***All terms are arranged in alphabetical orders.***
Adrenal glands (aka suprarenal glands) are the star-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys (see right). They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines, including cortisol and adrenaline. Failure in adrenal glands can cause Addison's disease which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in abundance in flaxseeds. It is essential to your health but which your body cannot synthesize, hence you can only obtain it via dietary intake. Although your body cannot produce ALA, it can metabolize ALA into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which your body needs for enhancing health.
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients (such as vitamin C, vitamin E and enzymes etc) that protects your body against oxidative damage caused by free radicals during an oxidation reaction.
Arteries are blood vessels (with muscular walls) that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to other parts of the body.
Atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries caused by formation of plaque on the arterial walls due to an onset of injury that in turn triggers inflammation. When inflammation persists, plaque begins to form on the arterial wall. The thicker the plaque forms, the lower the elasticity of the artery.
Atom is the smallest particle in the world. It contains protons, neutrons and electrons. Electrons are mobile while protons and neutrons are static. When chemical reaction takes place, electrons will transfer from one atom to another. A single atom measures about 0.0000001 millimeter across. You can't see it using an ordinary microscope. All matters are made up of atoms, including air.
Cardiovascular disease refers to medical problem associated with heart and blood vessels (arteries and veins). For example, heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis etc are classified under cardiovascular diseases.
Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene are a precursor to vitamin A, a pigment essential for good vision.
Cholesterols are fatty substances that are needed in the body to repair damaged cells and tissues. So actually, cholesterol is beneficial to your health. But over ingestion of food high in cholesterol may produce health-reversal effect.
Many people still possess the notion that cholesterol is bad for health, so they usually go for low- or no-cholesterol type of food which I do not encourage. Eat wisely rather than eliminating the cholesterol altogether in your diet.
Congeners are the secondary products or substances produced from alcohol fermentation that give the characteristic smell and taste for a particular alcoholic beverage. In other words, it is due to these congeners that allow people to differentiate among various alcoholic drinks.
Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory disease of the digestive system that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea (with some blood in the stool), abdominal pain, vomiting or weight loss. Crohn's disease can also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis, and inflammation of the eye.
Diabetic Neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes where nerves are damaged as a result of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). As such, diabetics will normally feel tingling and pain in the feet and toes.
Eczema (aka dermatitis) is a common allergic condition that affects the skin.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are nutrients that our bodies cannot self-produce. They can only be obtained through food consumption. And because they're essential for our health, that's why the name.
Estrogen is a hormone or chemical substance produced in both men and women although sometimes it's been mistakenly referred to as exclusively female hormones.
Enzymes are substances which help to speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions in the human body. There are essentially 2 types of enzymes that a body produces, one is metabolic, the other is digestive.
Metabolic Enzymes are responsible for the repair of every cell and for the structuring and remodeling of every cell. In this topic, metabolic enzymes help to speed up the conversion of essential fatty acids for our body use.
Digestive Enzymes help to break down the foods we eat into smaller molecules so that our bodies can easily absorb the nutrients for normal body functions.
Free Radical is technically a renegade atom or molecule which has lost an electron from its pairing in its outer shell. When it falls short of one electron, the unstable atom or molecule will quickly attack and steal an electron from a neighboring atom or molecule so as to fulfill its electron pairing craving.
Now this second atom or molecule becomes unstable and it'll repeat what the first particle has done to it and attack other atoms or molecules nearby, leading to a chain reaction.
Free radicals can cause oxidation and oxidation can also result in the formation of free radicals, forming a viscious cycle.
Free radicals can be deadly. They are everywhere, including inside the human body. Aging and degeneration of organs and tissues are basically caused by free radicals attack at the healthy cells. Recent researches have shown that the more free radicals in your body, the shorter will be your life span. The only way to stop free radical attacks is eating more foods rich in antioxidants - nemesis for free radicals.
Glycemic (also glycaemic) simply means glucose in the blood. Carbohydrate is the main cause for the rise and fall of blood glucose level. Hence, the glycemic index, or GI, attempts to measure the ability of carbohydrate to raise your blood glucose level, relative to pure glucose. (Pure glucose is used because it gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream rapidly, thereby causing a simultaneous increase in blood glucose level.)
The GI scale ranks from 0 to 100, where pure glucose is given a ranking of 100. A food with high GI value contains carbs that are broken down into glucose and absorbed more quickly than those in a food with low GI value.
Glycemic load gives an estimate of the overall glycemic impact of a typical serving of food by multiplying the GI value of food (expressed as percentage) by the available carbs in that serving (see below).
|GI Value||Carb per Serving (grams)||Glycemic Load|
What does the table tell you? It means you should choose food with low GI and low carbohydrate content. Period.
Hyperinsulinemia (Syndrome X) is a situation where insulin level in bloodstream become too high for comfort, usually caused by insulin resistance.
