Monthly Archives: February 2018
Your mind is one of the most valuable assets that you have. It is extremely complex! The brain can change, learn and unlearn via neuronal connections, firing and wiring every day. Though we have come to understand the brain’s function much better, there are still many aspects of this fascinating organ that are unknown to researchers and neuroscientists to this day.
In order to keep this organ healthy and functioning optimally, it must be provided with nutrients. Medicinal herbs can be a great way to boost brain function, help heal, improve physiology, manage conditions and get you back on track nutritionally from previous heart problems that may have affected the brain’s function.
CanPrev’s Mind Pro is a fantastic formula for improving your brain health and contains the following nutrients:
Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid which help keep levels of homocysteine low, may help reduce irritation and clot formation that can occur inside vessels. This also helps supports proper vascular flow to the brain, which is crucial for bringing nutrients, oxygen and glucose to the brain and for removing carbon dioxide along with other metabolic wastes.
DL-Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose into a form of usable energy for the brain.
Phosphatidylserine (PS), found in soy lecithin, is critical for ensuring the cell membranes are able to release neurotransmitters, which is how cells communicate with each other.
Choline is another substance in this formulation that allows for the production of acetylcholine which easily used in the brain to help with memory and also recovery from degenerative or vascular dementia.
Bacopa is an herb that increases the communication between neurons; to make sure they are signaling thus, allowing information to flow between each neuron to help improve long-term memory.
Ginkgo is another medicinal herb that dilates the blood vessels and decreases clot formation, to ensure smooth blood flow.
The complex cells in the brain, neurons, need to be protected from free radical damage that can be caused by chemicals, smoking, alcohol, fried foods, pesticides and toxins in the environment.
Maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels with antioxidants is important to reduce plaque build up. This allows smooth blood flow and stimulates the production of neurotransmitters that are important for a healthy brain. It is easy to obtain a powerful dose of daily antioxidants through use of CanPrev’s Antioxidant Network.
It contains coenzyme Q10, n-acetylcysteine, zinc, selenium, dl-alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin E and green tea extract. This combination provides an army full of substances that give one of their electrons over to these free radical molecules to make them stable. When they are stable, they are not damaging cells, trying to steal their electrons or continuing the cascade of instability.
Overall, cell membranes are protected, blood vessels flow normally and inflammation is reduced.
Of course, there are other aspects of health that play a role in keeping our minds sharp. Proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and our thoughts all play a factor.
Our focus habits may also have an effect on our brain. Multi-tasking, may not benefit us like we think it does. Your mind may function best when focused on one single moment at a time. Constant distractions and switching between tasks may cause reduce long-term memory and wreak havoc on our minds.
This increasingly is a concern as our smartphones, become our handheld portable internet, email, social media and texting alert hotspots. The more interruptions, the more productivity and long-term memory decline.
Studies have shown that constant multi-tasking can decrease overall productivity, increase mistakes and reduces long-term memory and creativity.
Turning notifications off, mute, or a different setting can reduce this constant source of interrupting that can make you feel like you are being pulled in too many different directions, stressed, anxious, and feel like your memory is failing.
Every February an abundance of red and pink heart shapes fill the media! This year, maybe these Valentines Day tributes can act as a kind reminder to take a look at our own hearts health.
Whether you have a strong family history of heart disease or not, striving to take care of this very important organ — is an essential part of having a ‘prevention policy’ for your own life.
Certain nutrients are very important for a properly functioning heart. One of these major nutrients is essential fatty acids, specifically omega 3s.
The typical North American diet currently provides plenty of omega 6 essential fatty acids (also known as linoleic acid). These fatty acids can come from fried foods, crackers, cookies and other snacks. Too much of these foods can leave us in an inflammatory state, so balancing the effects of too many omega 6 fatty acids is a must for keeping your heart healthy. The anti-inflammatory action of omega 3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), is a great start to doing just that!
They are called essential fatty acids because the body is incapable of making them on its own, so it is essential that they are obtained them from the diet or supplementation.
Small amounts of omega 3’s can be found in foods such as nuts and seeds and fatty tissues of cold water fish. But, since we often consume too many over-processed omega 6 foods — we usually do not get the amounts of omega 3’s from foods needed to balance the overconsumption of omega 6’s.
Supplementing with omega 3 essential fatty acids, provide an easy way to receive the correct daily amount of essential fatty acids. Look for a formulation that contains two types of omega 3’s; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) derived from small wild fish.
Another beneficial effect of omega 3’s is their ability to reduce the viscosity of the blood, similar to the blood thinning effect of certain medications but without the side effect of disrupting the stomach lining. It can also have a positive effect on a healthy blood lipid profile (eg. cholesterol, LDL and HDL) by reducing plaque build-up and allowing for properly flowing blood in the vessels.
There are specific nutrients that are aimed to heal and provide the heart to work optimally.
