As part of our daily work, we love to engage in conversations with all the people who visit us at Nature’s Discount. We want to share with them all their progress as they work towards a healthier life.
We laugh, we cry, exercise, dance and go to recreation sessions together. This makes us a big family that supports each other at all times.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more than exercising and having good nutrition. It also involves knowing and identifying the important terms of the products you take home. This helps you identify the best products for you and your family.
Nature’s Discount brings you a basic glossary of terms you should know and use on your journey towards a healthier life.
It is one of the more than 250 known Aloe species in the world. It inhabits mainly deserts or semi-desert areas, because they are the most suitable climate for them to grow. This plant is used naturally, or under different presentations of supplements and cosmetic products due to its multiple properties.
Among other properties, aloe vera works as a: detoxifying, digestive, depurative, cell regenerator, bactericide, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiviral, pain inhibitor, anti-coagulant, immune system stimulator. And topically for: healing and moisturizing.
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine together to form proteins, one of the most important nutrients in our body. They are made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen.
Among their functions, amino acids help break down food, grow or repair body tissues, aid minerals and vitamins to fulfill their function correctly, and act as neurotransmitters. Separately, each amino acid also has its own functions.
Amino acids can be divided into essential and non-essential. The essential amino acids are those the organism does not produce and that we must obtain through our diet. Among them we have: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Non-essential amino acids are those that the body produces on its own. Among them we have: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is basically apple juice that undergoes different processes. Apple juice is subjected to a fermentation process, whereby yeasts convert the sugar present in the fruit into alcohol. Bacteria are then added to the mixture, which then converts alcohol into acetic acid, which is primarily responsible for the sour taste of vinegar, as well as its strong smell.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar include reducing and eliminating bacteria, keeping blood sugar levels under control and helping to control weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The body mass index (BMI) is the weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. A high BMI (25.0 or more) can be an indicator of elevated body fat.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are part of the essential amino acids, and their name is related to their nonlinear chemical structure. These amino acids are made up of valine, leucine, and isoleucine, which together make up a third of the skeletal muscle in our body.
As part of their functions, these amino acids are especially useful during the recovery and decrease of pain and fatigue after intense days of exercise, increasing muscle mass, and preventing wear and tear of tissues. These amino acids are responsible for contributing to the synthesis of proteins and preserving glycogen reserves.
Calories are a unit of food energy. All types of foods -be they fats, proteins, carbohydrates or sugars- are important sources of calories that people need to live and function. The word calorie is normally used instead of the more precise scientific term kilocalorie. A kilocalorie represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a liter of water 1 ‘centigrade to sea level. Technically, a kilocalorie represents 1,000 true calories of energy. The calories in food provide essential energy, but if you take too many, you will gain weight since excess calories are stored as body fat.
Capsules are the wrapping that some medicines are coated on and supplied. They are made of soluble material. They can be hard (usually containing powders, granules, microcapsules or tablets) or soft (containing oily liquids).
Carbohydrates are macronutrients based on carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are made up of sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and dairy products.
Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex. Generally speaking, simple carbohydrates are digested and absorbed more quickly and easily than complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for active muscles. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and allow fat metabolism, among other functions.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in many of the foods we eat, in the cells of our body, and that we need to function normally. Cholesterol is used to produce hormones and vitamin D, and also plays a role in digestion.
There are two main types of cholesterol in the body:
- LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” which transports cholesterol from the liver to the bloodstream, where it can adhere to blood vessels.
- HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol, or “good cholesterol”, which transports blood cholesterol back to the liver, where it breaks down.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. There are more than 19 types of collagen, which are present in the bones, muscles, cartilage, tissues, skin, and organs.
Collagen works like a glue that keeps cells together and helps the skin retain its tonicity and elasticity. This protein also helps support body structures and is part of connective tissues. Collagen is even related to strong and healthy nails and hair.
