Macro vs Micronutrients

The role of essential nutrients is imperative for development, growth, metabolism, tissue repair, tissue regeneration and physiological functions.

Nutrients are broken up into two main classes, macronutrients and micronutrients. The basic difference between a macronutrient and a micronutrient is the amount of consumption of the nutrient.

Water is another essential element but it isn’t classified under macronutrients or micronutrients, as it does not provide any nutritional value.

Chart showing food sources of various nutrients, each isolated on white. Includes antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, calcium, protein, iron and vitamin C.

Macronutrients are nutrients that we consume in large quantities such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. These nutrients provide energy to the body.


Protein is a nutrient found in meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, seeds and peas. Protein is made up of many amino acids and is a fundamental component for cell growth. It’s main function is to assist the body in repairing tissue, strengthening the immune system and providing energy and nutrients to the brain which regulates neurotransmitter levels and nerve functions.

Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for the body. Carbs are sugars, fibers and starches that become glucose when dissolved. Glucose is converted into energy for the brain, central nervous system and the heart. A few foods that contain good carbs are whole grains, apples, avocados,  bananas, blackberries, blueberries, pears and pineapples.

Fat acts as a backup energy source for the body, carbs being the first. Fat insulates the body’s organs, promotes cell growth and helps the body absorb vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. Good fats are polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in sunflower oil, soybean oil, raw nuts and in fatty fish such as salmon and trout. You want to try to stay away from trans fats and saturated fats.

Water isn’t considered a macronutrient even though it is consumed in large quantities, however it is vital to the human body. Cells, tissue and organs require water to sustain bodily functions and it regulates body temperature through perspiration evaporation. Water is also required for the metabolic process and macronutrients absorption.

Micronutrients are trace dietary components that are essential in small amounts. This class of nutrients include vitamins, minerals and chemical elements such as iron, copper, manganese and zinc, just to name a few.

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