A list of terms used in Feel Fantastic, that may need a little explanation:
Anemia - a condition characterized by a decreased amount of hemoglobin circulating in the cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia (usually due to a diet low in iron) in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low.
Antioxidants - chemical compounds that prevent oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Beta carotene, the mineral selenium and vitamins C and E all act as antioxidants.
Bee pollen - often promoted as “the perfect food”. It has been said to have the ability to make athletes run faster. Bee pollen tends to be expensive due to the way it is harvested. Promoters stress that bee pollen numerous nutrients and has “magical properties”. None of these nutrients offer any magic and fail to provide anything different than what a well balanced diet can provide.
Beta carotene - a nutrient that the body converts to vitamin A. Found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe and carrots and in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, beta carotene may protect against some forms of cancer. It does not have the toxicity of vitamin A.
Blood pressure - the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. It is measured in two ways; systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
Calorie - a measure of the energy released when a food is digested, more accurately called a kilojoule.
Cancer - a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells which can occur in any organ or tissue of the body.
Carbo-loading - an eating regime followed by some athletes that involves comsuming large quantities of carbohydrate several days before an endurance event or long distance competition in order to enhance performance and prevent early exhaustion. There is no evidence that carbo-loading has any benefit for anyone other than highly trained athletes.
Carbohydrates - the sugars and starches in foods. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar (sucrose). Complex carbohydrates (starches) are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes and vegetables like potatoes, squash and corn.
Carcinogen - any subtance capable of causing cancer.
Cardiovascular - pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
Carotenoids - yellow to red pigments (as carotenes) found widely in plants and animals.
Cholesterol - a waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
Cross training - regularly performing more than one aerobic activity to exercise different muscle groups and provide variety. Interchanging jogging with bicycling and swimming is an example of cross training.
Dehydration - a depletion of body fluids that can hinder the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. During exercise, one can become dehydrated if the fluids lost through prespiration are not replaced by drinking water.
Diabetes - a condition characterized by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or to use it properly. The more common type is non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM), also known as Type II or adult-onset, in which the pancreas makes insulin but either the amount is insufficiently released or the body cannot properly utilize what is available. This type of diabetes can often be controlled without insulin injections through other medications, diet and weight management.
Enriched - process whereby nutrients lost during processing are replaced, approximately, by the manufacturers.
Estrogen - one of the female sex hormones produced in the ovaries.
Fats - the body’s most concentrated source of energy, technically termed lipids. All fats found in foods are either in solid or liquid (oil) form. In the body, fat is part of all cell membranes, where it serves as a stored form of energy, helps cushion organs and helps create certain hormones.
Fatty acids - Part of a fat (lipid). Fatty acids are classified as either saturated, trans, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated.
Fiber - the indigestible part of plants. Nutritionists have divided fiber into two basic types - insoluble and soluble. Fiber is resistant to human digestive enzymes and therefore passes through much of the digestive tract virtually unaltered, absorbing water and helping to speed elimination. Some types of fiber can be absorbed by the body which produce various physiological effects, such as inhibiting the production of cholesterol.
Flavonoids - a generic term for a group of compounds in plants which account for the majority of yellow, red and blue pigmentation.
Fortified - these foods contain added vitamins and minerals that were not originally in the foods or were present in small amounts. Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified.
Free radicals - unstable molecules, usually containing oxygen, created by normal chemical processes in the body. Free radicals are most likely an important factor in cancer development.
Ginseng - it is a root which has been claimed to counteract stress, reduce blood cholesterol levels, help control diabetes, exert an antioxidant effect that can prevent cancer and act as a mild aphrodisiac. These claims are being promoted by many health foodstores but scientific evidence has not supported these claims in controlled research studies.
Gram - the metric unit of weight measurement equivalent to 1/1000 of a kilogram. One ounce is equal to 28.35 grams. A paper clip weighs about a gram.
HDL(high-density lipoprotein) - a transporter of cholesterol from the tissues to the liver to be broken down and excreted. Often called the “good” cholesterol.
Hypertension - high blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.
Insoluble fiber - a type of dietary fibre that absorbs many times its weight in water and swells up in the intestine. Found primarily in whole grains as well as in vegetables, in the peels of fruits and on the outside of seeds and legumes. By increasing stool bulk, insoluble fiber plays a significant role in promoting efficient waste elimination from the colon and may help prevent colon cancer.
Legumes - a family of plants whose seeds are in pods (e.g., beans, peas, lentils and peanuts). Most legumes are low in fat, and high in protein, minerals and fiber.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) - Also known as the “bad” cholesterol; at an elevated level is strongly linked to heart disease risk.
Metabolism - the sum total of the chemical reactions in the body that are necessary to sustain life. All metabolic processes are driven by energy derived from the major nutrients in foods.
Minerals - inorganic substances that are found in the human body. Humans constantly replenish their mineral supply with food and water. Minerals are crucial in a wide variety of bodily functions, including enzyme synthesis, regulation of the heart rhythm, bone formation and digestion.
Monounsaturated fats - fats found primarily in olive oil and canola oil
Omega-3 fatty acids - a unique group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil and some seeds (such as linseed oil). Omega-3s in fish oil significantly reduce blood clotting. They make platelets less likely to stick together and to blood vessels, thus lessening the chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Osteoporosis - a disease in which bone tissue becomes porous and brittle. The disease primarily affects postmenopausal women.
Oxalate - a salt of oxalic acid. When joined with calcium in the body it forms insoluble salts which can hinder iron absorption from food. Oxalic acid is fond in such vegetables as spinach, chard and rhubarb.
Placebo - a medication, often used in research, that contains no active ingredients.
Saturated fatty acids (saturated fats) - fats which are solid at room temperature, come chiefly from animal sources (such as beef, butter, whole-milk dairy products, dark meat poultry and poultry skin) as well as tropical vegetable oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel). Saturated fatty acids in the diet are the chief contributors to elevated blood cholesterol levels.
Phytates - group of complexes which can inhibit iron absorption, in varying degrees. Phytates are found whole grains and soybeans.
Polyunsaturated fats - help lower blood cholesterol. They contain essential fatty acids and are found in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean.