# Monday, 30 April 2018
                 
Thyme is an aromatic spice that has been used by many civilizations for thousands of years. It is a potent anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-bacterial. In addition, thyme has high amounts of vitamins and minerals, making it a very healthy spice to consume. The historical usage of thyme is also very interesting!
posted on Monday, 30 April 2018 16:37:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 24 May 2017
                 
Cloves are a fragrant spice that have been used to flavour our foods for thousands of years. They are valued for their potent taste as well as their anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-septic and anesthetic medicinal qualities! Cloves have a rich history, and were one of the spices worth more than their weight in gold during the spice trade which drove exploration around the world.
posted on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 20:33:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 06 December 2016
                 
Cayenne pepper is a highly nutritious and medicinal super spice. It has been used to spice up food and treat various ailments by many cultures for centuries. Cayenne gets its heat from capsaicin, and it is this capsaicin that gives cayenne pepper its medicinal properties (e.g. an anti-inflammatory, a potent pain reliever and an anti-carcinogen just for starters)!
posted on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 21:22:20 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 13 September 2016
                 
Our latest "Healthy Spices" article is all about super cinnamon, which has been used by humans for thousands of years now. It is a sweet spice that originated from Sri Lanka that has a wide variety of medicinal properties. For starters, cinnamon is the most potent natural antioxidant that we know of!
posted on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 20:24:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 02 March 2016
                 
Oregano is an amazing spice that has been used by all sorts of societies throughout the ages. In this 2nd edition of our "Healthy Spices" series we look at oregano's historical use, its nutritional and medicinal properties, and finish up with some cooking tips along with some cautionary notes regarding oregano, a true super spice!
posted on Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:12:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 16 December 2015
                 
Welcome to this first article in our new "Healthy Spices" blog series. In this first addition we look at turmeric, the golden spice. Turmeric has a veritable plethora of medicinal properties, and has been used by numerous cultures for literally thousands of years!
posted on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 20:49:07 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Thursday, 16 July 2015
                 
Fermented foods are a no brainer when it comes to making healthy food choices. When made properly they are chock full of probiotics, which help restore your gut's good bacteria to their optimum levels. Fermented foods are also full of nutrients and also act as chelators that detoxify the body of heavy metals.
posted on Thursday, 16 July 2015 21:30:56 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Monday, 16 June 2014
                 
Did you know that hearing loss due to aging and excessive noise can be prevented and in many cases reversed by the food that we eat along with some supplements? Loss of hearing is not something we should just accept as a fact of life!
posted on Monday, 16 June 2014 18:07:14 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 22 April 2014
                 
There are many natural antihistamines that help to control seasonal allergies. In addition eating local honey is a form of immunotherapy that can also help reduce seasonal allergic reactions. Read on to find out more.
posted on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:59:46 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 01 October 2013
                 
Ginger root's medicinal properties have been used for centuries to treat and prevent a wide variety of ailments. It is commonly used to promote good digestive health and is also an anti-inflammatory that helps ease joint pains among other things!
posted on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 21:29:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 03 July 2013
                 
I've spent over 6 seasons working in Northern Ontario, home to mosquitoes and other nasty bugs that are many and huge in size. Use these tips and my experience to avoid mosquito bites!
posted on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 18:27:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Friday, 05 April 2013
                 
Vitamin D is critical to our health and well being, yet recent studies suggest that 75% of Americans (and probably Canadians) are vitamin D deficient. The results are a dramatic increase in a wide variety of illness and ailments. Yet it is so easy to get the vitamin D we need to be healthy!
posted on Friday, 05 April 2013 21:23:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 14 November 2012
                 
There are many natural flu preventions that we can do to help our bodies fight off the seasonal flu bug. Diet is especially important, since it has such as dramatic effect on our immune systems (either boosting it or depressing it, depending on what you eat).
posted on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 18:24:51 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Monday, 24 September 2012
                 
