Glossary

Allium vegetables
Allium is the bulb family of vegetables including onions, shallots, leeks, chives, and garlic.
Antioxidants
A molecule capable of slowing or preventing damage to other molecules. Examples of antioxidants include vitamins A, C, E, resveratrol, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, and bilberry extract.
BMI (Body Mass Index)
An indicator of body weight based on a person’s height and weight. The healthy range is 18.5 – 25.
Cruciferous vegetables
Edible plants in the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) including vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, radish, and watercress.
Detoxification
The removal of toxic substances from a body.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)
A structurally complex molecule within all organisms that contains the genetic instructions used for biological development and functioning.
Endurance activites
Also referred to as aerobic activities. Aerobic means "with oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen in the body's metabolic process used to produce energy during these types of activities. Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time such as long distance running.
Fatty acids
A carbon molecule with a long unbranched tail which is either saturated (cannot incorporate additional hydrogen atoms) or unsaturated (can incorporate additional hydrogen atoms).
Free radicals
Atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. The unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive.
Gene
A unit of heredity in a living organism, it is normally a stretch of DNA that codes for a type of protein. Genes hold the information to build and maintain an organism's cells and pass genetic traits to offspring.
Glycemic index
A measure of the effect of a specific amount of carbohydrate on blood sugar for an individual person. Foods with a low glycemic index include meats and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli.
Glycemic Load
The glycemic load (GL) is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in food portions based on their glycemic index (GI). The usefulness of glycemic load is based on the idea that a high glycemic index food consumed in small quantities would give the same effect as larger quantities of a low glycemic index food on blood sugar levels.
HDL (high-density lipoprotein)
Is often called “good cholesterol” because of its ability to remove cholesterol from arteries and transport it back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization.
Homocysteine
An amino acid synthesized by the body which is detrimental to the integrity of arterial walls.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein)
Is often called “bad cholesterol” since research has shown that it is more likely to be deposited into tissues and arteries where it can form artery-blocking plaque.
Maximum heart rate
The maximal safe heart rate for an individual.
Metabolism
The set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.
Nitric oxide (NO)
Is a free radical which, paradoxically plays many crucial roles in the body including controlling blood flow in tissues and contributing to blood vessel integrity.
Oxidative stress
Cellular damage which is caused by an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize these free radicals.
Power activities
Also referred to as anaerobic activities. Anaerobic means “without oxygen”, and refers to the use of glycogen in the body’s metabolic process used to produce energy during these types of activities. Many types of exercise are anaerobic, and by definition are performed at high intensity and short duration such as sprinting.
Resting heart rate
A person's heart rate when they are at rest.
Salt sensitivity
A measure of how blood pressure responds to an increase or decrease in salt intake.
Saturated fat
A fat that is solid at room temperature and whose fatty acid chains cannot incorporate additional hydrogen atoms. Research has shown that an excess of these fats in the diet strongly correlates to high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include dairy products (especially cream and cheese but also butter and ghee); animal fats such as lard and fatty meat; coconut oil, cottonseed oil, and palm kernel oil.
SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism)
A genetic DNA sequence variation that occurs when a single nucleotide in a genome is altered.
Triglycerides
The chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They're also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.
Unsaturated fat
A fat that is liquid at room temperature and whose fatty acid chains can incorporate additional hydrogen atoms. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats has been shown to help lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Foods containing unsaturated fats include avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils such as canola, and olive oils.
VO2 max
The maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and utilize oxygen during aerobic exercise. This measure is commonly used as a measure of the physical fitness of the individual with higher levels corresponding to greater fitness.