Naturopathy Position at Brisbane Natural Health

We’re now hiring another naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health!

12 months after the launch of our Australian first membership based model of health care we are now looking to expand our naturopathic team!

We’re looking for an energetic and inspiring individual who loves seeing patients health improve. You’ll be joining Katherine Maslen, Gemma Martin and Anne-Marie McDonald. Our new team member will need to be:

  • Bachelor Qualified
  • Have a minimum of 12 months experience
  • Be willing to think on their feet
  • Love working in a team
  • Be willing to be co-manage cases with the rest of our team

This is a full time position so the applicant will need to commit to Brisbane Natural Health as their core practice. This is a salaried position including sick pay, holiday pay and superannuation.

To apply, email BNH’s head honcho Katherine Maslen at katherine@brisbanenaturalhealth.com.au with the following details:

  1. Your qualifications, where you studied and when.
  2. What you have been up to since graduation – i.e. your work history
  3. Why you want to work with us at Brisbane Natural Health
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5 Things You Don’t Know Are Toxic (but you should)

Every day we’re learning more about toxins – chemicals in our environment that are having an adverse affect on our health. You may be trying to eat organic produce, buying hormone free meat and avoiding sugar. But what if you’re still exposing yourself to high levels of toxins every day? Let’s check out 5 key things that you might be missing.  

 

  1. Tampons

Let’s begin with something that many women use every month (sorry guys) – tampons. But hold up – we’re not eating tampons, so what’s the problem? Well you may be surprised to know that the vaginal wall with its delicate tissue is a very absorbent area – an easy passage of toxins into your body. And you might be even more shocked to consider that tampons are made from cotton, one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Of course this is because cotton isn’t eaten, but those pesticide residues will be in direct contact with the vaginal wall and absorbed into the area that they affect the most – your reproductive system. On top of this tampons can also contain plastics that have the endocrine disrupting chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates in them, which you don’t want to be absorbed into your body.  

 The solution? If you’re going to use tampons opt for organic ones, or use a menstrual cup or pads instead. 

 

  1. Wine

Now, we all love a glass of wine now and then, but have you considered where the grapes come from? Grapes are one of the most heavily sprayed crops – the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates them as 5th in fruit or vegetables with high pesticide content. In fact a single grape could contain over 15 different pesticides on it. So considering it takes around 100 grapes to make just one glass of wine, you could be getting a good dose of endocrine disrupting pesticides with that ½ a bottle you have with dinner. 

The solution? There are many organic and biodynamic wines on the market. If wine is something you enjoy regularly, then switching to organic will eliminate this problem. 

 

  1. Coffee and Tea

Like wine, we often don’t consider the coffee we buy when trying to avoid pesticides. Coffee is also a heavily sprayed crop and you may be getting a hefty dose of chemicals with your morning pick-me-up. Tea is also one of the most highly sprayed crops. Because tea and coffee is brewed at high temperatures, these residues are easily washed off the leaves and ground beans into your cup. 

The solution? If you drink coffee or tea daily, then make sure you buy organic. 

 

  1. Takeaway Coffee

So aside from the issue above, you might be shocked to learn that the paper cups that you buy your coffee in are lined with a thin layer of plastic – which likely contains bisphenol A (BPA) or other bisphenol compounds. Studies show that when heating plastic up to 55 times the amount of BPA is released into the food or drink it contains, so hot takeaway coffee will give you a hefty dose of BPA as well as the pesticides I talked about previously. 

 Read our article on the dangers of BPA here. 

The solution? Buy a glass, ceramic or stainless steel re-usable coffee cup and get your morning hit in that. It’s also better for the environment, so a win-win! 

 

  1. Air Freshener

The fragrance contained in air fresheners, including sprays, scented sticks and scented candles, can be made up of over 300 chemicals. The most common chemical in fragrances are phthalates – hormone disrupting chemicals that have been associated with infertility, endometriosis and breast cancer. Every time you smell a synthetic fragrance you are exposed to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals. 

The solution? Ditch any air fresheners, fragrance sticks or scented candles and use natural essential oils instead. Simply put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle with water and use in place of air fresheners. 

