Optimum Nutrition Therapy
Food as Medicine – Food as Pleasure

are a type of phytonutrient which give purple/blue fruits and vegetables their color. They have been found to have a variety of beneficial effects in the body, including the ability to act as anti-oxidants and to damage.

refers to a substance that has the ability to stabilize or neutralize the damaging and cancer causing effects of free radicals. An anti-oxidant may be a vitamin or mineral such as vitamin C or zinc, or a phytonutrient such as anthocyanidins. Anti-oxidants are abundant in brightly colored fruit and vegetables.

are damaging to health, and include metals such as lead, cadmium or mercury. These are now found in increasing concentrations in the environment from sources such as cigarette smoke and amalgam fillings, and their presence in the body uses up large amounts of nutrients such as zinc, calcium, vitamin C and other antioxidants to neutralize them.

is the chemical name for vitamin C.

is the pigment that gives orange/yellow fruits and vegetables their color, although it is also rich in green vegetables too (the chlorophyll masks the beta-carotene). It is a precursor to vitamin A, and also has its own anti-oxidant effect.

are safe, non-toxic ingredients used to bind the nutrients together into a pill form. One common binder is magnesium stearate.

are a type of phytochemical that work synergistically with vitamin C. They are particularly rich in the pith of citrus fruits and in onions and peppers.

is the fibrous part of grains, and is removed during food refining to create ‘white’ flour products. Wheat bran is now traditionally used to treat constipation but is a very abrasive form of fiber to use. Other types of bran such as oat bran are more beneficial.

is a stimulant which causes secretion of the hormone adrenalin which gets you going in the morning. One cup of coffee provides about 60mg of caffeine, while a cup of tea provides about 40mg. It can have detrimental effects upon the nervous system and adrenal glands, and can severely disrupt blood sugar levels leaving you tired, lethargic, irritable and craving more for another quick fix.

is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper and can act locally, as part of ointments, as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, as well as thinning the blood and stimulating circulation if taken internally.

as one of the macro-nutrients is used by the body to make energy, and is either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates provide a quick, immediate burst of energy, and are found in sugar, refined foods and fruits such as bananas, grapes and all dried fruit. Complex carbohydrates release their energy more slowly, and provide for a lasting supply of energy. Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole grains, pulses, vegetables and less sweet fruit such as apples and pears.

is the bark of a vine (Uncaria tomentosa) from the Amazonian rain forest which has immune-stimulating properties. Used in conjunction with vitamin C and black elderberry extract it is particularly effective for beating colds and flu.

is the pigment that gives plants their green color. A phytochemical, it has a very cleansing effect upon the liver, and is useful for healing wounds. Its chemical structure is very similar to that of blood, only it contains magnesium at its core as opposed to iron.

a chemical name for vitamin D.

is a semi-essential nutrient which is a component of lecithin (which helps emulsify fats), facilitates the movement of fats into cells and their membranes.

is a supplement of grapefruit seed extract which has antibiotic-like effects, without destroying the friendly bacteria in the gut. It is a useful supplement to take when traveling abroad, and can be used internally or externally as a mild and safe disinfectant. It is also useful for treating candidiasis.

helps with the production of energy within the mitochondria of cells. It also acts an anti-oxidant, is recommended by thousands of dentists as a treatment for gum disease, and a great deal of evidence suggests it is highly beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Our ability to synthesize it decline as we age, so supplementing 30-60 mg in a fat soluble form can be beneficial after the age of 35

is the active ingredient in the bright yellow spice turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to have a dramatic effect upon reducing inflammation, and is therefore useful in treating both types of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

is the chemical name for vitamin B12.

is a type of phytonutrient that is rich in soy beans. It has a regulatory effect on hormones.

is the natural form of vitamin E, which has been shown to absorb better than the synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol. Look out for d-alpha tocopherol when buying supplements, as this is the most active form.

Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid – this is the assembly and operational guide for all living creatures on this planet.

is a powerful immune boosting herb, which has been shown to improve the function of immune cells. It is available in capsule, pill or liquid form, but should not be taken every day.

are made from protein which control the speed and rate at which reactions occur. It is believed that we are born with an ‘enzyme’ bank, and when it is empty we die. Regular deposits in the form of raw foods, and a diet low in processed foods and chemicals which require additional enzymatic action, can help ensure health and vitality. Digestive enzymes are useful to supplement when eating anything cooked.

is the chemical name for vitamin D.

is a good source of GLA. It is available in liquid or capsule form.

is required for healthy functioning of digestion. It provides bulk, and carries waste material such as degraded hormones and toxins out of the system. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble both of which we need. Fruit, vegetables and whole grains, beans and pulses are all rich in fiber, while processed foods are very low. Constipation is almost always due to a lack of fiber in the diet. A good intake is between 30-40 grams daily, although most people receive only about 10 grams.

are rich in EPA which is particularly beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Eskimos who eat a great deal of fish oil have virtually no incidence of heart disease although their diet is so high in fat. Fish oils are also useful as an anti-inflammatory agent and have been shown to be useful in arthritis.

is one of the B vitamins, and is particularly important for women to take when trying to conceive. This is because folic acid is required for formation of the nervous system, and a deficiency can result in neural tube defects and spina bifida.