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) is a powerful antioxidant that gives energy to the heart muscle cells and helps to lower blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol. In fact, pharmaceutical treatments like statins (cholesterol-lowering medication) lower the level of Coenzyme Q10, leaving a serious deficiency of this important nutrient that is important for the whole body, not just the heart.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant which will relax the blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure as a result. Vitamin B12 and folate are also important for certain enzymes in the body that remove homocysteine, an inflammatory marker, from the blood. High levels of homocysteine contribute to plaque build-up causing atherosclerosis.
Many studies show that certain herbs are extremely beneficial in improving and maintaining heart health. Garlic extract helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels by slowing the platelet aggregation which helps to prevent heart attacks.
Grape seed extract is an extremely rich antioxidant which overall protects the integrity of the inner lining of the blood vessels.
Hawthorn extract is perhaps a little less known, but a powerhouse of an herb in its ability to interact with enzymes in the heart to increase the pumping force of the heart and eliminate arrhythmias. It dilates the coronary arteries to improve circulation and oxygen levels and it can even improve LDL and HDL levels in the blood, thus decreasing plaque build up.
CanPrev’s Healthy Heart is formulated with all of the above nutrients in therapeutic dosages to help the heart with many complex health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and valve disorders.
Another supplement that was formulated with heart health in mind was Can Prev’s Magnesium + Taurine, B6 and Zinc. Now, it was created for people looking for a magnesium supplement that also provided some cardiovascular support.
Taurine acts as an antihypertensive, antiatherogenic and antioxidant to help treat coronary artery disease, ischemia, congestive heart failure and hypertension. Vitamin B6 was added to this formula because it used in the synthesis of taurine.
Remember to speak with your healthcare provider before beginging any new supplement regime.
Besides supplementation, dietary factors are of course important!
An excellent way to start a heart healthy day is with oats. They naturally contain beta-glucan which is a type of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol and boosts the immunity!
Extra virgin olive oil, in the amount of 2 tbsp per day, can help to lower overall cholesterol and improve one’s overall blood lipid profile. But, it is important to use it cold, or adding to food once it is cooked. Olive oil has a low smoking point, so frying, cooking or baking with it can burn this beneficial oil which decreases its phytochemical and antioxidant value.
Dark Chocolate (containing at least 70% cocoa) and red wine have benefits too, mainly from their antioxidant properties. But moderation, of course, is key. Even a consistent amount of exercise such as 20 minutes a day of moving your body, (like fast past walking) can help with improving your overall heart health.
We also recommend a daily dose of laughter and spreading love, to improve your own hearts happiness and wellbeing.
When it comes to your inability to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow, often due to racing thoughts and restlessness, it probably comes as no surprise that stress is likely the underlying culprit.
Stress may seem like an inescapable problem too as it affects nearly every system and organ in our body – either directly or indirectly.
Statistics show that 43% of all adults claim that stress affects certain aspects of their health. Even naturopaths support that fact, stating the reasons why 75 to 90% of patients visit their primary care doctor is because of stress-related issues.
But, what is it exactly about stress that causes us to have so much trouble sleeping, and is there a particular kind of stress that is more strongly linked to bouts of insomnia?
Workplace stress and poor sleep
Most adults’ stress reportedly stems from a highly competitive work environment and increasing pressure to perform.
Work-related stress can come in many forms: fast-approaching deadlines, an overflowing inbox, frustrating colleagues, just to list a few. In this one particular study, researchers found that the level of “Effort-Reward Imbalance” you experience at work may deserve a closer look.
If you’ve ever experienced this, you know that when effort and reward are mismatched, a lot of frustration, anger, and yes, stress results.
According to the study, this Effort-Reward Imbalance affects women to a greater extent than men. In fact, women who experienced it reported more nights of short sleep (less than 6 hours) as compared to men.
Not having your efforts recognized is a sure way to increase stress levels, but overcommitment may also be to blame. If you always find yourself taking on projects that are above and beyond what is considered normal and necessary in your workplace, you are probably guilty of overcommitment.
Research shows that overcommitment is usually driven by a high need for approval. Sound familiar?
It might be time to think about establishing some healthy boundaries because people who overcommit to their work experience more stress due to imbalances in other aspects of their life too. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you’re constantly giving them away to work, the balance in your life quickly begins to suffer.
If you always find yourself venting to your friend or significant other about your mistrustful colleague or the latest office gossip, it may be these dysfunctional work relationships that are causing your stress and subsequent sleep problems.
One study found that this particular form of work stress increased the risk of employees developing sleep problems more than two-fold. Further, improving workplace culture by removing these stressful relationships was found to be effective in preventing more than half of employees’ sleep-related problems!
That’s the power of workplace culture for you. It looks like the types of people you work with and the particular interactions you have with them can really mean the difference between a restless night’s sleep and a restful one. All the more reason to spread kindness around and be supportive of your colleagues.
Overcoming insomnia – how to get some shut-eye!
Knowing what’s behind your unsuccessful attempts at sleep is one thing, but knowing how to overcome these barriers is the real key to success.
