Go Out With a Bang – In the Silliest of Seasons!

The Silliest of Seasons

There are still a couple full-on weeks left before you can take a well deserved break. Until then, you’ve really got to look after yourself. Unless of course you don’t mind landing face-first into a big, steaming pile of the proverbial, rather than enjoying all the festivities?

No, I didn’t think so. It’s no fun getting all messy when it could so easily have been prevented. To fortify yourself in the lead-up to Christmas, focus on these five key areas:

  1. Managing your expectations
  2. Actively resting
  3. Managing your stress
  4. Eating well
  5. Keeping it classy (with your alcohol consumption)


What do you expect to happen?
Decide now. How do you want to feel, and what do you hope to achieve by the time Christmas & the new year comes around? Use this as a guide to help you make choices that enable you to reach this end. For example, will you make your stress-reducing exercise a ‘non-negotiable’ or will you forgo this to continue working, studying, or socialising? Will you over-exert yourself with elaborate Christmas and New Year’s preparations? Or, will you relax in the knowledge that you will soon be enjoying time with your loved ones, and be grateful for the fuss-free food on the table, and the ensuing stress-free environment?

Rest before you get tired
To avoid fatigue, take a nap whenever you are able to. Make sure you take regular breaks from your work & study, and also from the pre-Christmas partying! Aim to get 7-9 hours of ‘shut-eye’ whenever possible (try to turn the lights out by 10 pm). If you’re busy, you’re better off getting up at 6am to do whatever needs to be done. This way, not only will you be more productive throughout the day, but you will be more able to make better decisions (which is vital for maintaining health). By getting up at 6am every morning you can ensure a healthy framework. Have a nourishing breakfast, prepare some healthy snacks & lunch to take with you. You may even have time to plan a simple dinner.

Minimise your stress
It’s simple really – ask for support and try saying ‘no’ once in a while.

You’re not the one being fattened up for Christmas
Don’t make excuses for eating poorly (you’re stressed, you’re tired, you’re too busy). This is the time when you most need to support yourself with your diet. Consistently basing your dietary choices on how you are feeling in the moment, rather than how you want to feel on an ongoing basis, will ‘back-fire’ on you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t partake in the celebrational indulgences, it just means that party food & drink shouldn’t become the default food group for you over this time.

Boozing 101
There are no two ways about it, the process of creating a hangover is jolly rollicking fun. Unfortunately though, having to suffer through ‘the day after the night before’ more than counter-balances all this festive frivolity. While the cause of a hangover is multi-factorial, I think we can all agree on the primary issue — drinking too much! A hangover stems from drinking in excess (not just from drinking alcohol). The best Naturopathic tip I can give you — to prevent a hangover — is not to drink more than two standard drinks in a day. However, if this is unrealistic for you, then you will thank me for the following recommendations:

  • Size does matter
    Contrary to what most Kiwis think, there are — on average — 8 glasses of wine to the bottle (more if the alcohol content is higher). Therefore a standard drink of wine is approx. 100ml (not a quarter of a bottle).
  • Drink high quality, more expensive alcohol.
    This way you’ll savour it (sit on it) and you’ll be reluctant to drink large quantities of it.
  • Time it right
    The best time of the day to metabolise the ‘demon drink’ is generally 5pm—10pm. This makes after-work drinks, and dinner-dates the perfect time to partake in a tipple.
  • Chug, chug, chug!|
    Make sure you chug back 1 or 2 (250ml) glasses of pure OJ or Coconut Water before you retire for the evening. (Or let the last thing you order at the bar be a glass or two of pure tomato juice).

Don’t make it hard on yourself (and everyone else) by overdoing things. Keep things simple. Make positive choices, have fun, laugh, and relax. Remember: ‘tis the season to be jolly!

