

  • Flouride

  • Manganese

  • Molybdenum

When tracking macros, nothing is off limits. This allows you to include a wide variety of foods into your diet, ensuring that your micronutrient consumption will be ample. 

Excluding foods from the diet means you run the risk of limiting your micronutrient intake and possibly creating a deficiency. 

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals and are high in fibre. Making sure that you are hitting your daily fibre goal will help ensure that you are also reaching your micronutrient goals. 

References:

Shils, Maurice Edward, and Moshe Shike, eds. Modern nutrition in health and disease. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

McArdle, William D., Frank I. Katch, and Victor L. Katch. Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.