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Integrative Family Health Clinic in Bolton and the Greater Caledon Area
4-22 Simona Drive
Bolton, ON

The secret ingredients for better immunity

What can you use now to benefit your immunity?

And the secret ingredient is…..

Raw honey

Disclaimer: do not consume raw honey if you are pregnant 

Raw honey includes bee pollen and propolis which contains antioxidants as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties to help build your immune system, heal wounds and fight infections.

The best is local honey usually found at health food stores. Raw honey is not heavily processed and all the nutrients are still available. Another tip is to ensure that you do not heat honey over 95 degrees Fahrenheit as this can also destroy the amazing immune properties of raw honey.

Daily amount: 1-2 tbsp per day.

You can put honey in your herbal teas, drizzle over oatmeal, spread on toast or mix in yogurt.

Herbal teas

Another gentle approach to help support your immune system are herbal teas!

Consider:

  • Echinacea tea
  • Ginger lemon tea
  • Green tea
  • Elderberry tea

All of these can be found at your local grocery store or health food store. Add in your raw honey once the tea has cooled down after steeping in boiled water for 3-5 minutes.

This fall and winter season let’s stay healthy!

How We Can Help

Wildflower Health and Wellness has a Natural Dispensary. We offer high quality medicinal dried herbs, herbal tinctures, and professional line supplements all of which are high quality. Contact us today to refill your supplements for immunity, including: Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc gluconate, Astragalus herb and Reishi mushroom.

Wildflower Health and Wellness Clinic nutrition holistic naturopathic diet mentalhealth mindbody anxiety

You Think What You Eat

How sharp is your mind, how balanced is your mood, how consistent is your energy, how happy are you – and what, if anything, do these qualities have to do with what you eat?

There are some sobering stats which involved 37,000 people. Here are the proportion of people that reported suffering ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ from certain conditions:

    • Become impatient quickly 82%
    • Have low energy level 80%
    • Energy is less than it used to be 76%
    • Feel have too much to do 67%
    • Become anxious or tense easily 64%
    • Have PMS/PMT (women only) 63%
    • Easily become angry 53%
    • Suffer from depression 44%
    • Have difficulty concentrating 43%
    • Become nervous/hyperactive 38%
    • Have poor memory/difficulty learning 32%

Does this sound like anyone you know? Does this sound like you?  Welcome to the 21st century.  Despite improvements in diet and better standards of living, the average person is exhausted, among other things.  So, what’s going wrong?

Our minds and bodies have been shaped over millions of years of evolution. Diets have changed radically in the last 100 years, along with our environment.  When you consider that the body and brain are made entirely from molecules derived from food, air, and water, and that simple molecules like alcohol can fundamentally affect the brain, isn’t it unlikely that changes in the diet and the environment have had no effect on our mental health?

I believe that most of us are not achieving our full potential for mental health, happiness, alertness and clarity because we are not achieving optimum nutrition for the mind.  I also believe that significant proportion of mentally unwell people are suffering from a chemical imbalance brought on by years of poor nutrition and exposure to environmental pollutants.

As Einstein said, ‘[bt_highlight]the problems we have created cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them[/bt_highlight].’  We need a new way of thinking about mental health that includes the role of nutrition and the chemical environment and how these affect the way we think and feel.

Mind and body are not separate

One of the most limiting concepts in the human sciences is the idea that the mind and the body are separate.  Try asking an anatomist, a psychologist and a biochemist where the mind begins and the body ends.  It is a stupid question, and yet that is exactly what modern science has done by separating psychology from anatomy and physiology.

But it’s not just the scientists who live by this false distinction.  It’s us.  When you’re having difficulty concentrating, when your mood is low, when you struggle to find a memory, do you consider that you may be poorly nourished? Why not?  Every one of these states – your thinking, feeling, mental energy and focus – happens across a network of interconnecting brain cells, each one of which depends on an optimal supply of nutrients to work efficiently.

Optimum Nutrition and psychotherapy work wonders

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, improving our mental health isn’t only about nutrition.  While some therapists may ignore the role of nutrition and the brain’s chemistry in how we think and feel, let’s not make the same mistake. I believe the solution to the mental health problems that plague our society lies in a combination of optimum nutrition and good psychological support, which includes having a place you can call home, being treated with respect and dignity, and counselling.  

Certain kinds of counselling are highly effective for depression, for example, but far too infrequently prescribed or available.  The combination of optimum nutrition and psychotherapy works wonders for a wide variety of mental health problems, from depression to schizophrenia – and may work better than drugs.  Most of the psychiatrists that I have spoken to find that while drugs can be life-saving in the short term, they become unnecessary when people are receiving the right combination of nutrients and psychological support.

We need a radical new approach based on science

With mental health problems rising at such a pace, we need a new way of thinking about the state of our minds.  As Marcel Proust said, ‘the real act of discovery consists, not finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.’  [bt_highlight]We need to wake up to the realisation that poor nutrition and chemical imbalances probably underlie the majority of mental health problems.  [/bt_highlight]  While psychotherapy can make a positive change, you must also address deficiencies in essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and other key brain nutrients.  We must think our way out of the box and get to grips with the fact that chemistry directly affects how we think and feel.

This means a new basis for both diagnosing and treating problems, and a new way of living and eating that supports our mental health, rather than eroding it.  I believe we already have solutions to most forms of mental illness.  We just have to look with new eyes.  

Summary:

We can now say with confidence that:

  • Most people are achieving well below their full potential for intelligence, memory, concentration, emotional balance and happiness.
  • The right combination of nutrients may work better than drugs, and without the side-effects.
  • Psychotherapy (and other forms of therapy) works best if you’re optimally nourished.
  • Most mental health problems can be relieved with the right nutrition together with the right psychological support and guidance.

