November 12 to 18 is Natural Health Product Week. Find out how you can get involved and celebrate!
Next week is Natural Health Product (NHP) Week. Organized by the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), November 12 to 18 is a time to “raise awareness and shine a spotlight on natural health products, their benefits, and the importance of our industry.” At alive, we think that’s a great cause for celebration, and we’re encouraging consumers to jump on board too!
For individuals looking to improve their health and take a closer look at what they’re consuming, NHP Week is a great opportunity.
Celebrate NHP Week:
- Drop by your local natural health retailer to learn more about NHPs (retailers may even have some specials or events for consumers to celebrate the week!). Take this opportunity to ask any questions you might have about NHPs to the store’s knowledge staff and brush up on your NHP knowledge.
- Check out the CHFA and NHP week online on Facebook, or on Twitter. (You can tweet about NHP week by using the hashtag #NHPWeek2012.)
NHPs in Canada
According to the CHFA, natural health products include:
- vitamins and minerals
- herbal remedies
- homeopathic medicines
- traditional medicines
- other products, such as amino acids and essential fatty acids
The CHFA has found that 70 percent of Canadians use natural health products regularly, and 80 percent of natural health product users say that their NHPs are “very or somewhat important to their families.”
Here’s a look at some popular NHPs in Canada, and why they deserve to be in the spotlight.
Multivitamins are the mainstay of many consumers’ NHP collection; they’re a great addition to help fill the gaps in our diet if our food choices happen to be less-than-perfect.
But be warned—not all multis are created equal. Moreover, there are now highly specialized formulas on the market for specific demographics, preferences, and health concerns. It’s best to speak to a knowledgeable staff member at a health food store to find the best one for you
Winter is coming, which means that for us Canadians, getting adequate vitamin D levels from sunshine exposure can be nearly impossible. Supplements are a great option, and the research on the health benefits of vitamin D just keeps accumulating!
Our bodies can’t produce omega-3 essential fatty acids on their own, but we need them to stay healthy, so it’s crucial that we obtain them through outside sources. When diet isn’t enough, omega-3 supplements (derived from fish oil or vegetable sources) can offer a helping hand
Probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in our guts to help digestion and boost immunity, can also be taken in supplement form. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can choose a single-strain or multi-strain formula.
Extra tips and info for NHP consumers
- It’s so important to open the lines of communication between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and conventional medicine. Having a conversation with your doctor about NHPs can be a great place to start.
- In addition, some supplements can interact with medications, with potentially harmful consequences, so it’s important to be cautious and ask a health care practitioner’s advice when taking something new.
- Follow these tips to make sure you store and use your NHPs correctly, so they’re most effective.
- Test your NHP knowledge with this quiz!