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Starting to feel sick? Herbs and foods to help you fight illness and recover quickly

Starting to feel sick? Herbs and foods to help you fight illness and recover quickly

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Starting to feel sick? Herbs and foods to help you fight illness and recover quickly

Sometimes, even after we take all the necessary precautions and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we still get sick. Whenever any of my patients (or family members) start to feel sick, there are certain foods and herbs that I recommend. Here are my recommendations of some herbs that you can start incorporating into your diet when you start to feel sick. 

Garlic

Perhaps one of the tastiest foods, garlic packs quite a punch when it comes to fighting off pathogens. It’s one of the strongest herbal antimicrobials, even in in-vitro studies, and it’s especially effective in the respiratory system, where bacteria and viruses like to take hold. Garlic stimulates digestion and liver function, helping us assimilate the most nutrition possible from our food. It’s warming which acts as a circulatory stimulant, and warms the body making us inhospitable environments for pathogens to thrive in. Garlic also contains inulin, which feeds our probiotic flora and keeps it healthy and abundant.

Drink Bone Broth

Whether you make it yourself, or buy it from your favorite market, bone broth is a time tested tradition when it comes to supporting yourself during an illness. Not only is it anti-inflammatory and high in nutrients and minerals, collagen rich bone broth also supports healthy bones and joints, and can help ease some of the body aches and pains that we experience when we get sick. Supercharge your bone broth by adding some herbs like garlic, medicinal mushrooms, and seaweed. I recommend sipping on bone broth throughout the day as soon as you start feeling sick.

Echinacea

Another one of our revered immune herbs and something that you should start taking as soon as you start feeling sick, echinacea can be taken to stimulate the immune system and fight off infection.  It also helps reduce symptoms like sore throat, cough, and fever. Many studies have suggested that the constituents in echinacea that boost immune function also help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have antiviral actions.

Ginger

Ginger has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, and it can be consumed in abundance when you start feeling sick to support your body’s fight against pathogens. There are lots of delicious recipes you can add ginger to, or you can also make a delicious immune boosting tea

Herbal Steams

Herbal steams can be a really fun and easy way to get medicine directly into your body to fight infection quickly. Since many bacteria and viruses like to live in the respiratory system, a steam is one of the best ways to deliver herbal medicine right to the source of the infection. Gather some aromatic, antibacterial and antiviral herbs like thyme or garlic, place them in a pot of hot water, create a little tent around your head and water and breathe the steam right into your lungs.

Adaptogens

Adaptogens help the body mediate stress levels, whether that stress comes from work, life or an illness. Adding some of these superfoods into your diet can do wonders for your stress levels while also helping you fight off infections. Schisandra, for instance, is a powerful adaptogenic herb that is a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize damage from free radicals, while lowering inflammation in the body. It has immune-regulatory actions, is liver supportive, and even calms the coughing reflex.

Eleuthero has been found to increase the activity of the B and T cells, and helps to increase the level of antibodies the body is able to produce. It’s active on the respiratory system, toning the organs of the respiratory tract and helping the body to expel excess mucous. As an adaptogen, eleuthero is nutritive to the adrenals, and helps the body rebuild its immune and energy stores.

Herbs That Help With Certain Symptoms

Especially as we get into cold and flu season, I make sure to stock up on certain herbs that are particularly helpful with coughs or fevers.

Herbs that help coughs

In addition to being immune supportive herbs that are helpful to take when you start feeling sick, both ginger and elecampane function as antispasmodics. This action is important when it comes to illnesses that have a cough as one of their symptoms.  When we cough, our bodies are trying to expel pathogens within the mucus, but oftentimes, viruses can cause a racking and unproductive cough that causes pain and makes it difficult to breathe. However, since coughs do have a function, rather than trying to suppress coughs, I recommend choosing herbs to help support the function, while easing the discomfort that the symptom causes.

Ginger helps to ease the urge to cough, while simultaneously acting as a pain reliever. It can help ease spastic coughs in the lungs, and soften the pain and tenderness that comes from an illness, whether it be in the respiratory system, the head, or the muscles.

