Health and well-being are increasingly important to consumers and businesses alike. The absence of a common, well-defined tree of knowledge of health and well-being terms makes it difficult for professionals to speak a common language.
 
The variety of terms, usages, and claims that are being applied in the wellness industry can rob those terms of meaning, making it difficult for individuals and businesses that are genuinely leading in this area to differentiate themselves. The purpose of this Glossary is to begin to harmonise and clearly define the terms that businesses use to describe topics from the health and wellness world.
Glossary
Amino acids: the building blocks from which protein is made.
Antioxidant: any substance capable of protecting other substances from oxidation. 
Absorption: the taking up of nutrients into the intestinal cells

Acid-base balance: the equilibrium in the body between acid and base concentrations.

Acidosis: above-normal acidity in the blood and body fluids.
Acids: compounds that release hydrogen ions in a solution.
Acne: a chronic inflammation of the skin’s follicles and oil-producing glands.
(AIDS): the end stage of HIV infection in which severe complications are manifested.
Anorexia Nervosaan eating disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight.
Antibodies: large proteins of the blood and body fluids, produced by the immune system in response to the invasion of the body by foreign molecules.
Additives: substances not normally consumed as foods but added to food either intentionally or by accident.

Adrenal glands: adjacent to, and just above, each kidney. 

Adverse reactions: unusual responses to food including intolerances and allergies.

Aerobic: requiring oxygen.
Antioxidant: a compound that protects others from oxidation by being oxidized itself. 

Aspartame: is an artificial unhealthy chemical sweetener made up of two amino acids – aspartate and phenylalanine. 

Caffeine: a naturally occurring chemical found in plants, poison to the body. 

Calcium:  a mineral that is an important component of our bones. 

Carbohydrates: short or long chains of sugars that play an important role in the diet and are used to supply the body with energy.

Cholesterol: a fat-like substance that has important functions in the body including an integral part of the structure of cells and being used by certain glands for making sex hormones.

Diabetes: a condition in which the body has difficulty controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. 

Dietary fibre: an indigestible form of carbohydrate of which there are three types, insoluble fibre, soluble fibre and resistant starch. 

Electrolytes: the term used for minerals in solution. 

Carbohydrate: fat, protein, dietary fibre and alcohol which are broken down to provide energy for the body. 

Essential fatty acids: types of fat that are needed for proper function and development but cannot be made by the body. 

Fat: an essential macro nutrient used by the body for functions like insulation, protecting organs, as a store of energy and to supply fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). 

Folate: B vitamin that occurs naturally in green leafy vegetables, fruits (e.g. bananas and oranges), legumes and peanuts.

Free radicals: highly reactive compounds that are produced within the body as a product of the normal metabolic process and due to outside influences, such as smoking, air pollution and sunlight exposure.

Glucose: carbohydrate containing foods are broken down during digestion into glucose. 

Gluten: a type of protein found in cereal plants like wheat, barley, rye, triticale and oats. 

.The Glycemic Index (GI): a ranking of carbohydrate containing foods according to the effect they have on blood glucose levels. 
Hydrogenated fats: vegetable fats that have been chemically altered by the addition of hydrogen (hydrogenation) with the purpose of making them more solid. 
Insoluble fibre: a type of dietary fibre that is found in cereals, the outer skins of some fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and often in high fibre. 
Iron: a mineral that is used by the body to make haemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that transports oxygen. Iron-containing foods include red meat, poultry, legumes, green leafy vegetables and whole grain and cereals. 
Lactose: the sugar that occurs naturally in milk. It is a disaccharide that is made from 2 sugars joined together.
Carbohydrate: fat, protein and alcohol are called macronutrients. Macronutrients supply the body with energy.
Minerals: compounds that occur in rocks and metal ores. Plants absorb minerals from the soil, and animals get these minerals by eating the plants or by eating other animals. 
Omega-3 fats: essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Essential means that they cannot be produced in the body and therefore must be obtained from food. 
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant chemicals that are similar in structure to the human hormone oestrogen. 
A prebiotic: a substance that promotes the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Probiotics: bacteria that help replenish the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Protein: an essential nutrient that is used in the body for the growth and repair of cells and to provide energy. 
Saturated fat: commonly referred to as ‘bad fat’ because of its impact on blood cholesterol levels. 
Sodium: a mineral that is a component of salt. Our body requires a certain amount of sodium to maintain proper functioning, too much has been associated with increased blood pressure in some people.
Soluble fibre: a type of dietary fibre that is thought to help in lowering cholesterol levels. 
Vegan: all fruit and vegetable based diet, not animal based products.
Vegetarian: a diet that is predominantly based on plant foods. 
Vitamin A: found in animal foods including liver, dairy products, egg yolk and some fatty fish. 
The B group vitamins: (B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B12, folate and biotin) are found in meat, poultry, whole grain products, dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. 
Vitamin C: plays a role in ensuring healthy connective tissue such as skin and cartilage. 
Vitamin E: in the body is an antioxidant. Vitamin E protects many substances from oxidation but is particularly important for maintaining the stability of cell membranes by protecting them from free radical damage. 
Vitamins: essential micronutrients that are used in the body for a variety of processes. 
Wholegrains are seeds of plants like wheat, rye, corn, barley, rice and oats that store the nutrients plants need to reproduce. Wholegrain foods: contain the three natural components of the grain kernel the bran (outer layer), germ (middle layer) and the endosperm (inner layer).
Zinc is a mineral that plays a part in many functions in the body including wound healing and can be found in oysters, beef and whole grain bread and cereals.