Nutrition Intelligence – Glossary – Antioxidants, Vitamins, Phytochemicals

Glossary of Terms you may find useful. Got something you can add? Just post a comment with the details.

A

Antioxidants Group of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phyto-nutrients, phyto-chemicals) which help protect your body from free radicals (caused by normal body functions, aging, pollutants, pesticides, antibiotic use and other factors).

Adaptogen – That which helps boost, balance and normalize functions in your body.

B

Bioflavanoids – Sometimes referred to as Vitamin P, these help to enhance the absorption of Vitamin C. The human body does not produce these so they must be supplied by your diet. They help to promote circulation, stimulate bile production, and act with Vitamin C to preserve and protect the structure of capillary blood vessels.

D

Demulcent – Helps to soothe and relieve internal inflammation.

E

Emollient – Helps to soothe and soften inflamed tissue

F

Free Radicals – A single or group of unstable molecules/atoms that can cause damage to cells, leading to breakdown and disease. Visualize and apple – when you cut it and leave the cut surface exposed to air.It turns brown, almost like it’s rusting. Oxidization has occurred. In a similar way unstable oxygen molecules in your body are the free radicals that cause your unprotected organs to “rust” and breakdown.

P

Phytochemicals – Literally meaning “plant chemicals”, phytochemicals are protective food factors derived from a variety of plant sources. Phtyochemicals have powerful health benefits. Whenever there is plant life, phytochemicals protect plants from attack by their enemies in the environment, like bacteria, viruses, radiation and insects. Research is now showing that we can benefit from these life-sustaining qualities as well. Good news for us. Plants have been in existence much longer than man and know much more about survival. Research indicates that phytochemicals can provide protection against some types of cancer.

T

Tonic – A product that is strengthening and invigorating.

V

Vitamins really deserve there own glossary! Vitamins are organic chemicals that are necessary for growth, metabolism, and overall health and well-being. Vitamins originate in food, and are categorized as either fat soluble (meaning they can be stored in the body for long periods of time) OR water soluble (these pass easily through our bodies, cannot be stored, must be replenished daily).

Vitamin A – Also known as Beta Carotene, a fat-soluble vitamin essential for cell growth, development, reproduction, and immunity. It is stored primarily in the liver and is considered one of the most potent antioxidants.

Vitamin B1 – Also known as Thiamine, a water-soluble vitamin, beneficial to the nervous system. It helps to convert blood sugar (glucose) into energy.

Vitamin B2 – Also known as Riboflavin, a water-soluble vitamin which helps with energy production. It must be replaced constantly. It is the most common deficiency.

Vitamin B3 – Also known as Niacin, a water-soluble vitamin, a major player against heart disease. It helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Vitamin B6 – Also known as Pyridoxine, this water-soluble vitamin goes through the body in only 8 hours. It is needed for red-blood cell production and cellular growth. It also plays a key role in the immune system and antibody production.

Vitamin B12 – Also known as Cyanocobalamin, a water-soluble vitamin known for its energizing capabilities. It is essential for nerve tissue, promotes growth, memory and regenerates red blood cells.

Vitamin B15 – Also known as Pantothenic Acid, this water-soluble vitamin helps protect against cardiovascular disease as ell as helping with symptoms of arthritis. It helps encourage healing, protects the liver and immune system.

Biotin -This water-soluble vitamin is essential for the metabolism of vitamin C, fat and protein. It helps with healthy hair, skin and nails.

Vitamin C – This water-soluble vitamin is essential for formation of collagen (exists between cells to hold tissue together). It is necessary for growth and integrity of bones, blood vessels, teeth and gums. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and has many powerful properties; anti-cancer, prevention of blood clots.

Vitamin D – This is a fat-soluble vitamin that the skin can produce on its own when exposed to direct sunlight. In only 15 minutes a day, your body can manufacture all it needs. It is not very abundant in food, and is stored in the liver for future use.

Vitamin E – This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in many places; the heart, liver, reproductive organs, fatty tissue, and muscles. It basically works for the nervous system. It is a potent antioxidant, and helps to combat heart disease, by keeping good cholesterol (HDL) high, blood thin and blood pressure low.