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Craig on December 9, 2013

An Introduction to Micronutrients

Ketogenic Diet > Keto Diet Information

We’ve talked about macronutrients, which are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Now it’s time to talk about micronutrients. These are the vitamins and minerals that our body requires on a daily basis, and are vital to maintaining proper functions.

Micronutrients are only needed in small quantities and is pretty easy to achieve your daily dose. Eating vegetables and proper amounts of meats will get you most of these vital nutrients our body crave. If that isn’t enough, you can always get supplements that will help out.

The vitamins are labelled fat soluble and water soluble for a reason. Fat soluble vitamins are normally stored in fat globules and can remain stored for longer periods of time. Over consumption of these vitamins can be dangerous.

Water soluble vitamins can be over consumed without a problem – excess consumption will just be excreted in urine.

Micronutrients and Vitamins

Vitamin A – Retinol, Retinal and Retinoic Acid

Fat Soluble

Vitamin A is responsible for many functions in the body. It is essential for cell reproduction, aiding cells differentiate. It also has a large impact on our vision. Vitamin A nourishes cells that transduce light into nerve cells in our retinas.

During pregnancy, vitamin A stimulates fetus growth and development by influencing organ growth. It is also an influencer in the development of sperm, the ovaries and placenta – vital components in the reproductive process.

  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Fatty Fish
eggs

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin

Water Soluble

Vitamin B1 is required in the breakdowns of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is required in the creation of ATP, an energy molecule that is necessary in our bodies.

We have also seen that vitamin B1 is essential for proper nerve cell functioning.

  • Meat
  • Nuts
walnuts

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Water Soluble

Vitamin B2 helps the body process fats and amino acids, helps in the conversion of macronutrients into ATP, and activated vitamin B6 and folic acid.

It can also act as an anti-oxidant in some cases.

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Meat & Organ Meats
spinach

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Water Soluble

Vitamin B3 is a vital component in cell respiration, and helps release the energy from all our macronutrients. It supports proper circulation, central nervous system functioning, stomach fluid and bile secretion, and healthy skin.

This vitamin is also used in the creation of sex hormones, treating many mental illnesses, and as a memory enhancer (you’ve probably seen some great infomercials on this part).

  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Dairy Products
sausage

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

Water Soluble

Vitamin B5 is a component in extracting energy from fats. It plays an important role in the production of fats, and also in the modification of protein.

  • Meats
  • Poultry
poultry

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine and Pyridoxine

Water Soluble

Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in the creation of antibodies in the immune system. It also helps maintain proper nerve functioning, and has a role in the formation of red blood cells.

B6 is required for the digestion of proteins. The higher your protein intake, the higher your vitamin B6 intake needs to be.

  • Meats & Organ Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
organpate

Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid

Water Soluble

Vitamin B9 is a key component in cell replication and growth. It plays an important role in forming RNA, which is needed for protein synthesis.

It is most important for rapidly growing cells, such as those in fetus’, red blood cells, and cells in our immune system.

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Fermented Foods
  • Tea
browntea

Vitamin B12 – Cyanocobalamin

Water Soluble

Vitamin B12 is needed for numerous processes in the body, including DNA replication, production of hormones that affect mood, nerve cell activity, and homocysteine levels.

Too much homocysteine has been linked to coronary disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Dairy Products
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meats
  • Fermented foods
Marinated cabbage

Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Water Soluble

Vitamin C is extremely important. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing and causing damage. It can also lead to the reduction of coagulating platelets in the arteries by reducing the stiffness of arteries.

Vitamin C is also needed to make collagen, which strengthens muscle and blood vessels. It aids in the formation of liver bile, which helps detoxify the body.

  • Red Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
redpepper

Vitamin D – Calcitriol

Fat Soluble

Vitamin D is most known for maintaining levels of calcium in the blood stream. It helps increase the absorption of calcium from food, and reduces the amount of calcium excreted.

Too much calcium can be a bad thing, as it has been shown to transfer calcium from bones to the bloodstream, which can lead to weakened bones.

  • Fatty Fish
  • Eggs
  • Organ Meats
  • Sunlight
fresh salmon steak on white background

Vitamin E – Alpha-Tocopherol

Fat Soluble

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that also protects against LDL cholesterol damage, and also helps protect cell membranes.

