Adaptogens are herbs that have a normalising influence on the body. They help the body adapt to stress, support its normal functions and restore balance. They increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional and environmental stressors.
Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during high stress or exciting situations. This hormone is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response.
An allergen is a substance that is foreign to the body and which can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Pollen is an example of a potential allergen.
Amino acids are commonly known as the building blocks of protein. There are 20 standard amino acids from which almost all proteins are made. Nine of the twenty amino acids are ‘essential’ and cannot be built from other compounds by the human body; they must be taken in as food.
Androgens are often referred to as male hormones. Although both men and women produce them, they are present in much higher levels in men. The most common androgen is testosterone.
An antibody is a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it detects a harmful substance known as an antigen. Examples of antigens include bacteria, parasites and viruses. Each type of antibody is unique and defends the body against one specific type of antigen.
An antihistamine is a substance that prevents the action of histamine. Antihistamines are commonly used for the relief of allergic reactions such as hay fever and itchy skin rashes as they decrease the body’s reaction to foreign substances and therefore help to reduce the symptoms associated with allergy.
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells within the body from damage caused by free radicals. They help to strengthen the body’s ability to fight infection and disease.
Artificial sweeteners are a type of sugar substitute. Some sugar substitutes are natural, yet as the name suggests, an artificial sweetener is not – it is synthetic. They are used to replicate the taste of sugar, whilst containing fewer calories.
Your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection, but if you have an autoimmune disease your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake.
Bioflavonoids are sometimes referred to as vitamin P. Flavonoids are widely distributed in plants and are known for their antioxidant activity.
What it does: Particularly important in childhood. Helps your body use essential fats, assisting in promoting healthy skin, hair and nerves.
Deficiency Signs: Dry skin, poor hair condition, prematurely greying hair, tender or sore muscles, poor appetite or nausea, eczema and dermatitis.
Best food sources: Cauliflower, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, oysters, grapefruit, watermelon, sweet corn, cabbage, almonds, cherries, herrings, milk, eggs.