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What are Micro and Macro Nutrients?

What are Micro and Macro Nutrients?

In short, nutrients are chemical compounds like protein, fat and carbohydrates that are found in food. Our bodies need them to function and grow which is why it is so important to understand where we get them from and to make sure we are getting enough of the things we need.  

Macronutrients are the larger nutrition categories, these are the things our bodies need in higher doses, for example: 

  • Carbohydrates: Found in foods like bread, pasta, beans, potatoes 
  • Fats: Found in oils, nuts, dairy, meat 
  • Protein: From eggs, fish, tofu (made from soy) 

Micronutrients are needed in much smaller measures than Macronutrients. We get many micronutrients naturally from our diets especially in fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals. Some examples of Micronutrients are: 

  • Calcium 
  • Iron 
  • Vitamins B6 & B12 
  • Omega 3 

How can I make sure I’m getting the right nutrients? 

The first step to making sure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients is to work out what you need.

Different lifestyles require different nutrition.

If you’re someone who is very active, maybe you do a lot of high intensity exercise, then there will be certain things that you need in your diet that others may not.  

Next look at what you currently eat, if you have a healthy balanced diet then you’re probably already getting a lot of the nutrients you need from the foods you’re eating.

However, sometimes you may need a little extra help to incorporate those important micronutrients. This is where supplements come in, and can play an important role in helping you to get your nutrition just right.  

What are supplements? 

Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, and herbal products taken to ensure we get enough essential nutrients to maintain and improve our health. Some common supplements are:

  • Calcium 
  • Fish oils 
  • Vitamin D 
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B-12 

Who should take supplements? 

Everyone can benefit from incorporating some form of supplement in their diet.

Many people choose to take vitamins as part of their daily routine, and regardless of your activity level you can always gain from improving your nutrition. 

Those who favour a plant-based or vegetarian diet may need to take supplements such as B-12 and Iron which both occur naturally in foods like fish, meat, eggs and dairy.

Lacking B-12 and Iron in your diet can lead to anaemia, a condition where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body and can leave you feeling tired and weak.       

Athletes may choose to take supplements, especially during a busy competitive season to boost performance and aid recovery between events.

Vitamin D and Omega-3 are proven to aid muscle repair, fight inflammation and support immune function. Read more about the Benefits of Omega 3 & Vitamin D.

Your body will thank you!

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