Friday, March 25, 2011

Eating to Survive-The Micro nutrients - (Vitamins and Minerals)

Micro nutrients are substances that our bodies  need to carry out their functions. They do not contain or give us calories (energy), unlike the Macro nutrients Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat.

Vitamins and Minerals, although they do not provide energy, help the body to use energy and transport important substances to where they are needed. Both are important. They are also needed in smaller quantities than Macro nutrients and most are needed in our diet every day.

We obtain them from various sources and as of such we also need to add variety in our diets in order to give us the best possible chance to obtain what our body needs.

"Called micronutrients because they are needed only in minuscule amounts, these substances are the “magic wands” that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development. As tiny as the amounts are, however, the consequences of their absence are severe. Iodine, vitamin A and iron are most important in global public health terms; their lack represents a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, particularly children and pregnant women in low-income countries"  WHO website

The Eating to Survive series emphasizes the macro nutrients as a guide to balancing energy intake. However, if this guide is followed, micro nutrient needs will also be satisfied.