ANTIOXIDANT – a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of another molecule by donating an electron to a free radical.
It happens involuntarily hundreds of thousands of times a day in your body. If you have enough antioxidant activity, you will age slowly and well. If your oxidative stress is more than your antioxidant activity, you won’t.
OXIDATIVE STRESS - the state in which your fee radical activity outpaces your antioxidant defenses, leading to premature cell aging and death. Think of it as “biological rusting”.
ORAC - a scale developed by the USDA for measuring the antioxidant potential of a food (or supplement): the higher the score, the more ability it has to neutralize free radicals.
*ORAC stands for OXYGEN RADICAL ABSORBANCE CAPACITY.
FREE RADICAL – a partial molecule that has at least one unpaired electron and is looking to replace it by robbing other molecules. Free radical activity is a natural biological response to environmental toxins as well as to exercise or inflammation.
INFLAMMATION – your body’s natural biochemical response to injury or infection (invasion by harmful bacteria or viruses). Chronic inflammation is the same response but for a prolonged period of time, ultimately causing tissue damage and disease.
pH or ACID/ALKALINE BALANCE – pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions. pH 7 is considered neutral, above 7: alkaline and below 7: acidic. It is generally understood that a neutral (pH balanced) body is most healthy whereas one that is acidic is a welcome environment for disease.
GLYCEMIC INDEX AND GLYCEMIC LOAD - the measure of a food’s impact on your blood sugar, that is, how much of a demand for insulin it requires. Glycemic Load reflects the overall carbohydrates available from a food. Thus, an apple or other fruit may have a relatively high glycemic index on account of the natural sugars in it yet it’s glycemic load is considered low due to the accompanying fiber content of the fruit which slows the demand for insulin as it is ingested.
For a detailed list of the glycemic index of real foods consult: mendosa.com/gilists.htm
DIETARY FIBER – the indigestible component of real food that paces the digestive process (tempering blood sugar levels) and normalizes intestinal flora and healthy excretion of waste. Insoluble fiber (think green leafy plants) does not dissolve in water so it adds bulk to stool and sweeps your intestines clean. Soluble fiber (oats and chia seeds) absorbs water and becomes gelatinous in your intestinal tract. This helps to transport toxins out of your system.
And some of our own pet terms:
PASTAFARIAN - a devotee of all things pasta, macaroni and noodle.
NUTRIVORE - a person eating the most nutrient-dense foods: plants, animals, nuts, seeds and fruits.
CARBIVORE – someone whose main food source is of the simple carbohydrate variety: bread, cereal grains, pasta and rice.
GRAINIAC - someone who becomes a raving lunatic at the mention of reducing or removing grain from their diet, even temporarily.
EAT IN COLOR
Eating in color means that you will get a full spectrum of nutrients from a variety of real food. Your meals will become more tasty, more interesting and not accidentally more healthy!
Anthocyanin in red and blue foods like berries and carotenes in orange and yellow foods (carrots, pumpkins and squash) are powerful antioxidants. Deep green foods (spinach, kale and sea vegetables) rich in chlorophyll detoxify your blood.
Replace white foods like rice, potatoes and pasta with cauliflower which can be roasted, mashed or steamed and served with the same sauces you love.