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Micronutrients and Macronutrients: The What, How, and Why

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By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The The Fit Father Project

micronutrients and macronutrients
Have you heard of micronutrients and macronutrients? You probably know they are important, even if you don’t understand exactly what they are or what they do.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! The Fit Father Project is here to help!

The Fit Father Project was founded to help men lose weight and improve their health. Our aim is to help you live longer and enjoy time with your children and grandchildren.

This is not achieved through fad diets but by showing men how to make lifestyle changes that will really work!

You can join the thousands of men who’ve already experienced success with us, just check out the FF30X program and join today!

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What Are Micronutrients and Macronutrients?

Let’s get straight to it, what exactly are micronutrients and macronutrients?

Macronutrients

Macros are the three main types of food that your body needs on a daily basis:

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an extremely beneficial food source, provided you know and adhere to the science and rules of eating them.

They provide the fuel your body needs when you’re exercising, especially when you’re doing high-intensity exercises.

It should also be noted that carbohydrates are an essential fuel source for your central nervous system. That means they have a direct link to your brain!

Protein

Proteins are essential for the repair of muscles and other structures in the body.

Protein is the building block of cells and cells are present in every part of your body.

That means that eating enough protein directly affects your organs, muscles, hair, skin, nails, and even your blood and bones.

They also help to transport hormones around the body and regulate your metabolism.

Fats

Fat is your energy reserve, that’s why everyone should have a little.

Fat also serves to protect your organs from damage and allows the transportation of fat-soluble vitamins through the body.

That makes them a pretty important part of your daily eating habits.

Micronutrients

You need plenty of macronutrients in order to keep your body functioning properly, hence the term ‘macro.'

You also need vitamins and other minerals to remain healthy. These are generally required in smaller amounts, which is why they are referred to as micronutrients.

Here’s a list of the main micronutrients your body needs:

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin

This vitamin causes the release of energy in your food and actually prevents the rise of beriberi, a disease caused by insufficient amounts of thiamine.

B2 – Riboflavin

B2 or riboflavin is essential for the process of building and maintaining the tissues within your body.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 is a necessary part of the metabolic process that allows the development of the nervous system.

It is also an important part of blood production and can breakdown protein and glucose to give your body additional energy when needed.

B12 – Cobalamin

You’ll need this if you want to grow properly and have a good nervous system.

Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C is the building block for most hormones, without it, you can’t replenish your hormone levels! It also plays an important part in building strength in your teeth and gums.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, promoting general health throughout your body.

Folic Acid

This is an essential part of the DNA process, allowing your body to build more cells while maintaining the intestinal tract.

Folic acid is also good for bone growth and is taken by expectant mothers to help prevent nervous system defects in their babies.

Vitamin A – Retinal

The clue is in the word retinal. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of your vision, as well as ensuring you have healthy skin and hair.

Vitamin D

This is essential for the development and maintenance of strong teeth and bones.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E prevents cell membranes from becoming damaged and helps your body produce more blood when needed.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for building bone and teeth strength. It is also useful for blood clotting and improves the function of your nerves and muscles.

Vitamin K

This helps your blood to clot quickly and effectively.

Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water regulation and it helps to ensure you have proper nerve function. It can also help to ensure your heart is beating regularly.

Sodium

Sodium stimulates your nerves and helps to regulate the water levels in your body.

Iron

Iron is essential to the formation of red blood cells that transport oxygen across your body.

Zinc

Zinc is actually an important part of the production of testosterone and healthy sperm.

It is also instrumental in healing wounds, forming enzymes, and even transporting carbon dioxide around your body.

Water

Your body is approximately 60% water, it’s essential for cell functions, protecting organs, preventing constipation, lubricating joints, and regulating your body temperature.

How Do You Incorporate Micronutrients and Macronutrients Into Your Diet?

It’s not difficult to include micronutrients and macronutrients in your diet.

Macronutrients

Here's how to balance your macronutrient intake.

Carbohydrates

If you live a relatively sedentary lifestyle then it’s recommended that between 30-40% of your food is carbohydrates.

Those who exercise regularly can consume up to 50% of their daily calories as carbohydrates, but this should be from healthy, complex carbs.

There are two types of carbohydrates, Simple and Complex.

Simple carbs are mainly processed foods that are quickly absorbed into the body. This is great if you need an energy boost before and during exercise.

However, please note that carbohydrates not used by the body will be predominantly stored as fat.

