Tag Archives: healthy eating

40 Foods That Are Rich in Insoluble Fiber

Fiber is an integral part of healthy digestion, particularly insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber dissolves in water, helping slow and relax the digestion process, insoluble fiber passes straight through the digestive tract, pushing things along. It helps combats constipation by getting the digestive system moving. Insoluble fiber is responsible for lowering the risk for such digestive complications as hemorrhoids or inflammation. The recommended daily intake of fiber for a healthy adult is about 25-30 grams, three-quarters of which should be the insoluble kind.

The Best Sources of Insoluble Fiber

  1. Artichoke
  2. Dried figs
  3. Psyllium seed husks
  4. Lentils
  5. Kidney beans
  6. Blueberries
  7. Strawberries
  8. Almonds
  9. Walnuts
  10. Split peas
  11. Sunflower seeds
  12. Applesauce
  13. Turnip
  14. Sweet potato
  15. Brussels sprouts
  16. Wheat bran
  17. Whole grains
  18. Popcorn
  19. Prunes
  20. Spinach
  21. Bell peppers
  22. Cabbage
  23. Lettuce
  24. Kale
  25. Collards
  26. Scallions
  27. Peas
  28. Green beans
  29. Black, white and red beans
  30. Flaxseeds
  31. Kernel corn
  32. Eggplants
  33. Potatoes (with skin)
  34. Sesame seeds
  35. Quinoa
  36. Celery
  37. Onions
  38. Apples
  39. Oat bran
  40. Oatmeal

Not Everyone Should Overdo Insoluble Fiber

Increasing insoluble fiber is a great idea for those who are constipated or have trouble with regular bowel movements. While it can be pretty hard to ‘overdo’ fiber, people with certain stomach conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should be careful not to consume too much of it as it may further aggravate their digestive symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your diet if you have IBS or another stomach problem before making changes to your diet.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for other helpful food lists!



Foods To Add to Your Weekly Menu

We recently listed off our favorite 15 healthiest foods to eat daily, but we had a few honorable mentions left over that almost made the cut. So, let’s take a look at some foods you should try to add to your plate several times weekly:

Spice Up Your Meals!

There are countless spices that can contribute to good health by helping control things like inflammation, skin problems, disease risk and so on. There are too many great ones to name, but you can read more about some of our favorite choices in our article on healthy seasonings.

Make Breakfast Egg-celent! (I know, I know, we’re terrible…)

Eggs are only recently recovering from an unfairly garnered bad rap. For decades, articles, nutritionists and the media were discouraging people from eating eggs because of their high cholesterol content (nearly 190mg). However, luckily in recent years, medical research has chalked this advice up to overzealous caution. While eggs may raise blood cholesterol levels slightly, the body compensates by releasing less of its own. Furthermore, according to Harvard University medical researchers the folate, vitamin D, protein and riboflavin in eggs make their heart-healthy benefits win over the potential for a slight increase in cholesterol. So, eggs 3-4 times a week should be perfectly healthy for anyone!

Hey, What About Fish?

We can’t forget this nutritional goldmine. We wholeheartedly give fish an honorable mention for best foods to eat plenty of. As we illustrated in a previous post, fish are one of the healthiest foods you can eat (especially for your heart), but some of them contain mercury and aren’t meant for excess human consumption. However, it is recommended that you try to eat fatty fish like salmon 2-3 times weekly to gather the many healthful benefits they have to offer.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberries are very high in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, but they can be pretty hard to eat in their natural form as they are quite bitter. So, many have turned to cranberry juice to gain the benefits (100% pure is best to mix with water in order to get the full effects). Medical studies have illustrated a link between consuming cranberries and a lowered risk of heart disease. Moreover, as many of us have already heard, cranberries appear to have a hand in preventing urinary tract infections as well (although empirical research is still a little shaky on this).

