Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals found in foods that nourish your body and help keep you healthy. They are essential to your overall health.
Choosing foods rich in vitamins and minerals every day is the best way for your body to get what it needs to be healthy. However, research consistently shows that most Americans eat diets that lack the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), adults generally do not get enough of the following nutrients:
- vitamins A, C, D and E.
Road to better health
Try to incorporate more of these nutrients into your daily diet. Keep in mind that it is best to get these nutrients through food, rather than taking a multivitamin. This is because it is easier for your body to absorb micronutrients through food.
If you can’t get all the nutrients you need from food alone, ask your doctor if dietary supplements are right for you.
Things to keep in mind
Not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs can have serious consequences for your health. A general lack of nutrients can lead to malnutrition. This is sometimes easier to recognize and treat. A lack of a specific vitamin or mineral is more difficult to diagnose, but can be just as dangerous. Some vitamin deficiencies can be life-threatening.
Having too much of some vitamins in your system can also be dangerous. For example, an overdose of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause problems in the baby’s development. For this reason, it is very important to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements. This is very important if you are pregnant or have health conditions.
When to see your doctor
The symptoms of a vitamin deficiency vary. Some deficiencies have no symptoms at all. In general, if you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor:
- You are losing your hair.
- You feel weak.
- You feel tired often, even when you sleep a lot.
- You have fissures in the corners of your mouth.
- You have acne-like bumps on your cheeks, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks.
- Your vision gets worse, especially at night.
- Your eyes are dry.
- You are depressed.
- You are irritable.
- You are having panic attacks.
- You have tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.
- Your gums bleed.
- Questions to ask your doctor
- How do I know if I’m taking enough vitamins and minerals?
- Should I take a multivitamin or other dietary supplement?
- Should my child take a multivitamin or other dietary supplement?
- Does it matter where I buy my vitamins?
- Are there better brands of vitamins than others?
- Do vitamins have negative side effects?
There are a lot of quality supplements and vitamins that aim to help you with these issues. On this website we will review most of them, the good and the bad, so you can make an informed decision.