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An amino acid is a building block of protein. There are some twenty  amino  acids  required to make a  complete protein.  The body can manufacture all but eight these are referred to as the essential amino acids. Foods that contain all eight essential amino acids in the correct proportions necessary to be readily utilized by the body are considered complete proteins. With a balanced, varied diet, proteins complement themselves during the course of a day no need to worry over combining just the right amino acids at every meal.


A calorie is a unit of energy measured in terms of heat. As it pertains to food the food contains calories that, when burned, produce a specific amount of energy. If more calories are taken in than burned off, they are stored as fat, resulting in weight gain.


Along with fat and protein, carbohydrates are chemical compounds known as the large nutrients. Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel source and have recently had their wrongful reputation for being " fattening" redressed. Starches, sugars, and fiber are all carbohydrates. Foods referred to as complex carbohydrates contain starch, the main form of carbohydrate energy, and fiber, the parts of plant foods that pass through the body undigested. Complex carbohydrates are important energy sources, since they are broken down and used slowly by the body. Here are some examples of the different types of carbohydrate: Some sources are cereals, breads, legumes, fruits, fats and oils, and starchy vegetables.


Fat is an organic compound of fatty acids and is one of the three " large nutrients," along with carbohydrates and protein. It provides a very concentrated source of stored energy for the body and is necessary for hormonal function and tissue health. The average American's fat intake has until recently been about 40 percent of total food intake. Though it is often recommended that this be cut down to 30 percent of diet, some nutritionists feel this amount is still too high.

  • Fats are comprised of fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic, which can both be derived from plant sources. There are three types of dietary fat—saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. Saturated fats, found in meat, butter, and hard cheeses, is considered the least beneficial, and in fact can lead to heart disease if consumed in large quantities. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the good fats and plentiful in plant sources. Nuts, olives and olive oil,  certain vegetable oils (especially organic canola  oil), and avocado are good sources of beneficial fats.

  • Trans-fats, or hydrogenated fats are laboratory produced and are found in many processed foods. These are completely unhealthy and unnecessary and in fact should be avoided at all costs. Do not take or eat.


This is actually a general term for a family of plant substances including pectin, cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, gums, mucilage, and others. These are the parts of plants that pass through the body undigested, adding the bulk that is crucial for the regulation of the digestive system. Fiber is concentrated in the bran of grains, skins of certain fruits, filaments found in the flesh of vegetables, and so on. This valuable substance is considered crucial to health, especially that of the digestive system. According to nutritionist Jane Brody, fiber fills the stomach and small intestine, absorbing water and slowing down digestion enough to prolong the feeling of fullness. Further, she says that those living on high-fiber diets rarely suffer from constipation or hemorrhoids and are less likely to develop colon cancer. High-fiber foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables. Twenty-five to thirty-five grams of fiber a day constitute what is considered a diet high in fiber.


This has been added to this section as food additives have been used by mankind for centuries. For example, pickling (with vinegar), as with bacon (salting), sugar, and then sulphur dioxide as is common in wine,  were among the first used to preserve foods. The problem, in the past 30 years, however, with advent of processed foods, there has been a massive explosion in the chemical adulteration of foods with additives. There are additives that are safe, but many additives to food products are believed to be linked to disorders including allergies, nervous disease, bowel disorders, cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Do to the advent of food labels, manufacturers are required to list these additives.  There are just to many to list, but we found three sites to visit that  will help you identify which are good or bad and which be avoided.  Healthy Eating Advisor, Wikipedia E-Number List, and Wikipedia List Of Food Additives.   Remember, a vegetarian diet free from processed foods would greatly reduce  this problem.  


Lactose is milk sugar, the component of milk that makes it indigestible to many adults and some children. In order to digest lactose, the body must be able to produce an enzyme that converts the lactose to lactic acid. Yogurt contain added bacterial cultures that convert most of the lactose to lactic acid, making it more digestible.


These elemental substances are essential nutrients needed to regulate many bodily functions. Two types of minerals are utilized these are the major minerals and the trace minerals. Both are vital, but the distinction lies in the amounts present in the body. Here is a description of some of the most important minerals as well as some trace minerals:

