Know the Lingo

Mineral – A chemical element needed for the health and maintenance of your body.  Helps build body tissue such as bone and regulates vital functions like heartbeat.  Sodium and potassium are examples of minerals.

Vitamin – A compound needed to help sustain life; vitamins do an enormous list of activities like preventing sickness, aiding in the body’s processing of other nutrients and helping all of the body’s organs work efficiently.

Macro-nutrient – These are nutrients that supply the body with energy in the form of calories.  The three macro-nutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein.  Alcohol also provides calories and is considered a forth macro-nutrient (of far inferior nutritional quality).

Micro-nutrient – These are non-calorie providing nutrients, which are needed in small amounts everyday (vitamins and minerals are examples).  They allow the body to produce substances needed for growth and development.

Antioxidant – A molecule that helps stop cell damage caused by toxins.  Fruits, veggies and whole grains contain high levels of antioxidants (vitamin C is an example).

Phytochemical – Natural substances found in plants that protect your body against some cancers and heart disease (broccoli and blueberries are high in these).

Published by Anna Bullett, MS, RD, on July 25th, 2011 at 9:00 am. Filled under: Antioxidant,Diet,Health,Minerals,nutrition,VitaminsNo Comments

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