No one wants to talk about them, think about them, and we certainly don’t want to know that they’re inside all of us, but the truth is that we all have parasites to some degree.

Every day, we consume parasites through our water, food, and environment. We can pick them up as easily as walking barefoot in contaminated sand or dirt or while working in the garden. We can also get them by eating undercooked meats or contaminated fruits and vegetables and by drinking unclean water. We get them from our pets (especially if they sleep in our bed), from insects such as flies and mosquitoes (think malaria), and we can even get them by contact with someone who has parasites.

While most times our body is capable of destroying these microscopic creatures, there are times when they are immune to the body’s defences, especially if you have a weakened immune system or suffer from poor digestion. Once a parasite is able to ‘take hold’, it attaches itself and slowly begins to feed off our body. Parasites derive their nutrients directly from our bodies, penetrating through the intestinal tract lining (in most cases) and attaching itself. Over time, parasites deplete our body of nutrients, while at the same time dumping significant amounts of waste and toxins into our blood stream. Further, they destroy our intestinal tract lining, allowing for other toxins to enter the bloodstream more easily. This is the beginning stages of degenerative disease.

Here are some common sign signs and symptoms of parasite infestation:

  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Gas, bloating and abdominal cramps
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Fatigue and sleep problems
  • Joint pain and muscle cramps
  • Teeth grinding
  • Itchy nose, ears, and rectum
  • Ravenous appetite or loss of appetite
  • Anemia and dark circles under eyes
  • Skin problems and rashes

One of these issues alone won’t necessarily point to parasites but the more symptoms you have the more likely your chances of a parasitic infestation. The major problem with diagnosing if you have parasites is that the symptoms can relate to any number of different problems. The only sure way to know if you have parasites is through stool testing, and even that is not always accurate. However, since we all have parasites to some degree, a good parasite cleanse is something that should be performed at least once per year as maintenance. If you know you have parasites, then you may wish to be more aggressive and perform a parasite cleanse more often until you have eliminated the problem.

You can eliminate parasites by using a two part herbal program called ParaGONE.

You can’t avoid parasites all together but you can have a plan to send those unwanted guests packing with ParaGONE.This easy to use kit works to weaken and destroy parasites that exist throughout the body. ParaGONE is a 15 day cleanse that should be performed as directed to expel parasites and worms from the body. In conjunction with the ParaGONE Kit, a good fibre supplement such as FibreSMART is recommended as fibre works to ‘soak up’ and ‘sweep out’ the dead parasites and bring them to the colon for elimination. The combination of these two products will help eliminate most parasite problems.

Buy ParaGONE here



Vinpocetine Plus for Cognitive Wellness

Memory loss and mental exhaustion are not purely age-related; any student will attest to the reality of “brain-strain.”

Most of us think of memory as the crown jewel of brain health. The fact is that while memory is indeed important, it is one of several integrated functions of brain health. It would benefit every one of us, whether we are 19 or 90, to focus on the wider perspective of overall cognitive wellness. 

What is Cognitive Wellness & How Does it Relate to Memory?

The word cognition is derived from the Latin word “cognoscere,” which means “to know.” Medical dictionaries define cognition as “the mental faculty of knowing, which includes perceiving, recognizing, remembering, conceiving, judging, reasoning, and imagining.” Needless to say, memory is considered the cognitive function we most often call upon.

We use memory to store all types of information from phone numbers to where we left our keys, to the names of things and people. Memory is an essential component of multiple cognitive activities including reading, reasoning, mental calculation, and mental imagery. Naturally, any loss of memory is disconcerting. Clearly, we want to do everything we can to keep our memory and all of our cognitive tools sharp and in good working order.

What is Prairie Naturals Vinpocetine Plus & What Does it Do?