Workplace Stress Reduction
There’s nothing more stressful than having a family emergency come up and being stuck at work unable to help. Research shows that flexible workplaces may be the answer we are all looking for to help reduce our stress levels and improve our sleep.
Flexibility with your work schedule and the ability to take time off to sort out personal matters seems to be the most effective strategy when it comes to reducing workplace stress. This type of workplace flexibility was also associated with a 6-10% reduction in employee-reported sleep difficulties.
Mindfulness and meditation practices have been popularized for the mental clarity and stress-relieving benefits they provide, but do these benefits target the aspects of stress that are affecting our sleep quality? The good news is that research seems to be answering this question with a resounding YES!
Since you can engage in these types of practices before work, after work, or maybe even during a break, these solutions may be particularly helpful if you’re feeling a little helpless about how to improve your work environment to reduce stress.
Let’s face it, sometimes these things are out of our control. Fortunately, research has shown that mind-body bridging and mindfulness meditation are both effective ways of managing stress and reducing sleep disturbances.
Mind-body bridging is based on building skills which make us more aware of unhealthy mind-body states including extreme self-centeredness, body tension, anxiety and depression and agonizing over our decisions.
Mindfulness meditation is also focused on increasing self-awareness, and can take many forms including sitting, walking, body scanning, breath awareness, thought awareness, and emotional awareness.
It’s clear we’ve got ourselves in a bit of a dilemma though, as stress levels are at an all-time high, both due to our personal environments, as well as our workplace environments.
What’s more, dealing with this collective stress after a few sleepless nights doesn’t make it any easier to cope, and the whole situation quickly turns into a bit of a vicious cycle.
Knowing what is at the core of our sleeping troubles is the first step to making positive change. But, then it’s time for the hard part – finding ways to manage the stresses that are preventing you from waking up energized and ready to take on the day, every day.
Not to worry! We offer plenty of stress management tips in the article: How to Manage Your Stress and Stay Motivated
Bone tissue is very dynamic because it is constantly being remodeled by dissolving and replacing minerals to keep the bones healthy. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone is dissolving and losing minerals faster than it can be replaced making the bones hollow, porous and very susceptible to fractures.
Vitamin K for directing calcium
It is common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D3 are needed for increasing bone health, both of which are fairly prevalent in North American diets. Yet magnesium, boron, zinc, vitamin K1 and K2 are equally important in proper bone maintenance to make sure calcium is directed to the bones and not deposited elsewhere in the body such as the heart.
Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Vitamin D3 + K2 are formulated with these nutrients so they work together synergistically in absorbable forms to help maintain bone health but also muscles, teeth and skin.
The pH balance in the body is another factor important to bone health that is not usually addressed or well known. The reason this is important is that the blood needs to stay at the pH level of 7.0-7.4. This is a very tightly regulated system in the body so if the body is undergoing an acidic state (i.e. smoking, stress, nutrient-poor diet, and pharmaceuticals etc), the body will draw from the bones to get the minerals needed that are alkaline in nature.
The alkaline nutrients that are helping to buffer the blood are calcium, potassium and magnesium, the very nutrients we want to stay in our bones!
Can Prev’s pH Pro is a formula containing sodium bicarbonate, spirulina, magnesium bicarbonate and potassium, all nutrients that are alkaline to decrease acidity and keep those precious nutrients in the bones. In each bottle of CanPrev pH Pro there are pH test strips so you can check your pH using urine or saliva. If you tend to be acidic, then start increasing your alkalinity by taking 1 or 2 caps of this formula.
Prevention – start early
The prevention of osteoporosis actually begins in childhood and adolescence to gain as much bone density as possible by the age of 20 – 30 and then to maintain that density for the rest of adulthood. Having a youth’s diet full of healthful nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, K1 and K2 and zinc from a varied diet is essential in providing the building blocks for the bones to grow and be maintained.
Beverages such as soft drinks and energy drinks are popular among youth should be limited. They contain both phosphoric acid and caffeine which increase the amount of calcium lost from the bones. Caffeine causes about 6 mg of calcium to be lost for every 100mg of caffeine ingested. About 2 cups or a 16 oz of coffee contain 320 mg of caffeine which can leach about 20 mg of calcium from your body.
Processed foods are usually very high in salt, which is another substance that should be limited because every 2.3g of salt consumed about 40 mg of calcium is lost in the urine.
In adulthood multiple factors start to add up that can deplete bone minerals such physical inactivity, smoking, stress, alcohol, recreational drugs, increase of salt, caffeine and sugar, pharmaceutical drugs such as corticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors and hormonal changes in women.
Bone health for moms to be
Even pregnancy can leave the female depleted in many nutrients, as the requirement for calcium is very high due to the developing skeletal frame and formation of teeth, thus taking Can Prev’s Prenatal Multi ensures that the mother is receiving the therapeutic amounts of bioavailable calcium and vitamin D3 for the baby.
For those at risk of developing health conditions related to mineral deficiency, or those looking to increase mineral intake and absorption, speak with your natural healthcare provider about what supplements might be right for you.