There's been an incredible amount of buzz surrounding micronutrients and their ability to help maintain and even heal our physical health states. Numerous research studies have pointed toward the use of micronutrients for combating mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bipolar II and psychosis. So just what are these micronutrients I speak of? These are the key vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids we need in our bodies in order for them to function at an optimal level. Sounds pretty essential to our well-being now, doesn't it? The sad reality is that many of us are not getting the micronutrients we need to stay healthy and disease-free. And so without further ado, let's dive into just exactly what micronutrients are, where we can get them, and how they benefit us.
Micronutrients Vs. Macronutrients
We all need micronutrients and macronutrients in order for us to maintain healthy minds, muscles, bones, skin, blood circulation, nerves, and immune systems. Our bodies require a steady supply of both, and since we cannot produce a sufficient amount of these on our own, we need to get them from the different foods we eat. Macronutrients are required in large quantities, and these are the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins we eat each day. Micronutrients are only needed in small amounts but are of the utmost importance to our health. If we do not get the necessary vitamins and minerals we need it pretty much guarantees that we're going to be feeling bad, and setting ourselves up for a slew of diseases—both mental and physical.
Which Micronutrients Do We Need?
Now that we've covered the importance of micronutrients for overall physical and mental health, many of you may be wondering just exactly which micronutrients we need every day to stay healthy. There are a little over 30 different micronutrients that our bodies cannot produce on their own but need. These are termed “essential micronutrients.” A lack of these on a regular basis can contribute to nutrition deficiency diseases, and we see these commonly today in many countries that face extreme amounts of poverty with predominantly low SES (socioeconomic status) rates.
Where Can We Get Our Essential Micronutrients?
It's possible to get all of the micronutrients we need from a well-balanced diet, as well as from micronutrient supplements. This means that unless we're eating a diet that consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables (the more colorful your plate, the better), legumes, lean proteins (like fish), healthy fats (like avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc.) and whole grains, it may be worth considering adding a micronutrient supplement to your diet. A micronutrient supplement can help ensure that even on cheat days when you're eating comfort foods you're not compromising the overall functioning and vitality of your physical, third-dimensional self. If one were to break down these nutrients into a list it would look a bit like this:
- Vitamin A (natural beta-carotene)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic Acid
- Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GCP)
- Inositol Hexanicotinate
- Citrus Bioflavonoids
- Grape Seed Extract
- Gingko Leaf Powder
- Coenzyme Q10