Homegrown News Blog
Antioxidants, flavonoids, Peptides, what are all these things? We break them down for you into layman's terms.
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral infections. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks.
The word anthocyanin comes from the Greek words ἀνθός (anthos), meaning flower; and κυανός (kyanos), meaning blue. Anthocyanins are natural pigments that run the range from dark red, to blue, to indigo, and deep violet depending on the acidity level of the pigment itself. The pH level runs the gamut in anthocyanins, the lower the pH level the redder the pigments get, but when it increases it goes from red, to purple, to blue, to green and then yellow. There is some research that demonstrates their use in the elimination of free radicals from the body as antioxidants.
An antifungal medication is a pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycoses such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis, serious systemic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis, and others.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which can play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other conditions.
Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections rather than bacterial ones.
Brassica Vegetable Family
Brassicaceae or Cruciferae is a medium-sized and economically important family of flowering plants commonly known as the mustards, the crucifers, or the cabbage family.
The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.
Carotenes support immune function, but in a different way. They stimulate the production of special white blood cells that help determine overall immune status. They improve the communication between cells, too, which results in fewer cell mutations.
When we think of foods rich in ellagic acid, we typically think of berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. But are there also other good dietary sources of this powerful phenolic compound that has been shown to exert strong anti-cancer and antioxidant activity in test tube and animal studies.
A substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.
Dietary fiber is a plant-based nutrient that is sometimes called roughage or bulk. It is a type of carbohydrate but, unlike other carbs, it cannot be broken down into digestible sugar molecules. Therefore, fiber passes through the intestinal tract relatively intact. However, on its journey, fiber does a lot of work.
Flavonoids are plant-based compounds with powerful antioxidant properties found in many fruits and vegetables like blueberries and grapes. They serve a variety of functions such as protecting blood vessel walls in people who have heart disease or diabetes, alleviating allergies, protecting brain health against dementia and even preventing some cancers.
Glutathione is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids − cysteine, glycine, and glutamine − and it is produced naturally in the body. It is called “the master antioxidant” because it can regenerate itself in the liver after each fill-up of free radicals and go back to work. Free radicals are often the byproduct of normal cellular metabolic oxidation and toxic overload. They can lead to autoimmune diseases, several types of cancer, and even heart attacks.
Natural substances found in cruciferous vegetables including kales, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. A powerful antioxidant and detoxifier.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria. These germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract. After many years, they can cause sores, called ulcers, in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine. For some people, an infection can lead to stomach cancer.
An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin in red blood cells) and for oxidation by cells (via cytochrome).
Lutein is called a carotenoid vitamin. It is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. Foods rich in lutein include broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini, and squash. Many people think of lutein as “the eye vitamin.” They use it to prevent eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa.
Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.
Oligosaccharides are carbohydrates which have 3-10 simple sugars linked together. They are found naturally, at least in small amounts, in many plants. Plants with large amounts of oligosaccharides include chicory root, from which most commercial inulin is extracted, and artichokes. They are also found in the onion family, legumes, wheat, asparagus, jicama, and other plant foods.
Peptides are organic chemical molecules. They are polymers made from linking amino acids together in a certain order. The link between one amino acid residue and the next is known as an amide bond or a peptide bond. Linking peptides together gives proteins, which are also known as Polypeptides.
Phenols are nothing more than natural chemicals made up of a benzene ring with one or more hydroxyl (OH) groups attached to it (science talk for how it is put together). They are found in many of the foods we eat like fruits, veggies, and nuts and can also be man-made for use in common non-food applications such as toothpaste, hair dyes, medicine, and disinfectants. It is important to remember that most foods have some level of phenols in them (there are many subgroups, compounds, and close chemical relatives) and that they are natural and can even be beneficial to the body, as is the case with antioxidants in fruit.
Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals. These are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals."Phyto" refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients aren't essential for keeping you alive, unlike the vitamins and minerals that plant foods contain. But when you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.
Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body. They are food for probiotics.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy by controlling growth of harmful bacteria. The primary benefit of probiotics and prebiotics appears to be helping you maintain a healthy digestive system.
Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain.
Salicylates are one type of phenol in the phenol family and scientists believe they are produced by plants for use as their own natural protection from diseases, insects, fungi, and harmful bacteria. They are made up of a phenol compound with an additional COOH group (more science talk about how it is put together). As it turns out, salicylates are chemically very similar to the man-made chemical acetylsalicylic acid, more commonly known as Aspirin.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system and fertility for both men and women. Selenium is found in a variety of foods, the richest sources being Brazil nuts, seafood and organ meats.
A powerful anticarcinogen and antibacterial compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, turnips, and turnip greens. It stimulates the production of antioxidant enzymes that neutralize free radicals from external and internal sources.
Sulfur, a mineral vital to your health, is found in all body tissues and plays several important roles in your body. It helps resist bacteria and protects against toxic substances. In addition, sulfur is necessary for proper development of connective tissue and helps skin maintain structural integrity. Identifying sulfur-rich foods can help you make choices that ensure you get sufficient intake of sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy and kohlrabi, are rich sources of sulfur.
Essential for vision Lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk. Keeps tissues and skin healthy. Plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts.
Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Helps convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in sleep, appetite, and moods. Helps make red blood cells Influences cognitive abilities and immune function.
Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast. Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Bolsters the immune system.
Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clotting. May help prevent hip fractures.
Potent antioxidant in many vegetables, is also in your eyes, especially the lens, retina, and macula. Zeaxanthin and lutein protect your eyes from harmful high-energy light waves like ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Studies suggest that a high level of both in eye tissue is linked with better vision, especially in dim light or where glare is a problem.
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Reference: Havard Medical School, WebMD, Mother Nature Network, Wikipedia, NutraWiki
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