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Fit for fibre; the role fibre plays in maintaining gut health

Dietary fibre plays an important role in maintaining gut health and function. Fibre is useful in helping feel full after meals, ensuring our bowel movements are regular as well as stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria to allow the gut microbiome to thrive. It is important that fibre, both soluble and insoluble, is included in everyday consumption to ensure optimal gut health (1). These fibres are found in a variety of different foods as well as prebiotic and full fibre supplements that can be used in times of bowel irregularity or for general health and maintenance. Fibre for healthy bowel

Harness the Immune Boosting Power of Mushrooms and AHCC

Mushrooms and fungi have been used in medicine for thousands of years. They have been used traditionally to treat and prevent infections, protect the liver and offset the negative effects of stress. There are many different varieties of mushrooms that have demonstrated beneficial effects against cancer cells, boosting the immune system and reducing chemo side effects. Mushrooms contain specific compounds including polysaccharides; in particular β-glucans, polysaccharopeptides (PSP), polysaccharide proteins, and proteins. The various glucans, and especially β-glucans, have become the focus of a great deal of research into immune system modulation, infection prevention and cancer. β-glucans are large polysacharrides, which

Foundational Nutrition for Optimal Health

As any good builder can attest, creating a strong foundation is imperative. Likewise, in health, we want to ensure that we are providing each bodily system with the key structures for proper physiology. See the thing is our bodies are very good at knowing what to do in the right circumstances. So, when we talk about health optimization, we are really talking about creating those “right” circumstances. Of course, we all have different needs depending on our dietary habits, current health status, environment, and genetic predispositions. That being said there are some universal principles we all need to take stock

How to Reduce Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer in 2020

Cancer stories are powerful. They start off with some shock and disbelief, then the fighting for life comes and in some cases, the story has a fairly happy ending of remission. In a lot more cases, however, the story does not end well. These latter stories are full of reminiscing about life before illness and living well while dying from cancer. The incidence of cancer worldwide is on a continuous rise, with approximately 17 million new cancer cases in 2018 and an estimated 27.5 million new cancer cases each year, by 2040. Cancer research is trying to keep up with

Reducing Allergy Inflammation

“Ahhh, the fresh scent of spring!!!” “Hmm, that yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!! “ For most of us, the above statements are a thing of joy, the beginning of something exciting, however, for some, the coming of spring, the presence of an allergen like peanuts or other allergens are not as exciting and result in a battle of itches, hives, stuffy noses and in some cases, more serious anaphylactic reactions. If you’re unaware of a sensitvity, you might find yourself stating the following; “Oops, where did these hives come from?” “Oh Goodness, why is my nose runny and itchy

Supporting your Liver and Detox Pathways with Nutrients and Diet

Introduction to Elimination The human body has a number of intricate systems and pathways that need to function effectively to absorb and utilize nutrients while simultaneously removing toxins and wastes. This process is done by every cell and tissue continuously as the body produces energy from nutrients but is also exposed to harmful compounds daily. The importance of efficient elimination is paramount because cells and enzymes cannot function when there is excess waste and toxin build-up. If the amount of toxins surpasses the ability of the body to remove it changes that promote disease start to occur. This is when

Be Your Best Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure and how does it relate to my health? Blood pressure is a measurement of how hard your heart has to work to pump blood out to the body. It calculates the volume of blood leaving your heart (cardiac output) by the resistance it faces when it leaves (peripheral resistance.) There are many contributing factors to make up this number: How healthy is your heart? How much blood volume do you have? Did you lose blood? How strong and flexible are your arteries? How old and what sex are you? What is your genetic susceptibility or risk?

The Facts about Cholesterol

Cholesterol gets a pretty bad reputation in the self-care health circles but it may be time to revisit this ubiquitous molecule. Cholesterol is the backbone of steroid hormones, bile salts, vitamin D, and cell membranes. Without cholesterol, we would not be able to digest foods properly; our cell structure would not be able to withstand any changes in temperature, and a significant number of important hormones such as estrogen and testosterone could not be produced. So how can it be that bad? Well, like all good things it is best in moderation. High total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and trans fats

Magnesium & Heart Health

When you hear magnesium do you immediately think of sports performance or cramping legs? You are not alone. So often we are conditioned to think of minerals as having one function, but the reality is that many minerals, particularly magnesium are very diverse and can be used for many health conditions. In fact, magnesium has over 300 different functions in the body from electrolyte regulation, neurotransmitter production and yes,  you guessed it, muscle contraction. In fact, it’s not just related to skeletal muscle contraction but all smooth muscle contraction as well. That means those small smooth muscles in your gut

Protecting your Heart and Blood Vessels with Antioxidants

February is heart health month so of course we start to see more posts on heart-healthy recipes and natural ingredients. One thing you might notice is that many of these natural compounds fall into the category of antioxidants. This is a broad term that includes any substance that that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced in our bodies as results of normal cell energy production or from external damaging influences (i.e. UV radiation, chemicals etc.). The cardio-vascular system is especially sensitive to the effects of free radicals.

