Micronutrients

Optimal health and wellness is dependent on adequate intake of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Plant-based foods, including fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts, are prominent features of a healthy diet. In addition to providing energy and essential micronutrients, plant-based foods contribute thousands of biologically active plant chemicals (phytochemicals) to the human diet.

Micronutrient Tips

Towards the bottom of this page you’ll find a photo gallery with additional information and tips (e.g., top plant-based sources of select nutrients).

Big hugs and rebel love,
Dana Mac

Plant-Based Foods

  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Legumes (Beans, Peas, and Lentils(
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Whole Grains
Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are unique in that they are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates.

Legumes

Foods from the legume family include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are defined as intact or cracked, crushed, and flaked grain seeds in which all the components of the kernel, i.e., the bran, the endosperm, and the germ, are retained as in the intact grain.

Vitamins

  • Thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate (vitamin B9)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • Biotin (vitamin B7)
  • Choline
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium (Chloride)
  • Zinc

Other Nutrients

Other nutrients important to human health include choline, essential fatty acids, and dietary fiber.

  • Choline
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Fiber
  • L-Carnitine
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Lipoic Acid
  • Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds found in plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains) believed to reduce risk of certain chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. More than 5,000 phytochemicals have been discovered, with an equally large percentage waiting to be identified.

  • Carotenoids
  • Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin
  • Curcumin
  • Fiber
  • Flavonoids
  • Garlic
  • Indole-3-Carbinol
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Lignans
  • Phytosterols
  • Resveratrol
  • Soy Isoflavones

Recommendations

Given the health complications associated with micronutrient deficiencies, quality of the modern Western diet (intake of ultra-processed foods), and cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, taking a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement that provides 100% of the RDA for most micronutrients is a sensible public health recommendation.

Supplement Considerations and Suggestions
  • No multivitamin/mineral supplement provides 100% of the daily value for magnesium, calcium, or omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. However, combined calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplements are available.
  • In general, men and postmenopausal women should opt for a dietary supplement free of iron unless he/she has a history of iron deficiency anemia.
  • Choose a supplement that does not exceed 2500 IU of vitamin A. Ideally, opt for a product that supplies vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. If unavailable, look for a product that supplies at least 50 percent as beta-carotene.
  • Supplements that exceed 100% of the RDA for most nutrients are not recommended due to risk of adverse health effects (e.g., toxicity). Exceptions to this rule include vitamin D — daily intakes that exceed the RDA for vitamin D (2,000 – 10,000 IU per day) are considered safe. All populations should ensure adequate vitamin D status via regular exposure to the sun and/or use of a dietary supplement.
  • Vegans must take a vitamin B12 supplement.
  • Individuals who do not regularly consume fatty fish should consider taking 1,000-2,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA (omega 3 fatty acids) several times per week. If you are prone to bleeding or take an anticoagulant, consult your physician first.
  • Optimal intake of vitamin C can be met by consuming at least 5 to 6 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

As always, this information is not intended to be medical advice and does not replace consultation with a qualified healthcare provider. Be sure to discuss your use of nutritional supplements with your primary care provider (or medical team) because some nutrients interact or interfere with certain prescription medications. Your healthcare team can tell you if dietary supplements interact or interfere with your medications, or if the medications interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down certain micronutrients.

Learn More

Rebel Lifestyle

To learn more about my lifestyle, visit the page titled Rebel Lifestyle.

Rebel Grub

To view photos of my grub, check out the page titled Rebel Grub.

Meal Planning

To view meal planning information, head over to the page Meal Planning.

Shopping Lists

To view shopping lists, visit the page titled Shopping Lists.

Posters and Charts

To view my posters and charts, hit up the page titled Posters.

Pinterest and Facebook

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and/or Facebook.

Posters and Charts

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. This means you are free to use my work for personal use (e.g., save the file to your computer or share via social media) as long as you do not modify the image or use the image for commercial purposes ($).

References:

Mueller CM, ed. The A.S.P.E.N. Adult Nutrition Support Core Curriculum, 2nd ed. American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Silver Spring, MD. 2012:284-297.

Gottschlich MM, ed. The A.S.P.E.N. Nutrition Support Core Curriculum: A Case-Based Approach-The Adult Patient, 2nd ed. Silver Spring, MD: A.S.P.E.N., 2007:323-339

Corkins MR, Balint J, Bobo E, Plogsted S, Yaworski JA. The A.S.P.E.N Pediatric Nutrition
Support Core Curriculum. 2010.

Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic

WHO. Guideline: Fortification of Food-Grade Salt with Iodine for the Prevention and Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2014

Zimmermann MB and Boelaert K. Iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2015; 3: 286–95

Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3116-3126.

Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: clinical applications. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3127-3129.

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