Why are micronutrients so called? How many types of nutrients we have? In this article, we will discuss micronutrients briefly.
Nutrients based on their requirements are of two types namely micro and macro nutrients.
You need macronutrients in large amounts whereas micronutrients in small amounts.
- Micronutrients are required in small amounts but their effect is large. Any deficiency in these can affect your health badly.
- Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals that are essential for normal body functions.
Functions of micronutrients
- Proper body growth – Micronutrients specially vitamins are important for proper development of body parts. Some minerals also help in body growth. Minerals like magnesium,calcium aid in bone formation along with vitamin D.
- Synthesis of hormones – Some micronutrients are associated with producing useful hormones. They include iodine for thyroid hormone,magnesium for sex hormones (progesterone,testosterone).
- Maintaining skin – Antioxidants are very important to maintain healthy skin. So vitamins along with some minerals like selenium help in maintaining skin healthy, and prevent aging process.
- Normal brain function – Oxygen is the fuel of brain. Requirement of oxygen is very high for brain. Some minerals like iron along with vitamin B complex supply oxygen to brain for proper functioning of brain.
- To keep heart healthy – It is crucial to keep heart healthy. Any alterations in heart functions is fatal. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, etc are involved in protecting heart.
- Synthesize proteins for body – Proteins are building blocks of the body. Some micronutrients assist enzymes that prepare proteins and promote body growth. Proteins are essential for hair growth, nails, etc.
- Proper vision – Micronutrients are vital for vision. Any deficiancy of micronutrients will lead to loss of vision or blindness.
- Maintain healthy teeth – Some micronutrients help in maintaining healthy teeth. They prevent tooth decay, formation of cavities, stop growth of some microorganisms that reside in the mouth and give some bad smell.
- To maintain water balance – Water balance is crucial for the body. If proper amounts of water is not retained, it leads to loss of many nutrients along with water from body. Body will be devoid of many nutrients leading to many health disorders and ruin health.
- Assist various metabolic processes – Metabolism is important to maintain healthy body. Micronutrients assist various metabolic processes like synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, DNA, fats etc.
- Energy producers – Micronutrients involve in some energy producing processes and provide energy to various parts of body to promote functions of that parts.
- Help in formation of some pigments – Micronutrients aid in formation of melanin (skin coloring pigment) and haemoglobin (blood pigment).
Any nutrient, whether required in high or low amounts has an important role in the body. Make sure to inlcude them in your diet.