Nutritional Glossary

Nutritional Glossary

This glossary will provide you with the definitions with some of the major terms involved in nutrition. You may consult this resource for basic information on each term or use it as a way to make sure that you understand terms used in other locations on this website.

  • Amino Acids: The building blocks of proteins. These are some of the most important chemicals present in your body. Often referred to as the acids of life.
  • Anti-oxidants: Nutrients that assist the body in the removal of free radicals from the body. The presence of a large number of free radicals can cause cell damage.
  • Body Mass Index: A way of calculating the overall health of a person by using the ratio of weight to height. A normal B.M.I is 18.5-24.9 for many adults.
  • Calcium: This mineral is found in almost every part of your body. While 99% is located in your bones and teeth, the remaining 1% is located in other tissues. It is apparent that calcium is vital in the proper construction of your skeleton and is an excellent remedy for insomnia.
  • Calorie: The most common unit of measurement for bodily energy. The standard definition of a calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one cubic centimeter of h2o by one degree.
  • Cholesterol: A waxy substance that is found in most parts of the body. As it is present in the blood stream, it combines with fatty acis to increase good (HDL) or bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
  • Copper: Much like calcium, copper is responsible for the proper growth of bones. Once these bones are fully grown, copper also acts as a strengthening agent to prevent breaks and osteoporosis. Copper is also known to have an important role in the creation of collagen.
  • Daily Value: Reference values that are present on all recent United States Nutrition labels. These numbers are designed to be applicable to the most people possible by computing information based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
  • Dietary Fiber: Present mostly in the thick cell walls of plants. Fiber is unable to be digested by your body. Fiber typically comes in 2 different types that are water soluble and insoluble.
  • Fatty Acid: Only a few dozen fatty acids are common in normal foods. These are chemicals that make up the larger nutrient, fat.
  • Iodine: This mineral is almost always found in table salt and is mostly stored in the thyroid gland where it aids in the production of compounds that are needed by almost every process in the body. It is also commonly used as an antiseptic.
  • Iron: This mineral’s primary purpose is to aid in the transportation of oxygen by the red blood cells in your blood stream. Iron also acts as a temperature regulator for your body and aids in metabolism processes.
  • Lipid: A term used to denote water insoluble materials.
  • Lysine: This amino acid is one of the major components of the construction of strong muscles and the repair of damaged tissue. It has also been shown to be helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Magnesium: This mineral is very important in the regulation of heart beat and the reduction of blood pressure. In addition, this mineral can also act as a blood diluter by removing excess acid from the blood stream.
  • Manganese: This mineral is a powerful anti-oxidant that also acts as one of the primary agents for the healing of damaged tissue and the proper development of skeletal structures. It is important to note that larger amounts of manganese are necessary when serious tissue damage is suffered in order to properly replace spent collagen.
  • Microgram: One millionth of a gram.
  • Milligram: One thousandth of a gram.
  • Niacin: This vitamin is vital to increased blood flow and a strong central nervous system. In addition, large amounts of this vitamin have been known to contribute to healthy skin.
  • Phosphorus: This mineral is closely related to calcium in that it performs essentially the same function. Interestingly, this mineral is known to be almost always present in processed snack foods.
  • Potassium: This mineral is an electrolyte that aids in the electric signals that are sent from cell to cell to give your body instructions. In addition, this mineral is also valuable in the reduction or prevention of cramps and the conversion of glucose into the far more valuable glycogen.
  • Protein: Made up of amino acids, this major compound is readily found in many food. These nutrients act to transport oxygen and waste around the body.
  • Retinol: This powerful anti-oxidant is very closely related to Carotene. Its primary functions are to enhance the skin and strengthen the immune system. In addition, this vitamin has also been known to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol.
  • Riboflavin: This water soluble vitamin aids the body in the production of red blood cells and is an integral component in cell respiration and growth. As this vitamin is present in many of the foods that most people eat, deficiencies are usually rare.
  • Saturated Fat: A type of fat that has no double bonds between atoms of carbon. These fats are almost always present as a solid at room temperature.
  • Selenium: This mineral is an anti-oxidant that is very effective at removing free radicals from the body. Selenium also is very important to the health of cell membranes. Not only does selenium keep the pancreas and thyroid gland functioning properly, it also has been known to treat dandruff.
  • Thiamin: This water soluble vitamin is essential for the breaking down of carbohydrates, proteins and fats within the body. It also makes sure that the central nervous system and cardiovascular system are in good working order.
  • Unsaturated Fat: A type of fat that has at least one double bond between the atoms of carbon. These fats are almost always present as a liquid at room temperature.
  • Zinc: This mineral is present in almost every cell of your body. In fact, over 100 enzymes are stimulated by the presence of zinc. Deficiencies of zinc have been known to greatly diminish or even prevent a person from activating their senses of smell and taste.

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