Micronutrients are essentially just vitamins and minerals, and they are called ‘micronutrients’ because they are needed in smaller amounts than macronutrients. They play a large role in your overall health and nutrition, as well as mental functioning and disease prevention. Often micronutrients are neglected when it comes to information online about what you eat, it’s much easier for people to discuss macronutrients and ratios that you should stick to, however micronutrients should not be left out! Foods which contain lots of micronutrients are considered to be ‘nutrient dense’, this is common of fruits and vegetables.

There are two kinds of vitamins which you can find: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are easily expelled from the body as they are lost through bodily fluids, which means they need to be replaced on a more regular basis. These are B vitamins, folate, biotin, panthotheic acid, and vitamin c. Although they are expelled from the body more quickly, they are only needed in small amounts. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K, and are stored in the body for longer periods of time, meaning they usually do not need to be replaced as often, and excess supplementation of these vitamins can lead to toxicity or negative side effects.

Here are some examples of where to find some of the common micronutrients in your diet:

Calcium: dairy, broccoli, dark green vegetables, sardines
Potassium: banana, cantaloupe, raisins, fish, spinach, green vegetables
Magnesium: spinach, almonds, black beans, peas
Vitamin A: sweet potato, carrot, milk, eggs
Vitamin C: orange, strawberry, tomato, kiwi fruit, broccoli, capsicum
Vitamin E: avocado, whole-grains, spinach, dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds
Vitamin B12: beef, fish, cheese, eggs
Zinc: beef, cashews, garbanzo, turkey