Daily Value (DV)
The Daily Value (DV) shows the percentage of a nutrient in a food serving. It is presented in percentages (%) and serves as a guide to a balanced diet. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which acts as a key to allow glucose from the food we eat to pass from the bloodstream to the body’s cells to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods break down into blood glucose. Insulin helps glucose enter cells.
Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to high blood glucose levels (known as hyperglycemia). In the long term, high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failures in various organs and tissues.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but it occurs most often in children and adolescents. When you have type 1 diabetes, the body produces very little or no insulin. In this case your body needs daily insulin injections to keep blood glucose levels under control.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for about 90% of all cases of diabetes. When you have type 2 diabetes, the body does not make good use of the insulin it produces. The cornerstone of the treatment of type 2 diabetes is a healthy lifestyle, which includes increased physical activity and a healthy diet. However, over time, most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral medications and / or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)
Dietary Reference Intakes is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess the nutrient intake of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and sex, include the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), the adequate intake (AI), and the maximum tolerable intake level (UL).Back to Top
Enzymes are proteins that accelerate (or delay) the speed of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An enzyme acts as a catalyst for specific chemical reactions, converting a specific set of reagents (called substrates) into specific products. They are essential for breathing, food digestion, muscle and nerve function, among thousands of other functions.
Fats, also called “fatty acids” or “lipids”, are macronutrients formed by three bound molecules (triglycerides). There are three main types of fats in the food we eat: unsaturated fats, saturated fats and Trans fats.
Fat helps absorb vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K; keeps our skin healthy; Essential fats such as Omega-3 are important for heart health; healthy fats, such as unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels; fat adds flavor to food; Fat keeps you satisfied for longer after a meal.
Glucose is the main type of blood sugar and the main source of energy for the body’s cells, under the form of carbohydrates. Glucose comes from food we eat or the body’s production from other substances. It is transported to the cells through the bloodstream.
Gummies are a chewable gelatin-based form of supplement that have a texture and flavor similar to candy gummy and come in a variety of flavors, colors and shapes. Gummies are commonly made from gelatin, corn starch, water, sugar, and additional coloring.
High blood pressure
Arterial hypertension (hypertension or High blood pressure) occurs when blood pressure, the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels, is too high.
Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the highest number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic pressure, which is the lowest number, represents blood pressure when the heart rests between beats. A systolic pressure between 120-129 is already considered high, and between 130-139 of systolic and 80-90 of diastolic is considered high, or first level of hypertension.
On a keto diet, we reduce the amount of carbohydrates to a minimum and increase the amount of fatty foods. A standard keto diet includes 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate-rich foods.
When glucose in carbohydrates stops providing energy to our body, fats stored in the liver become the body’s main source of energy and start producing ketone bodies.
Ketones will be distributed throughout the body as a nutrient, and our body will enter a state of ketosis, similar to the state we are in when we are fasting.
Working almost exclusively with fats helps our body access fat deposits and burn them faster. This helps us lose weight in a short period of time.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a component of milk and some other dairy products. The basis of lactose intolerance is the lack of an enzyme called lactase in the small intestine. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are diarrhea, bloating and gas. Diagnosis can be done by a test of a lactose-free diet or by special examination. Treatment consists of avoiding products that contain lactose or the use of lactase enzyme supplements.
Liquid soft is one of the supplements presentations. This helps us increase the total nutrients intake, supplement or supply any missing components.
The metabolism includes the full range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. The metabolism is divided into two processes: anabolism (the accumulation of substances), and catabolism (the decomposition of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy.
Minerals are micronutrients involved in bone formation, heart rate regulation and hormone production. Their benefits are very broad and some are even unknown, but despite needing small amounts, they are essential to the body.
Minerals can be divided into macrominerals and trace elements. Macrominerals are minerals that the body needs in greater amounts. These minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, chlorine and sodium. Trace elements are minerals that the body needs in smaller quantities. These include iron, manganese, copper, selenium, iodine, cobalt, zinc and fluorine.
