Tag Archives: health


Cholesterol and Women’s Heart Health: What you need to know

As a woman, are you committed to living a heart-healthy lifestyle? While we might think of older men when we hear “heart problems”, research tells us it’s time for women to look after their hearts, too.

According to the Heart Research Institute, heart disease is the number one cause of death in Canada for women over 55. What’s more, Canadian women are 16% more likely than men to die from the result of a heart attack. One of our current problems when it comes to women’s heart health is that, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2/3 of heart disease clinical research focuses on men.

So what does that mean for you?

It means that, until more women-centered clinical research is completed, it’s essential that you educate yourself on natural, safe ways to care for your cardiovascular system and live heart-healthy every day. This includes keeping track of your cholesterol levels. Read on for what you need to know, plus our tips and recommendations to get you started.

Women, cholesterol, and heart disease

Heart disease is a women’s issue. Some research estimates that heart attacks are more deadly for women in part because our hearts are affected by the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Physiological differences also exist. For instance, women’s hearts and coronary arteries are smaller than men’s, with faster resting heart rate.

While there are many risk factors involved in heart disease in women, like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity, cholesterol is a factor you need to monitor for heart health – especially once you reach menopause. That’s because, according to the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, high blood cholesterol levels raise the risk for heart disease, and menopausal women are at increased risk of high cholesterol due to the drop in estrogen production that happens at menopause.

Higher estrogen levels are associated with a rise in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which offers protection against heart disease, along with a decline in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. (Confused about cholesterol types and what they really mean? We’re got you covered below, so read on!). To nurture heart health before, during, and after menopause, you want to keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range.

Your cholesterol primer

Let’s dig into what cholesterol is, and more importantly, how it might affect women’s health. So what is cholesterol, anyway?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in every cell in the body. It’s both made by the body and absorbed from food. Cholesterol is essential because your body needs it to make important steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and vitamin D. What’s more, the brain needs cholesterol and without enough of it, you might be at increased risk for depression, which is an independent risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol is also used to make bile acids in the liver. In other words, cholesterol isn’t inherently bad.

But here’s the thing: excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can clog the arteries. These deposits (known as plaques) can result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – which is a major cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which is divided in two major cholesterol types along with triglycerides:

LDL cholesterol: LDL or low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the “bad” cholesterol, which contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries as it undergoes free-radical damage. LDL rises after menopause in many women.

HDL cholesterol: HDL or high-density lipoprotein. It has been called “good” cholesterol because research suggests it helps the body dispose of LDL cholesterol. Low HDL cholesterol might be a more important heart disease risk factor for women than for men. What’s more, low HDL in women is one of the first measure of insulin resistance (another risk factor for heart disease).

Triglycerides: Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in the body. High levels of triglycerides could be a greater risk factor for heart disease in women compared with men. High triglycerides might be caused by conditions like hypothyroidism and PCOS and are associated with excess abdominal fat and high blood sugar, because the liver stores excess glucose as triglycerides.

Women-specific tips for healthy cholesterol levels and heart health

A heart-healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping cholesterol levels in check and preventing heart disease in women. Work with an integrative doctor to track your cholesterol levels and make appropriate changes to your diet and lifestyle if your total cholesterol levels are high, if HDL levels are low, or LDL levels are elevated. Diet-wise, choose healthy fats and lower cholesterol intake from foods by opting for plant-based swaps whenever possible. If you’re overweight, do your best to shed the extra pounds.

Try nutritional supplements like Healthy Heart. Talk with other women and let your emotions flow freely – all of these are pathways to a healthy heart.

Meet Mike Levine – Do What You Love

Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community. Because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration, by default, move more and more individuals forward.

For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!

Today on the blog we are introducing Mike Levine – from the six!

Entrepreneur, post TBI – Fitness and Health Advocate, Traveler, Mentor, Menswear Stylist and full time Finance Coach – This Toronto based CanPrev Ambassador, continues to inspire us mentally, physically and emotionally. Learning about him and his lifestyle approach, will explain why!

Mike is working on becoming the best version of himself. Just over 4 years ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury, he has since worked to enhance every aspect of his life! Being diligent with nutrition and balancing activities with training routines, helps him stay focused on adding value to his life. Serious stuff! But the kind of stuff, that is truly inspiring and takes courage.

From The Minimalists

We asked Mike how he decides now, post injury, “what makes it to the top of your priority list?”  “If I cannot say, Hell Yes! (taken from the Minimalists) to something on my calendar, then there is no time or energy for it”! Pretty gutsy words to live by. We like it!

