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Vitamins

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4 myths about supplements

When it comes to supplements, the sheer number of options on the market can get overwhelming. With that abundance also comes plenty of confusion and misconceptions about their effects and use. Here are four common supplement myths you may find yourself falling prey to, debunked. Supplement Myths MYTH NO. 1: “I can get all nutrients from food; I don’t need supplements.” For the most part, this “myth” is true. A healthy diet is one that provides lots of fresh, wholesome ingredients including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meats, whole eggs and poultry. A varied diet will provide all the essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients you need to fuel your metabolism and your muscles. However, if your diet is lacking, you miss meals, you have bad eating habits, or you exercise to the extreme, your diet might not be delivering. Taking a multivitamin or greens supplement can help

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Health

The power of your immune system

The immune system strives to protect us from infections and to stop tumours in their tracks. Its job, simply put, is to keep us alive. You can look at the immune system as a gift from nature. It works hard to fend off all types of insults to our system. But it’s a two-way deal. If we want all the benefits of a high-functioning immune system, we need to look after it so it can look after us. To help our immune system, we need to eat right and exercise smart. We also need to identify and ignore some myths. Our bodies need fuel and our immune system is no different. IRON deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world. More than 20% of the world’s population has an iron deficiency—and women are more likely to be affected than men, according to Statistics Canada. Iron deficiency leads to less cell-mediated immunity,

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Health

Magnesium; what you need to know

Few people give thought to what happens inside the body, deep down at the cellular level. We have trillions of cells performing many jobs and we take most for granted. Like breathing, they simply happen. Most of our cells are so small that we can’t see them with the naked eye, but despite their size, each performs many complex biochemical reactions every millisecond—reactions that are made possible only with the right nutrients, cofactors, and plenty of oxygen. When you consider magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the human body — after calcium, sodium, and potassium—it seems ensuring healthy magnesium levels would be a dietary priority. However, if you don’t realize the importance of something, it tends to disappear from view. Approximately 24-35 grams of magnesium are stored in the human body: 60% is located in the bones, 39% in the muscles and soft tissues, and 1% in the

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Health

Canadians don’t get enough of this vitamin

For Canadians, getting the right amount of vitamin D can be a challenge. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for human health. Without it, your body can’t properly absorb vital elements including calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. “The sunshine vitamin” is also a critical component of bone health, and a deficiency early in life can have a dramatic effect as one gets into old age. Recent studies have also linked vitamin D deficiency with medical conditions such as chronic depression and even the onset of winter colds. Because vitamin D is so essential, the human body has evolved a unique way of sourcing it. Radiation from the sun triggers our bodies to manufacture it. Simply being out in the sun with exposed skin for a few minutes will promote healthy levels of vitamin D into our bodies. The problem in countries like Canada is that we don’t get out in the sun much during

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Health

How to decode your vitamins

With hundreds of bottles lining the shelves of your local health food store, the choice can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips and tricks to help you unravel the mystery of natural health products. How to read vitamin bottle labels Natural product number (NPN)  In Canada all supplements must have either an eight digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. These indicate the product meets Health Canada’s minimum standards for active ingredients, quality control, and are safe and effective when used according to the instructions on the label. Format and bioavailability There can always be a debate about how absorbable (bioavailable) a product is, depending on the type of product and how it is produced, for example. Some guidelines: Fermentation:This enhances the active ingredient and makes it easier for your body to process. Food:If your body recognizes a product as food, it naturally

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