Lisa FitzgibbonArticle by:
Lisa Fitzgibbon Naturopath & Medical Herbalist
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath + Medical Herbalist. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice. Lisa writes the popular health blog: www.lisasaid.so

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How To Avoid Belly Discomfort at Christmas

Ease Digestive Discomfort at Christmas

It’s so easy to overeat when there is such delicious food on offer at Christmas. Especially as most of our time is centered around family, friends, enjoying special meals and celebrating. But inevitably, after all the festive feasting, the sluggish feeling of being over-full arrives. At HealthPost, we understand the dilemma of the “Christmas belly” feeling and want to help. So here are some great ideas to support your digestive health over the silly season.

  • Have plenty of raw food options available such as plenty of fresh salads. These food items tend to have a filling effect but aren’t as heavy. Include mildly bitter greens like kale, rocket and endive to stimulate digestive secretions.
  • Use ginger in dressings or for drink options. Ginger is a powerful digestive support. It’s stimulating yet calming effect on the stomach and ability to promote healthy emptying of the stomach, normal stomach function and ease feelings of nausea make it a winning herb to have around. Add it to salads in dressings, pop it in your stuffing or make a non-alcoholic healthy fizz. See the recipe.
  • Stay away from the chips and dips or bowls of nuts. These foods are dense in energy value so are best avoided in order to ease the belly-burden. The salty-goodness is too hard to stop once you’ve started so best not to start.
  • Choose a smaller plate. Interestingly, research has emerged that shows when we serve ourselves food on a smaller plate, we tend to eat less and still feel satisfied.

Ginger honey fizz recipe

  • Give stress the flick. Stress reduces the blood supply to our digestive organs as our body goes into ‘fight or flight’. Be as organised as you can and ask for help from family and friends to bring a plate or help out in the kitchen. If managing stress through mind-power alone isn’t enough, then a product like Clinicians Stress and Energy Support is a wonderful formulation that can support you to cope with the dynamics and logistics of this time of the year.
  • Eat real food. A Christmas meal can be pretty wholesome with traditional ‘kiwi’ fare including a roast, new spuds and other vegetables. Keep the focus of the meals on foods like these – high quality, whole and healthy. This might save you money as well as digestive power.
  • Have digestive enzymes on hand. While your body produces its own digestive enzymes, it can be helpful to have extra when you know you’re going to be eating differently for what is normal for you. Digestive enzymes, taken with meals, can ease discomfort and help normal digestive processes by supporting the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Add kiwifruit to desserts. That pavlova with the kiwifruit on top is actually helping in more ways than one. As well as the delicious flavour, kiwifruit contains fibre, enzymes and prebiotics, which have been shown to support digestive health. If you’re not a fan of this furry fruit, Phloe Bowel Health Vegecaps can help.

We hope these ideas get you through the festive season feeling comfortable. Enjoy this time of love, food and family.

TAPS No: PP1554

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New Foods for a New Year

New foods for a new year

When I think of the foods that many of the health experts I know keep as pantry staples, there’s a common theme – these foods are nutritionally dense, rich in natural flavour, and are beautiful wholefoods that can be used in multiple ways! Consider stocking up your pantry with these new-tritious foods in 2018.

SEA VEGETABLES & SEAWEED
Karengo, Nori, and Wakame are just a few of the sea vegetables easy to purchase in NZ and are a simple, tasty and nutritious addition to meals. Add soft karengo to the top of salads, or into a nut mix. Create wraps with nori sheets, and add tougher wakame into soups and stews.

MISO
Miso, an ancient superfood, is a tasty, salty fermented paste made from soybeans, consumed usually as a soup. Soybeans are a complete source of protein and because they are fermented they provide support to our digestive health. As well as soup, miso can be used as a base in salad dressings, or as a spread on sandwiches.

SAUERKRAUT
Sauerkraut is another fermented food to support a healthy digestive system. Fermented foods also provide essential nutrients like vitamins C and K, and minerals like calcium.

BUCKWHEAT
Buckwheat, despite its name, isn’t related to wheat and is a gluten-free seed. Buckwheat can be sprouted, toasted, boiled, or just eaten raw as part of savoury or sweet dishes. A fibre rich plant that offers about 13% protein, and abundant minerals like magnesium and potassium, buckwheat is a great replacement for gluten containing grains.