A Few Last Words

Really, any fruits and veggies will benefit your health. It is always better to try for food in its most natural form as opposed to highly processed foods. Try to avoid red meat as much as possible, substituting it with leaner meats or fish instead. Also, teas are also great to drink if you want a break from water. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay tuned for more wellness information!

15 of the Best Foods to Eat Daily (Part 2)

Last time we looked at the first 7 of our top 15 best foods to consume daily, and now let’s  check out the last 8:

  1. Celery – if you think celery is just a low-calorie, water based food with little to offer aside from being a good weight-loss snack food, you’ve been misled. Celery is rich in various antioxidants, as well as polysaccharides which can help with inflammation. Celery also contains its fair share of vitamin C and K as well as folate. So how’s that for incentive to add celery to a daily veggie platter?
  2. Bell Peppers – A serving of these versatile veggies contains well over 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, as well as many other vitamins, nutrients and phytochemicals. All kinds of peppers also contain capsaicin , which appears to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and also has natural analgesic properties which can benefit chronic pain sufferers.
  • Citrus fruit – Citrus fruits are excellent sources of potassium, calcium, thiamin, B and C vitamins, potassium and fiber. They also contain less sugar than some other fruit choices, however, choices like grapefruits can interact with certain heart medications so it is important to check with your doctor first if you take daily medications.
  • Carrots – The old adage that a rabbit’s favorite food is good for your eyesight is true. This is largely due to their high beta carotene levels. Beta carotene converts vitamin A into retinol, a key ingredient in maintaining good eye health (as well as aiding the immune system and bones). Carrots are also high in multiple vitamins and antioxidants, as well as iron and manganese.
  1. Blueberries these berries have been gaining some serious good-health spotlight in the last few years, and there are plenty of reasons for that. They are one of the richest sources of antioxidants around, high in fiber, as well as many other vitamins and nutrients and are lower in sugar than most other fruit – not to mention delicious! So, take any chance you get to chow down on these vibrant berries.
  2. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses; they contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and carotenoids. Research also suggests they aid the immune system and may help lower the risk of certain cancers such as pancreatic.
  3. Coffee – Coffee?! Yes, you heard us correctly. Believe it or not, despite the somewhat tarnished reputation coffee has earned over the years, a morning cup of joe may actually improve your health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, coffee may play a role in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson’s and may even have some cardiovascular benefits. It has also shown promise in helping asthma.
  4. Dark chocolate –This list just keeps getting better! Quality 70% (or higher) dark chocolate offers up a bouquet of healthful substances including: iron, zinc, fiber, magnesium, potassium, selenium and flavonoids. Research suggests dark chocolate consumption may help with lowering blood pressure, easing PMS symptoms, easing an overactive digestive tract, and more.

That concludes our 15 favorite healthy foods to eat daily, but stay tuned for some honorable mentions that you should also add to the menu frequently in a future post. Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll start making some of these nutritious winners part of your daily diet.



10 Quick and Nutritious Snack Ideas

It can be hard to know what to get for snacks for your children or yourself, especially when it comes to saving time and keeping things healthy. We’ve compiled a list of healthy, quick snack ideas that are perfect for summer (or any other time of year).

