Macronutrients and micronutrients are classifications for the different types of nutrients found in food. Macronutrients include carbs, fats, and proteins and make up the bulk of our diet. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are required in smaller quantities but are no less important and include vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to name a few.

Consuming the proper amounts of micronutrients can support optimal health and prevent disorders associated with nutritional deficiencies. The term bioavailability is the concept of how much can be absorbed in the body. Many factors influence how much of a given nutrient the body can absorb, including the source, combination and preparation of food. Vitamins and minerals interact in complex and unpredictable ways. After nutrients are digested, the amount absorbed and retained depends on your body’s needs, which are largely determined by age, sex, health, and the level of nutrients already in the body. A common example is iron. Women need much more iron rather than male. Therefore a healthy man absorbs less than one percent on the iron in a balanced diet while a woman with anemia (lack of iron) will absorb as much as 35 percent. Below are some of the most common and essential micronutrients and their benefits and sources.

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Our skin naturally makes vitamin D and exposure to sunlight increases the amount our skin makes. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation could be important for those who get little or no sun exposure on a regular basis. Vitamin D is commonly found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods like milk, juice and cereal. Not getting enough of this vitamin can increase your likelihood of getting sick, chances of bone and back pain, as well as bone and hair loss.


  • Magnesium is an “essential” nutrient meaning our body cannot produce it naturally. We must get it from food or supplements. It is most important in bone health and energy production. A lot of people are magnesium deficient because they aren’t eating the right foods, not necessarily because they need supplements. Try eating more nuts, brown rice, spinach, kale, bananas, and raisins. We also lose magnesium through our sweat, which puts athletes at a higher risk of a deficiency. Experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness, or muscle twitches and cramps could be a sign of deficiency.  


  • Although you’ve been told to drink your milk as early as you can remember, it turns out 40 percent of the US population doesn’t get enough calcium. It is tremendously important to have sufficient calcium in the bone-building years as well as for older women to prevent losing bone density. Extreme fatigue and insomnia can be a sign you need to increase your salmon, kale, and broccoli intake. Milk containing “so much calcium” is in a sense a myth although dairy products do contain calcium.

Vitamin B

  • There are eight B vitamins, and in short when you think of B vitamins you should think of energy. If you look at the back of your energy drink you will often notice the B vitamins on the nutrition labels. The B complex vitamin is a little factory that contains all eight types. However, B6 and B12 are the most essential. B6, otherwise known as Pyridoxine, helps brain processes and development and metabolizes carbohydrates and proteins. B12, or cobalamin, helps form red blood cells, improves mental ability and converts amino acids and fatty acids into energy that the body can use. Due to the oxalates which act as inhibitors in many of the B vitamin containing foods, as well as B vitamins being water soluble vitamins, meaning they cannot be stored in the body, our bodies usually have a deficiency. Therefore, a common B vitamin containing multivitamin could not cause harm.

While it’s always best to consume micronutrients through a healthy diet, in some circumstances supplementation of vitamins and minerals may be required. But it is also essential to keep in mind vitamin and mineral supplements should add to a nutritious diet, not replace healthy foods all together. You can’t undo the effect of a bad diet by supplementing with vitamins.







Life’s priorities and the mental illnesses that follow along

18 years old. An official adult. You may think this is the end of growing up, but it really is just the beginning. Life decisions come into play full force, college, career, relationships. And interestingly enough at ages 18 to 29 you are still experiencing cognitive development. This is one of the many reasons why mental illnesses take shape at this stage of life, especially depression and anxiety.

The adolescent brain really isn’t fully developed until the age of 25 – car rental companies must have it right. Beforehand, the teen and young adult brain go through some dramatic and inevitable changes. The considerable neural growths happening at this time disrupts the brain, making it sensitive and vulnerable. This increased sensitivity is what causes this age group to be highly emotional and sensitive to peer pressure.

The most common mental health illnesses today are depression and anxiety. Often these two are co-occurring. Anxiety has a few different sub categories: panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, and lastly general anxiety, while depression falls along a spectrum.

The symptoms of both depression and anxiety can seriously interfere with a person’s life from their daily activities, to work and school. Depression and anxiety can affect anyone, even an individual that seems to appear to “have it all.”

Anxiety can begin with one stressful situation. Without coping strategies, over time it can worsen into more generalized anxiety where every aspect of life brings anxious feelings. If not treated properly, these unhealthy thoughts and behaviors can lead to low self-esteem, social isolation, and even medical problems related to chronic stress.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression can be both mental and physical. Here are a few of the symptoms of anxiety to watch out for to address before they worsen:

  • Stomach Pain – indigestion or abdominal cramps.
  • Difficulty Breathing – choking sensations and hyperventilation
  • Negative Thoughts – including constantly anticipating danger or thinking that a catastrophe is around every corner
  • Constant Feelings of Worry – can result in irritability or physical shaking
  • Heart and Chest Pain
  • Low Appetite or Binge Eating
  • Insomnia

Some Symptoms of Depression include:

  • Difference in mood overall – guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest in hobbies or other pleasures, and general anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive hunger, changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Slowed thinking and body movements

There is no sure way to prevent mental illness. However, if you are experiencing some symptoms it is essential to address them before they become chronic. It can help first to learn how to control stress. Increasing resilience to stressful situations and boosting low self esteem is essential to keeping symptoms under control for both anxiety and depression.

Start by paying attention to the warning signs. Find possible triggers that cause your symptoms; it could be the simple act of a cup of caffeine, or skipping a meal leading to anxious thoughts or shakes. Negative thinking is also a big trigger in aspects of both mental illnesses as well. Learn to refocus your language and feelings to be more positive.

Most importantly take good care of yourself. Get adequate sleep, eat a nutritious diet, and get regular physical activity. The simplest actions of self love can do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help if you are having trouble sleeping or even if you have questions about diet and physical activity.

While sleep, diet, and physical activity are the dominant factors for your health there are a few accessory steps towards great mental as well. Alcohol consumption is a depressant, therefore avoidance is key. Yoga and meditation can help wipe troubling thoughts from your brain for mental clarity, and some research has shown taking omega-3 supplements can help with depression. There are also many different brain clarity supplements as such as CuraMed Brain Function Mental Clarity Softgels. And lastly, have fun! Depression and anxiety can seem to consume your life causing you to stop engaging in activities you enjoy, don’t forget to love what you do and do what you love. It’s what life is for after all.