Posts

87

5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy.

February is Heart Health month. That doesn’t mean February is the only month you should be concerned about the health of your heart, but it is a good time to re-evaluate your heart healthy habits. We all know that exercise and a well balanced diet go a long way to keep your ticker going strong but what else can you do? Incorporating the following 5 simple lifestyle habits can go along way to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and stroke.  Heart disease is a progressive condition that can start early in life but can also be prevented or controlled by making smart lifestyle choices. Follow a heart-healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, do what you can to reduce stress and live a life of moderation and you will be well on your way to maintaining a healthy heart.

  1. Eat Healthy Fats NOT Trans Fats – We all need fat in our diet. Fats are essential in many processes throughout the body and should be eaten in moderation at every meal. Not only do they give us energy but they are essential for generating new cells, transporting vitamins, protecting the brain and regulating many bodily processes. That being said, not all fats are created equal. The North American Diet is high in fat but can be very low in “healthy fat”. There are three general types of fat including:
    • Healthy Saturated Fat (solid at room temperature ie: butter, animal fat, coconut oil)
    • Healthy Unsaturated fat (Omega 6 plant oils ie: nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and Omega 3 fish oils)
    • Unhealthy Trans Fat (primarily artificially made through hydrogenation and present in fast food, fried food and commercial baked goods)
  2. Get Enough Sleep – Sleep is essential to good health. When we are sleeping our body does its work, repairing and regenerating itself. Lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Researchers believe sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Good sleep habits including reducing screen time before bed, sleeping in a dark room and maintaining a consistent sleep time. All which can help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
  3. Reduce Stress  – Stress can wreak havoc on your body and your overall health. How much stress you experience and how you react to it can lead to a wide variety of health problems including an increase risk for heart disease including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Stress can negatively affect your sleep, zap your energy levels and create tension in relationships. Finding ways to reduce your stress and mitigate your response to stress can go a long way to improving your health. Tools like meditation, exercise and a healthy diet can help deal with high stress situations. Adaptogen herbs such as Ashwaganda or supplements like L-Theanine can also help with stress management.
  4. Practice Good Dental Hygiene – It may seem unconnected but studies have shown that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. This may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease and reduce your risk of heart disease. Increasing the healthy bacteria (probiotics) in your body can also help defend against unwanted and dangerous bacteria.
  5. Consume Less Added Sugar- Not only will eating less sugar improve your dental hygiene it can also reduce your risk of dying of  heart disease. Added sugars make up at least 10% of the calories in the North American diet (can be as highs 25%). A 15 year study on added sugar and heart disease published in JAMA Internal Medicine, resulted in solid findings that  the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index. Sugar sweetened beverages (pop, energy drinks, juice punches) are by far the biggest source of added sugar in our diets but cookies, cakes, candy, and other sweet foods also contribute. Sugar has also been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Reducing sugar intake to less than 100 calories (women) or 150 calories (men) can have a positive effect not only on the health of your heart but on digestion, joint pain, cognitive function and more.
Prenatal Health

Prenatal Health Package

“Just got home from my midwife appointment and wanted to let you know the prenatal package I’ve been using from your store from your recommendation is Ahhhhmaysing! Midwife says my levels could not be any more perfect, irons the best she’s ever seen!!!! Thank you, I’ve never felt better” 

–  Zabrina Scharfe, 32 weeks pregnant with her 3rd child.  Jan. 2018

About a year ago I sat down with one of the nutritionists here at the Granary to discuss the various nutritional needs of different sections of the population. We were on a quest to develop a plan to help people meet their unique nutritional goals in an effective and convenient way. We started by brainstorming who had unique nutritional needs.  At the time I had just had my third baby and was still exclusively breastfeeding, so naturally pregnant and nursing women were near the top of my list. I had successfully navigated my third pregnancy and birth without any major complications, but like many, I struggled with iron levels and I worried about giving my child optimal nutritional conditions in which to thrive. I found this concern multiplies with subsequent children because as mothers we tend to take care of ourselves after taking care of everyone else.

In order to help new and experienced mothers meet their unique nutritional needs required during pregnancy and nursing we developed a Prenatal Support Package. The Prenatal Package supports both mother and baby by providing the required nutrients often recommend by midwives and doctors. We have taken much consideration to put together a package that is both highly effective and cost considerate. One package will give moms optimal nutritional support for 45 days for a cost of $115.00 That is more than a 10% savings.

Prenatal Multi-Vitamin with Folic Acid – 1 capsule with each breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for a number of nutrients nearly doubles during pregnancy and a list of unwanted complications can arise if mom falls short of satisfying these needs. A well balanced Multi Vitamin designed to support these needs, such as the Progressive Prenatal Formula can support a women’s needs during all stages of pregnancy. The addition of Folic Acid is extremely important to reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. Our bodies are not designed to process a whole days worth of vitamins & minerals at one time. In order to achieve optimal absorption of nutrients, divided does of multivitamins are always recommended. We recommend 1 capsules be taken with a meal, ideally three times a day. A minimum of 2 times a day will also provide nutritional advantages. 

