Micronutrients: The Key to Good Health

Insight of Micronutrients

Author(s): Shashi A. Chiplonkar

Pp: 32-111 (80)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815040258122010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Micronutrients are increasingly recognised for their multiple roles in a variety of body functions. For example, micronutrients are necessary for cellular growth, energy production, formation of antibodies, blood clotting, and immunity. This chapter illustrates the nature and structure of 16 vitamins and 14 minerals, their specific roles in a variety of body functions, their daily dietary requirements across age-sex groups and rich food sources. As a part of our daily diet, we seldom think about nutritional aspects, especially in the case of micronutrient contents of foods. Good dietary sources of micronutrients are exemplified with tables providing percent contents of each micronutrient in plant and animal foods. It is known that vitamins are sensitive to heat and light, and may get destroyed while cooking food. The chapter explains how vitamins and minerals are lost during cooking and food processing methods and how to reduce these micronutrient losses. Once the food is ingested, absorbability of micronutrients is essential for their involvement in body functions. Factors affecting or enhancing micronutrient absorption and interactions of vitamins and minerals, nutrients and other dietary factors are described in tabular form so as to quickly understand the compatibility of foods in the diet.

Keywords: Antioxidants, Bioavailability, Body stores, Cooking methods, Enhancing factors, Fat-soluble vitamins, Food sources, Growth, Immunity, Inhibitory factors, Macro minerals, Metabolic function, Micronutrient-rich foods, Micronutrient interactions, Recommended dietary allowance, Trace minerals, Water-soluble vitamins.

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