Well this was Natural Health Products Week (NHP Week), or as we at the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) like to say, ‘a week of happy, a lifetime of health.’ It’s a week that we use to shine the spotlight on natural health products; the vitamins, minerals and supplements that over 70% of Canadians use on a regular basis.
To celebrate the week we tested Canadians coast-to-coast on their natural health knowledge. The results were quite surprising.
Throughout this past week I had the opportunity to share these results on TV stations across the country, including CHCH, CTV Noon News Edmonton and CTV Calgary. Of all the questions that we asked these were my top five favourite:
Vitamin C can ward off the common cold: Fiction
Intrestengly, only 22% answered correctly when asked if vitamin C can ward off the common cold. The truth is, studies show that vitamin C won’t cure, or prevent, the common cold but may reduce the duration and severity of a cold. A recent meta-analysis, stated that “it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them.” I believe it’s important to keep taking vitamin C throughout the winter months by eating a variety of fresh fruits and veggies or taking a supplement if necessary.
Probiotics have been linked to immunity: Fact
About 70% of survey respondents understand the link between probiotics and immunity. In fact, there is a strong connection between our healthy gut bugs and our immune system. Probiotics have been shown to play an important role in “priming” our immune system to track and eliminate invading winter bugs. So consider adding more fermented foods to your diet or a probiotic to your routine and keep your immune system strong this winter.
Vitamin D is naturally occurring in many whole food sources: Fiction
Surprisingly, only 32% of the Canadians surveyed are aware that vitamin D is actually not naturally found in many food sources. We rely heavily on the sun’s rays to help us manufacture vitamin D and here in Canada during the winter months this just does not happen. Supplementation with vitamin D is almost universally recommended, especially during the upcoming winter months.
Honey has antibacterial properties: Fact
84% of Canadians know that honey has antibacterial properties. Researchers at the University of Guelph found that unpasteurized honey can be as effective as some medical creams and ointments at healing tissue and killing infecting agents. Honey’s magic ingredients include sugars, minerals and enzymes, that work together to disinfect and repair injured skin tissue. Add honey to your family’s first-aid kit and apply on minor cuts and scrapes.
Eating organic foods significantly reduces exposure to pesticides: Fact
There are a lot of mixed messages out there about the benefits of choosing certified organic foods. Shockingly, 40% of Canadians answered incorrectly when asked about organics and pesticide exposure. Certified organic products are produced and grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, hormones or antibiotics. By following a simple guide, the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, developed by the Environmental Working Group, you can minimize your consumption of pesticides by as much as 80%, leading to cleaner diet for your whole family.
You can see the rest of the results and test your natural health knowledge here. How did you do?
Happy NHP Week!