When on the topic of wellness and health, we often hear quite a lot about nutrients and their importance. What people often forget is the differences between macro and micronutrients, the varying roles they play in our body, and their significant implications to our health.
Macro vs. Micro – The Difference
The human body requires a broad range of nutrients to grow efficiently, thrive, and live. The food we eat is broken down into nutrients that are processed and absorbed in our body. Now, how do macronutrients and micronutrients differ from each other?
Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Their role is to provide the body with energy. Micronutrients, in comparison, include essential vitamins and minerals. These are more so important for the upkeep of your body’s immunity, blood clotting functionality, bone strength, and fluid balance processes, among others.
While carbohydrates, fat, and protein are easily found in our usual diet, not all food contains high amounts of certain micronutrients. This is where it gets tricky since people tend to take in too much of a particular micronutrient and far less of another. For example, eating processed food too often will most probably lead to micronutrient deficiency. In contrast, eating lots of vegetables regularly will supplement you with the right amount of micronutrients.
Macronutrients – Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates
The importance of fat for our bodies is often misunderstood. But just like protein and carbs, a healthy amount of fat is essential and should account for about 15 to 20 percent of what you consume. Fats are responsible for brain development, protecting the body’s organs, cell function, and vitamin absorption. Meanwhile, protein is closely related to the regeneration and repair of body tissues, manufacturing hormones, and immunity. Last but not least of the three are carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose as a primary energy source.
Micronutrients – Vitamins and Minerals
The role of vitamins is to ward off illness and keep you healthy. The human body requires micronutrients to support many crucial functions. There are 13 important vitamins, and examples are vitamins A, C, B complex, and D. The deficiency of such will lead to health issues. These vitamins are responsible for clearer vision, glowing skin, healthy bones, and stronger immunity.
Minerals aid in the regulation of significant body functions as well. The mineral Calcium, for instance, helps with blood pressure maintenance, transmitting nerve signals, muscle contractions, and relaxation. Zinc encourages healthy wound healing while strengthening your immune system. Iron, which is one of the most important minerals out there, makes sure to keep your red blood cells healthy.
Knowing the difference between macro and micronutrients is the first step towards a healthier diet. While it might sound confusing at first, merely keeping a well-balanced diet that provides you with the right ratio of macronutrients and micronutrients is a surefire way towards a healthier and more optimal body.