Niki Vlachou-Puzzo is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Wildflower Health and Wellness – Learn more about her on her website and follow Niki on Instagram

Preparation for a Healthy Pregnancy: A Naturopathic Perspective

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When working with women at Wildflower Health and Wellness, many women, young and mature, inevitably ask about at the naturopathic perspective on what a healthy pregnancy looks like. Long before the sperm meets the egg, the underlying health of the woman’s body (and the man’s) determines the health of the pregnancy. Realistically, it’s never too early to start planning for pregnancy, as a healthy pregnancy relies on the optimal health of moms- and dads-to-be. It is also something to consider as half of all pregnancies are not planned and baseline health becomes quite important.

An astounding fact that women don’t realize is that once they are pregnant, they are not only carrying their son/daughter but they are also carrying their potential grandchild.

Every baby girl is born with the eggs for their lifetime.

Imagine the impact of your health choices as you are pregnant on what we call generational health.

A healthy pregnancy aims to prevent childhood illnesses such as asthma, allergies, eczema, and autoimmune disease by improving the health of mothers-to-be.

Laboratory Testing

At the very least the following should be tested:

  • Vitamin D – mother’s levels have been correlated with outcomes of many chronic diseases
  • Complete blood count – looks at the health of your red and white blood cells
  • HbA1c – looks at the your blood sugar levels over the past 3 months
  • Ferritin – looks at your iron storage reserves
  • Vitamin B12

These markers should be tested by either your medical doctor or naturopathic doctor. Obviously there are many other tests that are important, such as STI testing, Hepatitis B and C, etc. Not surprisingly, these are typical blood tests that are run at the doctor’s office when going for an annual check-up.

Absolutely Essential Nutrients

For a healthy pregnancy these are the essential nutrients to consider:

  • Iron
  • Methylfolate (bioactive folate)
  • Methylcobalamin (bioactive vitamin B12)

It is also important that it have as many active forms of the nutrients as possible to give your body the best chance to absorb the vital nutrients.  

These nutrients protect the baby from neural tube defects, miscarriages, and ensures proper growth and development. They are also commonly found in good quantities in prenatal formulas..

Other Very Important Nutrients

From a naturopathic perspective, there some additional nutrients that is of great importance when it comes to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Those being vitamin D, Omega-3 fats, probiotics and magnesium. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) longer covers vitamin D testing for the average person. Research by Health Canada suggests that there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Canadians and that supplementation does improve levels. Health Canada has also fortified some of our foods such as milk and dairy products with vitamin D, however,  many women experience the ill-effects of dairy consumption either digestively or hormonally.

Omega-3 fats are another essential nutrient that is needed in preparation of pregnancy. Most people are not eating fatty fish three times weekly, and as such, supplementation becomes important. For vegetarians or vegans, there are good quality, plant-based Omega-3s available.

With the declining quality of our agricultural soil, our foods do not contain magnesium as they once did. As a result, even with eating a healthy diet it is common for the average Canadian to be magnesium deficient.

Probiotics have a growing role in our health as more and more studies come out. They are important when preventing childhood illnesses of asthma, allergies, eczema and autoimmune disease.

The reason I consider these additional nutrients is because it can be difficult to get an adequate amount from diet. Nonetheless, a balanced diet plays a large role in determining the health of mom and baby.

In the case of male infertility, the most important nutrients to consider are a group of nutrients called antioxidants. Nutritional antioxidants are zinc, CoQ10, lycopene (a form of vitamin A) and selenium.

Weight Management and Why it’s Important

It’s surprising the amount of women that say, “I’m going to become fat during the pregnancy anyway.” As mentioned previously, the health of the mother-to-be is very important in determining the health of the baby. Women who carry excess weight are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and have C-sections themselves. Their babies are also at a greater risk of conditions such as eczema, allergies, asthma and obesity.

Maintaining regular physical exercise prior to pregnancy and during the pregnancy can support a healthy metabolism, pelvic floor, blood flow and energy/mood.  

Recent studies have also shown that exercise and regular activity during pregnancy reduces complications at birth.

Overall, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while supplementing with additional nutrients for baby is optimal in a healthy pregnancy. Don’t stray away from being active, either!

Please see your local ND for further support.

[/bt_text][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSmallSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][bt_row_inner][bt_column_inner width=”1/1″ align=”center” cell_padding=”default” vertical_align=”inherit” highlight=”no_highlight” background_color=”” opacity=”” el_class=”” el_style=””][bt_button text=”Work with Wildflower Health & Wellness for your Healthy Pregnancy” icon=”” url=”https://wildflowerhw.janeapp.com/” target=”_self” style=”Outline” icon_position=”Inline” color=”Accent” size=”Medium” width=”Normal” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_button][/bt_column_inner][/bt_row_inner][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSemiSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][bt_dropdown title=”References” dd_content=”https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-calcium-updated-dietary-reference-intakes-nutrition.html#a19;#
Langlois K, Greene-Finestone L, Little J, Hidiroglou N, Whiting S. Vitamin D status of Canadians as measured in the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Reports, March 2010: Catalogue no 82-003-X;#
Whiting SJ, Langlois KA, Vatanparast H, Greene-Finestone LS. The vitamin D status of Canadians relative to the 2011 Dietary Reference Intakes: An examination in children and adults with and without supplement use. Am J Clin Nutr 2011 Jul:94(1): 128-35.;#” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_dropdown][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSemiSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][/bt_column][/bt_row][/bt_section]