Women’s Heart Health: Simple Habits to Protect Your Ticker

Many people do not consider their heart health until they are older. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, two out of three Canadian women have one or more major health factors that elevate their risk for heart disease, like diabetes or menopause. No matter your age, it is always a good time to start managing your heart health.

There are many small changes you can make to improve your heart health. Between regular physical activity and smart meal planning, here are a few ways to keep your heart health on track.

Good fats vs. bad fats.

A great way to manage your heart health is to consider both the amount and type of fat you eat. Substitute bad saturated and trans fats in your diet with good fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats are naturally found in vegetable oils, soft margarines and nuts and seeds. Canada’s Food Guide recommends including a small amount — 30 to 45 mL or two to three tablespoons — of unsaturated fat each day. This could include soft, non-hydrogenated margarine made from plant-based oils.

Get up and get moving:

Living an active lifestyle is beneficial to heart health. The Heart and Stroke Foundation suggests getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.

Getting back into the kitchen:

A great way to ensure you have heart-healthy foods available to you each meal is to prepare them yourself. Some prepared foods can be high in calories, sodium, sugar or bad fats, but by preparing them at home, you can make simple substitutions to feel good about what you are eating. Cooking and baking with a soft, non-hydrogenated margarine, like Becel, is a great place to start. In fact, soft, non-hydrogenated margarine has 80 per cent less saturated fat than butter and can be portioned the same as butter.

Living with heart does not have to mean making drastic life changes — rather, it is about making smaller, more manageable changes, with food choices being one of the easiest.


5 Health Reasons to Eat Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Jerusalem artichokes also known as sunchokes are a perennial root vegetable that easily reproduces if left undisturbed. It is common to scrub off the dark skin of sunchokes and just eat the whitish flesh. The nutty taste, similar to water chestnuts, is quite flavorful, whether the roots are eaten raw in a salad or fried in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Once established, the plants grow vigorously. You will never run out if you leave some tubers in the ground for the following year.

Jerusalem artichokes contain a lot of insulin and non-digestible dietary fibers. These root vegetables are quite nutritious, and have properties that are beneficial to humans. Eat sunchokes regularly when experiencing intestinal health problems, such as lazy bowels. The following list contains 5 reasons to add sunchokes to your diet.

  1. High iron content – A quarter of a person’s daily iron requirement can be provided by one cup of Jerusalem artichokes. This equals the iron found in three ounces of red meat.
  2. Lowering blood pressure – The insulin in these tubers acts as a prebiotic. It can fend off bad bacteria in the lower intestine and prevent hypertension.
  3. Increased anti-oxidant vitamins – Is your body in need of additional vitamin A, C, and E to stop dangerous free radicals? Eating sunchokes may protect your body from developing cancer cells, inflammation, colds, and viral coughs.
  4. Heart disease prevention – Dietary potassium is necessary to stay healthy and fight heart disease. Jerusalem artichokes are also a good source of electrolytes and essential minerals.
  5. Liver protection – These root vegetables contain a tremendous amount of protein. They are very high in sulfur-rich amino acids, which are essential for keeping connective tissues flexible and helping in the detoxification process of the liver.

There are many great recipes available online for those who want to give Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes a try.

Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com.

Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact Irida at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

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5 tips to reduce your risk of osteoporosis and to keep your bones healthy

Dairy Farmers of Canada partnered with Osteoporosis Canada to commission a survey about the level of public knowledge about the condition of osteoporosis. The results confirm that Canadians have misconceptions about the “silent thief” and do not necessarily know how to prevent it or how it may impact their quality of life. Those surveyed also think they don’t really have to worry about bone loss before age 44 — even though both men and women begin to lose bone mass in their mid-thirties.

“Canadians are not getting enough servings of milk products,” says Nathalie Savoie, registered dietitian. “This means they may be short in calcium as well as other essential bone-building nutrients all found in milk products, which could lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis as they age.”

Survey results also reveal that it’s important to remind people that it is crucial to start early to prevent osteoporosis, explains Dr. Famida Jiwa, president of Osteoporosis Canada. A majority of Canadians don’t realize that osteoporosis can be fatal or could seriously impact their quality of life.

The condition starts earlier than you think. Bone density peaks in your twenties. Having a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle throughout your life can both contribute to the development of healthy bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, while providing other positive health impacts.

In Canada, one in every three women and one in five men will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Over 30 per cent of people who suffer a hip fracture die within the following year from secondary causes.