  • Chlorine (digestive system) expels wastes and is a body cleanser. Some good sources are coconuts, beets, radishes, sea salt,  goat's milk.
  • Fluorine (bones-teeth) knits bones, beautifies the body, and is a disease resister. Some good sources are cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts, watercress, spinach, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, goat's milk.
  • Iodine is essential to thyroid gland in making a hormone which regulates the rate food is burned in the body. Only 1/100 as much iodine as iron in the body --- less than a grain of wheat. This hormone is important for proper growth and development. Deficiency of iodine causes simple goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some sources are kelp, dulse, green leafy vegetables grown near seashore, or in soil not depleted of iodine content, and iodized salt.
  • Iron is important in the functions of the red blood cells, including its' formation and the carrying of oxygen to the tissues. The total amount of iron in the body is less than the weight of a one-cent piece. Most of the iron is in red blood cells. Helps to form hemoglobin - red coloring matter of red blood cells. Insufficient iron in diet causes anemia. Some good sources are almonds,  dried beans, cashews,  tomato  juice, dried beans, dried fruits (apricots, peaches, prunes), molasses, legumes, including lentils and dried split peas, certain grains, especially whole wheat and its' components, green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, turnip tops), whole-grain cereals, breads (oatmeal, entire grain cereal), and its' components,  tofu  and sunflower seeds. Good vitamin C intake helps the absorption of iron.
  • Magnesium (cell and tissue secretion mineral, nerve-digestive-laxative) regulates acid base balance, promotes new cells, maintains weight, is a muscle toner, and is good for nerves, is good for disposition, grace and beauty. Prevents and relives constipation, and activates enzymes. Some sources are grapefruits, oranges, coconuts, figs, barley, eggplant, whole grains, goat's milk.
  • Manganese (hemoglobin-enzyme activator) Aids in forming hemoglobin, activates enzymes, and improves memory. Some good sources are bananas, blueberries, bran, beans, beets, peas, chard, leafy greens, and grains.
  • Phosphorus    is needed for healthy bones and teeth, energy metabolism, and acid base balance in the body.  Twice as much calcium and phosphorous  in  body  as  all  other  minerals  put  together.  Calcium and phosphorous comprise 95% of minerals found in bones. Combined with calcium, helps form and maintain bones and teeth. Found in the nucleus of each cell. Assists body cells to absorb food and get rid of wastes. Abundant in nervous tissue (brain and nerve cells). Found in blood stream and muscle tissue. Essential for glandular system. Vitamin D is important in absorption of phosphorus. Some good sources   are vegetables (most), soybeans, dried beans, almonds, dried peas, peanuts, oatmeal, lentils, barley, legumes, whole grains, bran, and lentils.
  • Potassium (cell  and  tissue  secretion  mineral) is important to cell functions, as well as those of the kidneys, muscles, and  in  maintaining  the  heartbeat.  A Regular  of  acid-base  balance,  maintains  weight,  a muscle  toner,  and  is  good  for  nerves.  Is good  for disposition,  grace,  and beauty.  It is a mineral common to many foods there is little danger of deficiency.  Some good sources are dried fruits and fresh fruits, particularly bananas and oranges, seeds, potatoes, and wheat germ. Also found in nuts, molasses, potato skins, dandelion, watercress, parsley, olives, cabbage, coconut, almonds, peaches, blueberries, whole grains, and fresh vegetables.
  • Silicon (skeleton structure, bones, teeth, hair, skin, and nails) hardens teeth, tones up body, gives resistance, keens hearing, enlightens sparkling eyes, and glossy hair. Some good sources are cucumbers, flax, oats, strawberries, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, seeds, and barley.
  • Sodium (body fluids maintainer) Normalizes heart action, performs body equilibrium, preserves balance between calcium and potassium, regulates body fluids, and aids in digestion.   Some good sources are turnips, asparagus, cucumbers, celery, carrots, okra, beets, string beans, oatmeal, coconut, and figs.
  • Sulphur (brain and tissue) Relives dermatitis and eczema, promotes healthy hair and nails, promotes synthesis of body proteins and ion balance of tissue. Some good sources are soybeans, lentils, nuts, other legumes, whole grains, almonds, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, eggplants, chestnuts, cabbages, onions, mustard greens, asparagus, and avocados.
  • Zinc is needed for the production of new cells and is important for enzyme functions. Some good sources are whole grains (especially the germ and the bran of the grain), beans, nuts and seeds, breads, cereals, legumes, soy foods, tofu, leafy green vegetables (lettuce, spinach and cabbage), corn, peas, root vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, and radishes)and dairy products.


These are foods grown in soils fertilized with organic rather than synthetic fertilizers and are not sprayed with inorganic chemicals. Foods described as " whole" or " natural" are not necessarily organically grown. Organically grown foods are more expensive, but not so much more as to make them prohibitive. Natural food stores, food co-ops, some farm markets, and a growing number of supermarkets now offer organic choices to consumers concerned with the effects of pesticides, additives, and chemical fertilizers— both on human health and the environment.


Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the three " large nutrients," and often a misunderstood one. Protein is an essential factor in the building and maintenance of all bodily tissues and in the formation of enzymes and hormones. Protein is composed of some twenty amino acids, eight of which the body cannot manufacture, and these are taken in as food. Foods that have all eight essential amino acids in the precise proportions necessary to be readily usable by the body are considered " complete proteins."

