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What Are Micronutrients?

Did you know that micronutrient inadequacies are actually common in the United States?

Micronutrient deficiencies are not necessarily prevalent here, but inadequacies — which occur when someone is getting enough of the nutrient to be outside of the “deficient” category but not enough to meet the estimated average requirement for their needs — are surprisingly common.

Nutrients are substances that provide “nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.” They are necessary for survival.

But where do you get them? Well that depends on the type. There are two major types of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients provide structural material and energy. They also make up the bulk of what most people eat each day. Your body needs macronutrients in large amounts in order to keep working correctly. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are all macronutrients.

Micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts and include vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients don’t drive the calories in your diet, but they do have a significant impact on your health.

Common micronutrients you may have heard of include…

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

To help you build varied eating patterns, the MyPlate has rolled out this quiz to find out if you’re making every bite count!

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information is for informational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any illness. Consult a physician before taking any action.

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