Micronutrients: They're Important Too!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I track my macronutrients to ensure my body is getting enough protein, carbs, and fat. These are the nutrients our bodies need for energy and to build and repair muscle. I like to think that I’m pretty consistent in reaching these macro goals, but a couple of days ago I took a look at my food diary and was amazed at how little iron I was getting in my diet!
Though I had been doing well in hitting my macro goals, as I looked deeper I noticed I was struggling to meet many of my micronutrient goals - another important aspect to consider when striving to fuel my body well!
Micronutrients are just as they sound - small varieties of nutrients that help the body thrive. They may come in the form of calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, iron, zinc, and many others. Since these nutrients are often placed on the backburner of our nutritional focus, I’d like to share a few quick tricks that I employed to help increase my intake easily.
#1 - Eat whole foods. When we eat a diet of foods that come from the ground or from a mother, it is only natural to assume we will be getting more nutrients than we would if we were eating a diet comprised of mainly processed foods. My best tips to sticking avoiding packaged foods? Pre-plan your meals and set yourself up for a successful trip when heading to the store. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out a blog post I did sharing my tips of how to shop the edge of the grocery store.
#2 - Color your plate. Fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein are filled with vitamins and minerals. When we strive to fill our plates with a variety of colors, our body gains the benefits of a healthy immune system, healthy skin, a healthy digestive tract, and so much more! The next time you go to fill up your plate, I challenge you to see how many different colors you can incorporate!
#3 - Take a multivitamin. There are so many things our bodies need day to day that it can become difficult to hit our quota of every nutrient we need, no matter how healthy we try to eat- and especially if we’re just starting to eat healthy. There have been days where I look at My Fitness Pal and I am doing great with getting Vitamin C and calcium in, but I am lacking in my iron intake. Other days, it can be the opposite! In order to prevent deficits, I recommend finding a multivitamin with the assistance of your doctor to keep you feeling great and giving your body exactly what it needs to thrive.
When it comes to food, there are so many variables to consider. There’s protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well as the many micronutrients that our bodies need. When we give our body these nutrients consistently, it is amazing how much energy we gain. Take a look for yourself; you may be surprised at where you are at!