There are so many sources of hidden toxins – hopefully this list helps you to remove a few more from your life. To learn more about environmental toxins, attend one of our workshops.

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Golden Milk Recipe

Winter’s finally here and I’ll admit, much to the disbelief of my fellow Queenslanders, I absolutely couldn’t be happier! I love the multi-layers of clothes, the amazing night sleeps and best of all, curling up on the coach with a hot drink, blanket and slippers, watching my favourite show on Netflix. For many of you, that hot drink would be a warm cocoa, cup of tea or coffee, but for me, it’s the delicious, calming and immune boosting warm mug of Golden milk.

What’s golden milk you ask? Well, for those of you that are members of Brisbane Natural Health, health food bloggers or just have a keen interest in healthy eating, then you will already know! For the rest of you, let me share this magical drink with you!

GOLDEN MILK – WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR!

Golden milk is fast becoming a popular drink on many websites, blogs, instagrams and healthy chef websites. And for good reason! This potent anti-inflammatory, digestive and immune boosting drink has replaced hot chocolates, and cups of tea and coffee for many health aware individuals because of its strong medicinal active constituents. So what’s in it?

  1. Turmeric – one of the greatest natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich spices known to science. The active constituent, curcumin, has had massive amounts of research poured into its uses as a medicinal food and supplement
  2. Ginger – a circulatory stimulant, anti-emetic (stop you feeling nauseas) and calming spice used for centuries by numerous cultures, and still one of the many superfoods I think needs to be added to everyones diet…
  3. Cayenne pepper – another circulatory stimulant and pyretic (makes you sweat – which is great for detoxifying!). You may also just use black pepper here or a mix of the 2. Black pepper in particular, allows your body to absorb curcumin <2000X more effectively!
  4. Raw honey – the proper stuff you get from your local market or health food store. Real raw honey contains amazing immune boosting properties and is incredibly mineral dense and, of course, tastes delicious!
  5. Milk alternative – Whatever your dietary needs are, you may choose to use almond, coconut, oat or macadamia milk.

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1 thumb sized piece of organic turmeric, grated

1 thumb sized piece of organic ginger, grated

¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more depending on your taste)

Raw honey to taste

 

Recipe:

Simply add all the ingredients into a pot on the stove or thermomix and heat up on a low heat until your desired temperature (not boiling). If you don’t like little bits of ginger or turmeric in your drink, simply strain into your mug.

Perfect for those chilli winter nights, taken to work in a thermos, for the kids (or adult kids) to prevent the cold, or simply for yourself because you deserve some comfort and YOU time!

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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Insomnia

 

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that stress is a primary factor to ill health and disease. Today’s daily responsibilities are demanding more and more from us then ever before, tighter deadlines and increased pressures often leaves us eating on the run, substituting healthy options, and not having time for an exercise routine. Although all of these examples are consistent with an unbalanced lifestyle, one of the stand-alone causes of stress, and stress related illness, is inadequate and poor quality sleep.

According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) studies indicate that quality sleep is primary to help maintain health, and to prevent many of the medical conditions on the rise, that present in clinics all over the world today. Disorders like diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue, obesity and degenerative heart disease are just a few. Data also indicates that inadequate sleep is also linked to antisocial behavior and mood swings, in both adults and adolescents. The bottom line is, quality sleep helps us to maintain health on all physiological levels, and leaves us feeling more focused and in control of our daily lives. For those individuals that truly suffer from the depleting effects of insomnia and sleep disturbances will tell you, there will come a time that you will seek resolve, treatment will be inevitable.

So what are the treatment options? Most people unaware of help outside of orthodox medicine will generally talk to their doctor to find out what can be done to help. Sleeping medications known as “Sedative Hypnotics” are often prescribed, these are of the Benzodiazepine family of drugs. Although people will sleep, there are many undesirable side effects that can come with it, effects that include drowsiness, changes in appetite, constipation, stomach pain, dizziness, headache and heartburn, among other symptoms. This outcome for most people can quickly turn out to be counter productive when trying to achieve balance in health.