Here are some ways to keep your bones healthy:

1. Get enough calcium-rich foods, such as milk products.

2. Ensure you have enough vitamin D.

3. Exercise regularly, focusing on strength training and weight-bearing exercises.

4. Limit your consumption of alcohol.

5. Get a bone mineral density test if you’re at risk.

Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and feel great by checking out the Get Enough Helper App, created by the registered dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada. Every day app users track what they eat, one dollar is donated to one of the following causes: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Osteoporosis Canada.


Foods to Reach for to Prevent Colds and Flus

One of the easiest ways to keep your immune system strong is eating healthy foods.

To prevent you and your family from succumbing to cold and flu season, the Canadian Health Food Association recommends the following foods:

Nuts: Whether you add them to your cereal and salads or have them as an afternoon snack, nuts are a good choice for supporting immune function. Cashews and pecans, for example, provide the perfect blend of immune-boosting nutrients, including protein, vitamin E and zinc; while Brazil nuts are high in selenium.

Kimchi. The ancient tradition of fermented food has become increasingly popular in Canada — for good reason. This fermented cabbage dish from Korea is not only rich in vitamins C, E and A, carotenoids and antioxidant enzymes, it’s also a healthy whole-food source of probiotics, the good gut bacteria that keep your immune system in check. Kimchi can be an acquired taste, so if you’re not sure it’s for you, you may want to consider taking a probiotic supplement instead.

Garlic. Over a third of Canadians say they consume garlic to stay healthy during cold and flu season. That’s because this member of the allium family is known to reduce cold symptoms and improve immune cell activity. Garlic is delicious in homemade salad dressings, dips or stir fries, but if you’re worried about bad breath, try an odourless supplement instead.

Mushrooms. The benefits of reishi mushroom extracts on the immune system are well documented. Available in supplement form, reishi mushrooms have been consumed for thousands of years in Asia as a tea. The process of hot water extraction releases beneficial carbohydrates and fibres that can increase the production of certain white blood cells to help identify and break down invading bugs. And there’s nothing more soothing than a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day.

Visit chfa.ca to find your local CHFA Member health food store and stock up today.


Using Bath Bombs With Hydrotherapy to Treat Flu Symptoms

bath-bombs-2With all of the recent controversy surrounding flu vaccinations and medications for treating flu, it is no wonder that many people are looking for natural ways to treat flu. Hydrotherapy with bath bombs provides a great way to treat flu symptoms without the use of potentially harmful medications.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Simply put, hydrotherapy is treatment using water. This can be hot or cold water in the form of baths, showers, saunas, misters, water massage and many other forms. For our purpose here, hydrotherapy is in the form of a hot bath. Hydrotherapy can increase blood circulation, which in turn helps to circulate immune-boosting white cells throughout the body. This will not only enhance the immune system, but will also raise energy levels and contribute to a general feeling of well-being. Hydrotherapy also helps to alleviate respiratory symptoms such as chest and nasal congestion.

What are Bath Bombs?

A bath bomb (AKA bath fizzy) is a fizzing tablet or ball used in the bath. The active ingredients, citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) create a chemical reaction in the water that causes carbon dioxide to be released which results in bubbles much like those in champagne. There are many optional ingredients that can be added, including salts, moisturizers and essential oils.

How do Bath Bombs Help Hydrotherapy?

There are a few ways that bath bombs will help with the effectiveness of hydrotherapy. The keys are the ingredients used to make them and the essential oils used to scent them. When you make them for yourself or for others, you get to control exactly what goes in them and tailor them to your needs.

One of the key ingredients in making bath fizzies is baking soda. Its main purpose is to contribute to the chemical reaction in the bath that causes the fizzing effect, but I think that the beauty of making bath bombs is the fact that baking soda also has some really great health benefits. Baking soda is very soothing to the skin and can be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema. It is also known to aid in drainage of the lymphatic system. This is a very important step in helping to fight off the flu as draining the lymphatic system will help to eliminate toxins from your body, which in turn will help to strengthen your immune system.

Epsom salts are not a required ingredient in making bath bombs, but are one of the many optional ingredients that can be added. When using bath fizzies in combination with hydrotherapy to treat flu, epsom salts are a good addition because they are a great remedy for the sore and achy muscles that so often accompany flu. When added to bath bombs, they will also help to draw toxins from the body.

