EPA is short for Eicosapentaenoic Acid. It is an essential omega-3 fatty acid found in fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, and is often used in combination with DHA.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are fats that must be taken in through the diet as they cannot be made by the body. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to good health.
There are many different types of fats; polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, saturated and trans fat. The body requires good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in order to absorb fat soluble vitamins. Fat can also be used as an energy source.
A fat soluble vitamin is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is possible to over-dose on such vitamins as they are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. Fat soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K.
Fibre is an important part of a balanced diet. There are two type of fibre; soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre helps your bowel to pass food by making stools soft and bulky, whilst soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
What it does: Critical during pregnancy for the development of a baby’s brain and nerves. Also essential for brain and nerve function. Needed for utilising protein and red blood cell formation.
Deficiency Signs: Anaemia, eczema, cracked lips, prematurely greying hair, anxiety or tension, poor memory, lack of energy, poor appetite, stomach pains, depression.
Best food sources: Wheatgerm, spinach, peanuts, sprouts, asparagus, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, broccoli, cashew nuts, cauliflower, walnuts, avocados.
A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a specific food as it is perceived as a threat. In the most serious case, a food allergy can be life threatening.
Food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. Food intolerances tend to cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, cramps and diarrhoea, but are not life threatening.
Free radicals are molecules produced when the body breaks down food or by environmental exposure to things like cigarette smoke, pollution and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells and may play a role in a number of diseases.
Fructose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables and their juices, as well as in honey.