Micronutrients consist of water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins, and major minerals and trace minerals. Please see table below:
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pyridoxine (B5)
- Pantothenic Acid (B6)
- Biotin (B7)
- Folic Acid (B9)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
So much could be said about each of these micronutrients (maybe we’ll dedicate another book to that), but we want to provide you with a broad perspective as to why these are so vital to overall wellness and vitality.
We’ve noticed that the “macro following population” tends to focus solely on the macronutrient portion of their diet and not take the micronutrient portion into consideration when building their plate. We’re here to tell you that micronutrients are just as important, arguably even more important, than macronutrients as these are all necessary for proper metabolic pathways, cardiac functions, and neurological functions. Your body functions similar to gears in a clock… those gears process the dietary foods (macronutrients) we eat to create energy. The micronutrients keep the gears running smoothly. Micronutrients assist in every one of your bodily functions.
The beauty of micronutrients is that so many of them work synergistically in the body. For example, phosphorus is needed to activate riboflavin, pyridoxine metabolism requires riboflavin, folic acid and cobalamin work together to prevent homocysteine build up in the body, sodium and potassium work together to maintain intracellular and extracellular integrity, Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, and this list could literally go on and on for several pages of this book, but I think you get the idea.
Because of their synergistic functions, it’s important to focus on foods that contain a variety of micronutrients. If you’re an athlete who avoids vegetables because they’re not contributing to your carbs for the day or you consider them “empty calories”, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Specifically, the B vitamins (water-soluble vitamins) are essential to energy pathways that process carbohydrates. In other words, want to be able to fuel your body to expend the appropriate energy needed in high intense exercise or simply have the energy to survive your 8-5 job? Then you have to take micronutrients into consideration when it comes to your nutrition.
Top sources for micronutrients:
Citrus fruits, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, berries, eggs, meat, fish, shellfish, liver, avocado, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, onions, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kiwi, nuts, etc.
As you might have noticed, all of these foods are considered “whole foods.” Whole foods are packed with micronutrients and do not come in a box and were not made in a factory. You will find all the micronutrients you need in the perimeter of the grocery store.
If you consume these foods daily, there is no need for fancy B-complex supplements or any other supplement singling out one of these micronutrients, unless prescribed by your primary care physician.