Tag Archives: disease prevention

15 Health Benefits Cycling Provides

All exercise is good exercise, but stationary and outdoor cycling has recently gained quite the reputation for being an extra healthful mode of fitness. Let’s check out just what proof is in the pudding:

  1. Biking is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise alternative.
  2. It works out many of the major muscle groups.
  3. It can improve stamina of the lungs and body.
  4. It is a highly adaptable activity. You can modify the speed and intensity according to your fitness level – you can even handcycle if you are handicapped!
  5. You can move it inside – with a stationary bike.
  6. Cycling helps build and firm muscles.
  7. Regular cycling can help lower stress levels and decrease anxiety.
  8. Regular cycling can help improve posture and balance as well as strengthen bones.
  9. It can improve joint health, and is a safe exercise choice for those with arthritis.
  10. Regular cycling can trim the fat – you can burn over 300 calories per hour session!
  11. Several studies conducted show a correlation between regular cycling and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular Danish study surmised that 45,000 adults who regularly cycled had up to an 18% fewer heart attacks over a 20-year period than those who did not.
  12. Routine aerobic exercise like cycling can help lower your chances of developing various diseases such as bowel cancer and diabetes.
  13. Studies show it can help with many conditions, including mental health conditions such as ADHD.
  14. Studies show that cycling can actually help improve certain injuries and conditions, including knee injuries.
  15. While exercise in itself will help increase chances of a longer, healthier life, a specific study done on Tour De France riders showed an 17% increase in lifespan over the average 73.5 years!

So all in all, there are plenty of reasons to give cycling a shot if you’re looking for a new, adventurous way to workout! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope to see you again soon.


Get Fishy For Your Health!

Fish is one of the healthiest foods you can consume and the benefits don’t stop with omega-3 fatty acids. Many people are aware of the heart health benefits of eating fatty fish, but research is mounting that suggests chowing down on fish regularly may help lessen or prevent other conditions as well.

What Types of Fish Are Most Healthful?

Not all fish are equally as beneficial for your health. Some of the more healthful fish to focus on include:

  • Salmon contains many helpful B vitamins, your whole suggested daily intake of both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as many other goodies. It also has a very low risk for mercury contamination compared to some other types of fish.
  • Tuna is pretty amazing. It is not only one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but it also contains cancer-fighting selenium, niacin, magnesium, protein and vitamin A, while also being low in calories and fat. What a fishy-powerhouse! There is a suggested limit on tuna, however, because of its mercury contaminant risk, but it is a pretty liberal limit (12 oz weekly), so tuna shouldn’t cause any problems unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Pacific halibut is rich in vitamin D, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Rainbow trout is a great choice because it contains plenty of vitamin B12 in addition to vitamin D and good fats like other types of fish.
  • Anchovies are high in iron, calcium and magnesium as well as a host of other beneficial components.

How Should Fish be Prepared?

In order to reap the many health pros of fatty fish without adding unhealthy grease (which can counteract the cardiovascular benefits), you should avoid deep frying. Baking or boiling fish are the healthiest cooking methods.

Research-Backed Benefits of Eating Fish

Some of the health benefits that have been linked to consuming fish on a weekly basis include:

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease – most of the research conducted on the benefits of fish center around its contribution to heart health. Studies upon studies show parallels between consuming fatty fish weekly and having lower risk of dying of heart disease.
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer’s – fish oil has shown promise in improving cognitive functioning and helping lessen or prevent types of cognitive decline.
  • Hair and skin benefits – the hair and skin need healthy fats to really thrive, so routine consumption of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide that strengthening boost for shiny hair and healthy skin.
  • May aid in male fertilitypreliminary studies show a link between routine ingestion of fatty fish and stronger, healthier sperm in males.
  • Benefits for arthritis sufferers – because arthritic diseases mainly center around inflammation of the joints, the good fats in fish can help tackle systemic inflammation, potentially lessening the symptoms of the disease over time.
  • Immune system benefits – routine fish consumption has also been linked to helping reduce symptoms of autoimmune diseases because they are also rooted in inflammation. The plethora of vitamins and nutrients in fish also work to help strengthen the immune system.
  • Easing symptoms of depression – fish oil helps improve brain function and may help lesson mild depression in some cases, more research is currently underway.


Does Eating Fish Come With Dangers?

There has been concern among medical professionals and researchers that eating too much of certain types of fish can lead to excess mercury in the body. Fish tend to ingest mercury-containing substances and the potentially harmful element stays in their bodies, so when we consume fish, we are ingesting low levels of mercury as well. However, this is primarily a concern for pregnant or breastfeeding women or small children who are most at risk for experiencing adverse reactions to mercury. Most healthy adults will not be adversely effected by levels of mercury in fish unless they consume a disproportionate amount.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope we’ve convinced you to ‘get fishy for your health’!




