A-Z of nutrients

Your quick-look guide to natural products, from A to Z.

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Acerola

The fruit of the Acerola Cherry tree, Malpighia emarginata L is rich in Vitamin C and carotenoids, with the cherry-like fruits being one of the richest known natural sources of vitamin C.

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Alfalfa

Alfalfa, Medicago Sativa, is one of the most nutritious foods known. Its calcium, carotene, chlorophyll, and vitamin K content make alfalfa an important nutritional supplement.

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Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic acid is a sulphur-containing vitamin-like substance playing key roles in the production of ATP and acts uniquely as a potent antioxidant in protecting against both fat- and water-soluble free radicals.

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Amino acids

Proteins are built from sub-units called amino acids which are linked together in chains of various lengths and sequences, thus accounting for the vast variety of different proteins.

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Artichoke

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a thistle. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud and the florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions known as the heart.

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Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family; a very potent anti-oxidant found naturally in algae and is the reason for the red or pink

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B Vitamins

No two B vitamins have exactly the same function in the body. They are a group of water-soluble substances that they occur together in many foods and share many of the same body functions, working together synergistically.

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Barley Grass

Barley grass is the leaf of the barley plant. Cereal grasses, including barley grass, Hordeum vulgare, are chlorophyll-rich ‘super-foods’ providing an abundance of nutrients and they are often consumed fresh in juice form.

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Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is the yellow or red pigment found in plants. It is often referred to as provitamin A because inside the body it is converted to vitamin A.

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Bilberry

Bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, is a round flat-topped berry that grows in the wild. It has sharp edged, green branches and black wrinkled berries, which are ripe for picking in late summer.

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Boron

Boron is a non-metallic element that is essential for the growth of plants but is not yet officially regarded as an essential trace mineral for animals and man.

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Calcium

Calcium is an essential metallic element that only occurs naturally in the form of its compounds, never uncombined. It is the main elemental constituent of bones, shells and teeth.

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Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates have many roles in the body: They are involved in energy metabolism.
They make up the muscle energy store.
They help form the ground substance of connective tissue in the body as well as many more different substances, e.g. lubricants for the joints, transport molecules, structural chemicals.

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol is manufactured in the body to assist with the transportation of fats and to help build and maintain cell membranes.

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Choline

Choline is a water-soluble member of the group of B vitamins. It is not classed as a true vitamin because it is present in the body in larger amounts than are usually associated with these nutrients.

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Chromium

Chromium is an essential trace element that is ubiquitous in nature. It occurs in the air, water, soil and all biological materials.

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Clevers

Cleavers, Galium aparine, is also known as Goose grass because geese like to eat it. It flowers in early spring to summer, with the flowers occurring in most of the leaf nodes.

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Clove Bud

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. These buds were originally used to mask bad breath during China’s Han dynasty.

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Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring substance found in every body cell. It is an essential component of the mitochondria, the energy producing organelles within our cells.

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Copper

Copper is a metallic trace mineral that is essential for all vertebrates and some lower animal species. It is distributed widely in the earth’s crust at a concentration of 70 mg per kg.

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Cranberry

This is a small berry that is initially white, turning a deep red when fully ripe. It is edible but has an acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness.

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Docosahexanoic Acid

Docosahexanoic acid (C22:6, DHA) is a highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that forms part of the central nervous and visual system structures.

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Elderberry

Numerous species of elder or elderberry, Sambucus nigra, grow in Europe and North America. Only those with blue/black berries are considered therapeutic.

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Fat

Fats usually occur in the form of triglycerides. They are lipid structures containing a glycerol backbone with three fatty acids attached by ester bonds.

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Fibre

Not all complex carbohydrates/ polysaccharides are digested. This is important as the ones that cannot be digested make up ‘dietary fibre’ or ‘non-starch polysaccharide’ (NSP) as it is now scientifically termed.

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Flaxseed

Flax is the common name for Linum usitatissimum, a member of the Linaceae Family. Flax, also known as linseed, used to be one of the major sources of cloth fibre (linen) until the cotton industry took over.

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Folic Acid

Folic acid is a yellowish-orange crystalline powder that is odourless and tasteless. It is soluble in water, particularly hot water. It is a member of the B complex group of vitamins and is needed by the body daily to maintain health.

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Ginger

Ginger is a perennial plant, Zingiber officinale. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as both a spice and in herbal medicine.