Vital as protein is, it has recently been accepted that more protein is not necessarily better. Many nutritionists recommend taking in what your body needs and no more, since excess protein cannot be stored. Eliminating excess protein puts great stress on several of the body's organs, and eating too much of it can make you fat. Protein is also not, as is commonly believed, the body's ideal source of energy—it comes in third after carbohydrates and fats. The Recommended Daily Allowance has been set at .8 grams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. Thus, a 120-pound woman needs about 44 grams of protein a day a 160-pound man, about 58 grams. Some good sources are soybeans, lentils, tofu, seeds, tempeh, miso, peas, legumes, peanuts, soy milk, cheese, nuts, whole grains, eggs, and milk.


Many people who are vegetarians think of their diet as a way of life rather than merely as a way of eating. It's not necessary to be a strict vegetarian to be a practitioner of a natural foods diet but generally, vegetarians almost by definition are more conscientious about the foods they eat. Here are the primary forms of vegetarianism that are practiced:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: This diet includes both dairy products and eggs.


Vitamins are complex organic compounds, essential in minute quantities to assist the metabolic functions of the body. Here are some of the most common vitamins and what they do for you:

  • Vitamin A is a family of natural compounds called Retinal, and as the orange-yellow pigment Carotenes, which is changed into   Vitamin A (Beta-Carotenes) in the body. Essential for normal growth and development, normal tooth formation. Also important to vision, for the maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, for resistance to infectious diseases, for new cell growth, hair, tissues, and vision in dim light. Prevents development of nutritional night blindness. Maintains normal infection resistance. Fat soluble.   Some good sources area dark green vegetables deep yellow vegetables and fruits: (such as winter squashes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, apricots, yellow peaches, peas, dried apricots, alfalfa sprouts avocados, green beans, yellow corn, tomatoes, green and yellow vegetables, green leafy vegetables, dark green salads and   prunes).

B Vitamins (with the exception of B12) are generally found in plentiful quantity in whole grains and cereals, wheat germ, yeasts, nuts and seeds, beans, and some green vegetables. Here are some specifics:

