You’ve probably heard the terms ‘macronutrients’ and ‘micronutrients’ at some point. But what do they actually mean? In order to meet our bodies physical and mental health, they require a range of nutritional needs in order to function properly and to simply survive. 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 various groups: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Hence the term ‘macro,’ we need each type of 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 in order to function. They simply give our bodies the energy it needs to function including our brain. Carbohydrates play an important role in our diets and serves a number of purposes which can affect different aspects of our health. Some healthy sources of carbohydrates include: Oatmeal, yams, brown rice, and whole wheat breads.
Consider protein the building blocks of our entire body including the cells in our bones, muscles, skin, and even blood. They are also responsible for our body’s hormones, enzymes, and other bodily chemicals in our bodies that’s needed for the body to function properly. You can get a healthy intake of protein 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 provides our body energy, regulates important hormones, support cell growth, and protects our organs.
Micronutrients are simply the 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 your daily water-soluble vitamins from whole grains, fish/meats, vegetables, and citrus fruits. Your fat-soluble vitamins on the other hand includes Vitamin 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 type of minerals affect the body in their own specific way.
Trace minerals can be consumed in smaller doses and plays different roles for our bodies to benefit from. Iron, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine, fluoride, and selenium are contributes to our health for our blood, skin, bones, organs, immune, and our mental/emotional health.