 

But thankfully there is another effective treatment option, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. In the clinical setting the Chinese Medical practitioner is interested in all aspects of the individual’s health. Through the East Asian medical model, the therapist bridges the connections between the insomnia and the other symptoms that are present.

For many it might seem a little rich to think that changing eating habits could compliment treatment, so lets look at a scenario that presents regularly in the clinic. Mr. X primary complaint is Insomnia. When questioned thoroughly we find that Mr. x also complains of low back pain with heightened libido, upper trap and neck pain, irritability, dry mouth and thirst. When questioned about diet, Mr. X states that he eats quite healthy, toast and coffee in the mornings, a salad and a cut of meat for lunch, and maybe something quick and easy like pasta of an evening, usually around 8 or 9pm and a black tea before bed. A Chinese Medical diagnosis concludes that Mr. X has Kidney Yin deficiency with heat rising.

In Chinese Medical Pathology, the cooling and nourishing Kidney energy has become weakened, and is failing to support the lower back. As time goes on, this creates a lot of heat, which moves upwards, drying up the fluids in the upper back and neck, causing pain and rigidity. This rising heat also accumulates in the head and has the ability to cause insomnia and dream disturbed sleep. By adjusting Mr. X evening eating habits, cutting out the refined carbs and introducing something nourishing like a vegetable soup, Mr. X body would no longer need to try and break down refined carbohydrates that spike his blood sugar while he sleeps. He could be instructed to drink an herbal tea instead of black tea, which contains caffeine, and make eating earlier of an evening a daily practice.

These changers, along with a prescribed herbal supplements that help with cooling the body, and restoring the nourishing qualities of the Kidney, the adjustments to diet, goes a long way to compliment the physical and harmonic effects of the Acupuncture treatment. It also gives everybody the chance to learn and take further control of there own health, day to day. An appreciation and understanding of the obvious connection between all symptoms becomes the primary focus, and the results speak for themselves.

 

What’s more, Acupuncture can stimulate the body’s own production of Melatonin to help with sleep, this is supported by a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology in 2004, which indicated that Acupuncture, does in fact stimulate the production of endogenous Melatonin. The preliminary study concluded that Acupuncture proved to be a therapeutic intervention for anxious people suffering from insomnia, and could serve as a substitute to pharmaceutical therapy. Our Acupuncturists and Chinese Medical practitioners find that Insomnia is a common complaint in our clinic and although Acupuncture can often be the principle therapy, as indicated above; herbal supplementation and dietary advice will also be drawn upon to help support treatment and improve positive clinical outcomes.

The above information is brief but informative, as to how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine could help you with Insomnia and sleep disturbance. It gives clear insights in both a Chinese and Western medical context, as to how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has proved its clinical efficacy and survived for so long as a solid treatment option.

At Brisbane natural health we take pride in our approach to help you to wellness. We have a full team of natural health practitioners and offer extended support through a great network of allied health professionals. If you’d like an acupuncture appointment at our Brisbane clinic to help you sleep, call us on 07 3367 0337 now.

 

References;

 

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

 

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/understanding-the-side-effects-of-sleeping-pills

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin

 

http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/jnp.16.1.19

 

Zan Fu Syndromes “Differential Diagnosis and Treatment” McDonald, J, Penner, J (1994)

 

 

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The recipe to living a life you love.

Do you live a life you love? I mean really stop and think about it – are you completely happy and loving your life? Are you happy in your relationships, your job, where you live? Do you do things regularly that make your heart sing? Of course, we all aspire to live a life that we love, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the day to day, leading a less than ideal or mediocre life. This mean you might remain in a relationship or job that doesn’t light you up for longer than you should. Or it could mean that you haven’t cultivated enough self love to truly be happy day to day.

People who live a life they love eat well, workout regularly (because they want to), have strong relationships (including with themselves), enjoy their work and are happy most of the time. They get a lot of joy from life and look forward to the start of each day. They refuse to put up with a beige existence, knowing that life has a bounty to offer them if they find out where to look. We each have the ability to have this – it’s just a matter of peeling back the layers and giving your body, mind and soul what it needs to enhance your life.