is the sugar found in fruit, and is slower releasing than sucrose as it needs to be processed by the liver before it can be used. Fructose is and ideal alternative for diabetics in small quantities, and can be bought in packets from health food stores.

is an herb that has been used traditionally for a whole host of ailments. It has anti-bacterial, antifungal and anti-viral actions, and is therefore useful in combating a whole variety of infections. It also has immune stimulating properties and helps prevent blood from clotting, as well as supporting the liver in its role of detoxification. It can be bought in capsules or pills in odorless form, yet there is some evidence to suggest that the odor carries the most beneficial properties. Eating a clove of garlic a day is generally recommended.

is the study of all genomes or the totality of the DNA of a single species. Examines the totality of all our genes as a dynamic system influencing and being influenced by our biochemistry, physiology and environment.

is a spice that has a variety of functions. It improves circulation, and is also good for nausea and sickness. It can be bought in tablet or liquid form in health food stores, or fresh ginger can be added directly to foods.

is useful for slimming and for irritable bowel syndrome. It slows the absorption of carbohydrates and speeding its transit through the body. It is found in the Japanese Konjac plant.

is the form of sugar used by the body to create energy. It is derived from dietary carbohydrate, and stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. When blood glucose levels fall too low, low energy, irritability and cravings for sugar or caffeine may manifest. An inability to control rapidly fluctuating blood glucose levels is known as dysglycaemia, while consistent, dangerously high blood glucose levels is diabetes. Chromium and vitamin B3 help keep blood glucose levels even, while insulin removes excess sugar from the blood and into body cells.

is a powerful anti-oxidant enzyme that requires the mineral selenium for its production.

is a sticky protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye that is difficult to digest. A person with celiac disease must totally avoid it.

has antibiotic-like effects, without destroying the friendly bacteria in the gut. It is a useful supplement to take when traveling abroad, and can be used internally or externally as a mild and safe disinfectant. It is also useful for treating candidiasis.

are high density lipoproteins which are commonly known as ‘good cholesterol’ because they are responsible for carrying cholesterol from cells in the body to the liver to be broken down.

is a plant traditionally grown to make fabric. The seeds are a particularly rich source of omega 3 fats. They can be eaten ground, served on cereal, soups or salad.

is a substance extracted from the tamarind plant (which is used in the East as a food condiment) that has been shown to help prevent the conversion of excess dietary carbohydrates to fat. It may be used as part of a weight control program.

is an herb that has been used widely for centuries for the treatment of mood disorders. It is gaining popularity for its role in relieving depression.

is a semi-essential nutrient needed for cell growth, healthy nerves, healthy hair and maintaining adequate HDL cholesterol.

are phytonutrients found in soy beans, legumes, wheat, rhubarb, licorice etc. which appear to have a balancing effect on hormones.

see glucomannan fiber

is the kind of sugar found naturally in milk.

is a component of bile; its role is to emulsify fats for digestion and absorption. It also plays a role in healthy membranes as it contains phospholipids and choline. Lecithin supplements made from soy or egg are available.

is the digestive enzyme which digests fats

is an antioxidant found in vegetables.

is a phytochemical with antioxidant properties that is especially high in tomatoes.

see vitamin B3

is the structural building blocks of DNA and RNA

is cultivated without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

see vitamin B5

is an antioxidant enzyme in the body

is an essential mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth, for milk secretion, building muscle, maintaining body pH, energy production and is a component of DNA.

are substances found in wheat bran etc. that bind to minerals such as calcium, making them unavailable for absorption.

are a family of chemicals (perhaps many as yet undiscovered) found in plant foods that play a role in promoting health e.g. isoflavones, lycopene.

are estrogen-like substances found in foods such as soy, licorice that have a balancing effect on hormones.

see vitamin K

is a variation in the genetic code of an individual, largely responsible for our biochemical individuality. Polymorphism can allow us to identify those people who are more susceptible to developing chronic diseases like coronary artery diseases, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis or chronic inflammation

is a type of fat essential for human health (e.g. omega 3 or omega 6) which is very susceptible to damage by heat, light or chemical treatment.

is an essential mineral needed for transporting nutrients into and waste products out of cells, healthy nerves and muscles, proper fluid balance in the body etc.

are phytonutrients found particularly in red and purple foods which have significant antioxidant properties.

are supplements containing the beneficial bacteria found in the human digestive tract which promote good gut health.

is a digestive enzyme which digests proteins.

see vitamin B6.

see vitamin A.


see vitamin B2.

see Hypericum perforatum

is an essential mineral needed in the body to protect against free radicals (as an antioxidant), to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, promote a healthy heart, work with vitamin E etc

SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism)
mutation to a single nucleotide in a gene

is a ‘suggested optimal nutrient allowance’, a measurement for the intake of nutrients. SONAs are the intake required for optimum health, in contrast to RDAs (recommended daily allowances) which are set at levels which prevent the signs of deficiency.

is a chemical food additive that has been shown to cause hyperactivity in children.

see vitamin B3

is an element which is needed by the body in very small amounts e.g. selenium.

is needed for the optimum functioning of over 200 enzymes in the body; it is a component of DNA, essential for growth, healing, controlling hormones, stress response, healthy nervous system and brain, healthy growth of the fetus, energy production. Good sources are: oysters, lamb, nuts, seeds, whole wheat, oats, peas, fish etc.