Raw buckwheat

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
A powerhouse of minerals and B vitamins, nutritional yeast can be easily sprinkled to any savoury dish, or mixed with a bit of olive oil and tamari to make your own homemade ‘vegemite’. A source of chromium and magnesium, nutritional yeast can also support healthy blood sugar levels.

TAHINI
Made from sesame seeds, tahini is a great natural source of calcium and has also been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. Mix it into homemade hummus, or use as a dip with vegetable sticks for an afternoon snack.

FRESH HERBS
Utilise the fresh herbs that are popping up in the garden. Parsley, mint, oregano, basil and sage are aromatic wonders, making even a basic meal come alive. These and many other fresh herbs provide phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

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Staff Resolutions for a Better World in 2018

Staff New Year Resolutions

At HealthPost, we’re passionate about helping others lead naturally healthy lives in every way possible. This year, we thought we would share some of our staff’s personal new year resolutions to help further contribute to a Better World in 2018.

There are many ways that you can contribute too – read on for 5 small changes you can make, that ultimately will make a big difference to our planet.
 

  1. Say No to Plastic Bags.
    The 1.6 billion plastic bags that we use each year end up clogging landfills, littering communities and sadly also kill wildlife. Next time you do your grocery shop, take along your own eco-friendly, reusable bag instead. Mother Earth will thank you for it and your kitchen drawer will too.
  2. Use Eco-Friendly Water Bottles.
    Like plastic bags, single use plastic water bottles pollute our environment and are a huge threat to marine wildlife. Some plastic water bottles also contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical which can enter our bloodstream and cause negative health effects. We suggest investing in a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle such as the Eco-Tanka, which is BPA free and made from food-grade stainless steel.
  3. Support Local Farmers.
    Head down to your local farmers market on the weekend for your fruit and vege shop. Purchasing your produce directly from local farmers means fresher, higher quality food that hasn’t been sprayed or stored for days or even weeks. You’ll also be putting your dollar back into the local community, plus will gain trust knowing exactly where your food has come from.
  4. Start a Compost Bin.
    By starting a compost bin, you can significantly reduce your waste and greenhouse gases. Composting will also provide you with a nutrient-rich soil conditioner to add to your garden, boosting the growth and health of your plants.
  5. Grow Your Own Food.
    Growing your own food is not only satisfying, but it’s a great way to save money as well as get in a bit of gentle exercise. Getting kid’s involved is a great way to teach them where their food comes from as well as skills they will have for a lifetime.

Want to join us in creating a Better World? Share with us your resolution for the new year on Facebook or on Instagram @HealthPostNZ.

 Check out some of our Staff’s New Year Resolutions!

Staff resolutions for a better world in 2018
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St John’s Wort – The Arnica of the Nerves

St Johns Wort

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is one of the most researched and prescribed herbal plants in the world. Known affectionately as ‘liquid sunshine’ by medical herbalist and founder of Artemis, Sandra Clair, she shares a special kinship with this plant. “When I first discovered it growing in Central Otago, I nearly cried”, she recalls.

As with thyme, every year Sandra and Artemis staff collect St John’s Wort in Central Otago to be processed into a strong, blood-red oil or to be dried for tea. This is the tradition of wild-crafting – a long-standing practice of harvesting plants in their natural environment, a science reliant on proper identification, a commitment to sustainability an understanding of when the plant’s active constituents are at their strongest.

St John’s Wort is widely used for natural mood support. Multiple studies have shown that St John’s Wort is effective for its support for lifting low mood. Used also for the management of other emotional disorders such as worry and support for sleep.

St. John’s Wort also supports physiological trauma and is dubbed “the Arnica of the Nerves” – it is proven to soothe nerves after trauma where nerves can be damaged. A first aid for burns (including sunburn), it helps regenerate skin and can be applied after radiotherapy treatments to aid recovery. Due to its tissue regenerating actions, it significantly reduces the appearance of scars and repairs damaged and aging skin.

Another lesser known fact of St John’s Wort is that it is highly effective for supporting nerve recovery.