After working with over 5000 people, we know that there is a recipe to having a life that you love. it includes the following.

1. Achieving excellent, vibrant health

Good health is the foundation to living a life that you love. When we have physical symptoms it causes pain, discomfort, worry and concern that can strip the joy from our day to day lives. It can stop you from behaving how you normally would, preventing you from doing what you love. It can even colour the way that you perceive the world through negative emotions, as you’ll see in the next section. Achieving excellent health is about eating the right foods, moving your body and healing disease with natural medicines, if possible. It’s also about mindset, as you’ll see in the steps following.

2. Working through emotional toxicity

People who live a life they love have been able to identify and release emotional toxicity that holds them back. This might be working through anxiety, depression or low self esteem by identifying the underlying subconscious causes and triggers. It might be identifying what emotions you have attached to and dis-ease in the body, and where it first started so that you can clear it. Your thought patterns and emotional state are a huge determinant of how you’re feeling and also what behaviour that you present. We all have some emotional toxicity to varying degrees and once you can identify this and work though it your life will be so much better.

We need to identify and release emotional toxicity in order to reach our full potential.

3. Cultivating gratitude and positivity

This step comes more easily once you have mastered the former, but it’s something that you can begin to work on right away. Studies (and ancient spiritual teachings) show that cultivating gratitude makes you happier and more content with life. This can be a simple as consciously and sincerely thanking people more often or keeping a daily gratitude journal. We also need to practice mindfulness – this is observing our thoughts so we can actively try to change them. We are taught to be inherently negative – especially towards ourself. Listen to your self talk – you’ll soon find that you would never speak to someone that way that you speak to yourself. Catch yourself and consciously try to think more positive. This might require more work on step 2 if you find it challenging.

4. Addressing your spirituality

No matter what you religious denomination or what your spiritual beliefs are, once thing for certain is that we are more than our physical bodies. We know from research that people that have a strong spiritual belief in something outside of themselves are happier and more content. Spirituality doesn’t need to be about praying to a certain god or figure, most importantly it is about reconnecting to your own spirit or soul. Doing this can give you your own sense of purpose, help to ground you and make you more comfortable in your own skin. To help nurture your spiritual self we recommend meditation and exploring this side of yourself with a spiritual/energetic healer that can help you to identify if there is anything that can be blocking your growth in this area.


We are complex beings with many layers of physical, emotional and spiritual blocks that can stop up from reaching our full potential and living a life that we love. It is through the exploration of these layers and removal of blocks that we grow and advance as human beings, so that we can truly experience life for all that it has to offer.

At Brisbane Natural Health we are passionate about helping people live a life that they love. We’ve developed memberships to specifically address all 4 of these areas and help you to not only feel better but to truly improve your quality of life. Call us on 07 3367 0337 to ask about how we can help you. 

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Blood sugar dysregulation and reactive hypoglycaemia

Sugar cravings? Feeling ‘hangry’? Energy levels all over the place? Does this sound like you? If it does, there is a good chance that the reason for your symptoms is an underlying imbalance in your blood sugar levels, and the good news is that these symptoms are fixable.

Your body has some very tight controls in place to keep things working at optimal function and this is especially true when it comes to blood sugar levels. Blood sugar can either be too high, which is what happens in diabetes when insulin is either no longer produced or does not work properly, or you can also have low blood sugar, which is what causes the symptoms mentioned above.

High blood sugar causes damage to organs over time and is generally not considered a crisis for the body in the short term. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, is considered an emergency for the body as sugar is the primary energy supply to the brain, and once levels get too low, your brain can stop working properly – definitely an emergency! We know that high blood sugar can be caused by a diet high in simple (refined) carbohydrates, sugar and not enough exercise, but why does low blood sugar occur? Well, there are a few reasons. One of these is called reactive hypoglycaemia which occurs when your body’s insulin signalling is out of balance. What happens in reactive hypoglycaemia is that when you eat something (especially foods high in sugar or more refined), your body releases too much insulin. Insulin acts like a key to open the doors of your cells, allowing glucose to go into the cells to be used to make energy. When you release too much insulin, more of the glucose travels into the cells and you are left with less in your blood. When the blood glucose levels get to low, your body sends out distress signals such as carbohydrate or sugar cravings, shaking, sweating, feeling like you might kill someone if they stand in the way of you and food (hangry) and your energy levels can drop too as your body thinks it is in starvation mode and stops producing energy.

