What are Micronutrients and how they Benefit our Bodies?

What are Micronutrients and how they Benefit our Bodies?
Vitamins

One important part of our nutrition are micronutrients. They are used in small quantity, but constantly throughout our lives. Next, we will give you more information about this essential substances, showing you how they benefit our bodies.

Major Classification 

Major-Classification
Major-Classification

Micronutrients are classified in two general broad branches:

  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Both are important and required in different amounts. Let’s get on the specifics for each group.

Minerals

Minerals
Minerals

There are 13 essential minerals we need to fulfill our nutritional needs. These substances are not synthetized by the human body, and they need to come from external sources. Some of them are very rare, and therefore added artificially to daily meals.

Some cereals, milk, and yogurts add minerals to their formula to complement our daily intake. The minerals we need are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdeum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Minerals shortage can lead to certain health conditions. However, if you have them in excess, it can lead to other group of diseases. For example, with potassium, having not enough of it causes a disease called hypokalemia that affects the heart and the nervous system.

However, if you eat too much potassium, the resulting health condition is hyperkalemia, which affects the same systems in a different way. Therefore, you must be careful with your mineral intake to keep it within safe quantities at all times.

Vitamins

Vitamins
Vitamins

Vitamins are organic composites. They are classified in two broad groups as follows:

  • Water soluble vitamins
    • A
    • D
    • E
    • K
  • Fat soluble vitamins
    • 8 different types of B vitamins
    • C

The first group is not stored in our bodies, as it is flushed with other liquids in the form of urine and sweat. Therefore, we need a regular intake of water soluble vitamins to keep up with our daily needs.

On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins can be stored in fats, and they are hard to eliminate. Just as it happens with minerals, an overdose of vitamins of any kind is as unhealthy as the lack of them.

Vitamins obtained from natural sources are much better than artificially added vitamins. As they come with fiber and other ingredients, they are easier to process. Therefore, we get the benefits.