Prairie Naturals Vinpocetine at Homegrown Foods, Stony Plain

Prairie Naturals Vinpocetine Plus is a “nootropic” substance. Nootropics, commonly referred to as “smart pills” are defined as a class of substances that promote cognitive wellness and brain performance. Vinpocetine Plus’ synergistic formulation of vinpocetine and blueberry extract protects against brain-aging and cognitive decline. These naturally occurring antioxidant-rich phytonutrients are among the world’s most thoroughly researched and recommended. Vinpocetine is derived from the beautiful periwinkle plant (Vinca minor) and Voacanga Africana, a tree native of West Africa. Research studies conclude that vinpocetine increases blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation and protects the central nervous system against degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. 

What’s So Great About Blueberry Extract?

The short answer is: just about everything!  With over 450 varieties of blueberries worldwide, every culture values the healing and nutritive power of these little blue antioxidant gems. A recent study strongly suggests that the antioxidants in blueberries clear out the accumulated toxic proteins in the brain that accelerate brain aging. The study also showed that blueberry intake prevents skin and nerve aging while protecting against the multiple effects of radiation exposure.

Fight Brain Strain! 

Memory loss and mental exhaustion are not purely age-related; any student will attest to the reality of “brain-strain” a state of intense mental fatigue exacerbated by stress and overuse. Vinpocetine Plus provides mental support for students and people of all ages wanting to enhance and sustain brain power. 

The Wonderful World of Nootropics

Why do we need to include these nootropic substances in our daily supplement program?  According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, there are now 500,000 Canadians with dementia-related conditions. Within a generation, they predict, that number will more than double to encompass a staggering 3% of Canadians. The magnitude of the problem is so astounding that scientists worldwide are calling cognitive decline and dementia “The Silent Epidemic of the 21st Century”.

The active ingredients in Vinpocetine Plus are considered to have nootropic potential and are commonly prescribed as “smart drugs” in Germany. Interestingly, while Canada ranks 16th highest in the world with dementia-related deaths, Germany comes in at a much, much lower ranking of 89th place!

 Once again, “prevention is the best medicine” and a high-antioxidant diet with select supplementation, regular exercise, positive thinking and daily mental stimulation is the surest way to live a long, healthy, and mentally vibrant life. 

Nootropics help to:

  • Improve availability of brain neurochemicals (neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones)
  • Increase circulation to brain
  • Improve oxygen flow to brain
  • Stimulate nerve growth & function
  • Protect nerve cells
  • Improve memory & learning
  • Enhance cognitive function
  • Promote mental stamina
  • Improve attention, focus & concentration
  • Brighten moods
  • Reduce inflammation

Reverse Aging with Healthy Habits 

We can literally reverse the signs of aging when we improve our daily habits &  lifestyle.

Here’s a simple start:

  • Supplement your healthy diet with Vinpocetine Plus.
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods in their most natural state.
  • Eat more berries- especially blueberries.
  • Choose more plant-source proteins.
  • Minimize alcohol consumption.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Practice yoga & meditation.
  • Eat more nuts & seeds.
  • Express appreciation.
  • Be physically active.
  • Be mentally active.



Life is good. You’re feeling generally “healthy.” Do you still need a multivitamin?

Clearly, the best way to get nutrients such as vitamins and minerals is through a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean meats, fish and dairy products are among the foods most dense in nutrients for maintaining daily health. The vitamins and minerals found in these foods are in a form that our bodies recognize and easily absorb. While this is the ideal situation, a multivitamin can play a role in our daily lives for a number of reasons:

  • Daily diet realities – While the diet outlined above sounds wonderful, it’s rarely reality. Most of us deal with busy schedules and don’t always eat the way we should. Processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats and sugars, dominate our culture and are designed to appeal to our taste buds not our nutritional health. And even when we do try to eat right, many of the foods traditionally high in nutrients, such as grains, have been stripped of much of their valuable nutritive content through depleted soils and modern processing methods. A multivitamin can act as insurance to make sure our body IS getting the base amount of vitamins and minerals every day for optimal health, no matter what direction the day’s diet goes.
  • Stress – The modern Canadian lifestyle is stressful. Balancing family and work demands combined with insufficient sleep and relaxation leaves our bodies, minds and immune systems vulnerable to running down. Getting consistent nutritional support can help us get through unexpected or prolonged stressful periods.
  • High performance – Those of us who are active and working out physically (or mentally) at high levels demand more out of our bodies. This extra activity uses up more nutrients. A multivitamin can help to top up even a healthy diet to help our body perform at its upper potential.

