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Nutrition 101 - Glossary - M

MagnesiumDefinition - Magnesium is a mineral found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains that is prevalent in the body and contributes to teeth and bone composition. Relevance - Magnesium in necessary for all organs of the body and activates more than 300 enzymes, regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, nerve function, muscle function and calcium levels.

ManganeseDefinition - Manganese is an essential trace mineral that prevents manganese deficiency and is sometimes used in osteoporosis treatment. Relevance - Manganese is found in nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and tea; it is also sometimes used in treatment of PMS symptoms and anemia.

METsDefinition - a MET, or metabolic equivalent, measures the energy cost of a given activity. Relevance - a MET is the ratio of working metabolic rate to resting metabolic rate; one MET is 1 kilocalorie per kilogram per hour, which is comparable to the energy spent sitting quietly.

MonosaccharidesDefinition - Monosaccharides are the most basic units of carbohydrates and the simplest form of sugars. Relevance - Glucose is a monosaccharide that is essential for brain and nervous system function as their primary fuel source; monosaccharides are the building blocks of more complex disaccharides, like sucrose, and polysaccharides, like cellulose.

Monounsaturated fatDefinition - Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs) are fats that contain one double bonded (unsaturated) carbon in their chemical backbone and are usually liquid at room temperature and solid when chilled. Relevance - In moderation, MUFAs like olive oil can help reduce blood cholesterol and decrease risk of heart disease and stroke, especially when they replace saturated fats and trans fats in the diet, and they are also high in Vitamin E.

MucilageDefinition - Mucilage is a gel-like substance secreted by plants, like cacti, and helps the plant store and maintain water and food. Relevance - Mucilage is used as a glue or adhesive and medicinally to decrease gastrointestinal inflammation; it is readily found in cacti, flax seeds, alue vera, chia seeds, and other plants.

MyricetinDefinition - Myricetin is flavonoid compound found in many plant-based foods. Relevance - Myricetin is found in tea, berries, fruits and vegetables and is considered an antioxidant; it has been shown in studies to have protective effects against skin cancer and inflammation.

MyristicinDefinition - Myristicin is an active compound found in parsley and nutmeg. Relevance - Myristicin is widely accepted as the compound in nutmeg that is responsible for its psychoactive properties at high doses; it is also a natural insecticide.