Bee-Free from Allergies!

Bee-Free from Allergies!


Bee-cause we care! 

One third of the food we eat comes from plants pollinated by bees …and they are now endangered!

A.Vogel wants to help save the bees.
Our motivation? – Bees are the unpaid workforce of A.Vogel, pollinating our herbs for us and ensuring we have high quality products to bring to you. As we use no pesticides or fertilisers they are very willing workers!

The value of bee pollination in human nutrition is immense and difficult to quantify. It has been estimated that bees, in general, pollinate some 90% of the world’s commercial plants.

Because we care for the bees, from April to June 2016, by purchasing Allergy Relief products in your favorite store or online at, you’re helping us to support the David Suzuki Foundation in its mission to save Canada’s bees.

What’s happening with the bees?
Many bee species are declining and roughly a quarter of our native species are now endangered. Declines in bee health are related to complex interactions among multiple stressors, such as bee habitat and nutrition; pesticide exposure (like the neonicotinoid - NNI); climate change and weather; disease, and genetics. Habitat loss and nutrition can affect bees in two ways, through loss of suitable nesting and foraging sites and, the reduction in the number and types of flowering plants needed to ensure good nutrition throughout a season.

What is being done to help save the bee population?
In response to the reported bee mortality incidents, the Ontario government recently made the decision that neonicotinoid pesticide use will be reduced by 80 percent no later than 2017.

From David Suzuki Foundation, July 1st, 2015:

“There’s been a lot of buzz lately about bee-killing pesticides. Bees have been dying off at alarming rates, and neonicotinoid pesticides are implicated in this decline. Bees aren’t the only victims. “Neonic” pesticides may harm the human brain, nervous system and hormonal system.

In June, an international group of independent scientists released the results of a comprehensive analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies on neonics — a massive, four-year undertaking. Their conclusion: “…there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.” The assessment highlights serious risks, not only to bees, but to many other beneficial species, including butterflies, earthworms and birds.” Ref.:

What you can do in your own backyard!
Bees and other pollinators should always be seen as welcome visitors to your garden and should be encouraged by planting a variety of local native plants that vary in colour, shape and blooming season.  Providing suitable nesting sites may also help.... as well as avoiding pesticides or insecticides.

You can adopt bees - even in the city!  Anti-pesticide regulation, the great floral diversity, close proximity and the lack of pollinators all contribute to the fact that the city is a great, even ideal, environment to keep bees.

Companies such as Alvéole, install a colony of honeybees on your roof, balcony or in your yard. And, they take care of all the colony's needs!

Are you allergic to nature?

Hay fever due to an allergy to pollen can be very nasty and may cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, headaches, difficulty breathing and swollen, itchy, puffy eyes….in short, you feel miserable.

If you are tired of feeling this way and dissatisfied with antihistamines and other conventional drugs that make you drowsy and tired…here’s how to cope!

A.Vogel Allergy Relief is not like the usual product available for allergies. Rather than targeting only allergic symptoms, Allergy Relief eliminates the toxins that overload the mucosa. It targets most types of allergies (not just hay fever) and promotes normalization of the immune system.

In a clinical study* of nearly 200 allergy sufferers, 88.5% of participants saw an improvement in their symptoms using Allergy Relief. 57% reported that their symptoms had completely or nearly completely disappeared. Best of all, none of the test subjects reported any side effects.

Adults and children over the age of 2 can benefit from A.Vogel Allergy Relief.  For best results, start treatment 4 to 6 weeks before the onset of the allergy season.