Today, Mike fully embraces a healthy active lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, implementing mindful daily habits, whether he is at work or play. The emotional work is a necessity given his injury and the symptoms it came with. Rather than be discouraged, his outlook remains positive. He quotes George Mumford regarding his need to transform his lifestyle post accident – “my ass was on fire” and I had no choice. He mentions that his transformation has not moved forward without the support of CanPrev. We are thrilled for him!

When Mike isn’t training, reading or mentoring, he works as a financial coach. He enjoys assisting business owners and high net worth families preserve, grow and live a lifestyle that they worked so hard to attain. He equally enjoys helping others achieve both their financial and personal goals. Mike is grateful that his work is rewarding in this way; his entrepreneurial spirit grows and thrives with this group.

Words From Levine

As an ambassador, I love sharing my knowledge of the various CanPrev products! I have learned so much about the health and wellness industry and am becoming more informed and in tune when someone asks me to relate my experiences. I continue to feel the benefits from supplementing with natural health care products.

Electromag is definitely my number one! I find a positive effect with my sleep patterns. With the added magnesium – it’s great for muscle recovery! I use it during and after workouts for enhanced recovery, hydration and relaxation.

I regularly use a core group of CanPrev products which include: Synergy B, Electromag, Antioxidant Network, Adrenal support, Mind Pro, Omega 3’s, all of which enhance my performance at work and in fitness.

Hideouts in The Six 

I really crave and have a fiery passion for health and fitness. You will find me training at the Academy of Lions in a Crossfit class or cycling with my Garrison Bespoke clients and friends; then resetting in a hot yoga class at Moksha Uptown. I recently discovered bouldering (rock climbing) at Joe Rockhead’s – what a blast! A super fun intense workout with friends.

In addition, I run weekly with the Lululemon run crew on Ossington. To accompany my mindfulness practice, I have also incorporated the Muse headband into my daily life (@choosemuse); I have committed to reading a book every 2 weeks for the next year and I love traveling to new exciting cities – all to stimulate my mind. And to add balance, I enjoy spending time at the family cottage in Haliburton; I am really excited to become a part of BIST, The Brain Injury Society of Toronto, where I will be writing for their blog and mentoring someone recovering from a brain injury.

My transformation and transition is improving and I hope – will continue! I remember to take some time be grateful everyday.

Inspired 

We are thrilled to have Mike be apart of our ambassador team! A truly dedicated soul to finding personal wellbeing, by choosing daily, no matter the obstacles – to live life to the fullest and have a blast doing it! Levine reminds us to listen to that voice in our heads. The one that is telling us to work at becoming our best self, on all levels! He reminds us that there is no time like the present to find positivity and to make doing what you love, a priority.

Find Mike @thescenelevine

Eating for Allergies This Spring

That time of year is here, when the cold bite of winter weather finally seems to be behind us, flowers are slowly starting to bloom, the birds & the bees are all atwitter and, oh yah – pollen also starts to fill the air!

Are you experiencing itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, blocked sinuses, sneezing and headaches? Love Springtime but loathe allergy season?

If only there were something you could include in your daily diet to help alleviate these symptoms or ward them off altogether…drum roll please!

Eat whole foods instead of relying on allergy medication

Although there are many different OTC medications available to relieve those tell-tale allergy symptoms, sometimes just small tweaks to your diet can also provide you with some much needed relief and even a measure of prevention – more naturally.

Top 7 items that your grocery cart should come in contact with this Spring:

Broccoli

Researchers have discovered that broccoli could help to protect you from respiratory inflammation. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which appears to have a very beneficial effect for fanning the flames of  inflammation.

Other cruciferous veggies containing this key compound are kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage & cauliflower.

Studies have also shown that getting in at least 500 mg of Vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are considered ‘super allergy fighters’ because they contain higher levels of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, both of which are natural antihistamines that may reduce allergy symptoms.

Bioflavonoids enhance the health benefits of Vitamin C, including stronger immunity, detoxification, eye and skin and health. This makes citrus fruit a powerhouse in fighting allergies as well as in overall health optimization. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are rich sources of Vitamin C with naturally occurring citrus bioflavonoids.

However, if considering a supplement – look for a buffered form containing mineral ascorbates as well as bioflavonoids for better absorption.

Apples

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, is believed to help reduce the inflammation associated with allergies. Studies indicate that this component prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, or better known as an allergic response.

Garlic, onions, berries, cabbage, cauliflower and most caffeinated teas also contain quercetin.

