A balanced diet is made up of a variety of macronutrients and micronutrients. If you’re familiar with counting calories or balancing your macros, then you already know that a healthy diet is one that features an ideal balance of all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Unfortunately, managing your micronutrients is a little more complex than learning to balance your macros. Here we will break down what you really need to know about micronutrients to make the most of your diet.
What Are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are a broad category that encompasses all of the many vitamins and nutrients that we get from fruit, vegetables, meats, and other sources. In general, we need very small amounts of these vitamins and minerals, which is why they are in the micronutrient category. Still, it is important to understand what they are and how they work so that you can get a good handle on what your body really needs to function well.
Types of Micronutrients
There are dozens of micronutrients that your body needs for proper health, but it would be nearly impossible to track all of those numbers every day of the week. Instead, it is much easier to think about micronutrients in terms of their four main categories: water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macro minerals, and trace minerals. Water-soluble vitamins include all of the B vitamins and vitamin C, which collectively work to give your body energy. These vitamins dissolve in water, which means they can be easily processed by your body, but they are not easily stored, so you need a steady supply of them. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. These vitamins must be consumed with a source of fat in order for your body to process them effectively. Otherwise, the excess vitamins are stored in your fat cells and will be metabolized when your body needs them. Macrominerals include things like sodium and calcium that we know we need to keep our bones strong and our blood cells healthy. Finally, trace minerals include iron and zinc, which we need in very small amounts, but cannot easily measure in most foods that we intake.
How to Get Your Micronutrients
Micronutrients are present in all the foods we eat. Getting the micronutrients you need is all about eating a wide variety of foods from different sources. Eating the same foods all the time may prevent you from getting all the micronutrients you need. One simple way to keep up with your micronutrients is to make sure that you are eating foods of many different colors. While it is not 100% accurate, some micronutrients are known to correspond with specific colors of food, like juicy red tomatoes and bright orange carrots in our Chicken Mix Salad. The more colorful your diet, the more likely you are to get a good balance of nutrients that your body can use.
If you want to get your diet in check, visit Lean Lifestyle today. Our healthy meal plans offer a simple way to enjoy fresh foods that are made with a balanced diet in mind. Check out our full menu to see how our team puts together colorful and delicious meals just for you.