Insulin, a fat storing hormone produced by pancreas, has the primary duty of controlling blood sugar by facilitating the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream to muscle, liver and fat cells. When the cells no longer respond to the insulin as they should, it's known as insulin resistance. And the pancreas responds by producing more insulin in an attempt to overcome the insulin resistance, leading to hyperinsulinemia.
Lipids are generally fats. And there are essentially 3 types of dietary fats that your body needs:
Saturated Fat — consists of a chain of carbon atoms (denoted by 'C') fully attached with hydrogen atoms (denoted by 'H').'O' means oxygen atom.
Monounsaturated Fat — similar to saturated fat structure except for a missing pair of hydrogen atoms. The missing hydrogen pair will cause the 2 neighboring carbon atoms to bond with each other via a double bond. A single bond between carbon atoms is stronger than a double bond. Hence the double bonding between carbon atoms indicates its vulnerability to external attack and will readily react with other atoms that come into contact with it.
Polyunsaturated Fat — similar to monounsaturated fat except that it lacks 2 or more pairs of hydrogen atoms in the chain. 'Poly' means many. Since there could occur 2 or more double bonding, this type of fat is very unstable and thus, highly susceptible to oxidative damage.
Lipoprotein is a chemical compound that contains both proteins and lipids. It comprises 5 major groups namely chylomicrons, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Of the 5, LDL and HDL are being heard of the most since they're closely associated with the onset of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of lipoprotein in your blood that transports triglycerides and cholesterols to help repair damaged cells and tissues. People commonly call it the "bad" cholesterol because LDL raises the risk for atherosclerosis that can in turn lead to heart disease and stroke.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is another type of lipoprotein in your blood that is hypothetically capable of removing oxidized LDL particle off the artery to prevent atherosclerosis. Therefore it's sometimes being called the "good" cholesterol.
Macular Degeneration is the deterioration of vision in the macular (see right) caused by retinal damage. This medical condition usually happens to older adults who are 50 years old and above. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts calories from your food intake or fat deposits into energy. Faster metabolism (or metabolic rate) burns more calories, thus achieving weight loss effect.
Molecule forms when 2 or more atoms are bond together via chemical reaction. For example, a water molecule is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance (element or compound) gets in contact with oxygen or loses hydrogen / electron.
In health context, oxidation is bad for your body because it can alter the healthful characteristics of some good substances in the body and turn them into villains that cause harmful effect. That's why in your diet, you should eat foods that carry high content of antioxidants to combat the damage caused by oxidative effect. Take note though, oxidation is different from oxygenation.
Oxygenation is the process in which continual intake and production of oxygens are supplied to help the body function normally. But oxygen molecules in your body can react with other substances (i.e. oxidation) to form free radicals that may damage your health. That's why antioxidants are needed in your body to help fight and control this oxidative activity.
Polyphenols are natural chemical compounds found in plants. They may possess antioxidant characteristic that can help prevent free radical attack and oxidative damage.
Proteins are organic compounds made of strings of amino acids joined by peptide bonds to form chains. They help to build bones, move muscles and repair tissues in your body.
Psoriasis is a common and chronic skin disease which results in raised red skin with thick silvery scales.
Phytochemicals are chemical compounds derived from plants that are beneficial to people.
Phytonutrients are health-promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and others which are derived from plants.
Rhinovirus, the most common virus for common cold, is usually transmitted through direct contact with an infected surface. The only way to deal with common cold is to strengthen your immune system. Your first line of defence is to prevent the virus from entering your body. If your immune system weakens due to lack of sleep, poor nutrition, lack of exercise or stress, and being attacked by rhinovirus, then your immune system must be able to create antibodies to fight the virus.
Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) is a brainwave which is of similar frequency to beta wave. It governs body sensations and voluntary movement. An increase in SMR can help those with learning disabilities, epilepsy, autism, ADHD and chronic insomnia.
Sleep Apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing, or your breathing slows down during sleep for 10 seconds or longer. Depending on the frequency the breathing stops (apnea) or slows (hypopnea), we classify the condition as mild, moderate or severe.
When you suffer from sleep apnea, most likely you'll snore loudly, and complain of restless sleep with difficulty in breathing. As a result, you'll probably wake up with a headache and tiredness which last the whole day. However, you can cure your sleep apnea completely once you stop your snoring problem.
Triglycerides are common fatty materials that circulate in the blood. A triglyceride molecule is made up of 3 fatty acid molecules linking together with the help of a single glycerol molecule (see right). You can consider the glycerol molecule as the backbone for the triglyceride.
The type of fat that hangs on your arms, looks like jelly on your thighs and makes your tummy look like as if you're already pregnant for 7 months, is composed mainly of triglycerides.
Ulcerative Colitis is an incurable disease that affects the lining of the rectum and colon by creating mild to severe inflammation and sometimes resulting in ulceration (the process of being eroded away, as by an ulcer) of these areas. The causes for such disease could be due to bacterial or viral infection. It could also be genetic.