Micronutrients can be tested through PFC-MVP (Personal Food Computer-Minimal Viable Product), a new way to look at our nutrition and mnemonic for organizing the clinical findings revealed in a functional nutrition evaluation to guide a nutrition intervention. PFC-MVP provides a way to capture nutrition-oriented clinical exam findings, laboratory results, and dietary concerns identified by diet, nutrition, and lifestyle review in a systematic way. The nutrition evaluation process identifies concerns with the macronutrients—protein, fats, and carbohydrates—and the micronutrients—minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.
- Protein: macromolecules made up of chains of amino acids that constitute the majority of structural tissue and are involved in almost every function of the body. High-quality proteins of any kind are the best choice. This includes lean, grass-fed, organic, non-GMO animal products; and organic, non-GMO plant sources.
- Fats: macromolecules that are insoluble in water. They are chemically described as saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Good quality fats are essential for maintaining healthy cell membranes, providing energy, and modulating inflammation.
- Carbohydrates: macromolecules that make up four groups: monosaccharaides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Carbohydrates serve as a primary energy source, promote proper gastrointestinal functioning, and aid in the elimination of toxins and waste products.
- Minerals: inorganic nutrients found in foods that are essential for growth and health. There are two categories of minerals—macrominerals and microminerals (also known as trace minerals). Macrominerals are required by the body in large amounts. These minerals include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The body requires only small amounts of microminerals. These include cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
- Vitamins: compounds found in food that are needed for growth and health maintenance. Some vitamins are classified as fat-soluble at soluble vitamins; these are Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Other vitamins are water-soluble; these include Vitamin C and the vitamin B complex: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenate (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12).
- Phytonutrients: natural compounds and components of plants that lend color and taste and help promote health by multiple mechanisms. These mechanisms include stimulating enzymes that help the body get rid of toxins, boosting the immune system, promoting healthy hormone levels, etc. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, spices, herbs, nuts, seeds, and teas all provide powerful phytonutrients. These phytonutrients come in all colors—green, yellow, orange, red, blue-purple, white, brown, and black.