Whole grains like oats are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates.

The other reason that you can have low blood sugar is simply because you are not eating enough, regularly enough or have done lots of exercise without eating enough. This second type of low blood sugar is easily remedied by making sure you eat regularly especially when exercising.

So, what can be done about it?

Reactive hypoglycaemia is a reaction to the food that you are eating, so the easiest thing to do is to change your diet. The best diet for this condition is a well-balanced whole foods diet with a special focus on eating a good breakfast containing protein. Research shows that eating a higher protein breakfast leads to reduced food intake throughout the day. Make sure that you have protein with each meal, some unrefined complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, fruits and vegetables) and some healthy fats too as these also help to slow down the digestive process and reduce spikes in blood sugar.

Other things that help with healthy insulin signalling and maintaining good blood sugar levels are:

  • Avoiding high sugar foods and refined carbohydrates
  • Exercising (improves insulin signalling) and making sure you eat after exercising
  • Eating at regular intervals – try not to go too long in between meals – snacks are a good idea for you
  • Omega 3 fats – these assist insulin signalling
  • Nutrients such as chromium, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B3 also help your body to hear the signals it is receiving
  • Reducing stress – the release of cortisol, your main stress hormone, increases blood glucose and can cause a crash later on in the day
  • Avoid caffeine – this works in a similar fashion to stress at causing blood sugar crashes
  • Talk to your naturopath about herbal medicine to help your body get back into balance

If you have symptoms of blood sugar dysregulation, it is important that you seek the advice of your health care practitioner as these symptoms can be due to other health issues which need investigating.

Our naturopaths routinely help people with diabetes, pre-diabetes and blood sugar dysregulation. Call us on 07 3367 0337 to make an appointment. 

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Emotional toxicity, anger and your liver.

If you dwell on your issues, the associated emotions can make you sick. Your body psychology has a physical function that translates to a consciousness function that will give you clues about how you are managing life at a particular time, or habits you are forming that begin a cycle of action and reaction.

For example, your liver synthesises essential hormones and mediators and manages reserves on the physical level, whereas psychologically it governs our ability to process our life and synthesise wisdom from experience, organise our lives and make plans. It’s virtually the same function but on a different level. It governs our strength and muscle tone to protect us and generates anger to alert us of invasions of our boundaries.

Let’s look at anger for example. Anger in the positive form generates movement or change away from something that is not good for us. Anger rises, moving up through the body. If you want to express it in a healthy way you need to be active especially movement of the upper body and arms to release the emotion. Things like gardening, going to batting cages, golf, dancing or going to boxing classes can really help.

Upper body movements like dancing, boxing and golf help to release pent-up anger from the body.

If you don’t express and release the emotion it will need to be stored. Emotions not expressed usually sit in the diaphragm before being moved to a storage location within the body. The gall bladder is located next to the liver and stores bile made in the liver to be released when needed to facilitate digestion. It gives us the energy to digest life and get things done, or to put a plan that began in the liver into action and it determines our ability to make decisions. It regulates strength and flexibility of our tendons so we can work in a flexible way. It gives us the courage to keep moving on our path. When our anger is not expressed in a healthy way it becomes pathological. If it is not expressed at all it moves into the gall bladder and becomes bitterness and resentment.

This close relationship of the liver and gall bladder is just one example of the connections between all of the body organs, endocrine glands and parts with our emotional states.

Your body, mind, and spirit are integral parts of the one thing, we are multidimensional. Our physical bodies are built to create emotions, they are an integral part of the human experience, so allowing yourself to feel the emotions in that moment of time and then letting them go will allow for a much healthier experience.

