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Celebrate Natural Health Products Week!


Celebrate Natural Health Products Week!

November 3 to 9 is Natural Health Products Week - celebrate by learning about the natural health products that so many of us take!

If you’ve ever taken some echinacea to help battle a nasty flu bug, promoted digestive health with probiotics, or supplemented with vitamin D on shady days—something that about 71 percent of Canadians have done—then you have reason to celebrate!

This week, from November 3 to 9, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is hosting Natural Health Products (NHP) Week to celebrate healthy living and raise awareness about the many benefits that NHPs have on our everyday lives.

A recent survey conducted by the CHFA found that more than half of us are planning to supplement with natural health products this winter to boost our healthy lifestyle. We’re taking part in the celebration by spreading awareness about the top four NHPs that Canadians plan on supplementing with this season.

1. Vitamin D

 This vitamin helps to boost our immune system, improves calcium adsorption, promotes healthy bone growth, protects against some cancers, and even helps us to maintain a sunny disposition throughout the not-so-sunny winter months.

Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. However, because many Canadians don’t get enough time in the sunshine, vitamin D deficiency is common. As a result, Health Canada recommends daily supplementation of this sunshine vitamin.

2. Calcium

Most of us consider calcium to be synonymous with bone health. However, this mineral does a lot more than that! Beyond helping to maintain strong bones, adequate calcium intake is important for healthy muscles, nerves, and hormonal function.

However, it’s also one of the minerals that we’re least likely to get enough of; a Health Canada report found that more than 80 percent of Canadians over the age of 50 weren’t taking in enough calcium from their food.

3. Omega-3s

Many of us have heard about this healthy oil—and for good reason, since it’s been associated with everything from lowered cholesterol levels and reduced inflammation to decreased risks of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some cancers. Many of these benefits, though, are seen when we consume high levels of EPA and DHA.

4. Probiotics

These friendly bacteria help to keep our digestive tract balanced, and may have a plethora of benefits, such as boosting our immune system, preventing diarrhea, and treating irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Some research has also suggested probiotics can help those with type 2 diabetes manage the disease.

Get involved!

Check out your natural health retailer, keep pumping up your natural product knowledge, or join the conversation with fellow NHP enthusiasts and the CHFA; make yourself heard on Twitter by using the hashtag #NHPWeek or follow the CHFA on Facebook.



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Matthew Kadey, MSc, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc, RD