In addition, another herb to consider when you have a cough is elecampane. This bitter herb is phenomenal at managing a cough, and respiratory symptoms in general. It’s a warming plant that has excellent expectorant actions, which is key for those coughs that are constant, but not strong enough to bring up any mucus. Elecampane helps to break up anything in the lungs making it easier to expel, while also making the coughs more productive.

Treatment for fevers

Whenever you start to feel sick and a fever is present, make sure to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of liquids like water and broth are key, and if you’re feeling like you can’t keep up with liquids, a short, tepid bath can be helpful for rehydrating the body quickly.

Elderberry is a delicious syrup that I recommend you start taking as soon as you start to feel sick (and you can even take elderberry daily to help keep your immune system strong and able to fight off illness). Additionally, elderberry has been shown to shorten the duration of symptoms like fever, and can be taken as often as one desires. It is a diaphoretic herb, which means that it helps to relax the muscles to release tension, and opens up the pores to release heat, both actions that are essential to managing a fever.

References

Hopkinsmedicine.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279364/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32395846/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31237569/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/

Barak V, Halperin T,  Kalickman I. The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. European Cytokine Network. 2001; 12(2):290-6.

Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1995; 1(4):361-9.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30011890/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664283/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264271/

By Clair Moore
Health Expert at Further Foods

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the NTA. They are intended for general information purposes, and are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 

 

 


 

 

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

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3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

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3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

Guest Blog Post from Designs for Health

The 2002 World Health Report anticipated that by the year 2020 chronic non-communicable disease would attribute to 73% of all deaths and 60% of the global disease burden. In the report, The World Health Organization (WHO) stated the need for the “development of an integrated approach that will target all major common risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), cancer and chronic respiratory diseases in the most cost-effective way to prevent and control them.” These assertions and statistics showcase the acute need for preventative medicine, which often includes the application of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, and the adoption of lifestyle changes and dietary habits.

Dietary supplements are nutritional substances formulated and intended to augment the diet by increasing the total dietary intake. The ingredients in dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, and amino acids.

According to the 2019 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 77% of U.S. adults report taking dietary supplements; however, a 2019 survey from AARP revealed 46% of consumers are concerned with the effectiveness of supplements. Moreover, 44% of supplement users question the purity and safety of ingredients, and 40% are concerned about testing transparency, according to the same survey.

 

Targeted supplementation implemented by Nutritional Therapy Practitioners can help to fill nutritional gaps, address nutrient deficiencies, and support the body’s vital metabolic processes where needed. Therefore, it’s critical to choose and recommend the highest quality dietary supplements available on the market to support desired health outcomes. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to identify key differentiators in innovation, formulation, ingredient selection, and manufacturing that influence product efficacy and quality. Here, we will discuss the importance of supplementation and three primary factors to consider when selecting ideal dietary supplements to ensure the highest quality for patient and client care.

Quality and Purity

Dietary supplements must meet FDA testing requirements. It is important to seek formulas and brands that go through several levels of quality control and testing before being sold to the public. Fortunately, there are practitioner-brand dietary supplement manufacturers that follow regulatory oversight adhering to current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that source only the highest quality raw materials for formulating their products. It’s essential to choose companies that are third-party audited and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to ensure public safety and to verify the formulas meet the highest levels of quality and purity, identity and strength, in addition to ensuring that their composition match the product label claims.

Label transparency is also a critical component in choosing the best dietary supplements for your clients/patients. For the best clinical outcomes, it’s imperative to recommend supplements that are formulated without common allergens (e.g., dairy, soy, gluten) or other potentially harmful excipients (i.e., other ingredients). Avoid products that use potentially harmful preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, artificial colors, and/or sweeteners, sugars, and other fillers that may be detrimental to desired health outcomes. Practitioners and clients must learn how to read and understand ingredient labels and supplement facts to prevent exposure to these often “hidden” ingredients.