Essential oils are another optional ingredient that can be used in making bath bombs. Essential oils can be used to treat many health conditions, including colds and flu. My favorite blend for fighting flu is equal parts tea tree, ginger and lavender. The tea tree is an antiviral and will help to ease chest and nasal congestion. The ginger increases blood circulation which helps to raise body temperature to fight off the virus. Lavender is a natural central nervous system sedative which will relax the muscles and calm the mind, allowing for a better nights sleep. Add this combination when you make bath bombs and keep extra on hand for family members or friends who are ill.

This is my favorite recipe for making bath bombs to help combat flu:

  • 1 Cup Citric Acid
  • ¼ Cup Tapioca Starch
  • ¾ Cup Baking Soda
  • ¼ Cup Epsom Salts
  • 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter, melted
  • 10 drops each tea tree, ginger and lavender essential oils
  • Witch Hazel (in a spritzer bottle to spritz dry mixture as needed)

Sift dry ingredients together in a large glass bowl. Combine shea butter and essential oils, drizzle over dry mixture and mix with hands. Spritz with witch hazel as needed to hold mixture together. Pack into molds, pressing firmly.

Allow to dry 24 – 48 hours before using.

For more information and great recipes for making bath bombs, visit www.makebathbombs.com.


Coralynn Gehl has written several articles and eBooks on alternative health care issues as well as making spa and body products at home. Her website is http://www.makebathbombs.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

How to Make Bath Bombs to Treat Sore Muscles

making-bath-bombsWhether it’s from over-exercising, helping a friend move or shoveling snow, we’ve all woken up stiff and sore. Bath bombs are a wonderful way to relax sore muscles and leave you feeling better. When you make bath bombs at home, you can tailor the recipe to provide exactly the benefit you want.

A bath bomb (AKA bath fizzy) is a fizzing tablet or ball used in the bath. The active ingredients, citric acid and baking soda create a reaction in the water that releases carbon dioxide and produces bubbles like those in sparkling water.

So how do they relieve sore muscles? There are three ingredients you can use when you make bath bombs that will make them especially effective.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the key ingredients that make bath bombs fizzy. Muscle soreness is caused by a build-up of lactic acid, so the key to relieving sore muscles is getting the lactic acid out. Baking soda in the bath is known to detoxify the system, and it is very effective in helping to leach lactic acid from your body.

As an added bonus, baking soda is great for the skin and leaves it feeling silky and smooth.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is essential to relieving sore muscles. Epsom salt is a source of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are more readily absorbed through the skin than orally, making epsom salt baths very beneficial. The sulfate draws toxins from the muscles along with lactic acid. The magnesium reduces swelling and relieves pain. Adding epsom salt when you make bath bombs doubles the muscle relaxing benefits of them.


Essential oils should always be used when you make bath bombs. If you don’t use them, you’re missing out on the opportunity to make use of them to relax, de-stress, calm anxiety or, in this case, help to relieve sore muscles. There are several essential oils that are effective in relieving sore muscles.

These include:

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Ylang-ylang
  • Black pepper
  • Juniper berry
  • Ginger

This is my favorite recipe for making bath bombs to relieve sore muscles. It contains the baking soda, epsom salt and essential oils that you would expect, and packs the added bonus of powdered ginger. The powdered ginger isn’t some exotic ingredient – it’s just the stuff you find in the spice section of your supermarket. In fact, you probably have some in your cupboard.

Muscle Relaxing Bath Bomb Recipe


  • 1 c. baking soda
  • ½ c. citric acid
  • ½ c. tapioca starch
  • 1/3 c. epsom salts
  • 2 tbsp. powdered or ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. shea butter, melted
  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops ginger essential oil
  • 8 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops black pepper essential oil
  • Spray bottle of witch hazel


Sift dry ingredients together in a large glass bowl. Combine shea butter and essential oils, drizzle over dry mixture and mix with hands. Spritz with witch hazel as needed to hold mixture together. Pack into molds, pressing firmly.

For more information and great recipes for making bath bombs, visit www.makebathbombs.com.

Coralynn Gehl has written several articles and eBooks on alternative health care issues as well as making spa and body products at home. Her website is http://www.makebathbombs.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Traditional Medicine is Making a Comeback

traditional-medicineOur medical knowledge, research and treatments have evolved over the years — both for conventional and traditional medicine. More and more Canadians are supplementing their health regimen with age-old remedies and treatments to help them maintain their health.

By staving off illness and maintaining your health with natural remedies like oil of oregano, Echinacea and valerian, you can help preserve the effectiveness of conventional medicine. Using alternative remedies generally comes with fewer side effects and can also decrease your risk of prescription medication dependency.