A.Vogel Allergy Relief:

  • Homeopathic medicine used for the treatment of symptoms associated with hay fever such as sneezing, itchy nose, scratching throat, burning eyes, lacrimation (watery eyes). DIN-HM 80014956
  • Tablet and Liquid format: Promote normalization of the immune system, break the allergy cycle and help reduce the incidence and severity of allergic reactions over time.
  • Nasal Spray format:  Does not irritate the sensitive lining of the nose and does not cause rebound congestion when discontinued.
  • 100% natural
  • Clinically proven

*Laboratorium Biohorma B.V.: Clinical investigation of the efficacy of the hay fever remedy Pollinosan. (unpublished) 1989




Hemp has been around for centuries and has played an instrumental role in shaping our continent. Settlers were given free land if they grew hemp. The Declaration of Independence draft was written on hemp paper. Hemp materials were used in numerous war efforts. Hemp was integrating into modern life until it was ‘temporarily’ banned due to misconceptions. Yes, hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa. No, hemp is not the same as marijuana.

Food, clothing, rope, paper, building materials, animal bedding/herd, plastic, paint, fuel - the list of hemp applications goes go on and on. Hemp that is grown in Western Canada is primarily used for hemp foods. At the top part of the hemp plant you will find the hard hemp seed. This small seed “seeds” nutritiously delicious products like Hemp Hearts, hemp protein powder, and hemp oil.

Hemp is a nutritious and delicious whole food. A 30 gram serving of Hemp Hearts contain:

  • 10 grams of omegas
  • 10 grams of protein
  • 181 mg (or 70% of the RDI) of magnesium

From 1937 to 1998, hemp was illegal to grow in Canada. In early 1990’s Manitoba Harvest’s co-founders created an advocacy group, bringing together farmers, local government, and industry. Using a government grant, a research trial was conducted in 1995 that helped alleviate and dispel misconceptions around the crop. Then in 1998, success - Industrial Hemp was legalized and Manitoba Harvest was founded! 

Manitoba Harvest is proudly the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer to grow, make, and sell our line of hemp food products. This vertically integrated business model may have started as a necessity to build an industry, but is now an advantage. Manitoba Harvest controls all aspects of the production process from seed to shelf.

Why Hemp Foods?

Simply put – hemp foods taste great, are easy to use, and nutritious too!

It all starts with Hemp Hearts. Hemp Hearts taste a bit like a sunflower seed or pine nut.  Sprinkle over yogurt, cereal, salad, or pretty much anything. Add to smoothies or recipes.

Hemp Hearts is the primary ingredient in new products like Hemp Heart Bites. Hemp Heart Bites are crunchy, sweet & salty bite-sized snacks. Per 45g serving (about 8 pieces), Hemp Heart Bites offer 10g protein and 10g omegas. 

Purchase online here

Apple Pie Smoothie


3 tbsp oats

3 tbsp Hemp Hearts

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp almond butter

1 apple, diced

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup ice cubes


Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy.

Flourless Chocolate Muffins


1 cup creamy all natural peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 4 tbsp. Chocolate Hemp Protein Smoothie
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate chips (use dairy-free ones if making vegan)


  • Yield: 10-12 MuffinsPreheat oven to 350°F. Add all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) to a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  • Spoon the batter into muffin tins filled with paper liners. You may need to wet the spoon a few times to keep the batter from sticking to it.
  • Top the muffins with chocolate chips and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops have set and they are starting to brown.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy!

Hemp foods have a slightly nutty taste that compliments pretty much any dish. Breakfast, lunch, mid-day pick me ups, dinner, dessert – there are more yummy recipes for every occasion at



Enzymes: Improving digestion, increasing energy

Involved in almost every biochemical activity in the body, enzymes have earned their reputation as the “sparks of life.” Enzymes are catalysts in digesting food, stimulating the brain, supplying cellular energy and in repairing tissues, organs and cells. Simply put, we can’t live without enzymes.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough enzymes in our diet. The over-processing and over-cooking of modern foods can destroy these important molecules. Regular occurring indigestion is often the initial symptom of poor enzyme activity. This occurs when there are insufficient enzymes to properly digest food, resulting in an excess of hydrogen and carbon dioxide from undigested and fermenting food. Anyone who has experienced bouts of bloating and gas knows the discomfort of indigestion.

