What are micronutrients and why are they important to me? If you're not a health professional you're probably not very well equipped to answer that question. That's ok, we're here to bring you up to speed, by the end of this article not only will you know what micronutrients are, but you will know how they affect you and how you can get them from eating tasty and low cost natural foods!
Micronutrients are essential to the survival of living organisms on earth and are a pre-cursor to many essential body functions. That being said they don't get all the just due they deserve. We've all heard of the more popular micronutrients like Vitamin C, but did you know Folic Acid can reduce deformities and promote other health factors in infants when taken by their mothers during pregnancy?
Micronutrients are defined as being nutrients that are needed for survival throughout life; however, unlike macronutrients they are only needed in small amounts. Micronutrients are a perfect application of the age old adage "good things come in small packages." They orchestrate a whole range of essential psychological functions in our bodies, unfortunately we cannot sufficiently produce them ourselves. We depend on micronutrients to remove waste, without them the cells become congested, DNA gets broken, and the body doesn't have what it needs to repair itself. This leads to not feeling well and eventually getting ill.
Besides the basic functions of properly removing waste and promoting healthy DNA micronutrients stop developing deficiencies that can have devastating results. Scientists have long known that the micronutrient Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) can positively affect a fetus not only in womb but also long after birth into childhood development. In fact micronutrients deficiencies can be a major concern in many essential developments that take place in early childhood.
It is safe to say that Nicholas D. Kristof shares my fondness for micronutrients, in an article featured in the New York Times about micronutrients Kristof states "there’s zinc, which reduces child deaths from diarrhea and infections. There’s iron, lack of which causes widespread anemia. And there’s vitamin A: some 670,000 children die each year because they don’t get enough vitamin A, and lack of the vitamin remains the world’s leading cause of childhood blindness."
Micronutrients also have health benefits that can slow down the process of aging and stop degenerative diseases like cancers. Helmut Beierbeck of the Natural News wrote an article about how micronutrient deficiencies can cause diseases and even damage DNA. In his article Beierbeck states "In fact, genome damage caused by even moderate micronutrient deficiencies rivals damage from environmental factors like chemical carcinogens or radiation."
Ideas of neural deformities, accelerated aging and cancer are all persuasive indeed; however, the best reason to obtain adequate of micronutrients is much more subtle. In reality the main reason you need adequate amounts of micronutrients is that they play a vital role in detoxifying you body, warding off harmful diseases and creating necessary enzymes. These are all essential for healthy body functions on a level that you can feel every single day. Simply put if living a long and healthy life sounds appealing to you then in some way so should micronutrients.
At the beginning of this article I promised to not only define micronutrients and explain why there are important, but to also inform you where you can find nutrient rich foods. I aim to please and below you will find the ERNI (Eating Right Nutrient Index) which is a nutrient density chart displaying what foods are especially nutritious. Below the index I have also include a complete list of the micronutrients. I now expect you to reward your body for its hard work and put the chart below to use!
Complete List of Micronutrients:
Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3(niacin), Vitamin B5 (panthothenic acid), Vitamin B6 group, Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B8 (ergadenlic acid), Vitamin B9 (folic acid), Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), Choline, Vitamin C (absorbic acid), Vitamin D, Vitamin E(tocopherol), Vitamin K, Carotenoids, Aplha carotene, Cryptoxanthin, Lutien, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin, Boron, Cobalt, Choride, Chomium, Copper, Flouride, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc.