Nutrient measurement becomes necessary, especially when you are in a deficit of a particular nutrient and want to make sure you get the right amounts according to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). For example, you want to make sure you get the RDA of calcium, i.e. 1000mg per day. This amount of calcium is necessary to sustain healthy bone and kidney function. But how do you calculate it?
Calculating Micronutrient Content
It is simple – you can refer to the total micronutrient amount in one serving of each food group. You may also use apps such as My Fitness Pal or Cronometer to find out how many micronutrients each type of food has. I personally prefer Cronometer as it has more detailed information on the food, but My Fitness Pal links easier to other health apps.
In this situation, for example, you might want to calculate how much calcium you would get from a glass of milk. It is a fact that a full glass of whole milk contains approximately 300 mg of calcium, which is 30% of the Daily Value.
Now, if you want to calculate the amount of calcium from a glass of oat milk which may differ per brand, so you need to see the serving size stated in the nutrition fact panel and check for the total amount of calcium in that serving size. In most cases, the amount of calcium in a dairy product will be stated in the form of a Daily Value percentage on the nutrition fact panel.
Here, in this case, you might get a Daily Value of 30% in front of the calcium amount in the packaged container. This will be equal to 240 mg of calcium in the glass, which is 1/4th of your daily calcium needs.
Nutrition Fact Labels
This is just one example that helps to show you how micronutrient quantities are calculated in the simplest ways. The same concept applies to calculating other minerals and vitamins present in the product.
As you can see, checking nutrition fact panels and then comparing the Daily Values to the reference range by RDA’s of different micronutrients is the simplest way to measure micronutrients in one food item. If you refer to the average micronutrient amounts in set serving sizes, you will be able to get a rough idea about the micronutrient content as well.