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Definitions

Aggregated definitions of terms used on Fruitarian's Network. A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term - a word, a phrase, or a set of other symbols.

Vitamin B3, Niacin, nicotinic acid, helps to convert food into energy and is essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system. It is one of 8 B vitamins. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. It has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects. 

Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6

It is rare for anyone in the developed world to have a Vitamin B3 deficiency; alcoholism is the main cause of it in the US.

Recommended daily amount: 14 - 16 mg.

Example sources: whole grains, mushrooms, peanuts and other legumes. 

Fruits (100 g) : 

  1. Peaches or Apricots, dried - Niacin: 4 mg 
  2. Avocados, raw or Dates, medjool  - Niacin: 2 mg 

Seeds (100 g):

  1. Rice bran, crude - Niacin: 34 mg 
  2. Sesame flour - Niacin: 13 mg 
  3. Sunflower seed kernels, dried - Niacin: 8 mg 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin, Thiamine) is one of 8 B vitamins, the first B vitamin discovered. All B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses to produce energy, B-complex vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein. All B vitamins are water soluble.

All living organisms use thiamine, but it is synthesized only in bacteria, fungi, and plants. Animals must obtain it from their diet, therefore for humans it is an essential nutrient.  Your body needs it to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which every cell of the body uses for energy.

B1 helps convert food into energy, needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain. 

Thiamine deficiency has a potentially fatal outcome if it remains untreated. In less-severe cases, nonspecific signs include malaise, weight loss, irritability and confusion.

Recommended daily amount: 1.1 - 1.2 mg (~ 50 g of flaxseeds, or sesame tahini, or 100 g pine or sunflower seeds, or corn flour).

Retinoids retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid - 3 active forms of vitamin A - "preformed" vitamin A.

Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A by the human body. 

Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones.

Vitamin A keeps tissues and skin healthy, plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts. Essential for vision lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk.

Recommended daily amount: 700 mcg - 900 mcg or 3 mg - 6 mg beta-carotene (~ 1 cup of raw cantaloupe or sweet red peppers, or 2 mangoes, or 1/5 of one baked sweet potato). 

Because the body converts all dietary sources of vitamin A into retinol, 1 mcg of physiologically available retinol is equivalent to the following amounts from dietary sources: 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, and 24 mcg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin. From dietary supplements, the body converts 2 mcg of beta-carotene to 1 mcg of retinol.

 A tree is a plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years.

A variety of plant species have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches to compete for sunlight. In more general sense, tall palms, tree ferns, bananas and bamboos are also trees. The roots branch out under the ground to anchor the tree and to extract moisture and nutrients from the soil. Above ground, the branches usually bear leaves, which capture light. 

Trees reduce erosion and moderate the climate. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants. Some trees provide edible fruit

Food energy is chemical energy that animals derive from their food and molecular oxygen through the process of cellular respiration. Humans and other animals need a minimum intake of food energy to sustain their metabolism and to drive their muscles.

Organisms derive food energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as from organic acids, polyols, and ethanol present in the diet. Some diet components that provide little or no food energy, such as water, minerals, vitamins, cholesterol, and fiber, may still be necessary to health and survival for other reasons. 

Using the International System of Units, researchers measure energy in joules (J) or in its multiples; the kilojoule (kJ) is most often used for food-related quantities. An older metric system unit of energy, still widely used in food-related contexts, is the "food calorie" or kilocalorie (kcal or Cal), equal to 4.184 kilojoules. 

<>Fats and ethanol have the greatest amount of food energy per mass, 37 and 29 kJ/g (8.8 and 6.9 kcal/g), respectively. Proteins and most carbohydrates have about 17 kJ/g (4.1 kcal/g). 

Conventional food energy is based on heats of combustion in a bomb calorimeter and corrections that take into consideration the efficiency of digestion and absorption and the production of urine. 

George Berkeley

To be is to be perceived.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products, one of the basic food groups.

Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (or dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The table sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose - hydrolyses into fructose and glucose in the body. Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. 

Starch is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as an energy store. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods such as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice. Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol. 

Fiber is consists of non-starch polysaccharides such as arabinoxylans, cellulose, and many other plant components such as resistant starch, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides, and are derived from plants. Dietary fibers are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, changes as it goes through the digestive tract, where it is fermented by bacteria, partially into physiologically active byproducts - healthful compounds. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and stays intact as it moves through your digestive system, can be prebiotic and metabolically ferment in the large intestine. Dietary fibers can change absorption of other nutrients and chemicals. Some soluble plant fibers can modulate intestinal inflammation and are contrabiotic. Many types of so-called dietary fiber are not actually fibrous.

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