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Natural Miracles:
What Functional Foods Can Do for You?

(Released October 2007)

 
  by Leila Kiani  

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Glossary

Anthocyanins: Water-soluble vacuolar flavonoid pigments that appear red to blue, according to pH. They are synthesized by organisms of the plant kingdom and bacteria, and have been observed to occur in all tissues of higher plants, providing color in leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits.
Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthocyanin

Anticoagulant: A substance that prevents the clotting of blood.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Anticoagulant

anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/anti-inflammatory

Antioxidant: A substance, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene, thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/antioxidant

Bioavailability: The physiological availability of a given amount of a drug, as distinct from its chemical potency.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Bioavailability

Carotenoids: A class of natural fat-soluble pigments found principally in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, where they play a critical role in the photosynthetic process. They also occur in some non-photosynthetic bacteria, yeasts, and molds, where they may carry out a protective function against damage by light and oxygen. Although animals appear to be incapable of synthesizing carotenoids, many animals incorporate carotenoids from their diet. Within animals, carotenoids provide bright coloration, serve as antioxidants, and can be a source for vitamin A activity
Source: http://www.astaxanthin.org/carotenoids.htm

Flavonoids: Polyphenolic compounds that are ubiquitous in nature and are categorized, according to chemical structure, into flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, catechins, anthocyanidins and chalcones. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified, many of which occur in fruits, vegetables and beverages (tea, coffee, beer, wine and fruit drinks). The flavonoids have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential beneficial effects on human health-they have been reported to have antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant activities.
Source: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/f-w00/flavonoid.html

Fortified foods: Food with vitamins or minerals added in addition to the levels that were originally found before the food was refined. When foods are fortified, they will have more vitamins and minerals after they are refined than they did before they are refined.
Source: http://www.mamashealth.com/nutrition/enrich.asp

Functional Foods: Foods or dietary components that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. You can take greater control of your health through the food choices you make, knowing that some foods can provide specific health benefits.
Source: http://www.ific.org/nutrition/functional/index.cfm

Glucosinolates: Compounds that generally consist of a sugar entity, b-D-thioglucose, with an ester bond to an organic aglycone that is an alkyl group yielding isothiocyanate, nitrile, thiocyanate or a similar compound upon hydrolysis. These compounds often contribute a bitter, "hot" taste to condiments (mustard, horseradish) and may exhibit goitrogenic or antithyroid activity.
Source: http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/glucosin.html

Immune System: The integrated body system of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products that differentiates self from nonself and neutralizes potentially pathogenic organisms or substances.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/immune+system

Isothiocyanates: Sulphur-containing phytochemicals with the general formula R-NCS. Different molecules belong to this group, such as The isothiocyanates with the stongest anticancer effects are phenylethylisothiocyanate, benzylisothiocyanate and 3-phenylpropylisothiocyanate. Isothiocyanates occur naturally as glucosinolate conjugates in cruciferous vegetables. Isothiocyanates are also responsible for the typical flavour of these vegetables.
Source: http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/isothiocyanates.php

Lutein: A carotenoid, meaning a natural colorant or pigment, found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, plus various fruits and corn. Egg yolks are also sources of lutein. Lutein provides nutritional support to our eyes and skin - the only organs of the body directly exposed to the outside environment. Lutein has been linked to promoting healthy eyes through reducing the risk of macular degeneration. Other studies suggest that a mixture of nutrients, including lutein, may provide supplemental antioxidant capacity to the skin, helping counteract free radical damage.
Source: http://www.luteininfo.com/about

Osteoporosis: A disease characterized by decrease in bone mass and density, occurring especially in postmenopausal women, resulting in a predisposition to fractures and bone deformities such as vertebral collapse.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Osteoporosis

Phytochemicals: A nonnutritive bioactive plant substance, such as a flavonoid or carotenoid, considered to have a beneficial effect on human health.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Phytochemicals

Polyphenols: The most abundant antioxidants in the diet. Their total dietary intake could be as high as 1 g/d, which is much higher than that of all other classes of phytochemicals and known dietary antioxidants. For perspective, this is 10 times higher than the intake of vitamin C and 100 times higher that the intakes of vitamin E and carotenoids
Source: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/81/1/215S

Stem cells: An unspecialized cell that gives rise to a specific specialized cell, such as a blood cell.
Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Stem+cells

Zeaxanthin: Belongs to the xanthophyll class of carotenoids, also known as oxycarotenoids. The xanthophylls, which in addition to lutein and zeaxanthin, include alpha-and beta-cryptoxanthin, contain hydroxyl groups. This makes them more polar than carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lycopene, which do not contain oxygen. Although lutein and zeaxanthin have identical chemical formulas and are isomers, they are not stereoisomers, as is sometimes believed.
Source: http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lut_0164.shtml