What’s in a multivitamin?

When we talk about multivitamins, it is a vague, general concept. What exactly are the nutrients in a multivitamin that we might want to supplement with on a daily basis? Some of the key nutrients are: 

Vitamin D – Vitamin D supplementation is particularly important for Canadians. Because of the limited amount of sun exposure between October and April, all Canadians are challenged to get optimal levels of the “sunshine vitamin.” Obtaining sufficient vitamin D through the diet is not possible. Vitamin D is important for bone health and low levels have been linked to major diseases in several studies. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends supplementation of vitamin D for all adults to reduce disease risk. Good multivitamins will provide at least 400 IU of vitamin D.

Vitamin C – Supplementing with vitamin C is especially important for adults who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is important for the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. Vitamin C is also important for the formation of connective tissue, accelerating wound healing, enhancing immune health and as a protective antioxidant.

Vitamin B Complex – The family of B vitamins work together to support the nervous system and tissue formation and to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. People who eat a lot of foods containing refined sugars and starches may be depleting their B vitamins. The B vitamins Folic Acid and B12 help to form red blood cells. Higher levels of B vitamins help get us through periods of stress, low energy or highly demanding physical activities.

Calcium – This mineral helps in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Diet-wise, calcium is one of the most well known supplementary methods for slowing bone loss. As the body ages, calcium is pulled from the bloodstream, making it less available to the bones, decreasing bone density, especially during menopause. Poor calcium absorption due to poor dietary choices, insufficient exercise, or various medications can also contribute. Calcium, vitamin D and magnesium work together as a bone-building team. Calcium supplementation is particularly important for people that are allergic to milk.
Vitamin A & Beta Carotene – These related compounds are important in maintaining eyesight, the development of night vision and immune health.

Magnesium – Magnesium works together with calcium for bone development and also in muscle functioning.

Chromium – This mineral helps to metabolize fats and carbohydrate, as well as support healthy glucose metabolism.

Iodine – Helps in the function of the thyroid gland.

Zinc – Helps to maintain immune function and healthy skin.

Phytonutrients – Well-formulated multivitamins often contain phytonutrients, or plant-based nutrients, that work together with the more concentrated vitamins and minerals. Phytonutrients such as bioflavonoids, grape seed extract, cranberry and green tea extract offer excellent antioxidant support.

Multivitamins - One of several nutritional “building blocks”

As we have seen in the paragraphs above, there are compelling reasons linked to diet and lifestyle that make supplementing with a multivitamin a wise insurance policy. Do keep in mind that no matter that how well a multivitamin is formulated, other additional “building block” or foundational supplements should also be considered for a program of complete health:

  • Omega-3’s: The “healthy fats” found in fish oil help with cardiovascular health, brain functioning and reducing inflammation. Because omega-3’s are liquid and potentially unstable requiring soft gel encapsulation, they are rarely found in sufficient quantities in multivitamin formulations.
  • Calcium: If you are in a high-risk demographic for osteoporosis or low bone mineral density, such as females over 40, keep in mind that due to space limitations, multivitamins can’t supply the high amounts of calcium that may be required. Consider a quality calcium supplement to go with your multivitamin.
  • Probiotics: Proper digestion and nutrient absorption are vital to health. Supporting your “healthy” intestinal bacteria with a probiotic supplement can benefit overall health and assist in absorbing the nutrients in a multivitamin.
  • Greens/fibre: Green supplements rich in fibre and phytonutrients are a great complement to a multivitamin, assisting with digestion and antioxidant support.