  • Vitamin   B1   (Thiamin) prevents depression and assists in the functions   of the nervous and digestive systems. Essential for normal growth, proper utilization of sugars and starches, normal functioning of the nervous system, maintenance of appetite, and normal tone. Healthy nerves, promotes appetite, and normal pregnancy and lactation. Some good sources are dried brewer's yeast, legumes (beans),   whole grains(wheat, barley, oats, etc), dark green vegetables, seeds, wheat germ, nuts, brown rice, alfalfa sprouts, whole grain cereals, soybean milk, citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, nuts, legumes, peas, cooked cabbage, molasses, baked potatoes, whole wheat spaghetti, bean sprouts, brussel sprouts, green leafy vegetables and tempeh. NOTE:   Avoid overcooking as it destroys vitamin B1. Serve food immediately. Use cooking fluids. Soda added to vegetables increases destruction of thiamin.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin - Vitamin G) is essential for normal growth and development and along with other fractions of the B complex, for utilization of food energy. Important in cell functions, oxidation within cells, enzyme functions, healthy eyes, and to assist normal growth. Some good sources are sprouts (alfalfa and soy), green vegetables, dairy products (milk and cheese - Soy), eggs, whole grains, broccoli, almonds, citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes, apricots, brewer's yeast, legumes, peas, seeds, wheat germ.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is needed by the cells to utilize oxygen and also aids in metabolism, the utilization of food energy. Essential for normal growth. Prevent pellagra. Healthy clear skin. Some good sources are legumes, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, tomatoes, brewer's yeast, alfalfa sprouts, whole grains, natural rice, peanuts (very high content), mushrooms.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) regulates the nervous system and produces antibodies and is the master Vitamin for processing amino acids -- the building blocks of all proteins and some hormones. It also promote healthy skin. Some good sources are nuts, seed, whole grains, bananas, tomatoes, oatmeal, potatoes with skin, sweet potatoes, bananas, brown rice, avocados, lentils, beans, and some sea vegetables.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)  Use  of folic acid daily by pregnant women reduces their risk of having a pregnancy affected with spina bifida or other neural tube defects.  Can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord called neural tube defects (NTDs). Folic acid works to prevent these birth defects only if taken before conception and during early pregnancy.  Folic acid protects the brain. Folate, the natural form of folic acid, is found in orange juice, other citrus fruits and juices, leafy green vegetables, beans, peanuts, broccoli, asparagus,  spinach,  peas, lentils and whole grain products
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for general growth and for the functions of the red blood cells and nervous system. Produces remission in pernicious anemia. Some good sources are eggs and dairy products, mother’s milk, and to a lesser extent, tempeh, miso, soy milk (fortified), wheat, corn, comfrey, sprouts, and some sea vegetables. It is the most difficult   vitamin to get from plant sources, so vegans are advised to make sure to use fortified soy milk or vegetarian vitamin supplements.
  • Vitamin C is vital in forming collagen, which binds the body cells, and is also needed for the health of the tissues. Vitamin C also thought to be of benefit to wound healing, development, maintenance of practically all body tissues, especially to do with joint structures, the ligaments, teeth and gums, bones, and increased resistance to infection. Some good sources are oranges, lemons, grapefruits (raw or canned), tomatoes (raw or canned), citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers and other capsicum peppers, currants, green leafy   vegetables, cantaloupes, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, and most fruits and vegetables. Note: easily destroyed by oxidation destroyed by high heat.
  • Vitamin D  is needed to absorb and promotes use of calcium and phosphorous, which are crucial to the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. Especially needed for infants, children, and women during pregnancy and lactation. Some good sources are fortified milk or soymilk, yeast (fortified), sea vegetables (Dulse, Nori, etc.),  fish-liver  oil, and sunlight (15-30 Minutes). If your diet is in short supply of aforementioned, make sure to supplement.
  • Vitamin   E is important in the functions of the heart, blood cells,   endocrine system, and muscles. It is also believed to have properties   that retard aging and promote general well-being. Other: antioxidant, protects red blood cells, anti-clotting factor, improved blood circulation to the heart, increases fertility, and protects against environmental pollutants. Some good sources   are eggs, wheat germ, dark leafy vegetables, oats, nuts (almonds, filberts, etc.), lettuce sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nut   and seed oils (wheat germ, corn, soy, etc), and safflower oil.
  • Vitamin F This essential fatty acid is  composed of two   fatty acids - linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (LNA) - with   linoleic acid being the most complete fatty acid. There are two basic   categories of EFA's (essential fatty acids) - omega-3 and omega-6 which   include linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid. The body is not capable of   manufacturing essential fatty acids, while the fatty acid arachidonic acid   can be synthesized in the body from linoleic acid. Fatty acids are needed for normal growth and behavior and helps with   healthy cell membranes, a well balanced hormone level and properly working   immune system. They are essential for the synthesis of tissue lipids, play an   important role in the regulation of cholesterol levels, and are precursors   of prostaglandins, hormone like compounds producing various metabolic   effects in tissues. To the skin, it brings suppleness and a youthful appearance and hair   becomes more shiny and healthy when in good supply. It also seems   important in the manufacture of sex and adrenal hormones. Fatty acids also   stimulated the growth of the beneficial intestinal bacteria. Edema has   also been reported with fatty acids in short supply. Arthritis is said to benefit from these fatty acids and they also aid   in the transmission of nerve impulses and a shortage may lead to learning   disabilities and a problem with recalling information. Hair loss and eczema may be indicated when deficient and cause damage   to the kidneys, heart and liver. Behavioral disturbances are also noted   when deficient. The immune system can become less efficient with resultant   slow healing and susceptibility to infections. Tear glands can also not work effectively and may dry up. Blood   pressure and cholesterol levels may be higher when deficient and blood   more likely to form clots They are both available in the evening primrose oil, grape seed oil,   flaxseed oil, and oils of grains, nuts and seeds, such as soybeans, walnuts,   sesame, and sunflower seeds. It is also present in avocados. Omega-6 EFA is found in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, grape seed oil and   flaxseed oil. Omega-3 EFA is found in canola oil, and walnut oil. Some other sources are: dark green leafy vegetables, yeast, legumes (garbanzo, lima,pinto, etc), whole grains, asparagus, brocolli, and cauliflower.
  • Vitamin K is essential for good circulation, anti-hemorrhagic, and for normal clotting of blood.   Some good sources are alfalfa sprouts, oats, wheat, rye, spinach, lettuce, kale,  soy  beans,  green  tea, turnip  greens,  broccoli,  spinach,  asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, wheat bran, cereals, some fruits, and green leafy vegetables. NOTE: freezing might destroy vitamin.
  • Folic Acid (Folacin) (Coenzyme with B12 and Vit. C) Heat and water soluble. Assists in the utilization of proteins, red blood cell formation, and body growth and reproduction of cells. Some sources are dark green leafy vegetables, vegetables, yeast, legumes (garbanzo, lima, pinto, etc.), Nuts (almonds, filberts, etc.), whole grains, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and fenugreek (sprouts).


Water is the principal chemical constituent of the body - 75%. It is the universal solvent which regulates and maintains body temperature, and is the principal constituent of all body fluids. It greatly assists the digestion and absorption of food.   Drinking water or any liquid   during the meal does the opposite, it reduces digestion. When drinking water or any liquid, do so 30-60 minutes before or after the meal. Also assists in carrying away waste products. Drink 4-8 glasses of water daily in addition to juice, milk, soup, and fruits. Drink cool water without ice, melons or fruits. DRINK-DRINK-DRINK....cannot stress it enough.

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