With the help of natural health products
Michelle W. Book
Health and happiness go hand in hand, because you can’t have one without the other. Take your health into your own hands, and learn about the benefits that natural health products provide to millions of Canadians—including you.
Health is a lifelong journey made better with a holistic foundation of healthy foods, exercise, and natural health products (NHPs). These are the building blocks to a happy life, which is what we celebrate during NHP Week every November.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to get all of our nutrients from a diet rich in organic whole foods. But the reality is that many Canadians aren’t eating a balanced diet, or we indulge in “cheat days” a bit too much.
In fact, Health Canada reports that Canadians, on average, consume excessive calories and salt, yet fail to meet their nutrient needs. Many Canadian adults don’t consume enough minerals such as magnesium (approximately 35 percent), calcium (approximately 50 percent), or potassium (more than 50 percent), and fail to get enough vitamin D and fibre from their diets.
Speak to your health care practitioner to identify any deficiencies you may have, and consider supplementing your diet with natural health products to achieve the nutritional balance your body needs.
Regular exercise contributes significantly to our health. Everyone knows that exercising regularly is important for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping our blood vessels in good working order.
But its effects go way beyond that. Even five minutes of exercise can release endorphins in the brain that boost our mood, while moderate exercise can also stimulate your immune system by improving circulation.
Make the most of your time in the gym, yoga studio, and on the track by giving your body the tools it needs to perform during your workout and the recovery. If you’re doing high intensity exercise, consider adding vitamin C to your regimen, which has been shown to help ward off upper respiratory tract infections after heavy exertion.
After a workout, remember to include a scoop of protein, which can help build lean muscle and improve recovery, especially when paired with a healthy carbohydrate, such as a banana.
A good night’s rest will help your body recover from the gym, boost the immune system, balance your mood, and improve your work performance. Not only that, but insufficient sleep has been linked to an increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It normally takes adults about 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep after “lights out,” but exposure to light from computers or phones can cause added delay.
For those having trouble falling asleep, there are great natural solutions for this problem. For example, commonly used sleep aids include melatonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns, and valerian, a root that has been used medicinally for thousands of years and has been shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. If you’re not getting the recommended seven to eight hours per night, speak with your health care practitioner about natural sleep aids.
Health is the foundation for a vibrant and fulfilling life. During NHP Week, explore the natural health support you can give your body to optimize your health and maximize your happiness. Celebrate NHP Week at a participating local health food store from November 7 to 13. Learn more at nhpweek.ca.