top of page
original (10).jfif
Food Science 101

ON THIS PAGE:

Macro-Nutrients / Vitamins + Minerals / Nutrition Glossary / Variety is the spice of life. / Taste Buds + Taste Sensitivity / What is Umami? The 10 Best Plant-Based Sources (+ 9 recipes)

Vitamins + Minerals
(essential + macro + trace)

Vitamins are a group of substances found in foods which are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins which are required for the body to work properly, however here vitamin D includes both D2 and D3. 

 

Minerals keep bones, muscles, bodily heat, and the brain working properly, as well as aid in the production of important enzymes and hormones. There are two kinds of minerals: macro-minerals (calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur) and trace minerals. This section focuses on both and the WPF containing these vital nutrients. 

Learning about nutrition science for some people is just plain boring. But... what we eat and absorb is a matter of life and death. We don't begin driving a car without a few lessons, right? There's no difference with food. Dig in, read on, and absorb as much as you can. There are three types of macro-nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

 

To function properly, the body needs macro-nutrients in larger amounts (macro means large). All provide the body with energy measured in the form of calories, also known as kcals. Proteins and carbs both contain 4 kcal per gram, while fat has over double that amount at 9kcal/gram.

(three top dogs)
Macro-Nutrients

The study of nutrition is packed with difficult to pronounce, scientific jargon like atherosclerosis (type of heart disease) and trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). Sometimes I think nutrition scientists do this on purpose, the way attorneys and insurance companies word their contracts so that most people cannot grasp their meaning! 

 

When doing your own deep dives into food education, this introductory list might help de-mystify your learning process. I've added information connected to whole plant foods, to help navigate the practical applications of this important bio-chemistry knowledge.

(it's all Greek to me)
Nutrition Glossary

There are only two mantras, yum and yuck, and mine is yum.

- Tom Robbins, American Author from Still Life With Woodpecker

original (9).jfif
original (12).jfif
original - 2023-12-22T154711.834.jpg
Variety is the spice of life.
(sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami)

Humans are hard-wired to look for foods we think of as delicious. As we age, our taste buds diminish somewhat, which is why it's a major battle sometimes to get kids to eat broccoli. For me, I'm not a big fan of the taste of broccoli, and yet I eat it almost every day. I have healthy tricks to make this food hero medicine go down with mustards, salsas, and WPF dips. By the way, although hot/spicy is not a taste (it signals pain via nerves), I would add it in terms of a flavor profile.

original (14).jfif
Taste Buds + Taste Sensitivity

Our taste buds begin to physiologically wake up after a few weeks on a WPF diet, and it takes a few months to FULLY taste actual flavors. That means the overly salty, sugary, and fatty Western Diet dulls our brain receptors. Someone who eats high-sweet foods like candy or soda wouldn't register that a fresh peach in season tastes sweet. Like, very sweet. Got a wicked sweet tooth? Let flavors reappear!

bottom of page