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Ginseng

Ginseng is one of around a dozen plants within the genus Panax including Korean or Chinese ginseng which are members of the Araliaceae family.

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Grape Seed

Current knowledge of grape seed extract emerged from research conducted at French medical centres, notably at the University of Bordeaux.

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Grapefruit Seed

Also known as citricidal, grapefruit seed extract is a liquid derived from the seeds of the grapefruit. The grapefruit is from a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit.

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Inositol

Inositol is a water-soluble member of the B complex group of vitamins. It is not a true vitamin because it is made in small quantities within the body.

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Iodine

Iodine is an element of the halogen group which forms black crystals and violet vapour. It is used in both medicine and photography.

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Iron

Iron is an essential trace mineral that is supplied only in the diet. It is a constituent of haemoglobin, the red pigment of blood.

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Liquorice

Liquorice, or licorice, is a sweet flavouring that is extracted from the root of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. The liquorice plant is a legume related to beans and peas.

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Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential metallic macro-element that in the earth is found only in the form of its compounds, the most abundant of which is dolomite, a mixture of magnesium and calcium carbonates.

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Malic Acid

Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid is found in various plant juices and is formed as an intermediate in the Krebs cycle, where it plays a role in the complex process of producing ATP – the energy currency, within the mitochondria.

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Manganese

Manganese is an essential trace mineral that is available only from the diet. It is widely distributed in the earth’s crust at a proportion of 0.085%. Water, plants and animals all contain the mineral in minute quantities.

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Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a metallic element used in the manufacture of high strength industrial products. Molybdenum is also used in agriculture in many fertilisers.

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N-acetyl-cysteine

N-acetyl-L-cysteine or N-acetylcysteine is the acetylated precursor of both the amino acid L-cysteine and reduced glutathione (GSH).

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Paba

Chemists were aware of para-aminobenzoic acid or PABA for many years before its nutritional significance was discovered.

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Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid (B5) is a water-soluble member of the B complex group of vitamins. It is also known as pantothenate and in some other countries, B3.

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Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is the major phospholipid in the brain and is embedded in cell membranes. Along with other phospholipids, it makes up the basic structural components of the membrane.

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Pine Bark Extract

The beneficial effects of pine bark were discovered in 1534 when sailors suffering from scurvy, survived by drinking tea made from the bark and needles of pine trees.

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Potassium

Potassium is an alkali metal which is found mainly as potassium chloride. In the body potassium is one of the main ‘electrolytes’ alongside sodium and chloride.

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Protein

Proteins are made up of amino acids. These amino acids, which are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sometimes sulphur, can join together in thousands of combinations to give proteins with various functions.

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Quercetin

Quercetin is part of a group of plant pigments called flavonoids which are widely distributed in nature and give many fruits, flowers and vegetables their colour.

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Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is a water-soluble member of the B complex group of nutrients. It has been recognised as the yellow pigment in milk since 1879.

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Seaweed

The health and nutritional properties of seaweed have long been documented. Seaweeds draw a wealth of macro-elements and trace elements from the sea.

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Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral for human beings and animals and is normally supplied only in the diet.

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Superoxide Dismutase

Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules (free radicals) in cells that might otherwise damage tissues.

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Thiamin

Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin from the B complex group of nutrients. It is occasionally referred to as aneurine (indicating a link with nerves), particularly in the USA.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid which, in chemical terms, is a sugar essential for biochemical functions in the human body. It is the only water-soluble vitamin that is not part of the B complex.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble substance. It is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because the sun is man’s prime source. Vitamin D is one of the few essential vitamins that is produced by the body with the help of nature.

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Vitamin E

There are several active substances found in food called tocopherols, which are collectively known as vitamin E.

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Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin sometimes called the Blood Coagulation Vitamin. It is also known as phytomenadione, phyloquinone, phytylmenadione and the anti-haemorrhagic vitamin.

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Wheat Grass

Cereal grasses, including Triticum aestivum (common wheat), are chlorophyll-rich superfoods providing an abundance of nutrients.

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Zeaxanthin

Zeaxanthin is one of the most common carotenoid alcohols found in plants and some micro-organisms. It is the yellow pigment (xanthophyll) that gives paprika, corn and saffron and many other plants and microbes their characteristic colour.

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Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for plants, animals and human beings. It is available only from the diet.

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