Bioavailability

The term “bioavailability” refers to the amount or proportion of a substance, nutrient, or botanical that can be absorbed, enter the body’s circulation, and impart its physiological and biological effects. Supplements formulated to have high bioavailability will be more effective at achieving the desired health outcome, as they have better metabolic activity, remain in the serum longer, and do not break down as quickly. Manufacturing processes formulated to utilize specific nutrients, ingredients, technologies, and/or delivery methods that enhance the bioactive compound’s ability to enter circulation is an important factor when considering dietary supplementation.

 

Additionally, it’s equally important to choose products that leverage the latest scientific research and evidence and are formulated by using the optimal nutrient forms to ensure superior efficacy. Some nutrients are available in a more biologically identical and accessible form. For example, research shows that folate — specifically in the methylated or calcium folinate composition — is the more optimal, bioavailable form that promotes beneficial health outcomes over synthetic folic acid. Likewise, using amino acid-chelated mineral forms, such as magnesium bisglycinate or ferrous bisglycinate, improves bioavailability and can help decrease common unpleasant gastrointestinal effects, such as diarrhea or constipation, versus using elemental forms, such as magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate.

Clinically Relevant Dosing

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group” based on scientific data, but when scientific evidence is not available, the Adequate Intake (AI) is used instead of the RDA, which is “based on experimentally derived intake levels or approximations of observed mean nutrient intakes by a group of healthy people. These values were calculated to avoid frank or overt nutrient deficiencies, but not necessarily to provide optimal health and wellness. The prevalence of environmental and lifestyle factors in Western societies further complicates and compounds nutrient demands, including nutrient-poor diets, improper digestion and absorption, medication-associated nutrient depletions, pre-existing conditions, inflammation, food sensitivities or allergies, and oxidative stress levels. These additional deterrents to achieving adequate nutrient status support supplementation above the current RDA and AI values established by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academies of Sciences.

 

Initial conditions of insufficiency are seen at a biochemical level often without any overt symptoms. As the duration of the insufficiency increases, additional changes appear in cellular function that can be seen as subclinical manifestations, and as the insufficiency progresses, morphological and functional changes occur that can be defined as early-stage disease. Nutrition may be the single most influential component of health maintenance since diet is the determining factor in many chronic diseases. Furthermore, certain nutrients are not efficacious unless they reach a certain amount in the serum. For these reasons, it is important to supplement above the RDAs and AIs to help replete the body with the micronutrients it needs to improve metabolic function and overall health.

As you approach client care and implement dietary supplements into your nutritional therapy protocols, consider these important factors regarding formulation (i.e., quality and purity, bioavailability, and clinically relevant dosing) to help determine the best options for your patients’ target health outcomes.

By Caitlin Higgins, MS, CNS, LDN
Technical Writer and Educational Content Developer for Designs for Health

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the NTA. They are intended for general information purposes, and are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

 

 

 


 

 

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

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How to Cope with Stress (In a Stressed-Out World)

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How to Cope with Stress (In a Stressed-Out World)

How to Cope with Stress (In a Stressed-Out World)
Ah, stress. That sensation we reluctantly know so well. Stress as a concept is so ubiquitous in our modern lifestyle it almost needs no introduction.
You know what it is; it’s what makes your neck tense up when you’re drowning in work. It’s the exhaustion you feel when there’s too much to deal with around the house or you’re under a lot of pressure. It’s the way you drag a little after watching the news for too long.
Stress has a way of affecting us, and in fact, it has profound implications regarding our bodies and overall wellbeing.

What exactly is stress?

Stress as a set of symptoms was a term first used by a researcher named Hans Selye in the early 1930s. He defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Selye’s work was built on the foundational work of Claude Bernard and Walter Cannon, who proposed the ideas and terminology of “homeostasis.” Triggers that can provoke a stress response include physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
The most common types of stress are psychological or emotional stress and the physiological stress that comes from the body doing its best to function optimally against all the odds stacked against it, such as overwork, toxicity, and overly processed foods.
However, stress is not inherently bad. It’s a life-saving mechanism our bodies use to turn on our alarm systems — the nervous system’s fight or flight” functionsand alert us to a situation that needs our attention. The problems arise when those alarm bells never stop ringing.

