What You Didn’t Know About Micronutrients

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Micronutrients - Purpose Driven Mastery“Great things are done in a series of small things brought together.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

Micronutrients

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients found in food that is essential for your optimal health and wellness.

The wide range of vitamins and minerals are the building blocks for your body’s physiological processes.

Foods Containing Vitamins

The best option to obtain vitamins and minerals is by eating nutrient-dense foods.

Here are some key vitamins with their functions and food source.[1]

Vitamin

Function

Food Source

Vitamin A (Retinol)

  • Eyes
  • Growth
  • Taste
  • Appetite
  • Carrots
  • Cod liver oil
  • Liver
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

  • Muscles
  • Nervous system
  • Heart
  • Digestive system
  • Nerve tissues
  • Egg yolks
  • Liver
  • Red meat
  • Nuts

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Hair
  • Skin nails
  • Growth
  • Metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates
  • Eyes
  • Sensitive oral areas
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fish
  • Liver

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Nerves tissues
  • Skin
  • Absorption of carbohydrates and protein
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Bananas
  • Fish
  • Whole grains

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

  • Formation of red blood cells
  • Nerve tissues
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish
  • Liver
  • Red meat

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

  • Wound healing
  • Viral and bacterial infections protection
  • Support immune system
  • Scurvy Prevention
  • Cell lifespan
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Kiwi
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin D

  • Teeth
  • Bones
  • Cod liver oil
  • Sun exposure
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Herring

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

  • Antioxidant to remove toxins
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli  
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain products
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts

Vitamin H (Biotin)

  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Maintain blood sugar levels
  • Metabolism stability
  • Yeast
  • Meat  
  • Liver
  • Peanuts
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin K

  • Assists with blood clotting
  • Helps with wound healing
  • Bone protection from osteoporosis
  • Cancer protection
  • Egg yolks
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sprouts
  • Fruits
  • Liver

Folic Acid

  • Healthy red blood cells production
  • Egg yolks
  • Carrots
  • Liver
  • Apricots
  • Pumpkin  
  • Avocado
  • Whole wheat products
  • Green leafy vegetables

Ensure you have plenty of vitamin D from sun exposure, food, or supplement.

Low levels of vitamin D can cause:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Flu
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis

Fifteen to thirty minutes of daily sun exposure with 25% skin exposure is plenty for healthy vitamin D production.  

Micronutrients: Vitamin D - Purpose Driven MasteryThis is also a great reason for you to go outside during the day and enjoy some fresh air!

Minerals

Here’s a list of key minerals with functions and food sources.

Mineral

Function

Food Source

Calcium

  • Teeth
  • Bone strength
  • Muscle contractions
  • Blood clotting
  • Nerve functions
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Green leafy vegetables

Iron

  • Building up red blood cells
  • Building white blood cells
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Muscle function
  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Oily fish
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Whole wheat and grains

Magnesium

  • Muscle function
  • Healthy teeth
  • Energy conversion of foods
  • Bone strength
  • Cell repair
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables

Zinc

  • Promotes immune system health
  • Aid the body to break down and use carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • Brown rice
  • Shellfish
  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Whole grains

From the food sources listed in the tables above, the simple solution is to just eat nutrient-dense foods such as dark leafy vegetables that contain both vitamins and minerals.

What You Didn’t Know About Sodium

Your body only need a small amount of sodium to work properly.  

But because salt (90% sodium) is in almost everything that we eat, it’s extremely easy to over consume the daily recommended dosage of fewer than 2300 milligrams (equal to one teaspoon of salt) per day.[2]

Micronutrients: Sodium - Purpose Driven MasteryLess than 1500 milligrams per day if you’re older than 50 or have a cardiovascular risk factor.

Based on the Center for Disease Control, the average daily consumption of sodium for Americans older than two years is 3400 milligrams.[3]

The top ten food sources[4] of sodium in children and adolescents are:

  1. Pizza

  2. Mexican mixed dishes

  3. Sandwiches

  4. Bread and rolls

  5. Cold cuts and cured meats

  6. Soups

  7. Savory snacks

  8. Cheese

  9. Plain Milk

  10. Poultry

As you can see, processed food make up most of the list!

The easiest way to reduce sodium consumption is to remove processed food!

The benefits of reducing sodium intake include the lowering of:

  • Blood pressure
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Risk of stroke
  • Water retention
  • Risk of gastroesophageal cancer
  • Left ventricular mass

In addition, lowering sodium intake helps preserve bone mass.

The first leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease and the third leading cause of death is stroke.[5]

The Importance of Potassium

The adequate potassium amount of 4700 milligrams per day is enough for you.

Keeping a 1:2 ratio of sodium to potassium is important according to the Institute of Medicine.

Perspiration releases electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Therefore having enough electrolyte replenishment is crucial, especially if you’re physically active.

Cramps occur when your body is low on electrolytes.

I consume most of my electrolytes from vegetables and fruits.

Micronutrients: Banana - Purpose Driven MasteryBananas make a great pre-workout snack because they’re easy to digest and contain an abundant amount of potassium!

Micronutrient Supplements

Try your best to get your mineral and vitamins from nutrients-dense foods and only use supplements to fill in any key missing components.

It’s not essential to meet all the recommended dosages for each mineral and vitamin.

Do your best and listen to your body.

Supplement on days when you have an intense workout or have not been eating healthy.

The multivitamin that I use is from Legion.
Micronutrients: Multivitamin - Purpose Driven Mastery

Closing Thoughts

Vitamins and minerals are important for overall health and wellness.

Because of modern technological advancements, you can consume all the key nutrients all year round.

But before that was available, your ancestors were still able to live and thrive.

Focus on getting your vitamins and minerals from nutrient-dense foods and your health will thrive!

Being consistent is the key!

Don’t be too concerned about missing some vitamins and minerals every so often.

Get annual laboratory tests for mineral and vitamins and take necessary steps to prevent any deficiencies.

Please share this article with anyone who you think may find it useful.

If you have any questions and/or comments on micronutrients, please leave a comment below or send me an email.

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Footnote References:

[1]“New Health Guide.” List of Vitamins and Minerals, accessed Dec. 17th 2016, http://www.newhealthguide.org/List-Of-Vitamins-And-Minerals.html.

[2]Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium chloride, and sulfate. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2004.

[3]Centers for Disease Control, Sodium: The Facts, accessed Dec. 16th, 2016, https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_fact_sheet.pdf.

[4]Centers for Disease Control, Sodium: The Facts, accessed Dec. 17th, 2016, https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/children_sodium.pdf.

[5]Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; Vol 57 No 14. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2009.

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