How to let your emotions go

Releasing emotions so that they are not stored in your body involves two steps – first you need to have awareness about your body and be constantly observing your thoughts and emotions. Without this conscious recognition, our emotions come and go without notice and are easily stored in the body, which can create dis-ease. Next, we need to have some tools to release them. Moving your body is a great way, as mentioned above but it can also help to have a Holographic Kinetics healing session to help to shift the emotions. This kind of emotional release is a powerful way to shed any emotions that don’t serve you so that you can live your life to your fullest potential.

Other therapies like hypnotherapy, life line technique and kinesiology can also help to move emotional congestion. Every person benefits from having these types of therapies now and then to remove any layers of emotional stagnation that can be affecting your physiology and your life.

Want to release some emotional toxicity? Make a Holographic Kinetics or Hypnotherapy appointment by calling 07 3367 0337 now. 

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Is farmed salmon healthy?

Our days of eating wild caught fish are getting numbered with dwindling fish supplies caused by overfishing. The fish that is available is increasingly contaminated with mercury and with other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like Bisphenol A caused by the huge amount of plastic that has ended up in our oceans.

All fresh and smoked salmon available in Australia is farmed. Farmed salmon is an attractive alternative and may well bridge the gap we need to boost our omega 3 content. There are some pros and cons to eating farmed salmon which we’ll discuss in this article.

 

Omega 3 content

Farmed salmon traditionally contained higher levels of omega 3 than wild salmon, even though wild salmon has a more favourable omega 3 fatty acid profile. This is likely due to the overall fat content being up to three times as high in farmed salmon. In recent years however studies have found that the omega 3 levels in farmed salmon are dropping. This Australian study for example found that since 2002 omega 3 levels have dropped 30 – 50% in farmed salmon.

This is a result of the change in their diet – farmed salmon used to be fed on pellets made form small fish like anchovies and sardines, however a reduction in supply of these fish has lead to other feeds being produced. These newer generation feeds can contain, soy, barley, algae, trimmings from seafood processing, insects and leftovers from processing almonds and pistachio nuts. There is also a genetically modified yeast that produces omega 3 that some salmon farms are using to bolster omega 3 levels.

This UK study found that farmed salmon that were fed on more vegetable oils were indeed lower in omega 3 than those fed on fish oil rich pellets. It also found that the omega 3 concentrations in the fat of wild caught salmon was higher. Even given this, the nutritional content of omega 3 per 100g was higher for farmed salmon due to the higher fat content of the fish.

Smoked salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Heavy metals and contaminants

Because fish can bio-accumulate toxins through the food chain it’s important to look at levels of mercury, dioxins, PCB’s and pesticides. Toxins levels correlate mostly with the feed given to the fish but also the environment they are grown in. This Norwegian study found that over a 13 year period from 1999 to 2011 contaminant levels of mercury, arsenic, dioxins, PCB’s and DDT had reduced, however pesticide levels remained steady.

In this British study, they found that there were higher heavy metal concentrations in feed than there was in the farmed salmon. Mercury showed a slight degree of bio-magnification – meaning that it could be transferred from feed to salmon. Other heavy metals like lead and cadmium did not transfer across and became less available through the fish. The study found that overall mercury levels in farmed salmon were well below safety guidelines.

In this human study participants ate 380g of farmed salmon a week for 30 weeks and then tested for mercury and POP levels. No increases were found in these toxic compounds as a result of consuming farmed salmon.

As fish supplies dwindle farmed fish may be the only viable alternative.

The verdict?

Based on the research it would seem that farmed salmon is still a great candidate to fill our omega 3 requirements. Even with the decline in omega 3 levels brought about by the increase in vegetable matter in their feed, farmed salmon is still one of the best sources of omega 3 by weight.

Because of the decline in our fish stocks we’ll need to watch this space as new fish feeds are being trialed constantly and they will determine the quality of the end product. With the increase in man made toxins and POPs studies will need to be conducted regularly to ensure that farmed salmon remains safe to eat.

Want to learn more about toxins in our food supply? Come along to our environmental toxins workshop. View our upcoming workshop timetable here.

 

 

 

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10 Tips For Glowing Skin

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