I eventually came across the terms micro- and macronutrients and was wondering what are the meanings of these. In this article I want to share my learnings on the differences and the importance these in our organism.
The terms micro and macro relate to the amount in which we need these substances, but this has nothing to do with the importance of the substance in our body. Micronutrients we usually take in much smaller amounts than macronutrients.
From the micronutrients your body can not gain energy. However, they are vital for almost all processes in our metabolic system. They ensure that our basic functions are working properly and are involved, for example in the growth and renewal of cells, formation of messenger substances and secretions and the function of enzymes.
The micronutrients can be divided essentially into three categories:
- Vitamins , for example Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, etc.
- Minerals , such as iron, iodine, calcium, and many other
- Trace elements , such as copper, selenium, zinc
Unlike the micronutrients our body gets its energy from the macronutrients. The three main macronutrients are:
- Carbohydrates provide energy for our cells to the human body. Low carb diets do not cause nutritional deficiencies. Our body can function normally without carbohydrates, but they are for us the fastest and easiest-to-digest energy supplier.
- Fat is the one of the energy sources with the highest concentration, a hundred grams of fat has more calories than the same amount of carbohydrates. Saturated fatty acids are used only for energy production, however, the unsaturated fatty acids are essential and important for our metabolism. The human body needs fat, it is not possible in the longer term to give up fat without developing symptoms of deficiency. In addition, fat improves the absorption of certain vitamins.
- Proteins (protein) are primarily the building material for our cells, is why we recommend, for example, to build muscle, to increase the protein intake, so that enough material is available for muscle building.
In the modern world, unfortunately, a bad balance between micro and macro nutrients has become established. Our meals often consist only of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, so macronutrients, and the vital micronutrients fall by the wayside. These are available mainly in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. This imbalance quickly occur deficiencies that make us sick.