Micronutrients: What They Are and What You Should Know

March 31, 2021

What are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients is the umbrella term given to vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are known to be needed in much smaller amounts than macronutrients like protein, fats, and carbohydrates, but these micronutrients still play a huge role in your daily life in supporting your body in functioning properly. 

Micronutrients have a massive impact on your health, and deliver benefits that fight illness, promote longevity, and support your body in ways that micronutrients cannot. Micronutrients are what often make a food nutrient-dense. 

Vitamins vs. Minerals

Vitamins and minerals both make up micronutrients, but what makes them different?

Vitamins are organic substances that are found in and produced by plants and animals. Vitamins can be broken down into two categories: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins can be dissolved in water, while fat soluble vitamins (like Vitamin A, D E, and K) are absorbed when fat is present. 

Water Soluble Vitamins + their Sources

  • B Vitamins: Lentils, Beans, Quinoa, Salmon, Tuna, and Beef 
  • Vitamin C: Strawberries, Oranges, Bell Peppers, and Broccoli

Fat Soluble Vitamins + their Sources

  • Vitamin A: Carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, kale and spinach. 
  • Vitamin D: Fortified cereals and dairy, Mushrooms, and eggs.
  • Vitamin E: Peanut butter, Almonds and Spinach. 
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, Broccoli, and Soybeans

Minerals are inorganic substances that can be found in soil and water. Minerals never lose their structure even when you absorb them. There are 16 main minerals that are broken down into two categories: macrominerals (like calcium and potassium) that the body requires a large amount of and trace minerals (like iron and zinc) which you need much smaller quantities of. Generally, the best practice for maximizing your mineral intake, especially when in supplement form, is through chelated minerals.  In nature, minerals are always bound to another compound. In supplements, some minerals are bound, or “chelated,” with amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Studies have shown that chelated minerals are the most effectively absorbed and utilized by the human body.  Here is a handy guide to a few minerals and which foods they are found within:

  • Calcium
  • Fortified orange juice and plant milks, Dairy, and Tofu.
  • Phosphorus
  • Nuts, soy, lentils, quinoa, and sunflower seeds.
  • Potassium
  • Legumes
  • Sulfur
  • Organ meats, peaches, onions, and garlic. 
  • Sodium
  • Table salt.
  • Magnesium
  • Broccoli, legumes, and spinach.
  • Iron
  • Meat, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts. 
  • Zinc
  • Oysters, shellfish, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Copper
  • Shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and prunes.

How Can I Incorporate Micronutrients?

Incorporating micronutrients in your diet can be daunting but it doesn’t need to be difficult. 

Eat Purely’s healthy food delivery service is always an option for those who are too busy, unable to cook, or even unwilling to cook a balanced meal seven days a week. Our food delivery service incorporates high quality, seasonal ingredients that are jam-packed with micronutrients (and macronutrients) that are the perfect solution for eating a balanced (and delicious) diet. Eat Purely’s pre made dinners can make life all the easier for those on the go. Take away the guesswork and hassle when it comes to planning out your day - and take charge of your health!