Our body requires nutrition to be healthy. One of the most important body requirements is micronutrients. This includes vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are a good source to strengthen our immune system, produce energy, and clot blood. On the other hand, minerals help in growth, maintain good bone health and balance in the fluids.
Through this article, we are going to discuss micronutrients, their function, benefits, as well as their deficiency.
This simple word defines vitamins and minerals. The body requirement for these nutrients is low. Thus, it is labeled as “micro”. The body cannot produce vitamins and minerals on its own. You need to include them in your diet.
Micronutrients can be divided into four types:
Vitamins that can be easily dissolved in water are called water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are not stored in our bodies and get easily drained. These water-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): It helps in converting nutrients into energy. Sources are wheat, meat, and fish. Moreover, its deficiency causes research dated 19th March 2019 by The James Cook University stated that “Eating of fish may also help in preventing asthma”.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): It helps in producing energy in the body and to enhance cell functioning. Likewise, sources are eggs, milk, and organ Its deficiency causes inflammation of mouth and skin.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Its main aim is to produce energy from food. Sources are leafy greens and beans. Its deficiency causes
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): It helps in the synthesis of fatty acid. Sources are mushrooms, tuna, and avocado. Its deficiency causes a digestive and neurological disturbance.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): It helps in releasing sugar from the carbohydrates present in our body for energy. Sources are milk, carrot, and Fish. Its deficiency causes anemia and scaly dermatitis.
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin): It helps in the Metabolism of glucose, amino acid, and fatty acid. Hence, sources are eggs, almonds, and sweet potatoes. Its deficiency causes hair loss and neurological disturbance.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): It helps in cell division. Additionally, the sources are liver, beef, and spinach. Also, its deficiency causes Anemia and glossitis.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): It helps in the formation of red blood cells. Also, It helps in providing proper brain function. Sources are fish and meat. Its deficiency causes pernicious anemia. Furthermore, a study by Rice University dated 13th March 2019 stated that the deficiency of vitamin B12 may cause an increased risk of infection.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): It helps in the production of collagen and neurotransmitters. These are the main protein present in the skin. Further, sources are citrus fruit and brussels sprouts. Likewise, its deficiency causes scurvy. Research dated 8th March 2017 by the University of Salford stated that Vitamin C rich foods are effective in attacking cancer stem cells.
These vitamins do not dissolve in water. It is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. These fat-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin A: It helps in providing proper vision. Sources are retinol and carotenoids. Its deficiency causes night blindness.
- Vitamin D:It helps in providing proper bone growth. Sources are milk and fish oil. Its deficiency causes night rickets. On January 30, 2019, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) stated that Vitamin D helps in lowering the risk of diabetes.
- Vitamin E: It protects cells from damage. Sources are wheat and almonds. Its deficiency causes less fertility.
- Vitamin K: It helps in blood clotting. Sources are pumpkin and leafy greens. Its deficiency causes hemophilia.
These minerals include:
- Calcium: It helps in the proper functioning of bones and teeth. Sources are dairy products and broccoli. Also, the deficiency of this mineral causes fatigue and cramping of the muscles.
- Phosphorus: It helps to maintain the structure of the cell membrane. Sources are yogurt and salmon. The deficiency of this mineral causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
- Magnesium: It helps in regulating blood pressure. Sources are almonds and cashews. Furthermore, the deficiency of this mineral causes numbness and muscle cramps.
- Sodium: It helps in maintaining fluid balance. Sources are salt and processed soups. Also, the deficiency of this mineral causes your cell to swell.
- Potassium: It helps in the transmission of the nerve and to maintain fluid balance. Sources are bananas and lentils. Similarly, the deficiency of this mineral causes paralysis of the muscle.
As the name suggests, it is required in a small amount by the body as compared to macro minerals. These include:
- Iron: It helps in providing oxygen to the muscle. Sources are spinach and white beans. Also, it may lead to anemia.
- Copper: It helps in the formation of connective tissue. Sources are liver and crab. Its deficiency causes
- Zinc: It helps in the healing of the wound. Also, the sources are oysters and chickpeas.
- Its deficiency causes loss of appetite.
- Iodine: It helps in the regulation of thyroid. Further, sources are cod and yogurt. Its deficiency causes goiter.
Thus, consider including these 4 macronutrients in your diet. Also, to avoid future health issues and assures well-functioning organs and live longer.