Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients do not provide energy (calories). In addition, micronutrients need to be ingested by your body only in small amounts but regularly.
Micronutrients are essential. This means they are vital for life and must be taken in through food. They play a significant role in your health, as they are responsible for many essential functions of your body.
Among other things, the functions of micronutrients include strengthening the immune system, improving metabolism, and regulating water and electrolyte balance. The nutrients are also crucial in maintaining and building bone and muscle mass.
You can find vitamins in both plant and animal foods. It is important to know that some vitamins are water-soluble and some are fat-soluble. This means that for your body's absorption of specific vitamins, you should consume them with a fat-containing component.
Water-soluble vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), folic acid, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and vitamin H (biotin).
Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A (retinol), D, E, K, and provitamin A (carotene).
On the other hand, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and iodine belong to minerals and trace elements.
A deficiency of micronutrients can impair your body's function. Furthermore, you are more susceptible to diseases. This can also manifest in excessive fatigue (despite sufficient sleep) or a feeling of sluggishness.
To determine if you are deficient in micronutrients, you can see a doctor and have blood work done. Then you can compensate for the deficiency with a proper selection of foods or dietary supplements.