Food Scoring Guide: Micronutrients

Micronutrients are essential nutritional substances that do not contain calories. The three main micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. (Some researchers consider fiber and water to be micronutrients, too.) Micronutrients are extremely important for your health.

Micronutrients are needed for your body to manufacture the materials it needs for normal function, to rid itself of waste, and to repair damage. Without micronutrients, you quickly would get sick and die soon afterwards. Americans eat too few micronutrients, and we would live longer if we ate more.

There are 13 vitamins and 25 minerals know to be important for human health, and the importance of adequate intake of them for overall health cannot be overstated. Their impact on overall health is broad and vast; the effects of deficiencies are devastating. The human body requires large amounts of some of them, and trace amounts of others. Natural foods have been shown to contain the right types of them in the right proportions for human survival and good health.
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