It has been linked to effecting inflammation, regulation of blood cells, growth in connective tissue and the process of cell division.

  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Vegetables
  • Organ Meats
  • Eggs
Avocado on white

Vitamin H – Biotin

Water Soluble

Vitamin H is a part of the vitamin B-complex, and is also known as Vitamin B7.

It is involved in the process of energy production, synthesis of fatty acids and also supports the growth of our nervous system.

  • Dairy Products
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
mushrooms

Vitamin K – Phylloquinone and Menaquinone

Fat Soluble

Vitamin K is an asset in the transporting of calcium in the body. It is an essential part of proper bone development and blood coagulation. It is often prescribed to people that may have problems with excessive bleeding.

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Polyunsaturated Fats
  • Seaweed
butter

Micronutrients and Minerals

Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant micronutrient in our body. It helps form our bones and teeth, which holds about 99% of all calcium in our body.

It also helps with blood clotting, muscle contractions, and transmitting signals in nerve cells. Calcium also plays a role in lowering blood pressure.

  • Dairy Products
  • Fish with bones
  • Nuts
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
whippedcream

Chlorine

Chlorine along with sodium is essential to our life. It is responsible for the maintenance of nerve membranes, nutrient absorption, transporting of nutrients, and maintenance of blood pressure, among other things.

  • Table Salt
  • Tap and Bottled Water
  • Seafood
  • Pickled foods
  • Salted Foods
salt

Copper

Another trace element, copper is needed to absorb, store, metabolize, and utilize iron. It is an enzyme, which means that it helps the biochemical reactions in cells occur.

  • Seafood
  • Nuts
  • Meats & Organ Meats
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
trout

Iodine

Iodine is responsible for some of the developmental aspects and functional aspects of the thyroid. It is an integral part of thyroxine, a major hormone that interacts with the thyroid. Thyroxine is essential in cellular metabolism.

  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Seaweed
  • Iodized Table salt
crab

Iron

Iron is one of our most vital minerals. It is part of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which carry oxygen through our bloodstream to our organs and muscles. Iron is also aids in the process of ATP creation, a vital energy molecule.

  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Meat & Organ Meats
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
filetsteak1

Magnesium

Magnesium plays many roles in our bodies. It is needed for protein synthesis, fatty acid formation, cell reproduction, muscle contractions, blood clotting, and is used in the production of ATP.

  • Meat
  • Dairy Products
  • Fish
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Nuts
tbonsteak

Manganese

Manganese is a trace mineral that is mainly used to manufacture enzymes responsible for the metabolism of fats and proteins. Among other things, it supports the immune system, balances our blood sugars, aids in the production of ATP, and facilitates healthy bone growth.

  • Nuts
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Tea
  • Seaweed
blacktea

Phosphorous

Phosphorous is normally found as a combination of oxygen and phosphate. Most of the phosphate in our bodies is in bone, but there is also phosphate in molecules that are components of cell membranes and lipoproteins (HDL and LDL cholesterol).

Phosphate is also used in the biochemical reactions in cells.

  • Fermented Foods
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Mushrooms
  • Vegetables
broccoli

Potassium

Potassium is needed to regulate water balance, blood pressure, and levels of acidity in our blood.

Potassium also works together with other minerals in the functioning of our nervous system, allowing and regulating the transmission of signals between nerves.

  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Dairy Products
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish
almonds

Sodium

Sodium is most commonly received in the form of table salt. It works with other minerals to maintain the positive and negative ions in our bodies (in our tissues and body fluids). It aids in the absorption of other minerals by helping them stay soluble.

Sodium is also a vital component of our nervous system, as it stimulates muscle contraction.

  • Table Salt
  • Fermented Foods
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Seaweed
  • Peppers
  • Pickles
pickle

Sulfur

Sulfur is used in the creation of hormones, and is also a component in some amino acids. It is a component in the manufacturing process of many proteins, and helps with the stability of energy levels. Sulfur combines with toxins to help neutralize them.

It helps in the health of hair, skin, and muscles and contributes to the digestion and absorption of fats.

  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Dairy Products
garlic

Zinc

Zinc is a component of over 300 enzymes needed to heal wounds, maintain fertility, synthesize proteins, aid cellular reproduction, protect against free radicals, and boost immune system functions.

  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Dairy
  • Mushrooms
cauliflower

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