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Article: Micronutrients: everything you need to know

Ernährung

Micronutrients: everything you need to know

Vitamins and minerals have something in common: the body needs them to function properly. The problem: although they are so important, many foods lack them. Here we explain why micronutrients are so important for our health and why we enrich our milk alternatives with them.

We actually absorb all the important nutrients we need for metabolism and many other processes in the body through our food. But it often looks very different on our plates. If you don't pay close attention to this, you will miss vital micronutrients in the food and, in the worst case, risk a nutrient deficiency. We want to change that - and have enriched our milk alternatives Barista and Unsweetened with vitamin B12, vitamin D3, calcium, iodine and selenium.

What are micronutrients anyway?

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that the body cannot produce itself but absorbs through food. Unlike macronutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, micronutrients do not provide energy in the form of calories. However, they are at least as important, since vitamins and minerals are required for vital processes in the body.

What does the body need micronutrients for?

Micronutrients are involved in many processes in the body. Vitamins, for example, play an important role in your immune system and the defense against pathogens. Minerals affect bone, muscle, heart and brain function . Here we have listed which micronutrients are in our Barista and Unsweetened, what their function is and why they are so important for your health:

Vitamin B12 is particularly important for metabolism, blood and nerves. A lack of vitamin B12 often occurs with a plant-based diet and manifests itself, for example, in the form of tiredness, difficulty concentrating or gastrointestinal problems.

Vitamin D3 plays a major role in immune, bone and mental health. A vitamin D deficiency can occur particularly with a plant-based diet and in countries with little sun, since the sun stimulates the production of vitamin D in the skin.

Calcium is a bulk element that is ingested in relatively large amounts through food. It mainly has a preventive effect against the risk of osteoporosis and is found in dairy products and vegetables.

Selenium is an essential trace element that is absorbed by the body in small amounts and used in almost all organs. A selenium deficiency automatically ensures a redistribution in the body to those organs that need it most urgently.

Iodine is also a trace element that is essential for the functions of the thyroid gland.

Why did you enrich your milk alternatives with micronutrients?

Basic foods that we eat every day should also contain important micro- and macronutrients. Our milk alternatives Barista and Unsweetened cover part of your daily requirement and, together with a balanced diet, help you get all the nutrients you need. Vitamin B12 and vitamin D , for example, can ideally be taken with milk alternatives because they are best consumed daily and in small amounts [1]. The trace elements selenium and iodine are both very low in German food. This is mainly due to the mineral-poor soils here. Tomatoes, for example, only provide the small amount of iodine of around 1 μg / 100 g on average [2]. It is similar for selenium. The soil would therefore have to be enriched with fertilizers. But since that is not the case yet, we prefer to add the minerals directly.

Sources:

[1] British Dietetic Association (2017) 'Plant-based diet: Food Fact Sheet'. https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/plant-based-diet.html . Accessed: May 2020.

[2] Souci, SW, Fachwerk, W. & Kraut, H. (2016). The Composition of Food Nutrition Tables (8th ed.). Stuttgart: Scientific Publishing Company Stuttgart.

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