Glossary: An ever-growing list of nutrition-related terminology.

nutrition Oct 12, 2020
Below is a list of nutrition-related words and their definitions that you may find helpful as you begin your journey. It's in ABC order, just like in grade school. Please refer back to it whenever you need to!

Anti-inflammatory: non inflammatory, inhibiting inflammation.

Antioxidant: a substance (such as vitamin C, ascorbic acid) that hinders oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides, or free radicals.

Bioavailable: the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the body or is made available at the site of physiological activity.

Calorie: a unit of energy in the form of heat.

Cassava: another term for the plant, Manihot esculenta. It is typically cultivated for the dietary qualities of its rooting system known as yuca

Carbohydrate: molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; provide immediate energy and act as a source of stored energy in the body; a component of a balanced diet when in proper ratio with lipids and protein.

Cyanide: a chemical compound with a molecular formula of CN. It can be found as an aqueous solution which becomes volatile when the compound is combined with a hydrogen ion to create hydrogen cyanide. It is toxic by ingestion, inhalation, or contact and subsequent absorption through the skin.

Cyanogen: a chemical compound consisting of two CN groups. It is a volatile, colorless, and toxic compound with a strong odor. It is related in chemical composition to cyanide.

Cytotoxic: having toxic effects on cells; a cytotoxin would negatively impact the metabolic activities of cells and could even cause cell death.

Free-radical: unstable molecules produced as a result of normal metabolic processes in the body; contains an unpaired electron in atomic orbit which contributes to its high reactivity; cause cell damage and the disruption of normal homeostasis in the body.

Lipid: an amphipathic molecule that is classified on its solubility; inclusive of fats (solid at room temperature) and oils (liquid at room temperature) among other biological forms; a component of a balanced diet when in proper ratio with carbohydrates and proteins.

Macronutrient: an element or substance (protein, carbohydrate, lipid, water) required in relatively large amounts to foster the growth and health of a living being.

Metabolism: the sum of all of the chemical processes occurring within a living organism that are required to maintain life.

Micronutrient: an element or substance (vitamin C, calcium) required in relatively minute amounts to foster proper growth and development of a living being.

Oxidative stress: an imbalance in the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to counteract the effects of their production using antioxidant defenses; may contribute to tissue damage.

Oxidative damage: resultant tissue damage due to oxidative stress and the over-presence of free radicals in the body.

Protein: nitrogenous compounds composed of amino acids; contribute to muscle growth and repair in the body; a component of a balanced diet when in proper ratio with lipids and carbohydrates.

Synthesis: the buildup or production of a substance by combining two or more building blocks (elements, molecules, substances)

Vitamin: a classification of substances needed for proper cellular function, growth, and development in the body. There are 13 essential vitamins that must be obtained through the diet:

 They are further categorized as fat-soluble or water-soluble vitamins. 

Yuca: the tuber, or the root, portion of cassava. It is known for its nutty flavor and rich starch content. 

Yucca: an ornamental plant that finds its home throughout the southeastern United States. It is characterized by its spikey pointed leaves. Yucca, unlike cassava, does not have an edible root system.


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