Here are three noteworthy traditional remedies that have been proven to be as effective as pharmaceuticals for certain illnesses and conditions.

1. Oil of Oregano.

This oil has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help decrease swelling and inflammation and can also treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Oil of oregano also aids in digestion and helps preserve food.

2. Echinacea.

Several studies have found that Echinacea contains active substances that boost immune function, reduce inflammation and have antiviral and antioxidant effects. Echinacea is commonly used to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold.

3. Valerian.

This medicinal herb has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. It is a popular alternative to prescription sleep medication.

It’s always important to speak to your healthcare practitioner about which traditional and conventional medicines are right for you.

Find more information on traditional medicine and naturopathic supplements online at orangenaturals.com.


Pumpkin Nutmeg Nutrient-Dense Shake

Boost health by indulging in fall flavors

Pumpkin Nutmeg Nutrient-Dense Shake

Pumpkin Nutmeg Nutrient-Dense Shake

The fall harvest provides us with many fresh, local ingredients that are perfect for autumn-themed recipes. From pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin soup, pumpkin is one fall food we can’t seem to get enough of. There’s just something about its sweet and hearty flavor that reminds us of changing leaves and crisp fall air.

For a new twist on this classic fall food, try this Pumpkin Nutmeg Nutrient-Dense Shake. Its high nutritional content makes it a great healthy option for time-stretched families always on the go and busy with the new school year.

Pumpkin Nutmeg Nutrient-Dense Shake


• 300 ml vanilla rice milk

• 300 ml milk

• 5 ice cubes of frozen steamed pumpkin

• 1 ice cube of steamed bok choy

• 4 slices frozen peach (about 1/2 peach)

• 1/2 tsp nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 small avocado

• 1 tbsp coconut oil

• 3 scoops Orange Naturals ND Shake

• Water for taste and texture


1. Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.

Find more quick, easy and healthy recipe ideas online at orangenaturals.com.


Health Benefits of Salmon

Fresh Raw Salmon

Fresh Raw Salmon

The farming of fish is an ancient practice and over the years, not only has fishing changed with the times, so has cooking and preparing the food, with frying, smoking, baking, poaching, BBQ’ing and more making sea food like salmon one of the most versatile dishes on the menu, as well as being one of the tastiest.

Not just easy and delicious, there are many health benefits of salmon, some of which might even surprise you. Let’s take a closer look…

Health Benefits of Salmon

Oily fish is all over the media right now and there’s a very good reason for that – it’s really good for your health, primarily brain health. Your brain is made up of sixty percent fatty acids so the more of these fatty acids you consume, the healthier your brain will be. The brain has a favourite, one particular fatty acid that nourishes it more than the others, and that is DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. We can’t make this acid within our own bodies but salmon and other types of oily fish such as tuna, are DHA-rich, giving you just one more reason other than taste why you should be eating more of it.

Children brought up with salmon (DHA) rich diets are said to have greater learning abilities than those who did not consume the fatty acids on a regular basis. In fact, a diet lacking in DHA can actually lead to learning deficits.

As well as being really good for your brain, DHA and other fatty acids found in salmon are also good for your overall health, improving your joints, improving the function of your heart, and in some studies has even shown to reduce the risks and symptoms of heart disease and other related cardiovascular conditions.

In short, salmon is very good for both your brain and your heart.

Moving aside from the omega-3 and other fatty acid content, you should be eating more salmon because there are a whole host of other vitamins and minerals, all of which have been shown to be beneficial to your health. If you were to bought a four-ounce piece of wild salmon, you would find the following nutrients:

  • 236% of your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamin B12, important for proper functioning of the nervous system, brain, and even red blood cells forming.
  • 127% of your RDA of vitamin D, essential for the body to be able to absorb calcium and ensure health bones and teeth as well as other parts of the body. Reports have suggested that over 7.6million young children across the United States had a diet lacking in vitamin D, and almost 25% of all American adults are also suffering with a vitamin D deficiency.
  • 78% of your RDA of selenium, a powerful nutrient with cancer-busting, antioxidant properties.
  • 56% of your RDA of vitamin B3, also known as niacin, important for overall good health and heart health.
  • 53% of your RDA of protein, the building blocks of your body, responsible also for rejuvenation and repair of damaged cells.
  • 14% of your RDA of potassium, important for kidney health and normalizing your blood pressure amongst other things.

