Myth or Fact? 4 Things You Should Know About Natural Health

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Every year we make the same resolution: eat right, live right. But, just how savvy are you at deciphering the fact from fiction when it comes to natural health?

According to the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Canadians could use a remedial course.

In a recent survey conducted by the group, they found that there were some obvious knowledge gaps around popular natural health products (NHPs) such as probiotics and vitamins.

Click through for four things you should know about natural health.

1. Vitamin C and the Common Cold
You feel a cold coming on so you start stocking up on orange juice and popping those vitamin C supplements. That always helps to prevent coughs and sniffles, right?

False. This is a popular myth, but studies show that vitamin C hasn’t been proven to cure (or even prevent) the common cold. However, it is an important nutrient to get into your diet because it aids in repairing bones, teeth, skin and other tissues.

2. Serotonin, The Happy Hormone
Put yourself in a happy state of mind — that’s the mantra. That means serotonin, the so-called “feel good hormone,” must be produced mostly in your brain, no?

False. Believe it or not, scientists estimate that 90% of the body’s serotonin is actually produced in the digestive tract. Research has shown that bacteria in your gut can influence the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is closely associated with feelings of happiness.

3. Getting Enough Vitamin D
All this hoopla around vitamin D is just a way to sell products. You can get enough of it if you just eat a balanced diet.

False. The CHFA says that the amount of vitamin D found in many whole foods varies dramatically and many Canadians find it difficult to get enough into their daily diet. Plus, adults over 50 may not produce vitamin D in their skin as well as they did when they were younger. And, because of our long, dark winters, Health Canada suggests taking a supplementation during this period.

4. More to Milk
Milk—it does a body good and helps to build strong bones (as everyone knows). But, that’s about it.

False. Milk has long been associated with building strong bones, but did you know calcium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure, nerve transmission, muscle contraction and blood clotting? According to Health Canada, many adults have inadequate intakes of calcium.

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Nadine Anglin is a Toronto-based writer/editor and producer. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @nadine_anglin