Depending on the type of mineral, we can find them in foods such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, proteins, nuts, garlic, onions, soy, bananas, carrots, grapes, spinach, tofu, cereals and tomatoes.
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain all -or most- of the vitamins that may not be readily available by diet, together with minerals and other compounds. Present in small amounts in various foods, vitamins are essential for keeping a normal metabolism and biochemical functions.Back to Top
NON-GMO stands for “Non genetically modified organism”. A product with the NON-GMO seal means that it is a completely organic product, with all the qualities and benefits of a natural product.
Weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height is described as being overweight or obese. The body mass index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for overweight and obesity. Obesity corresponds to a BMI of 30 or more, according to the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Omega-3s are fatty acids that are essential for our bodies. There are 3 types of Omega 3: alpha-linoleic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic. The first is related to energy functions. The second one is related to circulatory functions. The third goes directly to the central nervous system.
Among other benefits, Omega 3 is known for its benefits to our cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
Fish and seafood are one of the main sources of these fatty acids. Spinach, nuts, flax and chia seeds also contain this nutrient. In addition, we can find them in oils such as fish, olives and seaweed.
Weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height is described as being overweight or obese. The body mass index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for overweight and obesity. Overweight corresponds to a BMI of 27.3% or more for women and 27.8% or more for men, according to the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Proteins are macronutrients composed of amino acids. They have unique functions and are essential components of the muscles, skin, bones, and body as a whole. After water, proteins are the nutrient with the greatest presence in the body. They are present in tissues, muscles, tendons and even in the basic structure of DNA.
Proteins are also part of important metabolic functions such as oxygen transport; nails and hair contain a lot of protein too. Proteins even help us regulate our weight and keep the immune system healthy.
Powdered supplements are another supplement presentation. These kinds of supplements are usually prepared with water or milk as shakes, and whose purpose of use is to increase the total dietary intake of certain nutrients, or supplement/ supply some nutritious component.
Probiotics can be defined as living microorganisms that, when ingested in adequate amounts, exert beneficial health effects beyond those inherent in basic nutrition. These microorganisms can be divided into two classes:
- Lactobacilli, found mainly in yoghurt, which help to break down food, absorb its nutrients and eliminate microorganisms that can cause diseases.
- Bifidobacteria, which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt and cheese. The function of this probiotic is similar to that of lactobacilli but they also help other probiotics to survive and prevent the growth of harmful or disease-causing bacteria.
After water, protein is the most important nutrient in the body. They are present in tissues, muscles, tendons and even the basic structure of DNA. Proteins are also part of important metabolic functions such as oxygen transport. They even help us regulate our weight and keep our muscles and immune system healthy. Protein-rich foods include meat, fish and seafood, beef marrow, eggs, milk, yogurt, grains, nuts and seeds, natto, quinoa and chia.Back to Top
Saturated fats have all their carbon atoms (C) completely “saturated” with hydrogen atoms (H), and are typically solid at room temperature. Foods high in saturated fats include fatty meats, lard, whole dairy products like butter and cream, coconuts, coconut oil, palm oil and dark chocolate.
Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, such as beef fat, butter and lard. Solid fats come mainly from foods of animal origin and can also be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation. Some common solid fats are: butter, milk fat, beef, pork and chicken fat, cream, stick margarine and lard. Most solid fats are rich in saturated fats and / or trans fats and have less monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is taken as a dietary supplement. It is considered a superfood because of its excellent nutritional content and health benefits. Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (more than beef, chicken and soy), 9 essential amino acids and 10 non-essential amino acids, as well as high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, acid arachidonic, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, phosphorus, RNA and DNA nucleic acids, chlorophyll and phycocyanin, a pigment-protein complex found only in blue-green algae.
Supplements are herbal products, vegetable extracts, traditional foods, dehydrated or concentrated fruits, with or without added vitamins or minerals, which can be presented in a pharmaceutical form. Their function is to increase, complement or supply some of the components that we acquire through the diet, that is to say, the foods and dishes that we ingest daily.