That means if you eat too many processed carbs and aren’t exercising enough, you’ll be storing fat and gaining weight.

In contrast, complex carbs are much slower releasing and come from unprocessed, whole foods. These are great at maintaining energy levels throughout the day.

Carbohydrates are present in grains, dairy, and fruit. They are also present in legumes, starchy vegetables, and of course, sweets.

The trick with carbs is to choose whole ones wherever possible and not to overeat them.

A good practice to maintain balance in your food consumption is to adopt the perfect plate approach to food.

This splits every meal into ½ plate of vegetables, which help to fill you up and give you micronutrients, ¼ plate carbs, and ¼ plate protein.

Proteins

Sedentary people need 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, those who exercise regularly need 0.45-0.68 grams, and competitive athletes need 0.54-0.82 grams.

You’ll need to know your body weight to know how much you should be consuming.

Proteins can be found in many different foods, such as lean meat, fish and poultry. They are also present in eggs, dairy products, seeds, beans, and even soy products.

Getting enough protein is essential to help your body repair from any type of trauma, whether it’s physical exercise, an accident, or an infection.

Fats

You need between 20-35% of your daily calories to be from fat. But, don’t forget that saturated fat is only acceptable in small amounts.

It’s best to keep your saturated fat intake to under 10% and make the rest of the fat intake up with unsaturated fats.

That means don’t go overboard on full-fat products!

Try eggs, chia seeds, oily fish, dark chocolate, and avocados to get healthy fats into your diet.

Micronutrients

In most cases, you’ll get all the micronutrients you need from the food you eat.

However, if your eating habits don’t give you all the following micronutrients then you need to consider taking a supplement while you change your eating habits.

This will help you identify where to get your micronutrients naturally:

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin

You’ll find B1 in whole grain food, dried beans, peanuts, and even peas.

B2 – Riboflavin

Eat whole grains, green and yellow vegetables, and try some animal proteins, this will boost your levels of B2.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

This vitamin is present in potatoes, chickpeas, nuts, most fish, bananas, and even rice. It’s easy to get extra of it.

B12 – Cobalamin

Grab your B12 from fortified cereals, animal products, and even algae!

Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C comes from virtually any citrus fruit. You can also get it from cabbages, berries, and peppers.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is another micronutrient that can be found in dark leafy green vegetables. You’ll also find it in yeast and wheat germ.

Vitamin A – Retinal

Vitamin A is found in abundance in carrots. But, you can always add sweet potatoes to your diet or any other red-orange vegetable.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can come from sunlight, but if you’re not getting enough sun, try eating mushrooms, dairy milk, fortified cereals, tuna, salmon, or egg yolks.

Vitamin E

Vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts will give you the Vitamin E boost your body needs.

Calcium

Calcium can be found in most dairy products. It’s also present in dark green vegetables, almonds, oysters, sardines, and clams.

Vitamin K

Green leafy vegetables are a good source of Vitamin K. However, it should be noted that this is one micronutrient that is actually produced in your body. Bacteria in your large intestine actually release Vitamin K.

Potassium

Eat some fortified cereal, oranges, bananas, or even dried beans and you’ll boost your levels of potassium.

Sodium

Sodium is salt, and it's in almost everything you eat, especially in processed foods.

It’s more likely that you’re eating too much of this than too little.

Don’t forget that too much salt increases the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

Iron

Iron can be found in many places, such as dark green vegetables, whole-grain cereals, lentils, legumes, nuts, and dried fruits.

Zinc

This is found in whole grains, dairy milk, and legumes.

Water

From the tap, the bottle, or wherever else you like!

Problems When You Don’t Get Enough Micronutrients and Macronutrients

If you don’t eat enough micronutrients and macronutrients, there is little doubt that your health will start to suffer.

The array of problems you could face if you don’t get the micronutrients and macronutrients you need ranges from a common cold to death. It simply depends on which infection attacks you first.

This is completely avoidable by making a few changes to your current eating habits!

The real “trick” with micronutrients and macronutrients is to incorporate them into your regular eating habits.

They’ll become a lifestyle choice and a habit, ensuring that you remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

If you’re not sure where to start with your eating habits take a look at this free 1-day meal plan to help inspire you!

You can also join the FF30X program and gain access to hundreds of other recipes, as well as workouts, and the advice and support you’ll need every step of the way.

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Stuart Carter Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O., The The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Brotherhood Nickname: The Fit Brit
Bragging Rights: 18 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on micronutrients and macronutrients.

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