Amino acids are crucial to the body’s ability to store protein. There are 20 amino acids and the human body produces 10 of those naturally. We must obtain the other 10 through what we eat. By eating foods that are rich in amino acids, we help our body use protein to develop muscles, heal wounds, and function well overall.
A free radical is a weak molecule in the body that in attempts to strengthen itself only weaken the molecules around it — called “oxidation”, which can lead to various health complications. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation (hence the name) by strengthening the free radicals without becoming weaker.
There are eight distinct vitamins in that fall under the name “B Vitamins,” and all are essential to the health of our cells and their ability to process the fuel that we when we eat.
- B1 Thiamine
- B2 Riboflavin
- B3 Niacin
- B5 Pantothenic Acid
- B6 Pyridoxine
- B7 Biotin
- B9 Folate
- B12 Cobalamin
Boron is a chemical element. Studies have shown that it can help the body retain calcium and activate Vitamin D.
Also referred to as blood sugar levels, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose levels. Our blood sugar levels vary throughout the day but a healthy body maintains a tight regulation on those levels so that they’re never too high or too low, which can lead to health issues.
Carbohydrates are a molecule found in food. They are an important part of our diet because when consumed, the body uses carbohydrates to produce energy. Sometimes carbohydrates are split into two categories: simple and complex, however there are blurred lines between the two. Generally, simple carbohydrates contain only one or two sugars and are processed more quickly than complex carbohydrates which contain multiple sugars. Neither is necessarily “better” than the other; they’re just different.
Casein (Alpha S1 casein/Alpha S2 casein):
Casein is a type of protein that is most often found in milk. A1 and A2 are two different variants of this protein and people react differently to each.
Cholesterol (LDL, HDL):
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance created by the body. We also ingest it from the foods we eat — primarily animal products. It is essential to the production of hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help us digest food. It is crucial to our health. But when our cholesterol levels are imbalanced, there can be consequences.
(Low-Density Lipoprotein) is considered “bad” because it contributes to the buildup of “plaque,” which can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks or strokes.
(High-Density Lipoprotein) is considered “good” because it helps to remove plaque from the arteries.
- Calcium: Calcium strengthens our bones and teeth.
- Chloride: Chloride plays an important role in digestion because it is a necessary ingredient in our stomach acid that we use to digest food.
- Chromium: Chromium helps the body store and process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, thereby regulating energy levels.
- Copper: Copper is crucial to the health of our organs and our immune system.
- Fluoride: Fluoride promotes bone growth and protects our bones and teeth from weakening
On a chemical level, enzymes create a reaction. This is important because it helps cells send signals throughout the body and because it creates movement, like muscle contraction. They are also crucial to digestion by helping the body break down food.
When something is termed “essential” in the context of nutrition, it means that it is something the human body requires in order to function healthily and properly but that it is not something created naturally in the body. Instead, we have to get it from the foods we eat.
Fatty acids can be either saturated or unsaturated and when metabolized they produce high levels of energy.
Fiber helps regulate and facilitate bowel movements by improving digestion.
Gluten is a group of proteins found it certain types of grains, including wheat.
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods are digested and absorbed slowly, producing gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels.
When people refer to healthy fats they usually mean unsaturated fat fats: polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. (Technically the difference between these two is that polyunsaturated fats have two or more carbon double bonds whereas monounsaturated fats only have one.) These fats help raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Omega-3 fatty acids are a polyunsaturated fat.
Iodine is important because it helps our thyroid function properly. The thyroid (or thyroid gland) releases hormones that are crucial to our metabolic processes and our cardiovascular system.
Iron carries oxygen throughout our blood system.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk.
Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid that has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps the body turn fat into energy and to absorb calcium, contributing to healthy bones.
Magnesium is essential to healthy functioning muscles, heart, and blood pressure. It also helps other minerals do their job efficiently.
Manganese produces antioxidants and enzymes in the body that help control metabolism and the nervous system. It is also important in the growth and strengthening of bones.
Metabolic processes generally mean the process of turning food and nutrients into energy that the body can use to function.
Molybdenum: The most important role that Molybdenum plays in the human body is that it helps to break down sulfites that are found in certain proteins and preserved foods to prevent the buildup of toxins that can result.
See “Healthy Fats.”
Nickel helps the body absorb the iron it needs. In doing so it prevents diseases associated with low iron levels (like anemia) and helps strengthen bones.
Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that has been associated with the lowering of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid. They are a polyunsaturated fat and are crucial to healthy brain function. They also help fight inflammation and lower blood pressure.
Omega-6 fatty acids:
Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid. They are polyunsaturated fat and are crucial to healthy brain function, bone health, and metabolism. Some omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation, but not all. It’s important to have a balanced diet of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Pasteurization is a process of heating liquid to kill unsafe bacteria.
Phosphorous helps us grow strong bones and teeth and is important to the metabolic process of turning food and nutrients into energy.
Polyphenols are a category of antioxidants referring to chemicals that are found in plants.
See “Healthy Fats.”
Potassium’s most important role is to carry nutrients to cells throughout the body.
Probiotics are microorganisms that help the body maintain healthy flora in the gut which in turn help with digestion.
Protein is a nutrient commonly found in animal product that is crucial in helping muscle growth and strength.
Saturated fats tend to increase total cholesterol and LDL
Selenium is an antioxidant that in addition to fighting free radicals also helps the thyroid gland function properly.
Sodium works in sync with Potassium to deliver nutrients to cells throughout the body, helping keep cells clean, healthy, and regulate.
Vitamin C is plays an important role in the body’s ability to grow and repair tissue. It is also an antioxidant that can protect the body from free radicals. It is said that it helps boost the immune system and can help cure the common cold but this has not been proven.
Vitamin D is crucial to strong bones because it helps the body absorb calcium.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and so protects the body from free radicals. It also helps the immune system functioning healthily.
Vitamin K is important because it helps keep our bones healthy and strong and helps repair wounds.
Zinc boosts our immune system.