At some point in time, micronutrients became really uncool to consider as an important part of your diet. Macros were in and micros were out. Calorie control was sexy and healthy eating was far from it.
And I get it, it’s the same reason why fad diets blow up and a balanced approach is ignored. When in reality, any “fad diet” that actually works is really just another way of getting people to control calories and eat healthier foods 90% of the time.
So before you completely rule micronutrients out of the equation, I wanted to discuss why they’re important, which ones you need to consider looking out for most, and exactly where you can get those – naturally, from food.
Micronutrients are the little rocks that fill up your dietary bucket, so to speak, where as macronutrients are your big rocks. These are your proteins, fats and carbs – these essentially build your caloric intake, which is extremely important for fat loss and muscle gain. If your calories are not controlled and in place, then you will not get very far with the results you’re seeking.
See when we balance out and dial in our calories and macros, we see results fairly quickly. This is why people obsess over where their calories and macros are at so frequently; they’re the big movers.
Micronutrients, the little rocks, are your vitamins, minerals, and much smaller nutrients, which are required to survive – literally.
These guys are necessary to focus on because we need them for longevity, bodily functions, disease prevention, hormonal regulation, and much more that directly and indirectly influence not only your body composition but your life span as well.
If you want to see a result, with your body, and actually sustain that result over the long haul… then you absolutely need to pay attention to your micros.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to focus on produce and protein. If you’re getting a solid daily intake of protein from local and grass fed or wild caught animals and basing the rest of your diet off produce (or things that we’re grown from the earth) you will significantly increase your lifespan, wellbeing, health and likely hood of building muscle and burning body fat.
Get lots of colors, focus on deep greens, shop local as often as you can, and avoid processed foods and you will achieve the result.
But what are the most important micros to be sure you’re getting? They’re all pretty damn important, but today I’m going to break down the 3 most commonly missed micronutrients that are vital for health and especially body composition (whether that’s fat loss or muscle gain).
Again, there are LOTS of micronutrients. So before I tell you which 3 to start searching for more than the rest, lets check the majority of them out so you have a better idea of the entire group:
- Vitamins: A,B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B8,B9,B12,C,D,E,K
- Major minerals: calcium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
- Oligo-elements (trace minerals): iron, copper, zinc, iodine, manganese, chromium, cobalt, selenium
- Essential amino acids such as tryptophane, leucine, phenylalanine
- Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 unsaturated fats
They’re all important and if you remember the “Protein and Produce” rule, than you’re guaranteed to be better off than most. But to dial it in, here are my top 3 that I see frequently missed and studies show to be missed AND cause a huge positive effect on your body composition:
Top 3 Micronutrients You’re Likely Missing, Yet Desperately Need
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Any Westernized or American-like diet is pretty likely to be deficient in this because of the lack of fatty fish consumed. Not too mention other good sources like cage free eggs and grass free butter, are usually replaced with margarine and eggs form poorly raised chickens – because of the cheapness and convenience of them.
Omega-3’s are so good for us that we should all be striving to increase our daily intake of them while lowering our intake of omega-6’s. Here’s a list of all the reasons you should be focused on this power nutrient:
- Promotes Brain Health (Especially During Pregnancy and Early Life – But Effects US ALL)
- HUGE Fighter of Inflammation (Joints, Gut, Brain, etc…)
- Improve Risks of Heart Disease
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- Increase Muscle Protein Synthesis During Protein Feedings
- Reduce Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
- Fights Autoimmune Diseases
- Fight Off Mental Decline and Aging
- Diseases Prevention (Cancer, Diabetes, and More)
- Reduce Liver Fat
- Improve Bone and Joint Health
- Can Help Fight Depression and Anxiety
- Skin Health
- Can Improve Eye Health
I honestly don’t know if there’s anything this nutrient can’t do. Many of these are directly related to your body composition results and even more indirectly via health benefits, which will affect your body composition results.
Here’s what to do: Take enough to get 1.5-3g of Combined EPA/DHA daily, make sure it’s from a quality source (ideally with a USP stamp on bottle), and be sure to refrigerate it because it can go rancid which causes benefits to be lowered.
When Fish Oil goes rancid, the body struggles to metabolize it the same – but here’s a trick to reverse that; supplement with a small dose of Vitamin-E. This will reverse the affect that rancid fish oil has and allow you to get the same benefit from it!
You can supplement it or get it from foods such as fatty fish like wild caught salmon or sardines, butter from grass fed cows, walnuts, or cage free egg yolks.
This vitamin is another super nutrient that’s crucial for our body composition, if we plan to see drastic changes. It’s responsible in aiding in:
- Maintain the health of bones and teeth
- Boost and balance hormone levels
- Disease prevention
- Support the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system
- Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management
- Support lung function and cardiovascular health
This specific vitamin actually has a big effect on how much body fat we can lose and how much strength/muscle we can build. The unfortunate part here… is that a study done several years back showed that 3 quarters of the United States was deficient in Vitamin-D.
My guess is that this isn’t getting any better, because still less and less people spend much time outdoors truly getting sun and if you’re anything like me you’re in Seattle Washington and pretty much screwed out of getting sun anyway.
So you should likely supplement with it daily, because expecting to get enough from the sun and food is unrealistic. Some studies show 1,000 i.u.’s and others upward of 10,000 i.u.’s… so it’s not 100% clear but we know it’s absolutely safe to supplement with anywhere between this amount.
On top of that, I recommend getting out in the sun and focusing on including foods like salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, tuna, eggs, mushrooms, and cows milk (stick with grass fed, local if possible, quality milk products for this one).
Magnesium is the final vitamin and key nutrient that we’ll cover today. It’s responsible for some pretty important things when it comes to muscles functioning properly and getting you where you want to be.
- Helps Increase Energy
- Calms Nerves and Anxiety
- Treats Insomnia and Helps You Fall Asleep
- Helps with Digestion by Relieving Constipation
- Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms
- Regulates Levels of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium
- Important for Heart Health
- Prevents Migraine Headaches
- Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis
If you want to train hard, want to build muscle, plan to optimize your sleep and recovery, and want to receive the most out of your nutrition – you should supplement this and/or get plenty from food.
I recommend magnesium glycinate above most, because many store bought magnesium’s can have little actual absorbable magnesium (when it comes to the benefits listed above) and end up working as a laxative before you get to the necessary beneficial dosage.
Food is your best bet for nutrients in most cases and this is no different. So start trying to incorporate foods like spinach, black beans, almonds, cashews, potato, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bananas.
Like anything else in life, if you want to see serious results you need to be seriously consistent.
This is the most difficult part for 90% of people I’ve helped coach and most likely what your biggest struggle is as well. The key to consistency? Accountability.
If you want Serious Accountability so you can see Serious Results – Click Here Now.
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