Sometimes, despite going to bed early, moving daily, eating well, we still don’t feel our best. No matter how 'healthy' we are or try to be, a lot of us don't feel the way we would like too – and end up feeling frustrated as a result.
But—get ready for an 'aha!' moment—every major metabolic pathway in our body depends on essential micronutrients to function. That's our vitamins and minerals.
Without the right micronutrients, in the levels we need, in the right parts of our body, these essential functions of our body cannot run smoothly. Here's everything you need to know about micronutrients.
Let's start with the soil
When we talk about food, we also need to think about the food source of our food. For plants - that the nutrients they get from the soil. If it's not in the soil then it cannot be in our food.
"If it's not in the soil then it cannot be in our food."
In a country such as New Zealand, with our rugged coastlines, vast mountains, and bountiful volcanoes, surely we would produce rich, organic soil, right?
Not necessarily. When we are looking at soil quality we need to look at the rocks below it. Mineral density is dependent on the rock bed, how this breaks down and releases its minerals into the soil. And as a country and land, NZ is still very young – meaning our soils are also very young.
Add in modern farming techniques
When the nutrients are in the soil, we're intensively farming the land to keep up with the food demand. In doing so we're stripping these nutrients out of the top layer of the soil. So a very significant factor when it comes to soil depletion is that we're not paying farmers enough to put trace minerals back into the soil.
We also want out fruit and vegetables to look nice and be available year round. Produce contains the greatest number of nutrients when its are allowed to ripen naturally but often it is picked early then frozen or chilled.
Nutrients degrade with heat and light. We know through studies conducted on supermarket produce that one week after harvest, many fruits and vegetables have lost up to 80% of their nutrient levels. But you can taste it for yourself. Try eating a peach in winter—it just don’t taste as good as when they are in season.
Factoring in our modern diets and lifestyles
The main reason many of us might have all the nutrients we need to feel our best each day, is that our modern-day lifestyle is increasing our nutrient requirements.
The harder we push our bodies, the more stress we are under, the stage of life we are at (pregnancy in particular), the more vitamins and minerals our body needs. For example, in times of stress our body uses more B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc (just to name a few!).
Most of us in the Western world are living beyond our nutritional limits. It's why we all need stimulants like caffeine and refined carbohydrates are good examples of the crutches people are using to deal with the day to day load of stressors.
Food should be our primary source of essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating foods rich in micronutrients is a great place to start. Such as;
- Oily fish - Rich in vitamin D and omega-3s, such as salmon and sardines
- Green leafy vegetables - Rich in B9 and magnesium.
- Brazil nuts - Loaded with selenium. Eating just 2 - 3 a day provides you with your recommended daily intake.
- Oysters and pumpkin seeds - Rich in zinc.
- Buckwheat - Great gluten-free alternative and is rich in B vitamins and magnesium.
- Turmeric - Strong anti-inflammatory properties like cucurmin.
- Fermented foods - Feed the good bacteria in our gut, the health of which is directly related to the health of our brains.
- Chicken and fish - Rich in vitamin B6.
- Turkey - Contains tryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you to feel calm. Tryptophan in the form of meat, has been shown to reduce anxiety.
- Red meat - Grass-fed organic red meat in particular is rich in iron and B12.
To put it simply, nutrient-deficient soil + modern lifestyle = Kiwis depleted of essential nutrients
The essential nutrients we need
To put it simply, nutrient-deficient soil + modern lifestyle = Kiwis depleted of essential nutrients.
These micronutrients are the foundation of health, and are crucial in supporting healthy body function. By adding these nutrients to our daily diets, we can unlock the best version of ourselves and see all our efforts come together for maximum impact.
These essential vitamins and minerals:
Zinc - learn why zinc is vital for your health.
- Magnesium - learn more about this mood boosting mineral.
- Vitamin B12
Supplementing, even if you eat well
However, even if you’re eating a nutrient-rich wholefood diet, we may still not be getting the level of these micronutrients required for our bodies to function optimally. It can be confusing to know what to actually eat, we cover everything you need to know if this blog.
Luckily, we can easily top up with high-quality, high-strength supplements, to support restoring our bodies back to balance.
To help get you started on your wellness journey and form great habits that lead to real change, we've combined these three simple steps and created the Limited Edition Everyday Wellness Pack. Each pack comes with BePure One, the ultimate multivitamin for your nutritional needs, BePure Two, a powerful probiotic for great gut health, and BePure Three, a high strength DHA/EPA fish oil for your essential omega-3 fats.
You'll also get exclusive access to the 30-Day Change Challenge to set your new wellness routine up for success.