A-Z to Healthy Living
Folate is a B-vitamin that occurs naturally in green leafy vegetables, in fruits like bananas and oranges and also in legumes and peanuts. It is also added in breakfast cereals. Folate is required by the body for proper cell development. An adequate intake of folate pre-pregnancy and during the first three months helps to reduce the risk of foetal neural tube defects.
Fat is an essential macro nutrient used by the body for functions like insulation, protecting organs, as a storehouse of energy and to supply fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). The types of fats include saturated fat,monounsaturated fat,polyunsaturated fat and trans fat. Nutritionists recommend limiting saturated fat and trans fat in the diet.
Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol, which is a group of plant chemicals with a similar chemical structure that act as antioxidants in the body. Sources include wine, grapes, apples, tea, onions and berries. Flavonoids are found in small amounts in most vegetables and fruits.
Flavours are a category of food additive that are added to food to impart a desired flavour. There are three classes of flavours, natural, nature identical and artificial.
Fructose is a monosaccharide (a sugar) that occurs naturally in fruit and honey. It is the sweetest naturally occurring sugar. Glucose and fructose are joined together to form the common sugar, sucrose. Fructose is also used as a sweetener in certain processed foods.
Food intolerance is when a person cannot digest a food component or compound. It doesn’t produce an immune response like a food allergy. Symptoms mostly seen include nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Depending on the intolerance, people can still eat small amount of the problem food. Examples of food intolerance include lactose intolerance and intolerance to certain food additives.
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that are produced within the body as a product of normal metabolic process and due to outside influences, such as smoking, air pollution and sunlight exposure. If the level of free radicals in the body is not controlled they can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants produced within the body or sourced from the diet help to control the level of free radicals.
Fluids refer to the amount of liquid that we need each day. Our bodies are made up of a high percentage of liquid, and we need to replenish our fluid losses regularly. Daily fluid needs depend on many factors such as age, environment and activity levels. We get fluids from both the food that we eat and the liquids that we drink.
Food allergy is when a person’s immune system reacts negatively against a certain harmless food component. Symptoms vary from runny nose to skin rashes, nausea and vomiting and can be sometimes serious if it causes swelling of the throat and difficulty in breathing. Most allergenic foods include milk, eggs, wheat, soya, fish, seafood and peanuts. The person has to avoid eating such food completely that cause an allergy. If diagnosed in infancy, the allergy is usually outgrown.