A full spectrum enzyme supplement can be an effective way to get relief from indigestion caused by a variety of food types. Some of the specific enzymes to look for in such supplements are:

  • Protease and enzyme-rich bromelain to break down proteins
  • Lipase to break down fats
  • Amylase and amyloglucosidase to break down carbohydrates
  • Cellulase and hemicellulase to break down fibres
  • Lactase to break down milk sugars

Not only can enzymes help with indigestion, but also the increased energy you will feel due to the improved absorption of important food nutrients is yet another reason to supplement with a full spectrum enzyme formula.

Health First PrimeZyme Digestive Health

Digestive Health – The role of stomach acid

How Betaine Hydrochloride can make your digestive enzyme supplement even more effective.

It is estimated that almost one-third of Canadians suffer from low stomach acidity.1 This condition occurs when an individual’s stomach is unable to produce a sufficient amount of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Baby boomers and seniors are the groups most commonly afflicted by low stomach acidity, as aging and the frequent use of medications can reduce the stomach’s acid producing capability.1

Common signs of low stomach acidity are reflected in a variety of poor digestion symptoms. Bloating, belching and flatulence after meals, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation, undigested food in the stool, and food allergies are all associated with insufficient stomach acid.

There are serious health concerns that can result from low stomach acidity. One is the poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid. Just recently, certain ulcer drugs that lower stomach acid production were linked to a 41% reduction in calcium absorption in women.2 Poor absorption of minerals and vitamins can lead to malnutrition and a host of health problems. A second concern is that low stomach acidity has been found to adversely affect the immune system of seniors. Because food borne bacteria and parasites thrive in an environment of low stomach acidity, risk of a related infection is increased.3

Many health care professionals recommend betaine hydrochloride supplementation to maintain proper stomach acid production. Betaine hydrochloride is a vitamin-like nutrient found naturally in grains and contains hydrochloric acid.

One way to alleviate digestive problems is to supplement with a full spectrum digestive enzyme containing added betaine hydrochloride. A full spectrum digestive enzyme typically contains a complex of enzymes to break down the major food substances – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, lactose and plant materials. The addition of betaine hydrochloride to such a supplement will help those with low stomach acidity by ensuring a more productive digestive environment. Betaine hydrochloride also helps to activate enzymes for improved digestion.

For a more serious stomach acidity problem, your health care professional may recommend a high dose betaine hydrochloride supplement.

Buy PrimeZyme Full Spectrum Digestive Enzyme Capsules Now

Guaranteed! Digestive relief or your money back!

PrimeZyme is an effective digestive enzyme formula that reduces indigestion and enhances nutrient absorption. After helping thousands and thousands of Canadians with the PrimeZyme formula, we are confident to guarantee you digestive relief – or your money back! Now with Betaine HCl for an enhanced digestive environment.


  1. Cathy Wong, N.D., Alternative Medicine.

  1. American Journal of Medicine

(2005; 118; 778-81)

  1. US Food and Drug Administration,
Seniors and Food Safety (May 1999)



If your day-to-day life is highly stressful, or even if you feel a little bit stressed, you’re certainly not alone. According to the 2010 General Social Survey (GSS), more than a quarter of Canadian workers report finding even a regular day “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful (1).

Stress can have a huge impact on our lives, with numerous studies showing that stress is linked to poorer mental and physical health. Stress may even change the structure and function of our brains (2,3). As such, minimizing our exposure to stress is considered a pillar of good long-term health and happiness, helping us reduce the risk of anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and even heart disease and diabetes (3,4,5).

The problem, of course, is that some stress is simply unavoidable. So what can we do to take control and keep our cool at times of stress?

GABA – A natural way to promote relaxation

The natural compound gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is ideal for anyone feeling overwhelmed or overcommitted, or anyone suffering from extreme stress related to work, family, money, school, or any number of causes. GABA offers a non-drowsy way to calm the mind and better cope with daily stresses and strains.

