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Micronutrients: What are they?2 min read

Micronutrients: What are they?<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">2</span> min read</span>

Our diets require vitamins and minerals in relatively small amounts, these are referred to as micronutrients. Yes, they may be small but they form a critical part of our diet….


Vitamins are a group of organic compounds (all containing carbon) which are required for normal growth and metabolism. All vitamins are synthesised by plants and can be obtained in the diet by either eating the appropriate plants or by eating animal products that have derived their vitamin contents from plants.

The body is capable of synthesising some of the B vitamins (like Biotin and Riboflavin) and vitamin K by itself – from the action of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Fat soluble vitamins

Vitamins A, D, E and K are described as fat soluble, meaning that they can only be absorbed , transported and utilised in the presence of fat. A diet that is low in fat will lead to severe deficiency in fat soluble vitamins, which will lead to ill health.

Vitamin A

Functions: stimulates gastric juices for protein digestion, play vital role in bone building, maintains retinal health (vision) and protects against pollution and degenerative damage.

Sources: Butter from grass fed cows, pastured whole eggs, liver, seafood and cod liver oil.

Vitamin D

Functions: Needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption, helps form strong bones and teeth, appears to protect against cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Sources: Butter from grass-fed cows, pastured whole eggs, liver, seafood and cod liver oil.

Vitamin E

Functions: Aids blood circulation, helps with tissue repair and healing, maintains structural integrity of cells (e.g. healthy skin, nails and hair), slows ageing process, acts as a powerful antioxidant, together with certain trace minerals, protects against cancer and CHD.

Sources: Unrefined vegetable oils, butter, organ meats, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds and dark green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin K

Functions: Important in the role of blood clotting and aids bone formation.

Sources: Liver, pastured whole eggs, butter from grass-fed cows, whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables.

Water-soluble vitamins

The B group of vitamins and vitamin C are all water-soluble and are absorbed, transported and utilised within water. These vitamins cannot be stored within the body in any great quantity, so they need to be included in the diet on a daily basis if an eventual deficiency resulting in ill health is to be avoided.

Vitamin B complex

Functions: Works to promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver and muscle tone, prevents fatigue, vital role in metabolism, helps produce cholesterol, formation of red blood cells and maintenance of iron levels in the blood and maintains fertility and normal growth.

Sources: Whole unrefined grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, raw nuts, legumes, seafood and organ meats.

Vitamin C

Functions: Immune system function, aids tissue growth and repair, strengthens capillary walls, supports lactation, supports adrenal gland function, vital for formation of collagen and connective tissue health, helps in healing wounds and works as a powerful antioxidant.

Sources: fresh fruit and vegetables, some organ meats.



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