Eating enough protein, veggies, and fiber and still not seeing results you desire? Your micronutrient game might be the culprit! Micronutrients are not produced in our bodies naturally; with the exception of Vitamin D. Therefore, we need to be diligent in maintaining a balance of vitamins and minerals for a strong foundation of health. Let’s look at the list below and see which example of micronutrients you do well with and which ones may need a little more attention!
It’s much like an architect. Would we ever expect her to build a skyscraper from the top with no foundational support? Heck no! We can’t ask our bodies to show us results without first aiding the process in providing the essential micronutrients for changes to happen! So, pull up a seat, grab some water (wink wink), and let’s chat about a few examples of micronutrients and how they influence your health!
1. Hormone Balancing
As we age, both men and women can find themselves struggling with hormone imbalances. Before diving deep into more chronic illness culprits or aggressive intervention, first evaluate if you have a potential micronutrient deficiency.
Lifestyles, demographics, climate, and nutrition accessibility could all play a role in whether you are getting adequate micronutrient values.
Examples of great hormone balancing micronutrients are:
- Ashwagandha– known to help aid in thyroid and cortisol functions
- St Johns Wort– known to help aid in overall immune function, which helps support adrenal hormone function
- Magnesium– aids in regulating neurotransmitters, nervous system, bone health, and is the 4th most abundant mineral in our body
- Omega-3’s- regulate blood sugar levels, insulin, and other hormone interactions which can help balance hormones and reduce hormone-related weight gain.
2. Production of Enzymes (example of micronutrients)
Enzymes are crucial to the human body for several reasons. First, enzymes are the catalyst to nearly all chemical reactions in the body. It basically enhances the way the processes in your body support life functions. Secondly, enzymes speed up the chemical reactions. This also helps with vital life functions. Respiration, building muscle, digestion of foods (e.g, vitamins and minerals), metabolic and hormone functions are all examples of the important tasks enzymes are involved in. This also includes breaking down of micronutrients! See? It’s all one connected cycle!
Some of the most common vitamins and minerals that help enzyme functions have already been mentioned (zinc and magnesium). A couple others that assist chemical processes are folic acid and Vitamin B class.
3. Healthy Skeletal and Cognitive Development
Several micronutrients, often minerals, aid in healthy skeletal development, cognitive functioning, and many other benefits. We all know how important it is to have healthy bones, especially as we age! But, our daily cognitive functioning can have serious implications on our mental health and physical health as well. It can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, etc.
Here are a few micronutrients that can help assist in this area:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B-12
4. Easiest Changes to Add to Daily Routines
This is nothing new. We all know how important water is to our overall health, metabolic functions, and is considered an essential nutrient. Water is needed for us to sustain life, and even though it is often overlooked when we use the terms macronutrients and micronutrients, water still remains the most essential element we can consume.
We could have all the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, or fats in the world, and yet if we just stopped drinking water, we would die within several days.
We often hear that on average we should drink our weight in ounces. So, for example, if you are 150lbs, you want to strive for 150 ounces of water per day. This is not necessarily an easy thing to maintain if you are just starting out, but it is one of the easiest changes we can make, because of the accessibility of water. Simply start by changing daily habits and ensuring that water is easily accessible to you at all times.
- Take a water bottle with you every time you get in the car
- Leave a gallon of filtered water in your trunk to refill whenever you are away from home
- Set notifications on your phone to drink 8oz every 1-2 hours
- Add organic fruit to your water to increase volume
- Add Celtic salt to your morning water to replenish lost minerals
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