So we’ve covered macronutrients which people are becoming more aware of in day-to-day life with the recent trend of counting macros. Now we move onto micronutrients: These are nutrients the body requires in order to ensure proper metabolism, growth and development. They are termed micronutrients, as they need to be consumed in very small amounts.
These are compounds that the body uses in order to perform certain functions. They don’t provide any energy and are not the building blocks of anything in the body. Think of them as important adjuncts to normal function. The word vitamin comes from "vital amine." In 1912, an amine extracted from rice was found to prevent beriberi, a Vitamin B deficiency.
There are two types of Vitamins: Fat-soluble (A, D, E & K) and Water-soluble (B & C). These compounds cannot be made by the body and therefore it is vital they are present in our diet and in the right amounts. Deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins can present itself years later, whereas deficiency of water-soluble vitamins can present in a matter of weeks. It is rare to see significant vitamin deficiencies in people who have a balanced diet, but certain criteria can cause some more easily, for example there is a high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the UK on account of the poor exposure to the sun, whilst Vitamin B deficiency can readily be seen in alcoholics and in people with gut problems. As with every nutrient, a negative effect on the body can be caused by not having enough, but equally by too much.
These are mainly metallic elements that, just like vitamins, are required by the body in order to function and develop properly. They are usually incorporated into enzymes, hormones or specialised proteins:
Often overshadowed by their macro counterparts, micros are just as important to your body. If you feel like you need to supplement your diet, Neat Nutrition offer multivitamins and minerals. That's right, they're bringing multivits B1 A C K (see what I did there?).
This blog is written by friend of Neat, Dr Nick Ambatzis MB BS, MSc (SEM), MRCGP.
Nick is a General Practitioner specialising in Sports and Exercise Medicine. He completed his medical degree at University College London Medical School in 2002. Nick worked for almost ten years as a junior surgeon and spent three years in Trauma & Orthopaedics. He attained a Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine and subsequently trained as a GP practising in Paddington.
From an early age, Nick has been both a keen cross-country runner and water-polo player, having competed at college level. Nick is also an accomplished ultra-marathon runner, having competed in many cross-country and cross-alpine races, ranging from 50-100 miles. He has also been a Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance coach.
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