The Micronutrients: Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are required by every process in your body. Unlike the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals by themselves do not contain energy. Instead, they work with the energy-rich macronutrients—carbohydrates, protein, and fats—and with each other to help your body to release, use, and store the energy from those macronutrients. Vitamins Vitamins are small but […]


As an essential nutrient, water is the most often overlooked and taken for granted. Yet 75 percent of our body weight is water. Water contributes to nearly every major process in our bodies. It keeps our body temperature stable, maintains body chemicals at their proper concentrations, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removes waste […]

On the Nutrient Horizon: Phytochemicals

Carotenoids. Isoflavones. Capsaicins. You may have heard these words in radio advertisements for the latest supplement or seen them in last week’s newspaper. But what are they? All of them fall into the category of substances called phyto-chemicals or phytonutrients. A phytochemical is, literally, any chemical found in a plant (phyto is the Greek word […]

Supplements: Foods, or Functional Foods?

Supplements are concentrated forms of vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, fatty acids, herbal products, enzymes, plant or animal tissue extracts, or hormones. Some supplements contain one or two known nutrients or a small group of nutrients such as B vitamins or antioxidants. Phytochemicals A Food Pharmacy That May Fight Disease Phytochemical Food Potential Benefit Allyl […]

Nutrition and Your Stage of Life

Choosing to eat wisely throughout life is one of the most important components of living a healthful lifestyle. Using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food Guide Pyramid as standards for your food choices and amounts, you will be well on your way to establishing healthful eating habits for your entire life. Unfortunately, many people […]


Knowing what nutrients comprise a well-balanced diet, in what foods to find them, and in what quantities to eat them are some of the first steps to good health. Applying this knowledge by eating nutrient-rich foods and incorporating physical activity into your schedule at any stage of life are the greatest investments you can make […]

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common major health condition in the United States. It is one of the leading causes of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and premature death. It also can damage parts of the circulatory system—including blood vessels in the heart, brain, eyes, and kidneys. Sometimes called the […]

Diabetes Mellitus

Each year, the words "you have diabetes" are spoken with greater frequency, often to unsuspecting individuals. Among Americans, the prevalence of diabetes has grown dramatically during the 20th century. Today, more than 16 million Americans have diabetes—90 percent of them are older than 40 years. Interestingly, half of these adults do not even know they […]

Coronary Artery Disease

Knowing your blood lipid (fat) levels—the various forms of cholesterol and triglycerides—is important. But what these numbers mean can be confusing, and how the different types of cholesterol—not to mention other blood fats—relate to coronary artery (heart and blood vessel) disease also can be a puzzle. Coronary artery disease is the number one killer of […]


The word "osteoporosis" literally means "porous bones." With osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle—so brittle that even mild stresses, such as bending over to pick up a topic, pushing a vacuum, or coughing, can cause a fracture. The strength of your bones relates to their mass or density and is in part due to the […]