How does stress affect our bodies?

Living in a state of chronic stress puts a burden on each of our body’s systems.  During times of stress, the body will use all its energy to focus on the stress response.
Depending on the intensity of the stress, this may cause digestion to take a hit. Stress impacts several necessary players in optimal digestion, including saliva production, hydrochloric acid production, the pH of the stomach, the ability of the valves and sphincters to open and close, and so on. Think of it this way: when stress is off, digestion is off.
Because stress requires blood sugar changes, chronic stress can lead to blood sugar dysregulation. It can also contribute to mineral balance issues and other consequences.

How to cope with chronic stress

Here are some strategies for dealing with stress, particularly chronic stress that can lurk in the background of daily life. As you read this list think about ways you can practically and regularly implement some of these strategies in your day-to-day.

1. Mindfulness

Many find it helpful to practice meditation, deep breathing, or breathing exercises. These can help to bring awareness to the present moment, allowing for a state of mindfulness where judgments and worries can melt away. Spending time in nature can also be also a wonderful and effective way to cope with stress.

2. Movement

Adding movement to your day can help to offset stress and bring balance back to your nervous system, and ultimately, your life. There are many forms of movement to choose from, and everyone has different lifestyles, preferences, and levels of accessibility.
When it comes to movement, the most important thing is not what you do but that you do it. That means do what works for you— whether that’s Olympic lifting or jumping rope or vacuuming or dancing or taking a walk. It’s all beneficial.
Everyday actions can be both a mindfulness and movement practice. For example, when you sweep the floor, sweep with your whole body. When you stir a pot, stir from the hips, not just your wrist. When you reach for something on the top shelf, use it as an opportunity stretch from your feet on the floor through the reach of your fingers. When you walk, swing your arms and smile.

3. Nutrient-Dense, Whole Foods Diet

As we’ve discussed, chronic stress is detrimental to the body. Stress depletes several important nutrients that our bodily systems need to function properly. One way we can use nutrition to manage the consequences of chronic stress is by ensuring we include a variety of nutrients in our diets, especially the ones we use up in times of stress.
These nutrients include: 
  • Vitamin C 
  • B Vitamins 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids 
  • Antioxidants 
Remember, some stress is normal part of lifeStress is also a life-saving response that your body uses to protect you.  
However, our nervous system’s stress response is not meant to be activated 24/7. Chronic, never-ending stress is detrimental to human health.
There are a number of lifestyle techniques that are useful in reducing stress, including mindfulness, movementand nutrition. Stress involves the whole body, so in coping with it, we must think holistically.
The next chance you get, take some time to do something that helps you de-stress.
Want your recipe or article to be featured on our blog? Email our team Marketing@nutritionaltherapy.com with your full name, article, a short bio in third person, and a headshot. We may feature you in an upcoming blog post.
   

   

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

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Essential Minerals: Finding Balance with a Nutrient-Dense, Whole Foods Diet

Essential Minerals: Finding Balance with a Nutrient-Dense, Whole Foods Diet

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Essential Minerals: Finding Balance with a Nutrient-Dense, Whole Foods Diet

Essential Minerals

Minerals are an extremely important part of maintaining the health and physiology of our bodies.

But because humans don’t make minerals on our own, we must be mindful about the foods we choose to eat to ensure were getting all the nutrients we need.

Minerals play a key role in nerve conduction, muscle function, and tissue growth. So, what is the best way to make sure youre getting all the minerals you need in your diet? Let’s take a deeper look!

There are two types of minerals that we need in our diets to ensure proper function and optimal health.

Macrominerals are needed in relatively large amounts in the body, and Microminerals are needed in trace amounts. Some minerals are synergists and work together to support the body and others are antagonists that work against other minerals. Both types of minerals are needed to create balance, kickstart important functions, and provide the nutrients that the body needs.

