NHP week shines the spotlight on the benefits of natural health products
The first week of November is Natural Health Products (NHP) Week, an annual event that focuses on the importance of natural health products, their benefits, and the impact they have on the 71% of Canadians who use them as part of their healthy lifestyle. Canadians are becoming more aware of the benefits of using NHPs to maintain good health and prevent or treat a variety of conditions. NHP Week helps ensure that Canadians not only understand the multiple benefits, but also the safety and efficacy behind all NHPs sold in Canada.
So what are NHPs? Simply put, natural health products (or NHPs) are created from natural sources and used to restore or maintain good health. They can range from herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals that Canadians know well, to homeopathic and traditional medicines that are gaining mainstream popularity.
Central to this is the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD), Health Canada’s NHP regulatory directorate which assesses all natural health products sold in Canada, ensuring that NHPs are safe, effective and high quality. Health Canada then issues a NPN (Natural Product Number) which permits the product to be sold in Canada. Every NHP must go through this process, which protects Canadian consumers from contamination or incorrect ingredients, and ensures that every NHP is properly manufactured and effective.
As well, November is National Health Food Month, an opportunity for Canadians to take stock of what they’re consuming—from food to products alike.
“Participating in National Health Food Month is an excellent opportunity for Canadians to make more of an effort in promoting and maintaining their health,” says Helen Sherrard, President of CHFA, a national trade association dedicated to the natural health and organic products industry. “In fact, as many as 71 per cent of Canadians say they have used a natural health product and their appetite for organics is also on the rise.”
Organic products are foods produced with an approach that puts nature first; rejecting chemical pesticides and embracing biodiversity and soil health. Organic food encourages the development and sustainability of earth friendly farming practices, including locally farmed produce and food products. Hand in hand with organics are nonGMOs, products verified by the NonGMO project, ensuring they contain no genetically modified organisms. Foodsmiths unequivocally supports the full disclosure of product ingredients to consumers, including their right to know whether food products contain GMOs.
If you want to participate in NHP Week and National Health Food Month, the best thing you can do is make small changes that will benefit you and your family’s lives. Foodsmiths recommends incorporating healthier versions of your everyday foods and products. Our trained staff can help you make the best choices for your healthy lifestyle, and answer your questions about what natural health products suit your needs.