There are a few more to add to the list also – biotin, vitamin B5, choline, vitamin B6, phosphorous, iodine, and more.

The combination of nutrients you’ll find in salmon give you plentiful reasons why you should be eating more of the oily fish, offering neurological and brain repair, improving the memory and focus on both adults and children but particularly children, decreasing your chances of suffering with many of the most dangerous cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and strokes, and even helping to fight back against cancer with a number of powerful antioxidants.

The health benefits of salmon are plentiful, and the list of positives almost outweigh the list of delicious dishes you can make with it. Is it about time that you started to look at adding this tasty oily fish to your menu for dinner tonight?

J Humphreys is a British born-and-bred freelance writer with over ten years experience.

Well-travelled, well-educated and with a whole load of ‘life experience’ at the young ol’ age of 29, she is able to write in a variety of tones, in a variety of contexts, but specialises in friendly, conversational, dry-humour pieces that get to the point yet inject a bit of humour into the mix. She’s not a fan of fluff, or ‘filler’ to get to her desired word count.

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Five Ways to Create a Healthy Home

Healthy Home

Healthy Home

Have you ever thought of your home as being healthy or unhealthy? While the concept of a healthy home may be new to some of us, it is steadily gaining popularity with homeowners. A healthy home can include a number of elements from building materials used to construct your home to using non-toxic cleaning products. Below is a list of five ways to assist you in creating a healthy home environment.

1. Clean Air and Circulation:

Here are some little known facts from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) about the air inside many of today’s homes:

  • Indoor air pollutant levels may be two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outdoors.
  • Indoor air pollutant is one of the top environmental concerns today.
  • Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors.
  • Indoor air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander have the ability to create asthmatic and allergic reactions.

Listed below are a few ways to improve the quality of your indoor air:

  • Consider an Indoor Air Purifier. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has put forth industry standards for indoor air purifiers. To view results of their standards and testing or to find a certified indoor air purifier, you can visit their website at cadr.org.
  • For better air circulation, leave doors between rooms open most of the time and open windows when possible to allow for a good supply of fresh outdoor air. You can also install exhaust fans in bathrooms to help remove moisture and chemicals from your home.
  • Upgrade the air filters on your furnace with the pleated filters that capture smaller particles. Change the filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • You can also use indoor houseplants to aid in purifying your home’s air. For example, Boston Ferns cleanse formaldehyde from the air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm (parts in a million parts of air), it may cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, skin rashes, and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde can be found in insulation, particleboard, paper products and many cleaning products.

2. Dust-proof Your Home:

  • Dust your rooms and knickknacks regularly with a damp cloth.
  • Dust your hardwood, tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring regularly with a dust mop or a vacuum made for hard flooring.
  • Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture regularly. Consider buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA filter is capable of removing a minimum of 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. In addition, consider using a bag-less vacuum to avoid the exposure of dust when you change a bag.
  • Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs in an airtight, dust-proof cover.
  • Dust/clean ceiling fans regularly to make sure they are not releasing dust in the air every time you run them.
  • Replace dust-collecting blinds and long drapes with window shades or washable curtains.

3. Use Natural and Non-Toxic Cleaning Products:

One way to assure that the fragrances in your home are clean and fresh is to avoid using harsh cleaning products, which can create fumes that may linger for days. Try using natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, club soda, and lemon juice.

For example, to make a natural glass cleaner, combine:

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • one quart of warm water
  • Mix ingredients together and pour into spray bottle. Spray on surface and wipe dry.

4. Fill Your Home with Natural and Earth-Friendly Products. Below is a small list of eco-friendly products available on the market today:

  • Organic cotton towels, linens, clothing
  • Mattresses, bedding, pillows
  • Cork flooring, wool carpet
  • Sofas, chairs, ottomans
  • Toys and games for all ages
  • Pet products
  • Soap and laundry detergents
  • Organic candles, home décor accessories
  • Personal accessories

5. Use Safe, Non-Toxic Interior Paints that have:

  • very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content
  • no formaldehyde
  • low odor

Try using any of the above suggestions to create a healthy home environment. Although the concept of a healthy home is relatively new to many, there are numerous resources available including books, articles, and websites, where you can find additional information.


Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the founder of http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com – The Home Decor Exchange is a valuable website full of information and resources about home and garden decorating.

In addition to editing the Home Decor Exchange website, Lesley is a crochet pattern designer and needle fiber artist. You can view her crochet patterns and needle fiber designs at: http://www.ErinOliviaDesigns.Etsy.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com