Health First Multi-Vitamin:

  • “One Daily”
  • Now contains Aquamin™ plant-sourced calcium and mineral complex
  • Now uses the preferred B12 form methylcobalamin
  • Now GMO-free
  • Contains Flora-Glo® lutein
  • Iron-Free formula
  • Vegetarian suitable



Kyolic – A Heart Smart Supplement for Women

Author Sherry Torkos

Heart health is not usually top of mind for most women. Misconceptions prevail that heart disease is a man’s disease and that it is not really an issue for young women.

In reality, heart disease is a woman’s number one health threat. The number of deaths from heart disease is practically equal among men and women. While women worry most about breast cancer, every year seven times more Canadian women die of heart disease and stroke than breast cancer (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada). Moreover, heart disease does not happen overnight, nor it is a condition that primarily affects the aged.

Heart disease can begin early in life, and lifestyle habits adopted in one’s 20's and 30's can have a profound impact on a person’s risk of developing heart disease. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 90% of Canadians over age 20 have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes). Forty percent of Canadians have three or more risk factors. For those who have multiple risk factors, the risk of heart disease increases exponentially.

It is well established that lifestyle strategies such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, reducing stress and eating a healthful diet rich in fibre and vegetables and fruit can have a protective effect against heart disease.

When it comes to supplements for heart health, there are various products that can help address certain risk factors for heart disease, but there is only one supplement that has been shown in reputable clinical trials to address multiple risk factors for heart disease: that supplement is Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract.

 Here are five reasons why Kyolic is the right choice to support heart health in women:

  1. Only Kyolic is backed by over 750 scientific studies. The amount of research on Kyolic far surpasses every other garlic brand.
  2. Only Kyolic has been proven to improve several cardiovascular risk factors. Clinical studies have shown that Kyolic can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, reduce platelet aggregation, improve endo-thelial function and improve oxidative damage caused by smoking.
  3. Kyolic has Health Canada approved claims to aid in cholesterol reduction, enhance circulation, promote heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  4. Kyolic is safe to take with most prescription medications that are used to manage blood pressure and cholesterol. In fact, some studies have found that use of Kyolic can improve tolerability and reduce side effects of prescrip-tion medication.
  5. Kyolic is made with organically grown garlic and it is the only garlic supplement that is truly odourless.

Sherry Torkos is an award-winning pharmacist, regular contributor to many TV and radio talk shows and author of several health books, including Saving Women’s Hearts.



As we live longer and more active lives, brain health becomes more important than ever.

The brain is our primary control center, a fantastically complex organ containing billions of nerves. It weighs approximately 3 lbs and it’s what makes us human, giving us the capacity for art, language, moral judgments, and rational thought. It's also responsible for each individual's personality, memories, movements, and how we sense the world. The brain controls all necessary functions of the body and receives and interprets information from the outside world. Therefore, keeping our brains healthy is of utmost importance.

Brain health has a large impact on society today and its impact is growing significantly. In almost every country, the proportion of people over 60 years of age is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. The World Health Organization states that between the years 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years of age will double from about 11% to 22%. This anticipated increase in the number of older persons will have dramatic consequences for public health and the health care system.

Ascenta Spark is a supplement that was specifically designed to improve brain health by helping to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp. With a unique blend of six active ingredients, Ascenta Spark was formulated to support brain health and function, including memory, focus, and cognitive health.

Just one teaspoon of Ascenta Spark delivers 500mg of EPA+DHA, plus phosphatidylserine, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin D3 – all with proven brain health benefits.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA are well-researched for their benefits in cognitive function and their promotion of healthy brain aging, as well as the maintenance of general good health
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) plays a major role in enhancing and protecting brain function
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids with strong protective functions within the macular region of the human eye
  • Vitamin D3 has proven benefits in brain health and neurological function
  • Ascenta Spark is sourced from all-natural, sustainable ingredients

Directions: Shake well before each use. Adults 19 years and older consume 1 tsp. daily.

As we live longer and more active lives, brain health becomes more important than ever. Ascenta Spark helps you maintain the memory and focus you need for a vibrant life with a complete brain health solution in just one teaspoon a day.

SPARK your brain!

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