Tablets are solid forms of supplement, usually rectangular, with an exact dosage of the supplement contained inside. Tablets are intended to be broken down in the intestine. Tablets and caplets belong to the same group of supplements. Tablets tend to have a thicker rectangular shape, and caplets are round and vary in thickness.
Triglycerides are the most common type of blood lipids. Their main function is to store additional energy in the form of calories. When a person eats something, carbohydrates break down and turn into glucose, which cells must absorb as fuel. What is not absorbed is then converted into fat and stored as triglycerides, and is kept in adipose tissues and fat cells.
Turmeric is a natural root of Indian origin with many medicinal properties. Among these properties it works as: an anti-inflammatory remedy; improves cardiovascular health; relieves arthritis pain; is an antioxidant; helps brain health; fights depression; has relaxing properties; is an antiseptic; helps prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s. Most of the benefits of turmeric are given thanks to curcumin, one of its active ingredients.
Unsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature, are considered beneficial fats because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, relieve inflammation, stabilize heart rates and perform other beneficial functions. Unsaturated fats are found predominantly in plant foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
Vegan foods are foods based entirely on products of plant origin. Vegan foods exclude completely any animal products in their preparation, either directly or indirectly, including any animal proteins, eggs, dairy products and honey.
Vitamins are substances present in small quantities in our body. They are partly responsible for the proper functioning of the body. They are part of processes like nutrient absorption, participate in chemical and metabolic reactions, and even have to do with the way we look and feel.
Vitamins are divided into two groups:
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water; This group includes vitamins C and B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. The organism discards the excess of these vitamins daily, so it is necessary to recover them through good nutrition.
On the other hand, the fat-soluble vitamins are those that the body stores in body tissues, the liver and fat. This group includes vitamins A, E, D and K. As they are fat-soluble, they are easier for the body to store.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods such as liver, cheese, carrot, vegetables, apricot, persimmon, peach, and melon. There are two divisions for this vitamin: preformed vitamin A, which is found in meat, fish, and milk products; and provitamin A, which is found in fruits, vegetables, and berries.
Among its functions, vitamin A helps maintain good vision, the immune system and the ability to reproduce. It also provides benefits for the heart, lungs and kidneys, among other organs.
It is both a water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods such as milk, eggs, nuts, fish and seafood, fruits, grains and cereals, and animal proteins. The B vitamin complex is made up of 8 vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.
Some of the most common benefits you’ve heard of this vitamin include increasing energy levels, tone muscles, renewing cells, improving vision, and maintaining good digestion. You can read more about them by following this link:
It is a water-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, red, green and yellow peppers, sweet potato, guava, milky, kiwi, and oranges.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which also strengthens our immune system and helps improve our skin. It also participates in the synthesis of collagen, and helps keep connective tissues, bones, teeth, and blood vessels in shape.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods such as milk and eggs, and through exposure to sunlight.
The greatest benefit of vitamin D is its participation in the absorption of calcium. It also participates in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, and in the development of the skeleton by contributing to bone formation and mineralization.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods like vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, and soy), nuts and seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it is related to youth and beauty of the skin. Also, it helps healing scars and increases the production of defense cells in the body, so it helps maintain the immune system strong to fight viruses and bacteria.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain through foods like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, liver and vegetable oils. There are two divisions of this vitamin: vitamin K1, which is found in plants and plant products, and vitamin K2, which is produced by bacteria in the body and is found in some foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha. The main function of this vitamin is to participate in the formation of blood clots, and to help maintain strong bones.
Whole grains, or foods made from them, contain all the essential parts and natural nutrients of the whole grain seed in their original proportions. If the grain has been processed, the food product must deliver the same balance of nutrients found in the original seed of the grain. 100% of the original grain, all bran, germ and endosperm, must be present to qualify as a whole grain.