If you’ve been reading the previous nutrition blog posts then you’ll already know all about the importance of calories and macronutrients, but have you heard of micronutrients? Even if this is a new term to you I can guarantee that you already know a few micronutrients!
These are the vitamins and minerals that we need in trace amounts – we may only need tiny amounts of these, but that doesn’t diminish their importance one bit! Without the right amount of micronutrients in your diet, chances are that you’ll feel tired, unwell and your digestion may suffer. This can all lead to poor performance in and out of the gym, including reduced rates of recovery.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of most micronutrients listed on the nutrition labels of food are for your average adult. If you’re a member at AG Fitness this means you are far above average seeing as you’re a fitness fanatic (right?). Your body may require additional quantities of micronutrients to help with growth and repair, but this is easily achieved by eating a balanced diet of mostly unprocessed foods. By eating adequate amounts of fruit and vegetables (somewhere between 7-10 portions per day) you’ll be hitting your micronutrient goals no bother. Micronutrients tend to vary depending on the colour of the fruit or vegetable, so try to make your meals as colourful as you can!
Here’s a short list of just a few important micronutrients:
Iron – this is found in most red meats, green leafy vegetables, and tofu
Magnesium – this is found in green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds
Calcium – this is found in dairy and green leafy vegetables
Iodine – this is found in fish, dairy products, and eggs
Zinc – this is found in nuts, seeds, some seafood, and green leafy vegetables
Just in case you missed it, did you notice the importance of green leafy vegetables?! To keep things nice and simple, here are a few key points to take away!
7-10 portions of fruits and vegetables
Keep your plates colourful
Eat your green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli)
Your diet should mostly consist of whole, unprocessed foods!