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Nutrition Jargon

Posted by Metropolis Fitness
Metropolis Fitness
Metropolis fitness and Spa are passionate about health and fitness for all.
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on Saturday, 02 March 2013 in Fitness Updates

Health and fitness is a buzzing topic these days. More and more people are getting interested in taking care of their bodies to keep pace with the challenging world and to live a happier, healthier life. There is an endless stream of information on different topics and with that comes many words that are not easily understood and very often misunderstood by many.

Here are some commonly used words related to fitness and health that appear quite often in media.

• Free radicals: Free radicals are molecules that are unstable and can attach to oxygen. When there is pair of electrons around the nucleus, the molecules are stable. They become unstable when the number of electrons is odd. This can happen in the presence of cosmic rays like pollution, sunlight, rancid fats, unhealthy oils, heavy metals exposure, etc. These unstable molecules take electrons from another molecule, leading to a chain reaction, called uncontrolled oxidation. This damages the cells. 

• Antioxidants: These are nutrients that neutralize the free radicals and protect the body from damage that can be done by oxidation. Vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, selenium, riboflavin, etc. act as antioxidants. Adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables ensures antioxidants in your body.

• Trans Fatty Acids: Fatty acids are those that are heated above 160 degrees F. These change their behaviour in human metabolism. Some become toxic as free radicals while others compete with good fats – essential fatty acids. This upsets the production of good hormones and causes inflammation and fat metabolism. Margarine, cheap vegetable oils, deep fried products are all trans fatty acids that should be avoided at all costs.

• Homocysteine: Homocysteine results from one of the essential amino acids, methionine. This is very important for the metabolic chain. However, high concentration of such acids is harmful. Deficiency of Vitamin B-6 results in the excess build-up of homocysteine. The remedy for this is to eat adequate amount of B complex.

• Folic Acid: Folic acid occurs in very less foods. It is available in 11 of 14 B complex supplements. Vitamin B is essential for the development of a normal foetus. So, you must include folic acid in your diet.

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