TAPS No: PP1588

Artemis Stress Relief Tea is traditional plant medicine to support the ability to cope with stress. It supports the nervous system to help manage stress and low mood.
Artemis Nerve and Skin Rescue Oil soothes nerves and irritated skin. Use to support nerve and muscular comfort, relieve stress and tension, and soothe hot skin. Shop now on our secure online store.

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Bettina’s Favourite Picks this Season

Meet Bettina

We’re excited to have Bettina join the HealthPost Team as our in-store Naturopath in the Auckland Store. Bettina brings extensive knowledge and experience as a registered Naturopath and also holds diplomas in Nutrition and Herbal Medicine. Read on for her top picks for overall health and wellness this season.

BioBalance Certified Organic Japanese Matcha Powder
My daily essential cuppa! High in antioxidants, flavonoids and amino acids, mainly L-Theanine – it has a pleasant, fresh taste and is great to help the body’s response to free radical damage. L-Theanine supports clarity and focus and a state of relaxation … and who does not need this after the silly season?

COOLA SPF30 Cucumber Sunscreen
Fresh cucumber scent, Rose Hip Oil, Vitamin C, Evening Primrose and Flaxseed oils support healthy and radiant skin. Really good for oily skin too and has a matte finish – my favourite facial sunscreen to keep sunkissed skin balanced and hydrated.

BioBalance Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This is my multi-functional go-to oil! Healthy in the kitchen for cooking and baking or just combined with a date as a nutritious snack. High in medium-chain triglyceride fatty acids it supports digestive health and metabolism. Great in the bathroom to soften and moisturize skin and hair – especially after a day at the beach – while radiating a gorgeous scent too 😊

Kiwiherb EchiBerry
You could forget that this is a herbal medicine! I love this delicious tasting, super healthy herbal liquid. Standardized extracts of NZ blackcurrant, Echinacea and Olive leaf make this a great product for people on the go, while travelling and for active children as an additional boost for a healthy immune system response. NZ Blackcurrant is exceptionally high in antioxidant compounds which help to support healthy eyes and wellbeing. This is a fantastic, healthy summer drink mixed with sparkling water!

Good Health Magnesium Powder
A researched dosage of well-absorbed magnesium and important B-vitamins help to support the nervous system, balanced mood and healthy energy levels. Contains glutamine which is essential for a healthy gut lining. Another ingredient, Taurine, helps to support normal blood pressure and digestion of fats. Because magnesium needs are increased in times of stress, increased sweating, for example when doing physical activities, this is a beneficial combo to support healthy body functions and busy lifestyles.

TAPS No: PP1747

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet.

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Your HealthPost Order – From GO Healthy, to us, to You

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Curious to see behind the scenes at GO Healthy and HealthPost? See how your GO Healthy order goes from being made in Auckland, picked and packed by us in Golden Bay and then delivered straight to your doorstep.

GO Healthy are a leading producer of natural health supplements, made here in New Zealand from top quality ingredients sourced both locally and around the world. They strive to produce leading products at the forefront of current research, monitoring latest research to develop supplements that are not only the best they possibly can be, but are easy to take and easy to use. GO Healthy’s products are rigorously tested for purity with strict quality control in place.

Their range covers both single vitamins and minerals as well as complexes, products for women’s, men’s and children’s health, probiotics, superfoods, and herbal medicines – truly something for every budget and every need.

Shop the full GO Healthy range on our secure online store.
 

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3 Steps for Daily Health

3 steps for daily health

Everyone wants to experience great energy, healthy digestion, good sleep and to feel their best.  With such a huge choice of products available to us these days it can be difficult to know what to take.  This can be easier if you have a specific health concern, but many of us are just looking for products for general wellness every day. Clinician’s naturopath, Jane Cronin, shares with us her 3 steps for daily health.

1. Multivitamins and Minerals 

A well-balanced diet should be our number one goal to achieve healthy vitamin and mineral levels. However, even those who eat well can find themselves lacking in certain nutrients for many reasons. Low mineral levels in the soil can lead to foods depleted of nutrients. Water soluble vitamins can be lost by cooking at high temperatures.  Digestive power can decline as we age, which means we do not breakdown food well or absorb our nutrients. For some of us food intolerances may also limit our diet and restrict key vitamins and minerals. This being the case, a daily multi can ensure we get the basic vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function at its best.

