Nutrition Glossary

   

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Echinacea

Echinacea is a flowering plant often used as a herbal remedy to provide support for the body’s immune system and help reduce the risk of minor infections.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are the term used for minerals in solution. Some of the main electrolytes in the body are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and phosphate. Minerals play an important role in processes within the body such as nerve and muscle function and fluid balance. Electrolyte levels in the body can be disturbed when large amounts of fluid are lost such as in vomiting, diarrhoea and heavy sweating.

Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers are food additives that are added to food to help mix oil and water ingredients. An example of a common emulsifier used in food is soy lecithin.

Energy

Carbohydrate, fat, protein, dietary fibre and alcohol are broken down to provide energy for the body. Food energy is measured in kilojoules (kJ) or calories (Cal). Our bodies need energy for body functions such as breathing and digestion, for everyday activities we do and any physical activity. Daily energy requirements differ depending on age, sex, body weight and activity levels.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are types of fat that are needed for proper function and development but need to come from the diet as they cannot be made by the body. There are two essential fatty acids – linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). Good sources of linoleic acid include polyunsaturated oils, margarines, some nuts (e.g. walnuts) and some seeds (e.g. sesame). Good sources of linolenic acid include canola oil, flaxseed and walnuts.