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What Are Macronutrients & Micronutrients

With the increasing number of people catching the fitness bug, macros and micros are becoming an everyday vocabulary. As humans, we need an adequate supply of macronutrients and micronutrients from our diet to live and function properly. But many people don’t know the difference between the two terms or what they even mean and how they affect their health and fitness levels. In this piece, we will take a look at macro and micronutrients and the food sources to get each type of nutrient.


Macro stands for large or major, which implies that macronutrients form the major and most important part of our diet. The body derives the energy to perform most of its metabolic and physical activities from macronutrients in our food. There are three types of macronutrients including carbohydrates, fats, and protein.


Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. When we consume carbs-rich food, the body converts it to glucose which is used to power the metabolic activities from the cellular level and also provides energy for the heart, muscles, and the brain. This is why it becomes hard to focus if you don’t have enough carbs in your diet because the low glucose levels rob the brain of the fuel it needs to perform optimally.

Carbs are best consumed at times when you are most physically active such as in the morning before leaving for work or before starting a workout.

Sources of Carbs

Carbohydrate is available in a simple and complex form, and you can find both in different types of food. Simple carbs especially sugar is abundant in fruits such as apples, bananas, mangoes, oranges, berries, watermelon, cucumbers, beets, dates grapes, pears, carrots, and others.

Complex carbs include fibre and starchy food and tend to be richer in nutrients and more filling and satisfying than simple carbs. Complex carbs can be found in every type of rice and breads, potatoes of all types, oats, wheats, beans, cereals, lentils, flours, quinoa and many others.


Fat is a type of macronutrient that is essential for growth and development, energy, protection of vital organs and insulation. Fats have the highest amount of energy reserve, play a major role in the synthesis of important hormones and promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Sources of Fats

Fat is available in both animal and plant-based foods. You can derive fat from cheese, salmon, butter, avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, grape seed oil, sunflower seeds among others.


Protein is the building block of the cells and tissues of the body. From the skin, nails, muscles, collagen, and many others, the protein plays a pivotal role in the structure of our bodies. Protein is necessary for growth, regulation of hormones and enzymes, and also aids the repair and building of muscles and weight loss. Protein is also important for the optimal function of the immune system and must be consumed in adequate amounts for the body to stay in good health.

Sources of Protein

Protein is abundant mainly in animal-based foods such as lean meats, dairy products, chicken, turkey, pork, seafood and fish, whey protein, and plant-based foods such as oats, tofu, peanut butter, beans and so on.


Micronutrients are nutrients required by the body in small quantities including vitamins and minerals. The body cannot manufacture most micronutrients, which is why our diet must contain sufficient amounts of foods rich in micronutrients. While the body requires them in smaller amounts, micronutrients are extremely important to the health and wellbeing of the body.

Sources of Micronutrients

Micronutrients are abundant in fruits and vegetables as well as many animals based foods. Vitamins such as vitamin A primarily come from fruits and vegetables, B from poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish, C from spinach, lemon, oranges, and so on. Vitamin D is derived from exposure to the sun and eating fish, milk, cheese, and cereals. Calcium is found in leafy greens, oranges, beans, milk, chia seeds, and others. Zinc sources include milk, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, poultry, among others.