Capers Community Markets

Capers Community Markets

January 17, 2007 11:00 ET

Capers Encourages British Columbians to Live Better and Longer With Healthy Aging Program

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2007) - As the proportion of seniors grows more rapidly than all other age groups, Canada is facing an increasingly aging population. According to Statistics Canada, one in every five Canadians will have reached age 65 by 2026. Arguably more concerning than the resulting strains on the health care system and the changes in urban planning that will be needed to accommodate Canada's aging population, is the fact that the majority of Canadians are not making the simple lifestyle choices that can lead to a long and healthy life.

Four out of five seniors currently suffer some chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer or osteoporosis. These diseases are largely preventable - and often reversible - through simple healthy lifestyle choices. For example, a nine-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005) showed that participants who ate at least two servings of dairy and six servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis lowered their risk for becoming feeble by 30 per cent.

To aid in the pursuit of healthy aging, Capers Community Markets, Canada's leading natural and organic foods retailer, is launching Healthy Aging to help British Columbians age gracefully and healthfully in the New Year. The Capers Healthy Aging program encourages people of all ages to embrace lifelong nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes, and will serve as a resource by providing them with information to maintain and optimize heart, brain, joint, bone and skin health.

"Both epidemiological and lab studies are conclusive on the nutritional and health benefits of a nutrient dense diet based on superfoods. For example, green tea, ginger, fermented soy, fish, seafood, sesame, seaweed and a variety of deeply colored vegetables such as spinach contain antioxidant nutrients that are protective of brain health. In fact, these foods form the basis of the Okinawa diet followed by a group of Japanese people renowned for longevity and good health," said Victoria Pawlowski, nutritionist for Capers Community Markets. "Through the Capers Healthy Aging program, people will learn some simple steps that can help them age more healthfully.

For example, an easy way to increase the amount of age defying antioxidants to your diet is to cook with fresh herbs and spices, says Pawlowski. "Tumeric and ginger contain antioxidants known to help prevent inflammation linked to Alzheimer's and heart disease, while cinnamon helps to moderate blood sugar. People should cook daily with organic herbs and spices and use them daily to increase the oxidative capacity of meals."

In fact, the most important aspect of aging gracefully and therefore at the core of Capers' Healthy Aging guide are local, organic foods and a nutritious diet. Capers' Healthy Aging program aims to educate consumers about the benefits of local and organic superfoods (those containing high levels of antioxidants) and offers recipes that are antioxidant-rich, and high in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants clear out free radicals that damage healthy cells and contribute to aging and disease.

However, antioxidants are only one of the important components that make up a nutritious diet. A diet rich in fiber and Omega-3s, but low in saturated and transfats, can help maintain a strong heart, healthy circulation and balanced cholesterol - all of which are vital to longevity. Proper hydration, regular exercise and a diet infused with Omega-3 fatty acids (found in B.C.'s wild salmon) and vitamins E, C, A and B help keep the mind sharp by protecting memory and enhancing concentration.

For healthy joints, foods high in bioflavonoids, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, help slow the inflammation process, support collagen production and help prevent cell damage that speeds aging. Healthy and youthful skin can be maintained by eating a diet rich in vitamin A, fruits and vegetables and Omega-3 fish; drinking plenty of water; practicing a daily skin care routine with natural products; and by not smoking.

"The information about what to eat to stay healthy, prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, cognitive decline and gastrointestinal illness can seem contradictory and overwhelming," says Capers Nutritionist Victoria Pawlowski. "But actually there is a clear common thread running through it all. Essentially, foods that are high in antioxidants, fiber and good fats can provide huge benefits in managing the oxidative stress associated with aging and disease. Superfoods are excellent choices in this area - high nutrient dense foods that are known to contain higher than average amounts of antioxidants and other important nutrients. Foods that are loaded with sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and artificial chemicals actually accelerate the cellular aging process."

Capers' new Healthy Aging resource guide includes all of the information needed to embark on a lifelong journey of healthy aging, including:

- food and supplements known to help support a healthy heart, joints, brain

- immune function

- superfoods for brain health

- great-tasting recipes that incorporate healthy aging foods

- positive effects of select vitamins and supplements

- key anti-aging lifestyle recommendations, such as staying active, managing stress and maintaining social contacts

The Healthy Aging guide is available in Capers' four locations in Greater Vancouver for $1 and online at

About Capers Community Markets:

Capers Community Markets opened its first store on Marine Drive in West Vancouver more than 20 years ago, and is now Canada's leading natural and organic foods retailer with four locations in Greater Vancouver. Capers has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the growth of the organic and natural foods industry in Vancouver. Throughout the years, Capers has been committed to supporting and nurturing sustainable agriculture, local artisans and small producers - and will strengthen its support of this priority as it continues to expand. Throughout its history as a Vancouver-based company, Capers has raised more than $1 million for worthy non-profit organizations in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

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