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Nutrition and Lifestyle

How Stress Impacts Your Body

Most of us are aware that stress is one of the key drivers behind many of our modern health complaints. Stress is a risk factor for hormone imbalance, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer as well as mental illnesses like anxiety or depression and even brain-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Ever wondered how stress can have such a devastating impact on our body? The mind-body connection, or the stress-illness connection for purposes of this article, works in different ways. It’s useful to remember firstly that the stress response is meant to improve your chances of surviving a physical threat to your

How to Make Healthy Habits Fun for the Whole Family

Do you feel like eating healthily is a chore and enjoying food that is good for you is a challenge? If it is the case and you have children, you run the risk of passing this attitude on to them. Studies show that the children of parents with a high BMI often have similar issues. Therefore, genetics aside, it seems that kids do pick up their parent’s lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to try to build some fun into establishing healthy habits, for the benefit of the whole family.  Make It Kid-Friendly Making healthy meals fun can

Don’t Submit to Stress – Support Your Immunity

It’s Fall and everyone is “ramping up”. Whether you are a parent with a new school schedule to manage or an employee managing new projects at work, it seems that as the days get shorter, the To-Do lists get longer. Changes in schedule and workload can contribute to rising levels of stress. As a result, maybe you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, which can lead to even higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Both stress and insomnia can lead to a suppressed immune system, which can in turn lead to increased susceptibility to any colds and flu being passed around

Who Can Benefit From Supplements? Genetic Testing Provides Insights

Health Canada outlines daily dietary requirements for vitamins, minerals and macronutrients necessary for Canadians to be healthy. These values are determined according to scientific data to meet adequate nutrient levels for 97-98% of healthy individuals within a particular life stage and gender;1 however, a 2012 report by Health Canada shows that a large percentage of individuals fail to meet acceptable levels through diet alone, particularly for magnesium, calcium, vitamins D and A.2 In addition, values are meant as a general guideline for the healthy population to generally prevent deficiency and fail to provide guidelines for those that require additional amounts.

When Vitamins and Supplements are Worth the Investment

We’ve all seen media claims that supplements can be a “waste of money” while other reports illustrate the dangers of “natural products”. So how valid are these claims? It’s all in the fine print. A catchy fear-inducing headline is sure to make waves, but it’s time to break down the science – and the actual text – of this information. When are supplements actually not worth it, and when can they actually make a difference in your health? What outcomes are we looking for? The first thing you need to ask yourself is “What am I looking to achieve?” There

The Mighty Molecule: The Role of PEA in the Endocannabinoid System

Definitions PEA (N-palmitoylethanolamide): An endogenous fatty acid amide synthesized and metabolized by cells that binds to cell receptors. It influences a multitude of physiological functions and has potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Endocannabinoid System: A lipid communication network that has critical physiological functions and serves a vital purpose for our health and well-being through signaling processes, homeostasis and hormone regulation. Lipids and the ECS In 1929, scientists George Oswald Burr and his wife, Mildred Burr, discovered that omega 6 fatty acids were essential for health. This kicked off science’s interest into lipids, and by the 1960s a new age of lipid

Back-to-School Family Immunity Boosters

After the relaxing fun of summer, Back-to-School season is here again. Although every school year offers its share of gratification, it’s typically also a balancing act, for both parents and kids. Trying to juggle a busy schedule and the many demands of parenting while keeping the kids healthy and ready to learn can be a challenge. For kids, the return to bedtime and homework routines and new academic and social challenges can result in increased stress, which may lead to weakened immunity. These factors, combined with the increased exposure to flu bugs and other infections, can spell sick days for

AOR’s Healthy Student Guide

Every year, university and college students assemble the checklist of items that they need to take advantage of the opportunities and experiences that higher education offers. New textbooks? Check. New laptop? Got it. But it takes more than supplies to ensure you have a successful year in school, both academically and socially. And the university/college environment can present health challenges, both physical and mental, even if you’re young and active. We’ve reviewed the science for the top daily habits as well as the vitamins and nutrients best suited to supplement the brain and overall health of students. For anyone heading

Whey Protein 101: What exactly IS Whey protein?

Whey is one of two types of proteins found in milk (the other being casein) and it is a by-product of the transformation process of cow’s milk into cheese. As we all know, protein is the building block of life but not all proteins are created equal! Whey is considered by many to be the ultimate source of protein due to its exceptional branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) profile and high biological value.  When your body converts protein, it breaks it down into amino acids. These amino acids help to repair torn muscle tissue and build new ones. The higher

Seasonal Allergies and Your Gut: What’s The Connection?

Over the last few years, the science has emerged to prove that there is actually a close relationship between the respiratory, immune and gastrointestinal systems. We now know that a disruption to your biome (those trillions of microorganisms that live in your intestinal tract) can trigger an oversensitivity to allergens in your immune system, which could ultimately make your allergies flare up even more as a result. So, how do we support our gut? One acceptable method is to eat lots of healthy foods that are rich in fibre, as well as fermented products, such as kombucha. Of course, in

Is the intake of grapefruit juice linked to increased breast cancer risk?

The human body relies heavily on enzymes to perform all sorts of functions such as: the breakdown of various foods so that the nutrients can be absorbed, accelerating various chemical reactions which otherwise would be too slow for the requirements of the body, and generating energy quickly and efficiently among others. Then there is a whole series of enzymes whose job is to detoxify chemicals, either foreign (toxins) or ones produced by the body itself including hormones like estrogen. One such large group of enzymes is called the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family which breaks down different chemicals and thus reduces

Medicinal Mushrooms: Moving to the Mainstream

Edible and medicinal mushrooms have been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years as a tonic for both prevention and acute treatment of diseases, but recently they have gained interest in the West, as mainstream medicine discovers the multiple and incremental immune pathways that these fungi effect. Their potential use in cases of chronic immune dysfunction is making these mushrooms the latest research trend in immune support and prevention. As both a food source and medicinal substance, mushrooms can be a rich source of amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and other functional compounds. Numerous studies have reported