You’ve probably heard the terms ‘macronutrients’ and ‘micronutrients’ at some point. But what do they mean? To meet our bodies’ physical and mental health, they require a range of nutritional needs to function properly and to survive simply. It’s important to understand the different types of nutrients to know what’s essential to our daily diet. Here is our breakdown of the macronutrients and micronutrients that your body needs!
The Difference Between Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Macronutrients are split into three groups: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Hence the term ‘macro,’ we need each type in relatively large amounts daily for our bodies to effectively develop, repair, and feel satisfied!
Although it’s been given a bad name, our bodies need carbs to function. They simply give our bodies the energy to function, including our brains. Carbohydrates play an important role in our diets and serve several purposes that can affect our health. Some healthy sources of carbohydrates include Oatmeal, yams, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.
Consider protein the building blocks of our entire body, including the cells in our bones, muscles, skin, and blood. They are also responsible for our body’s hormones, enzymes, and other bodily chemicals in our bodies that are needed for the body to function properly. You can get a healthy protein intake from Eggs, lentils, beans, quinoa, and lean meats.
Fats aren’t bad at all! It’s the type of fat that you consume which consists of saturated fat (unhealthy), trans fat (unhealthy, monounsaturated fatty acids (healthy), polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats like avocados, cheese, fish, and nuts provide our body energy, regulate important hormones, support cell growth, and protects our organs.
Micronutrients are simply vitamins and minerals that are vital to your body. They provide growth, immunity, and brain function and development. Our bodies cannot naturally produce vitamins, so it’s best to consume our micronutrients from food.
Water and Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Given their names, these types of vitamins are dissolved from their names, water, and fat. There are nine water-soluble vitamins which include all your B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, and Vitamin C. You can get daily water-soluble vitamins from whole grains, fish/meats, vegetables, and citrus fruits. Your fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, include vitamins A, D, E, and K, which you can receive from vegetables, fish, eggs, and nuts/seeds.
There are seven macrominerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. These might look familiar on your nutrition labels. Hence the term ‘macro,’ these types of minerals affect the body in their specific way.
Trace minerals can be consumed in smaller doses and play different roles for our bodies to benefit from. Iron, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine, fluoride, and selenium contribute to our blood, skin, bones, organs, immune, and mental/emotional health.