GABA is an important neurotransmitter found throughout the brain and central nervous system, where it acts as an inhibitor, preventing overactivity in nerve cells (neurons) (6). GABA can naturally increase alpha brain wave activity – the type of brain waves associated with feelings of relaxation, calmness, mental clarity, and focus (6). It also decreases the production of beta brain waves associated with nervousness and stress (6).

Natural Factors Stress-Relax

Natural Factors Stress-Relax GABA is a natural source of this key neurotransmitter and works quickly and effectively to help increase relaxation, improve sleep, and enhance mental clarity and focus without causing negative side effects. Synthetic GABA has not demonstrated the same benefits as natural GABA, which is why Stress-Relax uses Pharma GABA™, a unique, clinically tested form of GABA produced by fermentation.

Natural Factors offers a range of ways to support relaxation, including Stress-Relax Mental Calmness, which provides 100 mg of easily absorbed L-theanine as Suntheanine®. L-theanine is an amino acid known to aid relaxation without inducing drowsiness. It can be converted by the body into GABA and has been shown to enhance alpha brain wave production in order to induce a calm, relaxed, and focused mental state, as well as to support memory (8,11,12). L-theanine is also converted into other neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with enhanced mood, and impulse and appetite control (8,12).

GABA and Tranquil Sleep

Although non-drowsy, GABA and L-theanine can help calm a racing mind, meaning that many people find these natural supplements helpful for getting better sleep. In fact, many pharmaceutical sleeping pills act on the same receptors as GABA, although these conventional drugs also have the negative effect of disrupting sleep patterns, preventing us from entering the deepest stages of sleep (7,10). GABA and L-theanine, on the other hand, are non-addictive, enhance mental clarity, and have been shown to significantly improve sleep quality (7,8).

For anyone looking specifically for natural sleep support, Natural Factors also offers Stress-Relax Tranquil Sleep to help relieve mild insomnia and calm nervousness. This comprehensive formula includes Suntheanine®, melatonin, and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), and is a completely safe, highly effective, and non-habit forming alternative to conventional sleeping pills.

Tranquil Sleep works in harmony with your body’s natural sleep hormones to promote restful sleep (9), so you wake up refreshed and alert, and are better able to cope with whatever life throws at you.

Natural Factors Stress-Relax® GABA offers a non-drowsy way to promote relaxation. GABA can help you keep your cool and improve mental focus.

Buy Mental Calmness and Tranquil Sleep here


  1. Statistics Canada, What's stressing the stressed? Main sources of stress among workers. Accessed January 20, 2016. Available:
  2. Sauro MD, et al. Stress, glucocorticoids, and memory: a meta-analytic review. Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress. 2003 Dec;6(4):235-45.
  3. McEwen BS. The neurobiology of stress: from serendipity to clinical relevance. Brain Research. 2000 Dec 15;886(1-2):172-189.
  4. Kudielka BM & Wüst, S. Human models in acute and chronic stress: assessing determinants of individual hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and reactivity. Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress. 2010 Jan;13(1):1-14.
  5. Kivimäki M, et al. Work stress in the etiology of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. 2006 Dec;32(6):431-42.
  6. Abdou AM, et al. Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. 2006; 26(3):201-8.
  7. Gottesmann, C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. 2002; 111(2):231-9.
  8. Lyon MR, et al. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev. 2011 16(4):348-54.
  9. Kunz D, et al. Melatonin in patients with reduced REM sleep duration: two randomized controlled trials. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;89(1):128-34.
  10. Pagel JF, & Parnes BL. Medications for the Treatment of Sleep Disorders: An Overview. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2001; 3(3):118-125.
  11. Nobre AC, et al. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17 Suppl 1:167-8.
  12. Wakabayashi C, et al. Behavioral and molecular evidence for psychotropic effects in L-theanine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012; 219(4):1099-109.



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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