Red Grapes

The skin of red grapes is very high in antioxidants and resveratrol — a well-studied anti-inflammatory compound. Eating red grapes will also help protect the cells from oxidative damage that may cause many diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Be aware that grapes (and apples) are on the EPA’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of highest pesticide residues, so buy organic when possible and wash your produce well.

Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids in seafood have natural anti-inflammatory effects that boost the immune system — in turn, improving your body’s ability to fight off allergies which are basically a sign of excess inflammation.

In fact, anything you can do to reduce inflammation in the body has widespread benefits, including easing seasonal allergy symptoms.

Some studies have even shown that eating upwards of six ounces of wild-caught salmon twice a week can be just as effective as taking allergy medication.

While your Healthcare Provider may not be writing you a prescription for salmon any time soon, this recommendation is certainly worth a try, considering all of salmon’s other health benefits. Try wild caught Alaskan caught salmon for a lower risk of contamination of organic pollutants and pesticides.

Not keen on seafood, or have a food allergy to it? Some good vegan sources of Omega-3’s are walnuts, flax seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, spirulina (fresh water algae) and sea vegetables like wakame.

You could also consider choosing a high quality Omega-3 supplement.

Collard Greens

Collard greens, and other dark leafy greens like kale contain phytochemicals – specifically carotenoids. This component is well known for easing allergic reactions.

To help your body absorb their nutrients more readily, eat collard greens along with a healthy fat. Sautéing them in extra-virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil is a great, and tasty – way to go.

Be aware that many greens are on the “dirty” list too, so go organic (and local), when possible.

Fermented Foods & Probiotics

I know, you probably didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but according to research,  eating probiotic-rich foods such as naturally fermented (not pickled) foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as supplementing with good quality human-strain  probiotics can significantly ease allergy symptoms.

Happy allergy fighting this Spring!

Meet Making Lemonade – Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Online Wellness Entrepreneur

We all have physical, emotional and mental challenges to overcome. To do this, we find the courage and brave the journey against these obstacles, in search for optimal health and preventing dis-ease. ‘Taking charge of your own health’ and ‘you can prevent’- mantras that have sustained us, as well as motivated us, to do our very best. But we know the difficulties that can arise along the way. We know the hardships that one can face and feel and that is why we believe you shouldn’t have to tackle good health alone. That is why our CanPrev ambassador team was created!

CanPrev Ambassadors

Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration by default, move more and more individuals forward. For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. In the upcoming blog posts,we will be introducing some of our ambassadors and sharing their incredible stories with you. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!

Meet Making Lemonade

In today’s blog, we introduce one of our west coast ambassadors, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Fitness Trainer – Krista Goncalves aka Making Lemonade!

scaled making lemonade

We first met Krista a few years ago! She had been taking several of our products that assisted her with tackling some of her hormonal issues. Through a holistic diet and supplement protocol, she was able to regain her health and find hormonal balance.

‘Making Lemonade’ the name of her online business, launched when Krista started to experience her own severe hormonal imbalances, in her late 30’s. A starting point in Krista’s career was helping other women who also suffered silently with hormonal issues, like hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance.

Through adversity, Krista has figured out what it means to live a “healthy lifestyle ”. She felt it only natural, given her experience and love for turning ‘lemons into lemonade’, to allow her growing passion to spill over into her professional life. Finding success as an online health and wellness blogger, Krista has been able to help individuals, around the globe, find better health.

After dedicating 5 years to supporting women in their health journeys, Krista has recently transitioned into supporting women in other ways. She saw a distinct lack of digital business resources, for people like herself who were wanting to take their health business online. She now offers coaching for health and wellness entrepreneurs (Nutritionists, Dieticians, and Naturopaths) — helping them develop their own successful online businesses.

Krista very much enjoys practicing holistic health with her family and her husband Randy, a clinical pharmacist, who is also an avid runner and has been training hard for the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) trail race series coming up. He’s been using Joint-Pro NEM as part of his training regime to keep his normally troublesome knee and hip joints pain-free, before and after long runs!

Krista’s shares with us her favourite CanPrev product, Adrenal-Pro! Without it, she says she would be one stressed out work-from-home Mom!

When you find something that works, you really do want to shout it from the rooftops! This product provides the perfect balance of B-vitamins, thyroid-supporting tyrosine and stress-moderating adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.” – Quote from Krista

To connect with Krista:

Website: MakingLemonade.ca 
Facebook: @makinglemonadehealth
Twitter & Instagram: @lemonadehealth  

Stay tuned for our upcoming ambassador blog post, corporate happy hour junkie – turns Instagram yogi guru!

Check out other CanPrev Ambassadors!