Dark Chocolate – Chockfull of Health Benefits

Most of us have heard that eating a couple squares of dark chocolate a day is actually good for you – but how so? Dark chocolate may have even more health benefits than originally thought. However, the type of chocolate matters. We’re not talking yummy, sugary milk chocolate – we are talking about at least 70% good quality dark chocolate without milk or much sugar added. If you chow down on the recommended 2-4 squares a day of this type of chocolate daily, you may begin to notice health benefits. Some benefits of dark chocolate include:

  1. Dark Chocolate is a Nutrient Powerhouse

    Dark chocolate is jam-packed with healthful goodies such as fiber, iron, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and selenium (a compound with cancer-repelling properties). Cocoa also has one of the highest concentrations of anti-oxidants of any food source – even more than blueberries!

  2. It May Provide PMS Relief 

    Dark chocolate can actually help ease menstruation related symptoms by triggering the release of mood-boosting, natural painkilling endorphins like anandamide. It also contains a great deal of magnesium which can help reduce cramping.

  3. It May Help Lower Blood Pressure

    Research has indicated flavanols found in dark chocolate produce Nitric Oxide, by stimulating the walls of the arteries, signaling the arteries to expand. This expansion reduces the flow of blood through the arteries, thus potentially reducing blood pressure.

  4. It May Provide Diarrhea Relief

    One particular study illustrated that plentiful flavonoids in cocoa help prevent fluid retention in the small intestine which contributes to diarrhea. Cocoa flavonoids can potentially help ease the symptoms of diarrhea when consumed in dark chocolate form (free of the sugar and additional ingredients of milk chocolate). Dark chocolate may provide an alternative to OTC medications which can have adverse side effects.

  5. It Can Contribute To Skin health

    German studies show that dark chocolate may help protect the skin against the sun. The flavanols in dark chocolate can help reduce some signs of UV damage. The iron and vitamins may also help dry skin.

The Benefits Don’t Even End There!

The flavonoids and nutrients in dark chocolate have also shown promise in helping other health conditions including cardiovascular disease, balancing “good” HDL and “bad” LDL cholesterol and improving brain function. So grab a couple squares of dark chocolate a day for some potential health perks! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll stop by again soon!


“Superfood” – Just A Buzzword?

The term ‘superfood’ has been hotly contended on the internet and within the medical community. Some sources say these foods are “cure-alls” that will singlehandedly help lower your cancer risks, while others argue that ‘superfood’ is just a marketing term used to hypnotize the general populous by selling certain foods under a guise. But really, the term ‘superfood’ just seems to boil down to very healthy food choices like broccoli or certain berries that are richer in vitamins and other natural goodies than other foods.

Does Science Back Superfoods?

Have such superfoods shown research-backed disease-fighting benefits? When wading through all the pros and cons, it is tricky to find much actual empirical research about superfoods. However, nutritionists and doctors have certainly drawn parallels between nutritional elements like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and issues like cardiovascular health. Basically, science suggests that while certain foods do have more healthful components, certainly no one food can act alone to prevent or battle disease. However, eating more of these heathier choices will better your overall health and may help collectively lower your risks against certain ailments.

What Do We Think About Superfoods?

All in all, who really cares about the controversy over nomenclature if these foods actually do have added health profits, nutrients and are overall simply better choices for your body? ‘Superfoods’ may be less sensational than some claims, but there are certainly health merits to a diet rich in these nutrient-packed foods. So, in that case we say “bring on the “superfoods!” Except – maybe we can dub them something different in light of all the fuss? Let’s just call them Betterfoods!

5 of Our Favourite Betterfoods

We all know diets rich in fruits and veggies are most beneficial, but there are other choices that can really enrich your health as well:

  1. Berries, berries everywhere! People often forget just how valuable berries are. Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries are the source of bountiful benefits such as fibre (raspberries have 8 grams per cup!), vitamins and antioxidants such as anthocyanins (great for keeping the mind sharp).
  2. Nuts – packed with fibre, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, nuts are one of the best foods you can consume for your health (unless you are allergic! Then try seeds).
  3. Beans – are truly Betterfoods with their high fibre content, and have cancer-fighting chemicals called isoflavones and phytosterolsvitamins. Soybeans are a matter of debate, some articles claim they are ‘superfoods’ while some studies have shown ill effects of soy on the cardiovascular system. Either way, soy beans certainly have some great traits such as extra protein and vitamins. Moderation is key!
  4. Seedsmany seeds are good for the body – sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins A and E as well as heart healthy fats, flaxseeds are high in fibre and may help reduce cholesterol when eaten routinely, and chia seeds are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, folate and good fats.
  5. Tea – according to WebMD, “A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn’t. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.”

So there you have it! DocChat’s favourite Betterfoods! So get to munchin’!