While macros get a lot of credit when it comes to body transformation, it’s important to not only take a macronutrient approach to nutrition, but also a micronutrient approach. Micronutrients include both vitamins and minerals, and although we need them in relatively small quantities, they are vital to health and longevity. Deficiencies will almost certainly result in health issues or even disease. Therefore a successful diet is one that not only fits your macros, but one that also fits in healthy amounts of micronutrients.

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There are nearly 30 essential micronutrients. These are the vitamins and minerals that your body cannot manufacture in sufficient amounts on its own, they must be consumed from your diet. The good news is that with just a bit of effort and attention to detail, it’s fairly easy to meet daily requirements. So let’s take a closer look at vitamins and minerals, break down the roles they play in our bodies, and the top food sources for each one.


There are 13 types of vitamins, 4 of which are fat-soluble and 9 of which are watersoluble.

Fat soluble vitamins:

  • Includes Vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Need to be consumed with fat for proper absorption
  • Stored in the body’s cells, therefore not easily excreted by the body
ANeeded for vision, healthy skin, bones, enamel and immune systemFortified milk, cheese, butter, eggs, liver. Precursors include beta-carotene sources like dark leafy greens, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes
DNeeded for proper absorption of calciumSkin can make it when exposed to sunlight, egg yolks, fatty fish, fortified milk
EProtects cell wallsLeafy vegetables, while grains, liver, egg yolks, nuts and seeds
KNeeded for proper blood clottingLeafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus

Water- Soluble Vitamins

  • Includes: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid
  • Travel freely in the body
  • Excess amounts are excreted via the kidneys
  • Must be taken daily since the human body is not capable of storing them for a
    long time

Water soluble vitamins play a large role in the formation of enzymes. They are needed for energy metabolism, protein metabolism, as well as support a healthy nervous system, immune system and digestive system. While some are found widespread in foods, you have to be a bit more purposeful with others.

B1Needed for energy metabolismPork, whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds
B2Needed for energy metabolismMilk, leafy greens, whole grains, enriched breads and cereals
B3Needed for energy metabolismMeat, poultry, fish, mushrooms, asparagus, peanut butter
B6Needed for energy metabolismMeat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit
B12Important for nerve functionMeat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk (NOT found in plant foods)
Pantothenic acidNeeded for energy metabolismWidespread in foods
BiotinNeeded for energy metabolismWidespread in foods
Folic AcidNeeded to make new cells, especially red blood cellsLeafy greens, legumes, seeds, liver
Vitamin CNeeded for immune system health, iron absorptionFruits and vegetables, cabbage, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, mangoes, kiwi


Minerals are needed to help our bodies grow and stay healthy. All minerals are watersoluble, and they can be divided into 2 types: macrominerals and microminerals.

Macrominerals are minerals that we need in large amounts. They include calcium, phosphorus. magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur.

Microminerals are trace minerals, meaning we only need them in small amounts. They include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, chromium, fluoride, and selenium.


CalciumImportant for healthy bones and teeth, helps muscles relax and contract, blood pressure regulation, immune system healthMilk and milk products, canned fish with bones, greens
PhosphorusNeeded for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance and repair of cells and tissuesMeat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs
MagnesiumNeeded for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the bodyNuts and seeds, legumes, leafy greens, seafood, chocolate, artichokes
SodiumHelps maintain blood volume and blood pressure among other functionsTable salt, soy sauce, bread, vegetables
PotassiumHelps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signalsMeats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables
ChlorideHelps balance fluid levels in the bodyTable salt, soy sauce, bread, vegetables
SulphurNecessary for the synthesis of certain key proteinsMeats, poultry, milk, eggs, legumes, nuts


IronVital to the proper functioning of hemoglobin, a protein needed to transport oxygen in the bloodOrgan meats, red meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, egg yolks, legumes, leafy greens
ManganesePart of many enzymes, metabolism of amino acids, glucose, carbohydratesWidespread in foods, especially plant foods
CopperEnables the body to form red blood cellsLegumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, organ meats
IodineNeeded to make thyroid hormonesSeafoods, iodized salt, bread, dairy products
ZincNeeded for proper functioning of the immune systemMeat, fish, poultry, whole grains, vegetables
ChromiumWorks with insulin to regulate blood sugar levelsLiver, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, nuts, cheeses
FluorideFormation of bones and teeth, helps prevent tooth decayDrinking water, fish
SeleniumAntioxidantMeat, seafood, grains


Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in our health, vitality, and longevity. Getting sufficient amounts is imperative, and thankfully it’s very easy to do: by choosing to not only eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources, but also by choosing variety in your diet. Get your protein and fat from several sources, cycle in different whole grains, and include all colors of the rainbow in your fruits and vegetables. Always remember that micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients, and how you feel on the inside is even more important than how you look on the outside. Choose wisely.