High DHA Fish Oil – 2 soft gels daily with food 

Fish oil is one of the most studied supplements on the market. Many of these studies have linked one of the active compounds (DHA) found in fish oil with brain development both in utero and beyond. Our Prenatal Package recommends Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA to support brain, eye and nervous system function in developing babies as well as supporting immunity and mood for moms. It is recommend that 2 soft gels be taken daily with food. They can be taken with other supplements. 

Multi Strain Probiotic – 1 capsule daily at bedtime

Probiotics provide the body with beneficial bacteria which are essential for healthy gut flora.   Beneficial bacteria colonize the digestive tract, lining of the mouth, urinary tract, vagina, stomach and the surface of the skin.  They provide balance against “bad” bacteria or yeasts which can help prevent UTIs or yeast infections which can be common during pregnancy and nursing.   Probiotics can also help with heartburn, gas and constipation. Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of eczema and allergies in children. This package includes the Natural Factors Women’s Formula Probiotic with 12 billion active bacteria and the addition of cranberry for more antioxidants and added UTI prevention. One capsule should be taken daily, with or without food. Unless indicated otherwise on the label, the best time to take a probiotic is at bedtime which allows the bacteria uninterrupted opportunity to colonize the gut.  Probiotics can be taken with other supplements but should be taken at least 2 and up to 4 hours ways from any antibiotic medication. 

Iron – Iron deficiency or anemia is one of the most common, preventable pregnancy complications. Iron is hard to absorb for many people and the iron needs during pregnancy increase dramatically as the mother’s blood volume increases to transport oxygen to the fetus. Iron deficiency can result in extreme fatigue as well as complications at birth. Your healthcare provider will likely monitor your iron levels throughout your pregnancy. Many women are advised to take an iron supplement at some point during or after pregnancy.  Some iron supplements can be very hard to take  causing constipation and other stomach issues. Easy to digest, liquid iron can be cost prohibitive for many. All of this taken into consideration, our Prenatal package includes an easy to absorb, non constipating Carbonyl Iron capsule from Ottawa based company Pure Lab. It is recommend that 1 or 2 capsules be taken daily, ideally on an empty stomach.  

P_20170831_145851_vHDR_Auto_1

 

Tips for a health pregnancy

  • Stay hydrated: drink lots of water. 
  • Eat a balanced diet with regular, healthy snacks. 
  • Include lots of calcium rich foods such as: almonds, broccoli, dairy products, oranges, sardines 
  • Decrease consumption of caffeine, fried or processed foods, sugar and white flour
  • Make time for gentle exercise like an evening walk around the neighbourhood or calming yoga
  • Get plenty of rest and nap when you need to!

As with all natural health products, be sure to talk to your health practitioner to ensure the products are right for you. Brands and products can not be substituted for the quoted price, however, we are always happy to help you find the products that are right for you. Check out our other Health Packages

skincare

Skin Health – Inside and Out

Skin, it is our largest organ and one that provides more protection than you might think. We all know skin is our outer shell but it does more than guard our muscles and organs. Our many layers of skin play a role in our immunity, temperature regulation, vitamin D synthesis,  water regulation and toxin removal. Keeping it healthy is an integral part of overall health.

Many of us put a lot of time and products into making it look younger, softer, firmer and smoother. While these lotions, creams, butters, oils and other topical concoctions feel great and provide some temporary results, true skin health comes from the inside out.

Hydration

Good hydration is essential for good skin health and I don’t mean topically with creams. True skin hydration comes from inside. Skin cells, like all cells in the body, are primarily made up of water. This means that a lack of water will result in dry, tight cells. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.  Unfortunately, skin is one of the last organs to receive water from the body, meaning that drinking the recommended 8 glasses is especially important for that healthy glow.

Omega 3’s, obtained from fish oils are also essential for good skin hydration. The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in Omega 3s is especially beneficial as it regulates oil production and boosts hydration. EPA can prevent acne, and by delaying the skin’s aging process, stave off wrinkles. A 2005 study in the Journal of Lipid Research discovered that EPA can help block the release of the UV-induced enzymes that eat away at our collagen, causing lines and sagging skin. Because EPA is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, it can protect against sun damage and help repair it.

Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing, like it sounds, is the act of brushing your skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before bathing. This is an old health trick with many benefits that is gaining new popularity. By gently dry brushing the skin in a circular pattern starting farthest from the heart and working towards the heart many good things happen!

