Diet & Nutrition Glossary: P

pantothenic acid: A B-vitamin vital to enzyme reactions that enable you to use carbohydrates and create steroid biochemicals such as hormones.

phenylalanine: An essential amino acid readily available in most food sources. This amino acid is important in helping your brain make active nerve chemicals that can affect your mood (like epinephrine). Phenylalanine seems to increase endorphins in the brain to give you a more positive outlook.

phosphate : A molecule made with the mineral phosphorus.

phosphorus: A mineral essential for strong bones and teeth. It is present in almost all foods.

phytochemicals : Chemicals manufactured only in plants that are the substances that produce many of the beneficial effects associated with a diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

phytonutrients: Nutrients found only in plants that are the substances that produce many of the beneficial effects associated with a diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

polyunsaturated fat: A fat, such as corn oil, that is liquid at room temperature and stays liquid even when chilled.

potassium: An important mineral contained mainly within cells, potassium helps to balance and interact with sodium in controlling blood pressure and supporting electrical impulses across cell membranes.

progesterone: A hormone associated with pregnancy and birth that helps maintain bone strength.

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