Getting a chronic disease can be a debilitating and catastrophic experience that not only affects the sufferer but also family members. Just some chronic disease prevention tips are: quit smoking; eat a healthy diet; get regular physical exercise; lose any excess weight; and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
posted on Monday, 24 September 2012 22:17:01 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 05 September 2012
                 
Canada to a large extent has become an "instant gratification" society, much to the detriment of our eating habits. Fast food such as greasy hamburgers and fries are the norm. So is frozen packaged foods that we pop into a microwave for a quick and easy meal. The downside to this is that many of us no longer eat healthy. The repercussions are enormous: our immune systems are weakened, leaving us susceptible to colds and the flu. The chances of contracting some health ailment are also vastly increased, as is a premature death.
posted on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 21:41:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Friday, 08 August 2008
                 

The Health Minister of Canada has announced that Canada will be increasing protection for Canadians who suffer from food allergies. This will be done through new labeling requirements for food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites contained in prepackaged foods. Health Canada has also announced that they will also launch several studies related to allergies, including a large national study of food allergy prevalence. They will also conduct 2 studies on the dietary habits and coping skills of people who have celiac disease and are on a gluten-free diet.

Currently, the Food and Drug Regulations requires that ingredients of food products be declared on the labels of most prepackaged foods; however components of certain ingredients are exempted from this declaration. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency does have the ability to recall foods that are currently exempted from the labeling requirements if a health risk is identified; however the tougher labeling regulations will provide manufacturers with clear rules establishing procedures to be followed in a consistent and systematic fashion, thereby reducing the number of food recalls and/or preventable allergic reactions. The improved regulations would require that manufacturers now declare all food allergens, gluten sources as well as added sulphites on prepackaged food labels. The new regulations would detail exactly how these are to be listed on the food labels.

Some Canadians may be unaware between the differences of food allergies and intolerances. You are not necessarily allergic to a particular type of food just because it does not agree well with you. Although certain foods may make you sick, food allergies are much more serious and can be fatal if untreated quickly.

• Food intolerance: is a food sensitivity that does not involve the immune system. Unlike food allergies, or chemical sensitivities, where a small amount of food can cause a reaction, it usually requires a more normal portion of food to produce symptoms of food intolerance. Although these are commonly mistaken for a food allergy, intolerance is more likely to originate in the gastrointestinal system and caused by an inability to digest and/or absorb certain foods, or food components. One of the most common forms of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. This occurs in people who lack an enzyme called lactase, which is needed by the body to digest lactose (a sugar in milk). Symptoms of lactose intolerance may include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence and/or diarrhea.
• Chemical sensitivities: This occurs when a person experiences an adverse reaction to chemicals that naturally occur in, or are added to foods. This may be the caffeine found in coffee, tyramine in aged cheeses, and flavor enhancer MSG.
• Celiac disease: This is an inherited intolerance to gluten. The main sources of gluten are cereal grains; the only current treatment for celiac disease is a strict diet that is completely gluten free.
• Food allergies: are sensitivities caused by a reaction of the immune system to specific proteins in a food. Currently, it is estimated that food allergies affect as many as 6% of young children and 3-4% of adults. In allergic individuals, a food protein is mistakenly identified as harmful by the immune system. The first time the body is exposed to such a protein the immune system responds by creating antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When the individual is exposed again to the same food protein, Ige antibodies and chemicals such as histamine are then released. Histamine is a powerful chemical that causes a reaction in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal track, skin and/or cardiovascular system.

It is also a wise choice to carefully read all labels of prepackaged foods that you are buying. Make sure you also understand what the labels mean, and what the ingredients are. Some people can become confused with the long, confusing names of products; some research of your own will give you a better understanding of what you are buying, as well as what the nutrition value of that product is.

posted on Friday, 08 August 2008 18:46:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Monday, 07 January 2008
                 

Trans Fats: What Exactly Are They?

