Top Five Natural Health Trends for Summer 2014

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The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) announced yesterday the top five trends Canadians should look for this summer at their local health food store. Summer is around the corner, and Canadians are eager for the inside scoop on this summer's new, effective ways to stay cool, hydrated, and healthy naturally. Throughout the spring, CHFA reached out to top natural health experts across Canada to gather their insights on the many exciting trends in natural health.

"Summer heat and seasonal changes put new stresses on our body's systems," says CHFA president Helen Long. "Leading experts helped us find new, exciting, natural solutions that we are pleased to share with Canadians across the country to help them get the most out of summer."

The top five trends are:

1. Natural Hydration
The first choice for summer 2014 hydration is a new beverage that's close to home: maple water. Spring is maple syrup season, when maple farmers across the country tap their trees and boil down the sap to make maple syrup. What many Canadians do not know is that maple sap, in its purest form, is an effective summer hydrator. Filled with minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese, this low-calorie beverage can provide energy without spiking your blood sugar. Other natural healthy alternatives include coconut water, kombucha, or making your own fruit infused water to stay hydrated this season.

2. Natural Skin Care
Opting for a sunscreen that contains zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide in the ingredient list is a must this summer, especially when choosing one for your kids. When applied, these metals lay on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, and they reflect potentially damaging UVA and UVB rays. For after-sun protection, the focus is on aloe vera and vitamin E creams--both are excellent natural options to help soothe the pain caused by sunburns. Keeping your body's internal defenses stocked with antioxidant supplements like carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E can also help to protect your skin against sun damage.

3. Ultimate Summer Supplements 
The hottest supplements to watch for on the shelves of your local natural health retailer this summer include omega-3s and Astaxanthin.  Astaxanthin is a supplement naturally derived from a pink carotenoid antioxidant found in algae. According to holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos, "Astaxanthin has been clinically studied for helping to protect against wrinkles, redness, and UV damage." Natural health experts also raved about antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which help your body respond to the harsh effects of UV radiation resulting from sun exposure. If you are currently on medications, or taking other natural health products, speak with your healthcare practitioner about which supplements are right for you.

4. Label Literacy
Canadians are increasingly demanding simple, transparent labeling. "Many manufacturers are leading the way and saying 'we believe in truth in labeling, and we are going to self-declare what all the ingredients are in the product,'" said Matthew James, chair of CHFA's Board of Directors and President of Purity Life Health Products LP. Canadians should look for labels like the Canadian Organic Symbol that will tell you at a glance that the ingredients used are obtained from certified organic sources.

5. Summer Superfoods for Natural Health 
"This summer's trendiest superfood is going to be watermelon," says Nutrition Journalist and gluten-free expert Kathy Smart. "It is extremely hydrating and provides a lot of important minerals. Expect to see it in people's water bottles, salads, and frozen into popsicles." Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant pigment that gives the watermelon its rich color, with a growing list of benefits from prostate to skin health. Other delicious and healthy summer superfoods range from seaweed snacks and healthy bars to anything and everything coconut.


Source: Canadian Health Food Association, chfa.ca