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Micronutrients - What are Micronutrients and why are they important?

Micronutrients

Micronutrients

Micronutrients

Many times as a coach I have people come to me and say “I am following my calorie goals and my MACRONUTRIENT ratios (like carbohydrates, protein and fat), but I am not losing weight or inches!  Of course they are frustrated because they are working hard and they feel like they are eating “healthy” because they are hitting their calorie and macronutrient ratios, but they aren’t seeing results!  The good news is that I have been in their shoes and learned the long way how our bodies function.  There could be a few reasons this is happening.  The first thing I do is make sure their calorie targets are reasonable.  (Click here to calculate How Many Calories You Should Eat).  The next thing I look at is their MyFitnessPal nutrition diary to see what they are eating.  Almost every time someone is frustrated about not seeing results and I look at their diaries, they are usually eating processed foods which contain artificial ingredients / chemicals that have completely stripped of any nutritional value of their food OR they are not eating things with high nutritional value.  Every time they listened to my suggestions and swapped some of their foods out with other things… BINGO!  They start seeing progress again!  You might be saying now “But coach Chris, what foods are high in nutritional value?”  That is where this post is going to help you.

First of all… What do I mean by “foods with high nutritional value”?  What I mean by that are foods high in MICRONUTRIENTS.

Micronutrients are different from macronutrients  because they are necessary only in small amounts.  Don’t let the “small amounts” fool you in their importance though!  Micronutrients are essential for good health, and micronutrient deficiencies can cause serious health problems. Micronutrients are vital for the healthy functioning of all your body’s systems.  When your body is being supplied with the micronutrients it needs, it functions the way it is designed to and helps you metabolize the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats BETTER!  The end result of that is a more efficient body, faster weight loss and good health and longevity! What are examples of micronutrients?  These are are composed of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (or phytochemicals).

Weight loss is more than just eating a calorie deficit and exercising. Weight loss is a result of healthy fuel! For our bodies to function well, it is important to give it EVERYTHING it needs. If your body is functioning well, you will lose more weight and have overall longevity and health. It is about the NUTRITION you are giving your body. Incorporate lots of NUTRIENT DENSE foods. This means there are the most nutrients per calorie.  Here is a chart from Dr. Fuhrman that really breaks down the nutrient density by food category. You want 90% of your foods to come from the top tiers for optimum health which also results in weight loss. This is also why I love Shakeology so much. There is so much nutrition packed into a low calorie shake.

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Here is an article from Dr. Fuhrman which is very helpful in understanding micronutrients.  See the chart below to see which foods you want to eat the MOST of to see the best results in weight loss and health:  (if you would rather, you can read the article here)

“Nutrient Density is a critical concept in devising and recommending dietary and nutritional advice to patients and to the public. Not merely vitamins and minerals, but adequate consumption of phytochemicals is essential for proper functioning of the immune system and to enable our body’s detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms that protect us from chronic diseases. 

Nutritional science in the last twenty years has demonstrated that colorful plant foods contain a huge assortment of protective compounds, most of which still remain unnamed. Only by eating an assortment of nutrient-rich natural foods can we access these protective compounds and prevent the common diseases that afflict Americans. Our modern, low-nutrient eating style has led to an overweight population, the majority of whom develop diseases of nutritional ignorance, causing our medical costs to spiral out of control.

To guide people toward the most nutrient dense foods, I developed a 0-100 scale of micronutrient scores called the Nutrient Density Line, which ranks categories of foods based on their ratio of nutrients to calories.

Because phytochemicals are largely unnamed and unmeasured, these rankings underestimate the healthful properties of colorful natural plant foods compared to processed foods and animal products. One thing we do know is that the foods that contain the highest amount of known nutrients are the same foods that contain the most unknown nutrients too. So even though these rankings may not consider the phytochemical number sufficiently they are still a reasonable measurement of phytochemical content.

Keep in mind that nutrient density scoring is not the only factor that determines good health. For example, if we only ate foods with a high nutrient density score our diet would be too low in fat. So we have to pick some foods with lower nutrient density scores (but preferably the healthier ones) to include in our high nutrient diet. Additionally, if a slim or highly physically active individual ate only the highest nutrient foods they would become so full from all of the fiber and nutrients that they would not be able to meet their caloric needs, and they would eventually become too thin. This of course gives you a hint at the secret to permanent weight control – eat the greatest quantity of the foods with the highest micronutrient scores, and lesser amounts of foods with lower scores.  For more information on the Nutrient Density Line, please refer to Eat to Live (2011 edition), pages 118-122.”

Dr. Fuhrman’s Micronutrient Scores

Dr. Fuhrman's Micronutrient Scores

I hope this post helped you in understanding micronutrients and how they can help your body function for optimum health and weight loss.  If you have any questions please contact me and make sure you make me your free personal coach by following the instructions HERE.

2 comments
xafibesisa
xafibesisa

as Don replied I am amazed that a student can make $7195 in one month on the computer . 

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