Try Clinicians MultiVitamin & Mineral Boost which replaces essential nutrients especially those known to be deficient in New Zealand diets.

2. Probiotics

It may surprise you to know that there are around the same number of bacteria in the digestive tract as there are cells in the body.  The balance of bacterial populations is key to our digestive well-being, as well as for supporting our overall immunity and health. Beneficial bacteria are required to ensure healthy balanced levels of unbeneficial bacteria and yeasts, they help breakdown carbohydrates, they are used to support immune response, plus they have many other jobs. They are depleted by medications such as antibiotics, but also stress, caffeine, smoking, alcohol and other environmental factors.  Therefore having a probiotic top up on a regular basis can help with our overall health.

Try Clinicians MultiFlora Digest, an ideal everyday probiotic for general health and wellbeing.

3. Omega 3 Oil

With current diets being so rich in saturated fats, and worse still trans fats, it is important to maintain healthy levels of omega 3 oils. They are key to supporting heart, joint, eye and brain health and are needed for healthy cell formation. Rich sources are found in fish, seafood, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and sea vegetables.  So to age healthily, make sure you keep your Omega 3 levels up!

Try Clinicians Omega-3 Fish Oil which provides a high-quality source of fish oils containing DHA and EPA essential fatty acids.

TAPS No: PP1728
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Fuelling Your Tween

fuel your tween

Tween-hood. The age between 10 and 12, a time of hormones, mood swings, school stress, and child-like fun. At any age, it’s essential to ensure our children are properly fuelled for school, sports, and all the activities… for their balance and your sanity. After many years of making school lunches though, you might be feeling the need for fresh ideas that are simple, but healthier than all those packets that seem so convenient. The reality is that lunchboxes don’t have to be the same old humble sandwich. Extra dinner can be made that can be taken for lunch, or teach your child to cook and make some meals in advance. No need to live up to unrealistic expectations, but how about trying one new idea a week? Read on for the important macronutrients your tween needs, and how to fuel up their lunchbox.

Protein:

Our tweens need protein for growth and repair, immune function, and hormone production, especially during a time of rapid physical and emotional changes. Good sources of protein include meat, lentils and beans, eggs, protein powder, tofu. Children under 18 years should consume 0.9gm of protein per kilogram (kg) of their body weight over the day. For example, a 40-kg child should eat 38 gm of protein over the day.

Easy lunch time additions:

  •  1/3 of a chicken breast contains 13 gm – add to a salad, wrap or sandwich.
  • ½ cup of beef mince contains 25gm – use leftovers from last night’s bolognase.
  • A can of tuna contains 48 gm – try on wholegrain crackers or in a salad.
  • A ½ cup of split lentils has 7.5 gm – try in a salad or as part of a homemade vege burger
  • A ½ cup of kidney beans has 7.5gm – use through salads or try making vegetarian tacos!
  • A tablespoon of peanut butter has 5 gm – add peanut butter to vege sticks for a delicious snack
Healthy Wraps

Carbohydrates and Fibre:

Carbohydrates and fibre can be found in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, lentils and beans. Aim for 50% of each meal to be carbohydrates, preferably vegetable based or whole grain.

Easy lunch time additions:

  • Wholegrain wraps – these come in a variety of flavours!
  • Whole grain bread
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Beans and lentils
  • Banana
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Brown Rice
  • Salad greens

Fat:

Fat is essential for healthy brain function, hormone production, and help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Fat should make up 25%-35% of each meal. Healthy fats include avocado, salmon, olive oil, and nuts and seeds.

Easy lunch time additions:

  • Avocado – add in salads, wraps or sandwiches, spread on wholegrain crackers, or even try 1/2 an avocado blended up in your child’s favourite smoothie for an extra creamy texture and added nutrition.
  • Salmon and other oily fish – add to salads, wraps or sandwiches.
  • Olive oil or olives – dress salads with olive oil or pack some olives for a healthy snack.
  • Nuts and seeds – almonds, cashew nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are all great snack additions. They are great on their own, or try sprinkling over salads or making your own homemade trail mix with a mix of nuts, seeds and some dried fruit.
healthy nuts and seeds

Watch Out for Sugar!