  • Increase blood flow and circulation.
  • Stimulate and detoxify the Lymphatic system that lies just below the skin’s surface.
  • Soothe and massage sore muscles.
  • Exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, resulting is softer, brighter skin
  • Clean pores by physically removing oil and dirt.
  • Reduce cellulite.
  • Combine the above results for an early morning energy boostIt is recommend to start with a soft brush and light pressure, working your way up to a firm brush.

Probiotics

Skin supports its own ecosystems of microorganisms including bacteria and yeast. Many of these are beneficial and cannot be removed with cleaning.  If this delicate balance between yeast and bacteria is disturbed, like in the the rest of the body, an overgrowth can occur resulting in infection. Many of us take probiotics (healthy bacteria) for digestion and stomach health but researchers now know that the gut and the skin are connected. When bad bacteria are present in the gut (due to stress, poor diet, medications etc), they can cause flare ups on the skin in the form of eczema, rosacea and acne.  Taking an oral probiotic can reduce these “bad bacteria” by replacing them with “good bacteria” that can help improve and prevent skin issues. There is also very promising research that suggests that taking probiotic supplement while pregnant can improve an infants skin health.

Sun Exposure

We all love the feel of the warm sun on our skin, especially after a long cold winter. That warm sun provides many benefits to us including the very important vitamin D, but it can also have damaging effects. Sun changes skin. In response to prolonged sun exposure our skin begins to discolour, initially with a redding burn or darkening tan. It then starts to develop freckles, discoloured areas, age spots and wrinkles. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.  There is also much research to support the claim that excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer.

Protecting your skin from prolonged and excessive sun exposure is vital to healthy skin, both appearance and function. Clothing, hats, shade and good sunscreen are all useful when fighting the damaging effects of the sun. Choosing a healthy sunscreen that is not going to increase your exposure to harmful chemicals is also important. Many sunscreens, while effective in preventing sun damage, contain ingredients that have been proven to be harmful to our bodies in other ways, some even causing cancer themselves.  To find an effective, healthy sunscreen look for biodegradable, all natural sunscreens that do not contain ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. To see how your sunscreen rates, check out the Environmental Working Group Annual  Guide to Sunscreen. This research-based document is a great guide for choosing the best sunscreens for your family.  We use it to make sure every sunscreen we sell in the store is effective and healthy for our customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/probiotics-for-better-skin/

http://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-for-your-skin/26334

http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411530,00.html

 

 

Save 15% all summer on this great new product

Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic

I recently took home this new chewable probiotic for my kids.  I have given my girls a variety of probiotics over the years including Udo’s Choice Toddlers, Renew life BabyFlora and Progressive Kids. All of which I believe have great benefits to the overall health of children, including better immune system, less digestion distress and more. I have to admit this new 10billion chewable makes giving a high quality, high dose probiotic very convenient. Renew Life has greatly improved the texture of this  tablet and not dealing with powder can be nice (however powder does provide more discrete options!)

 

For those looking for a high quality, great tasting probiotic chewable for kids I recommend this new Renew Life product.

Get it now and save 15%!

Save 15% all summer on this great new product

Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is a blend of 9 probiotics (good bacteria) that is specifically formulated for the intestinal tract and colon of children. Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is a chewable tablet with berry flavour from real berries and fruit for a taste that children will love.

The term ‘probiotic’ means supporting life. Probiotics are friendly, beneficial bacteria. While there are hundreds of different strains of bacteria that live in the digestive tract, some strains are more prevalent in children including; Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum & Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria (as well as others) are normal inhabitants of the large and small intestines and are an important part of a healthy digestive system. However, the type and amount of bacteria in each child is dependent on which bacteria they acquired as infants. The intestinal system of a fetus is actually sterile; with no bacteria present. It is during a vaginal delivery that the baby is introduced to numerous strains of bacteria. Vaginally born infants have over 1000 completely colonized intestinal bacteria species by the end of their first year. Cesarean born infants are not introduced to the same type or amount of bacteria as vaginal born infants. Research has shown those born via c-section have lower numbers of bifidobacteria & Bacteroides, as well as more C difficile (a pathogenic bacteria) than vaginally born infants.

Research has also shown that breastfed infants initially establish a different bacterial composition than formula fed infants. The prebiotic oligosaccharide (found in breast milk) is what feeds healthy intestinal bacteria. By providing gut bacteria with the food they require, they are able to colonize. Exclusively formula-fed infants are more often colonized with E coli, C difficile, Bacteroides, and lactobacilli, compared with breastfed infants who have higher counts of bifidobacteria.

Children born via C-section and those who have not been breast fed are not the only children who can have an imbalance of gut bacteria. Probiotics can also be impaired through stress, illness, antibiotics treatment, or changes to the diet. Thankfully they can also be brought back into balance through the introduction of the right balance of supplemental probiotics.

Research shows that taking probiotics can help to improve gastrointestinal function, respiratory and allergy response, as well as help to counter the negative effects of antibiotic use.

