The composition of our diet is essential to allow our bodies to meet their nutritional needs.
Essentially, there are two different types of nutrients:
- Macronutrients (macros)
- Micronutrients (micros)
You’ve probably heard them, but what do they actually mean?
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients (commonly known as Macros) supply our bodies with energy. Hence, they should be consumed in relatively large amounts for a healthy body and mind development!
Each macronutrient is almost found in every food item, the only difference is how they are balanced.
Once you know how, you can tailor your diet accordingly!
As explained in details in our previous post (goo.gl/N4B9Rb), fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and should account for about 15-20% of your total macronutrient intake.
They improve brain development & cell functioning, protect the organs of the body, help the body absorb vitamins…
Healthy fats: Almonds, walnuts, seeds, olives, avocados…
Proteins are made up of 20 different types of amino acids, 9 of which are ‘essential’ -can only be obtained through your diet. Proteins should make up around 35-45% of your macros intake.
Proteins are essential for cell repair and regeneration, maintaining a healthy immune system, and producing hormones.
Healthy proteins: Beans, legumes, quinoa, beets, kale, spinach…
Carbohydrates are made of long chains of sugar that can be broken down by the body to produce energy.
They need to make up around 45-65% of your macro’s intake.
Healthy Carbohydrates: Fruits & veggies…
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are needed in less quantities (hence the term MICRO) than macronutrients. However, they are equally as important!
Their intake is essential to maintain your energy levels, boost your metabolism, and harbor a physical and mental well-being.
They are all mainly present in fruits and veggies.
They are: vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin, beta-carotene, vitamin D3, vitamin E3.
They are essential for your digestion, metabolism, & immunity.
They are: magnesium, calcium, potassium, & phosphorus.
They are essential for maintaining strong bones, teeth, blood, skin, hair, nerves, & muscles.
They are: iron, iodine, zinc, manganese, copper…
They are a crucial part of the building blocks of enzymes, hormones, and cells in the body.
- Macronutrients should make up the bulk of your diet.
- Balance your macros as follows for a normal healthy lifestyle: 45% carbohydrates, 20% fat, 35%, protein of your total nutrients intake.
- Micronutrients are essential parts of your diet that could be easily obtained through your vegetables intake.
Save this image as an important reference!
Stay posted to know how to calculate your macronutrients intake and what calories are!
Ranim Daw, MS in Cell & Molecular Biology
April 20, 2017