Macro and Micro Nutrients

In order to function properly the human body requires a diet that provides an appropriate amount of both macro and micro nutrients.

Macro Nutrients

Macro Nutrients provide energy to the body through calories and hydration. These nutrients are essential for life, required in regular amounts and consist of;

  • Carbohydrates

  • Lipids (Fats)

  • Proteins

Protein is essential for repair and maintenance of bodily tissues that naturally break down through everyday functions and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Proteins are the major component of cell structure and therefore DNA.

Lipids (Fats) are essential for hormones and steroid manufacture, utility of fat soluble vitamins and healthy skin.

Carbohydrates are the main providers of energy and can be stored in the liver as Glycogen if excess is consumed.

Micro Nutrients

Micro Nutrients come from the macro nutrients eaten and are essential for good health and chemical bodily processes such as cellular repair. Smaller amounts of micro nutrients are needed and they consist of;

  • Vitamins

  • Minerals

  • Trace Elements such as Iron and Selenium

  • Phytonutrients such as Antioxidants

The key role for micronutrients is metabolism and the maintenance of tissue function. The systems of the body ensure equilibrium for absorption of all nutrients, which is adjusted during times of illness. Acute or short-term marginal deficiencies can cause a drop in performance which can be identified through blood samples.

A diet high in processed foods means the micro nutrient quality of the food is diminished as nutrients create a shorter shelf life for food products.

Water

One factor that is absolutely essential but is sometimes not included in either of these categories is water.

Water is a distribution channel for nutrients and a filtration system for removing toxins from the body as urine. It is crucial for the regulation of core body temperatures as well as providing shock absorption and lubrication. 

Sources:
Clinical Nutrition 2006
Bach, P. A. (2010). Prescription for Nutritional Healing 5th Ed
Journal of American Medical Association 2005
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010
Nutrition 2004