Diet & Nutrition Glossary: C
cadmium : A mineral substance toxic to humans found in cigarette smoke, contaminated seafood, and refined foods.
calcium: An essential mineral important for forming and maintaining bones and teeth.
calories : The amount of heat produced when food is metabolized in your body cells.
carbohydrate loading: A dietary regimen designed to increase temporarily the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles in anticipation of an athletic event.
carbohydrates : Sugar compounds that plants make when they’re exposed to light. This process of making sugar compounds is called photosynthesis, from the Latin words for light and putting together.
carbon dioxide : A waste product that you breathe out of your body.
carnitine : A nonessential amino acid that plays a role in metabolizing fat and producing energy. It is an extra amino acid not found in your body tissue, but you can manufacture it from lysine.
carotenoid : The pigments that make fruits and vegetables orange, red, and yellow. Dark green vegetables and fruits like kiwi contain these pigments, too, but green chlorophyll masks the carotenoids’ colors.
cartilage: Elastic tissue found in joints and in other parts of the body. Most of an infant’s skeleton is made of cartilage, but it changes to bone later.
cholecystokinin; CCK : A chemical that is released as food is digested and the body’s cells are fed.
cholesterol : A fatty substance that has no calories and provides no energy.
choline: A nutrient that is not a vitamin, mineral, protein, carbohydrate, or fat, but it’s usually lumped in with the B-vitamins
chondroiton sulfates: A substance that is believed to contribute to the healing of joints.
chromium: A trace mineral that helps insulin facilitate the entrance of glucose into your cells and is a requirement for energy
chylomicron: A microscopic particle, containing fats, cholesterol, phospholipids, and protein, formed in the small intestine and absorbed into the blood during digestion.
coenzyme: A substance that works along with other enzymes.
collagen : An important component of the lower layers of the skin. Good collagen support can help your skin look young and reduce wrinkling.
complete protein : A protein that contains ample amounts of all essential amino acids.
copper: This zinc-balancing mineral is important in many enzymes as well as in the production of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen. It also plays a role in the functioning of the prostate gland and the activity of the oil glands, helping prevent acne. Nerves and joints require copper for healthy functioning.
cyanocobalamin: A cobalt compound commonly used as vitamin B12 in vitamin pills and nutritional supplements.