The banning of trans fats has been big in the news for the past year. Schools and restaurants are no longer serving foods that contain trans fats. They have been linked to heart disease and other serious health risks. But what exactly are trans fats and how do they differ from the essential fats that we need in our diet?

Fat is an important factor in a healthy diet. Fat provides essential fatty acids and calories, and helps the body absorb Vitamins A, D and E.  Fats and oils are mostly made up of a combination of the four main types of fatty acids. However, most combinations usually have a higher proportion of one particular type of fatty acid. The four main types of fatty acids are:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: found in many common vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and sunflower, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, smelt, herring and trout. Fish oils, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, soybeans and certain nuts such as walnuts also are high in this type of fat.

Monounsaturated fatty acids: found in oils such as olive, canola and high oleic sunflower oil. Also found in avocados and nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds and peanuts.

Saturated fatty acids: found in animal fats such as pork and beef, dairy products such as butter and cheese, and coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.

Trans fatty acids: naturally found in small amounts in foods such as dairy, beef and lamb. Small amounts are also formed during the refining of liquid vegetable oils such as canola and soybean. Trans fats are created when manufacturers use a process called partial hydrogenation, which turns liquid oil into a semi-solid form, like shortening and margarine.

Food products containing a high amount of trans fats have been popular with manufacturers because of the longer shelf life in comparison of products made with the other fatty acids. They also play a large role in making the popular flavors and textures in many bakery products and snack foods. Trans fats are the reason for the "melt in your mouth" sensations of pastries.

So which fats are good and which are harmful to your health? Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids can actually lower your risk of heart disease. These are the fats that should be included in your daily diet for optimum health. Saturated and trans fatty acids raise your risk of heart disease. These raise blood levels of bad cholesterol and lower the blood levels of good cholesterol. Bad cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, while good cholesterol lowers the risk.

Be aware of the types of fatty acids in your diet. Increase the amount of foods from the "good" fats groups, and lessen the amount of foods from the "bad" group. Optimal health relies on the food groups that contain good fats in order for the body to absorb essential vitamins, and to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.

posted on Monday, 07 January 2008 15:05:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Monday, 10 December 2007
                 

Trans Fats To Be Removed From Ontario Schools

The provincial government is introducing legislation to ban all foods that contain trans fat from all Ontario schools. This includes all primary and secondary school cafeterias as well as vending machines on school property. This legislation will hopefully have a positive effect on the health status of Ontario students.

Currently, the sale of chocolate, soda, and potato chips have been banned from elementary schools across the province. The Ontario Liberal Party wants this ban to be law and extended to high schools as well. Schools will still be able to have special days such as "pizza day", but the daily menu will be free of trans fats. Other provinces are introducing similar legislation. Canadians currently consume up to 10 grams of fat per day, one of the highest rates in the world.

Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past 25 years in Canada. McGuinty wants to partner with parents in ensuring that children have a healthier diet. By educating children on nutrition, and helping them make better food choices, the obesity rate can theoretically be reduced. McGuinty says that it's not about eliminating junk food completely, but about learning about moderation and balance. Hopefully by learning about healthy choices as children, they will carry this knowledge into adulthood.

Childhood obesity greatly raises the risk of being obese in adulthood. Obesity in Canada now causes almost as many serious health problems as smoking. People who are obese are at a much greater risk of developing such diseases as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease and gallbladder disease. They are also at risk for having strokes, osteoporosis, sleep apnea and certain forms of cancer. Obesity can also contribute to mental health issues like low self esteem and depression.

As with smoking, obese people are at risk of paying higher health and life insurance premiums. Therefore, an obese child who grows up to be an obese adult will probably have to pay significantly more for coverage. For children and adults, consult with your doctor (or pediatrician) about a safe way to lose weight and become healthier. Health Canada has some great information for families to increase their activity level and adopt a more health lifestyle.

Remember to consult with your health insurance broker after losing the weight. Once you are in better health, you may be eligible for a reduction in your premiums!

posted on Monday, 10 December 2007 19:01:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
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