Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and antioxidants. We only need these nutrients in small quantities, (hence the term “micro”), as compared with the calorie providing macronutrients. Deficiencies in micronutrients are associated with diseases and symptoms because almost every physiological function in the body requires micronutrients as part of the process. Think of your body as one big chemistry lab with reactions going on all the time. Micronutrients are key ingredients in these reactions and are necessary to keep all of the chemistry happening and our body working as it should. For example, magnesium is involved in over 300 essential metabolic reactions in the body.
What kind of symptoms might I be feeling?
Almost all chronic conditions that people suffer with, can be linked with micronutrients. Acne, allergies, mood conditions, diabetes, hormones, migraines etc.
Since we only need small amounts of micronutrients, you might think this is easily taken care of. Unfortunately, the odds are against us in getting enough of what we need.
Reasons why we may become deficient:
- The statistics on dietary intake of micronutrients are alarming. According to the data reported in a large national survey (NHANES), and true to the experience I have with clients, more than 90% of Americans are deficient in their intake of at least one micronutrient and many people have multiple nutrients where they don’t ingest adequate amounts on a regular basis. Much of our food supply has low micronutrient content due to mass food production and processing, so that these days you have to work extremely hard to make sure you get all of the micronutrient intake you need.
- We may think we are supporting our body by using a multivitamin but many of the supplements available in the grocery or drug store are poor quality. They may or may not actually contain the nutrients they say they contain. Many are packed with binders and fillers and baked hard so that they are difficult for our body to digest. Often they actually contain toxic ingredients!
- Medications deplete our bodies of micronutrients. Given that almost half of the adult population and over a fifth of children use at least one pharmaceutical, this is causing a drain on our collective micronutrient reserves.
- Everyone is metabolically and biochemically unique so micronutrient needs can differ from person to person. Our needs can also be influenced by excessive physical activity, smoking, alcohol, stress, high sugar diet, mal-absorption of nutrients due to digestive issues and more.
- Eat a nutrient dense diet. The best way to do this is to eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Find out where you might be deficient. Your symptoms are definitely a clue to where you need support but it can be helpful to narrow it down. We offer both micronutrient blood testing and dietary analysis to help you figure this out. When we have more complete information we can support your body in the most effective way.
- Work to get your health to a state where you no longer have to rely on pharmaceuticals.
- Adjust your lifestyle to reduce or remove those stressors that drain your body.