Ready to go, pre-packaged food is often are high in anti-nutrients that can deplete the body. Those muesli bars that sound healthy and natural, filled with oats and nuts can be hiding the same amount of sugar as a chocolate bar! Most of us wouldn’t let our children eat a chocolate bar or two each day, but muesli bars appear so filling, handy, and healthy. If you can’t escape the packaged muesli bars, look for one that contains less than 4 gm (1 tsp) of sugar in each serving. It can be a challenge some days, but as much as possible, keep sugar intake below 6 teaspoons of added sugars (not including fruit) per day.

Sneaky sugars can be found in cereals, sauces, and yoghurts. To give you an idea:
– a typical cup sized serving of cereal aimed at your teen contains 9.6 gm or 2.5 tsp of sugar
– tomato sauce can contain just under a teaspoon of sugar per 10ml of sauce
– a pottle of yoghurt can contain 4 teaspoons of sugar.

Some Easy Swaps:

Fruit Yoghurt Pottle > Unsweetened yoghurt with frozen or fresh fruit (saves on single use plastic too!)
Muesli bars > Homemade muesli bars or bliss balls (try Lena’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls recipe in our Free Spring Recipe e-Book!)
Sandwich with White Bread > Wholemeal wrap filled with salad greens, avocado, pesto, hummus, and some protein OR a fresh salad with protein and left-over roast vegetables
Flavoured Rice Crackers > Nuts and seeds (try Lena’s Tamari Roasted Nuts and Seeds recipe) OR try vege sticks with hummus or peanut butter.

What are some easy and healthy lunch box additions your tween enjoys? Share them with us on Facebook or on Instagram @HealthPostNZ.

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Back to School with Brain Food

back to school brain food

As the kids head back to school, many parents want to help support their learning process. Nutrition plays a big role in children’s behaviour, as well as their learning and mental focus and research now shows the importance of essential fatty acids, particularly for brain health.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

If we were to list the most crucial nutrients children need, EFAs would be high on the list and a vast majority are not getting enough through their diet. EFA’s are considered ‘essential’ because they cannot be produced by our bodies but are required for optimal health.  Dietary intake or supplementation of EFAs is the best way to obtain optimal levels.  The two main families of EFAs are omega-3 and omega-6.  Proper cell function is dependent on a balance of these fats as they both reside in the cell membrane. This balance can be hard to maintain due to the overabundance of omega-6 intake (consumed through processed foods, refined vegetable oils and foods high in grains), however, increasing omega-3 intake can help to maintain the balance.

Why are EFAs important?

EFAs have been shown to play an important role in brain health. We once believed that the brain was fully developed at birth.  While it is true that most of the brain cells are formed by this time, advanced research has enabled us to see that the brain continues to form after birth.  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)  and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the omega-3 EFA’s in fish oil, help support the transmission of brain signals and provide the necessary building blocks for healthy tissue development. DHA is uniquely important to nerve and brain cells. Studies have shown DHA improves mental focus and clarity in children and may promote learning in the school setting. Cod Liver Oil contains EPA and naturally higher amounts of DHA, ideal for those growing brains.  Research shows that high-quality, purified fish oil supplements are the healthiest, most reliable source of the EPA and DHA which children need for healthy physical and mental development.

Feeding the Brain

As the brain is made up of over 60% fat with half of the fat being EPA and DHA (the omega-3 fats), you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that our children need more omega-3s to support their brain. However, as many parents will know, trying to get their children to take any type of fish oil can be an absolute nightmare. What you need is a tasty formulation, that your kids will love! The Nordic Naturals Kids fish oil range is ideal from birth through to the teenage years. They come in a variety of chewable capsules, gummies and liquids, for easy and on the go consumption.

View the Nordic Naturals Children’s range on our secure online store.

Nordic Naturals for Kids

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Natural Meds, Napier.  TAPS PP1838

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