Examples of macrominerals:

  •  Zinc – Important for immune health
  • Iodine – Key in thyroid function, metabolism, and bone and brain development
  • Iron – Forms and oxygenates blood cells
  • Magnesium – Supports nerve and muscle function
  • Calcium – Important for structural and functional support in the body 

Examples of microminerals

  • Boron
  • Chromium 
  • Cobalt
  • Copper 
  • Germanium 
  • Iodine 
  • Lithium 
  • Manganese  
  • Molybdenum  
  • Rubidium 
  • Selenium 
  • Silicon 
  • Vanadium

Due to each macromineral and micromineral having a specific function, we need a variety of minerals each day to create balance, support proper function, and keep our bodies strong and healthy.

But because the human body has no ability to synthesize minerals, we must obtain them from the food we eat.

The problem we run into is that unlike the diets of our ancestors, our food is deficient in many minerals.

There are three main reasons for this:

1. Industrial revolutions in farming and changes in landscapes have depleted our soil of minerals, which means there’s less minerals in the food we grow.

2. Packaged food is more prevalent and convenient, but it is less nutritious and void of important minerals due to processing.

3. Finally, the absorption of minerals is dependent on other functions of our body (hydration, blood sugar regulation, digestion, etc.) working properly. Even if we are consuming minerals in the food we eat, they don’t always make it into our blood, tissues, and bones.

Factors like stress, diet, and toxins in the environment can all play a role in mineral dysfunction, but there are easy ways we can support our bodies and give them the minerals they need to thrive.

  1. Eat leafy green vegetables and cook them in high quality fats for added nutrients (and flavor).
  2. Add a pinch of sea salt to water. The benefits are two-fold: it helps keep us hydrated and provides the key minerals found in sea salt.
  3. Eat properlysourced seafood or seaweed – both are great sources of minerals!
  4. Focus on whole foods – fill your diet with a variety of nutrientdense options. 

Thanks to overly-processed foods and the impact of industrialization on the nutritional integrity of our food, its all too easy to miss out on important nutrients that the body needs to function. But when we focus on a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, we are able to turn the tables, provide our bodies with the minerals it needs, and ultimately, feel our best!

Learn more about mineral balance and easy ways to get more minerals into your diet by registering for our FREE 8-day Nutritional Therapy 101 course.

Want your recipe or article to be featured on our blog? Email our team Marketing@nutritionaltherapy.com with your full name, article, a short bio in third person, and a headshot. We may feature you in an upcoming blog post.

 

 

 


 

 

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

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Nutritional Therapy Association Review: What Our Grads Are Saying

Nutritional Therapy Association Review: What Our Grads Are Saying

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Nutritional Therapy Association Review: What Our Grads Are Saying

Trying to decide if the NTA is the right path for you? Watch our grads share their Nutritional Therapy Association review.

You’re here most likely because you’ve been contemplating a career in nutrition. You’re often the go-to for nutrition advice in your friend and family circle but you’re wanting to take your holistic nutrition education to the next level. We know the importance of being able to envision what your practice could look like. That’s why we’ve compiled videos from some of our notable graduates who have graciously shared their Nutritional Therapy Association review.

It’s not enough for our team to tell you why becoming certified in Nutritional Therapy would be the most transformative decision you could make. We want you to hear directly from the NTPs and NTCs who are in the trenches and serving their communities. 

Note: some information in these videos reflect previous iterations of the NTP Program—but the core of our mission has remained the same. For the most up to date information about the NTP Online program, click here.

 

Caitlin Crowell

 

Cait Crowell, NTP of What Cait Ate

 

 

 


 

Steph Gaudreau

 

 

Steph Gaudreau, NTC of Harder to Kill Radio

 

 

 


 

Mandy Meehan

 

Mandy Meehan, NTP

 

 

 

 


 

Liz Wolfe

 

Liz Wolfe, NTP of Real Food Liz

 

 

 

 

 


 

Amie Tollefsrud

 

Aime Tollesfrud, NTP of Rebelle Nutrition

 

 

 

 

Note: some information in these videos reflect previous iterations of the NTP Program—but the core of our mission has remained the same. For the most up to date information about the NTP Online program, click here.

 


 

 

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

Categories

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