Further, these beneficial bacteria help the body to

produce vitamins
absorb nutrients
control overgrowth of bad bacteria and fungus.

Common Digestive Problems and Solutions

Some of the most common digestive issues Canadians face include heartburn and intestinal discomfort due to bloating and gas. Although sometimes these symptoms can be associated with other conditions, they are most often a result of the type of food we have consumed.
Heartburn, also called gastric reflux, is a common gastro-intestinal symptom with a number of dietary triggers. These include coffee and other caffeinated beverages, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomato products, fatty foods and spicy foods. This burning sensation in the lower chest is the result of acid from the stomach entering the esophagus, causing irritation. Simple steps to avoid heartburn include identifying and removing trigger foods from your diet and not overeating.
When it comes to excess bloating due to intestinal gas, there are a number of potential sources. Over-eating and inadequate chewing of food can be common causes.
In fact, much of our intestinal gas that can cause discomfort is due to swallowing air with the food we eat.
Taking your time with meals and thoroughly chewing food can contribute to less swallowed air. In the lower gastro-intestinal tract, mainly the large intestine, gas can also be produced by the intestinal bacteria that are fermenting undigested fibre and starches in our food. Ensuring a healthy balance of bacteria is an important step towards proper digestion.To give these good bacteria a boost, consider introducing a probiotic supplement, gradually, to your daily routine. It can sometimes take a week or two for the healthy flora to become established.
Digestive health is essential to our overall health. Being attentive to our digestive tract allows us to absorb the essential nutrients our bodies need to thrive. Simple steps can be taken to reduce your likelihood of common digestive issues like heartburn and bloating, and natural health products specific to digestive health can support your often overlooked inner ecosystem.
Here are CHFA’s top five tips for enhancing your digestive health:
Consume plenty of fibre rich whole foods.
Eat slowly and chew your food well.
Add a probiotic supplement to your regime for microbial health.
Exercise to stimulate healthy intestinal muscle contractions.
Drink plenty of fluids – we make about 10 litres of digestive juices each day! Drinking fluids keeps our digestive tract lubricated and healthy.

To find more tips on how to maintain a happy and health gut, visit chfa.ca.

OmegGROUP_large

Back to School, Back to Routine

The days are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change colour, marking the beginning of fall and another school year. Lazy summer days are over and it’s time to get back to school and back to routine. We’ve put together a list of essential supplements to include in your morning routine to keep your energy up while adjusting to the busy fall season.

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil contains DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) an essential Omega-3 fatty acid, which is very important when it comes to brain health. Nerve-cell membranes in the brain, which are responsible for all of our cognitive functions, are made up of fat. By supplementing with healthy fats, specifically DHA, you can keep these membranes limber in order to maintain and even improve cognitive function.

Studies indicate that DHA can help improve attention, focus, memory and the efficiency of information processing, which are all important factors when returning to work or school.

OmegGROUP_large

2. Probiotics

It’s no secret that probiotics, or the “friendly bacteria”, are important when it comes to digestive health, but these microorganisms do more than just maintaining and replenishing intestinal flora, they are also a powerful immune booster.

Immunity starts in the small intestine, where up to 80% of the immune system is produced. Therefore the health of your small intestine is directly linked to the health of your immune system. This fall you can beat back to school bugs, while improving your digestive health, by supplementing with probiotics.

3329_large

3. Multivitamin

No matter what age, it’s always important to ensure that we are receiving adequate levels of nutrients through our diet. This is especially important for children, who are at risk of developing negative effects on brain development if they lack the proper nutrition. If you’re a picky eater or you’ve encountered one, you know it’s not always possible to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need through your diet, which is where a multivitamin comes in.

By including a multivitamin in your back to school routine you can not only instil healthy habits in your kids, but you can ensure that they’re getting the right nutrients to support bone health and immunity, while improving cognitive function and increasing their energy. Don’t forget to take your own multivitamin as well!

3400_large

4. Greens

Greens pack a whole lot of nutrition per serving and are an important part of a healthy diet. Not only are they full of minerals and vitamins, especially the dark leafy ones, they also contain powerful antioxidants.

Everyone knows it’s important to get enough greens in your diet, 4-6 servings for children and 7-10 for adults, but sometimes it’s difficult to meet these recommendations. If you’re not getting enough greens try adding a Greens supplement to your diet. Disguise it in a simple fruit smoothie, the perfect breakfast for providing the energy needed for a long day at school at work.

VegeGROUP_large

5. Protein

Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is essential for repairing, building and maintaining cells in the human body. Protein is essential for growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.

Make sure you’re getting enough protein by adding it to your morning smoothie in the form of a powder. With a variety of flavours and a smooth texture you’ll hardly notice it while ensuring that you’re getting enough protein throughout the day.

 

3386_large