Micronutrients: minerals and trace elements

Micronutrients: minerals and trace elements


  • Iron: Essential for making red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Iron is found in red meat, pulses and green leafy vegetables.

  • Calcium: Required for the healthy development of bones and teeth. Milk and dairy foods are rich in this.

  • Sodium: Although necessary for normal nerve and muscle function, excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Source: table salt and processed foods.

Trace Elements

  • Zinc: Helps the body process the macronutrients - carbohydrates, (proteins and fats) for use by the body cells and is present in foods like whole-grain bread, dairy and red meat.

  • Fluoride: Development of healthy teeth and bones. Sources: Fish, tea.

  • Iodine: Required for the production of thyroid hormones which control the metabolic rate. Sources include fish and dairy products.

It’s important to note that although these nutrients are required in only small amounts, a deficiency can lead to serious health problems.