P.E.A.k Pain Relief

By Dr. Traj Nibber The endocannabinoidome (eCBome) is a broader and more appropriate term than the old endocannabinoid system (ECS), and incorporates the more recent research into this fascinating area. What is the eCBome Briefly, eCBome is a protective, and communication network that exists all over the body, and interacts with hormonal, nervous, immune, endocrine, microbiome, and other systems of the body. The eCBome plays a major role in the health and disease of many organs of the body including; the reproductive system in both males and females, hormonal system, kidneys, liver, gut microbiome, heart and circulatory system, nervous system,

The connection between thyroid function and weight gain

By Dr. Sarah Zadek ND The inability to lose weight from diet and exercise alone can be extremely frustrating. There are many factors that affect weight management, and for those who struggle with this it may be worth investigating other causes of this “stubborn metabolism.” One such cause is the functioning of the thyroid gland and its respective hormones. Thyroid hormones play crucial roles in how the body uses energy and regulates appetite. Additionally, fat cells, also called adipose tissue, contains their own messengers and hormones that affect energy stores and usage. The interaction between these cells, their messengers and

Weight Loss is More than Just Cutting Calories

It is not uncommon to hear a friend or family member say that they are trying to lose weight. In fact, the vast majority of us spend our entire lives struggling to maintain a weight that is healthy or desirable. There are certainly many people that are over-eating or under-exercising for their caloric requirements. But what about the rest of us? For some individuals, it doesn’t matter how little we eat because the weigh scale doesn’t seem to budge! Weight loss can be quite complex with many contributing factors and the simple reality is that cutting calories is not a

What Age is Appropriate for Genetic Testing?

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND Your genes are the same throughout life, so genetic testing could technically be done from the point of conception; however, this seems somewhat invasive. Joking aside, this question comes up frequently from savvy parents looking to make the best lifestyle and dietary choices for their kids for prevention as well as optimizing their potential. Some key information is available to parents using genetic testing. 1.Dietary restrictions Genetic testing is exceptionally helpful for parents who want to know if their child is at risk for Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is especially helpful if a

Your Genes are Not Your Destiny: How to Tap into Your Genetic Potential. Part II

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND The verdict is in, your genes are not your destiny. Advances in genetics and epigenetics have evolved through observations that environmental factors influence genetic expression to directly impact an individual’s health. Epigenetic changes are reversible while effects of genetic variations are modifiable. 1,2 Today, in the midst of personalized medicine, understanding an individual’s genetic blueprint provides simple yet powerful strategies to significantly make a difference in one’s health. While science reveals how general lifestyle strategies in diet, exercise and stress reduction significantly impacts epigenetic modifications and thus gene expression and risk for disease; it is

Your Genes are Not Your Destiny: A Guide to Epigenetics. Part 1

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND Are your genes your destiny? This common question is top of mind for most, especially for those who are considering genetic testing. Questioning whether or not you really want to know, in fear that nothing can be done. Well, the simple answer is, NO, your genes are not your destiny. While this may be due to a number of factors, such as the impact of the gene, the main topic of this article is discussing how epigenetics and particular lifestyle strategies can positively influence health, and that knowing your genes may just be the missing

PCOS: Signs and Struggles of a Hormonal Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem affecting one in ten women of childbearing age. PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones that creates problems in the ovaries. This imbalance can lead to infertility (in fact it is the most common cause of that condition), problems with the menstrual cycle and development of cysts in the ovaries. PCOS impacts women of childbearing years and can happen any time after puberty. It has been proven that PCOS can exist in women of any body type.  Since there is a genetic component, it’s a good idea to ask your

The Male Immune Response System

As a male, have you ever wondered about your immune response system? Or is it not something that ever really crosses your mind? Let’s take a look at what exactly the male immune response system is, what does it mean to males, as well as point out some differences between females and males and sex hormones, ways to strengthen the immune system and why you should keep an eye on your immune system. Healthy Lifestyle One of your first lines of defence is to lead a healthy lifestyle filled with whole foods, fruits and vegetables, exercising (light or vigorous), regular

Five Integral Supplements for Optimal Men’s Health

Supplements are a natural way for people to boost their overall health and immune system, from protein powder (whey, vegan, casein) to vitamin D, supplementation helps us restore our bodies. For men, supplementing is an important way to stay on top of their health. While there are thousands of supplements on the market, having a diet high in whole foods, vitamins and nutrients is perhaps the best way to look after your health. Food provides vitamins in the most natural and biologically available form. Many people do not achieve the recommended amount of nutrients they need from food, which can

Red Yeast Rice and other Food-based treatments of Metabolic Syndrome By Dr. Sarah Zadek ND

Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality worldwide, responsible for 17.3 million deaths each year. Metabolic syndrome refers to the “perfect storm” of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abnormal blood sugar regulation, and the presence of intra-abdominal fat accumulation. This cluster of disorders affects about 30-40% of Americans and increases the risk of developing CVD and Type 2 diabetes. Dietary and lifestyle changes are obvious and effective measures of prevention and treatment, however, many individuals find these types of changes too difficult. Other times individuals may need extra support if areas such as

How Stress Impacts Your Body

Most of us are aware that stress is one of the key drivers behind many of our modern health complaints. Stress is a risk factor for hormone imbalance, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer as well as mental illnesses like anxiety or depression and even brain-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Ever wondered how stress can have such a devastating impact on our body? The mind-body connection, or the stress-illness connection for purposes of this article, works in different ways. It’s useful to remember firstly that the stress response is meant to improve your chances of surviving a physical threat to your

How to Make Healthy Habits Fun for the Whole Family

Do you feel like eating healthily is a chore and enjoying food that is good for you is a challenge? If it is the case and you have children, you run the risk of passing this attitude on to them. Studies show that the children of parents with a high BMI often have similar issues. Therefore, genetics aside, it seems that kids do pick up their parent’s lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to try to build some fun into establishing healthy habits, for the benefit of the whole family.  Make It Kid-Friendly Making healthy meals fun can

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