Nutrition 101 – Glossary – F

Farmers’ marketsDefinition – When two or more farmers/growers/producers sell their own agricultural products directly to consumers at a fixed location. Products may include fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy products and grains. Relevance – These markets provide the opportunity to buy locally-grown food, which supports the local economy and enables you to purchase food that is often fresher than what’s shipped to grocery stores.

Fermented foodsDefinition – Fermented foods and beverages, such as yogurt, kefir and homemade sauerkraut have been transformed by various bacteria, fungi and the enzymes they produce. Relevance – Although long used to preserve foods, fermentation is popular today for its potential health benefits, such as to support gut health.

FlavonoidDefinition – Flavonoids are a large group of polyphenolic compounds produced by plants that include anthocyanidins, flavanols, flavanols, and isoflavones. Relevance – High intakes of flavonoid-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, have been associated with reductions in cardiovascular disease and reduced risk of other chronic diseases.

FolateDefinition – Folate, or vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin found in dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and animal products. Relevance – Adequate folate intake is critical for women of childbearing age prior to conception and during the first month of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects; for this reason, the FDA requires food manufacturers to add folic acid to enriched bread, cereal and grain products.

FuranocoumarinsDefinition – Furanocoumarins are chemical compounds produced in grapefruit and other plants that are sometimes toxic. Relevance – In the body, furanocoumarins can  increase the effects of certain drugs by disrupting their metabolism.