  1. Homemade trail mix – using separate and fresh ingredients will circumvent some of the high-sodium, added sugar and highly processed ones in many store-bought varieties of trail mix. You can make the trail mix more to your taste if you make it from scratch too. Throw in some oats, flaxseed, fresh or home-dried fruit, nuts or seeds – the sky is the limit!
  2. Spicy yogurt hummus dipThis fun recipe combines two of the healthiest things out there: chickpeas and Greek yogurt! Add in a hearty heap of spice and some veggies on the side and you have a delicious, nutritious snack.
  3. Chocolate-Banana soymilk smoothie – This simple but delicious smoothie takes under a minute and only requires a few ingredients. Just blend a banana, 4-5 ice cubes, a cup of chocolate soymilk and you can even add in a teaspoon of flaxseed to make it extra nutritious!
  4. Homemade sweet potato chips and tzatziki dip – sweet potatoes are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They are packed with vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium and iron. Baking them is a healthy way to get a delicious, crunchy new snack food. Tzatziki sauce is a nice cucumber flavored yogurt-based side for health dipping as well as healthy crunching.
  5. Brown rice cake with peanut butter and berries – you can’t get much healthier than brown rice cakes (you can buy them in the specialty section of your local grocery store), berries of your choice (packed with antioxidants) and peanut or other nut butter! Yumm.
  6. Cherry tomatoes with goat cheesethis combination sounds simple, but it is delightful and very nutritious.
  1. Popcorn BallsThese yummy little treats are a perfect healthy snack for kids (or just for yourself). They contain popcorn, cereal and peanuts with mini marshmallows for taste (you can modify it to make it even healthier).
  2. Orange Hazelnut Muffins – with hazelnut flour, low-fat milk and fresh oranges, these little guys are about as healthy as you can get when it comes to muffins. So whip them up and enjoy a guilt-free muffin today!
  1. Blueberry-peach ice pops – first, puree a few handfuls of blueberries, and pick up some low-fat peach flavored yogurt. Pour a layer of blended blueberries into a popsicle mould, then add a tablespoon of peach yogurt and another layer of blueberries and freeze for a delicious, refreshing and very nutritious popsicle treat this summer!
  1. Homemade triple berry granola barsno sugar added, low sodium and packed with nature’s goodies, these granola bars are quick and nutritious. They would make the perfect energy-boosting snack for yourself or the little ones!


Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’re having a healthy, happy summer!






5 Foods With Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Many chronic conditions such as arthritis are the product of recurrent systemic inflammation. While it is important to stick to any treatment plan recommended by your doctor, making certain diet changes can help cut down on swelling and pain as well. Some foods that contain natural anti-inflammatory components include:

  1. Tart Cherries

Hundreds of years before mainstream medication hit the counters people were using cherries to combat inflammatory afflictions like arthritis (particularly gout). Is there merit to this tasty traditional remedy? Empirical studies are proving there is. In one Boston study of 633 gout sufferers, a group who ate 10 daily cherries saw a 50% lower risk of gout attacks over a two-day period than their non-cherry contemporaries. Another study on cherry juice for osteoarthritis sufferers found that patients who drank 16oz of tart cherry juice daily showed a significant decrease in such symptoms as pain, swelling and stiffness. Moreover, they showed lowered levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker commonly associated with arthritis. So the proof is in the (cherry) pudding!

  1. Holy Basil

Holy basil, also known as Sweet Thai basil is a subtype of the common household spice that comes from India. Holy basil has a myriad of impressive medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory, stress reducing, and even more impressively, antihistamine properties. One experiment with Wistar rats associated the ingestion of Holy basil with mast cell stabilization, lower IgE levels and inhibited release of inflammatory markers in the rats. It may not be an appetizing juxtaposition: spices and rats, but the study does illustrate how impressive Holy basil is as an anti-inflammatory food choice! So it certainly couldn’t hurt to start adding holy basil to your spice rotation. For information on other superstar spices check out our article on healthful spices.

  1. Salmon

Oily fish such as salmon are among the best foods to eat, especially if you have a chronic inflammatory condition as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, one of nature’s best anti-inflammatories. The benefits don’t end with your joints, one 2009 University of Hawaii study showed a 23% decline in cardiovascular disease in a group of men who ate boiled or baked fatty fish several times a week as compared to those who did not. Health professionals recommend eating at least 4oz twice weekly of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel to reap some of these healthful benefits.

  1. Olive Oil

Medical researchers have discovered that a compound in olive oil called Oleocanthal can inhibit the formation of the inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 in the body. Olive oil mimics exactly what NSAIDS like Advil do to reduce pain and swelling by blocking these detrimental inflammatory enzymes. It is suspected to have a noticeable impact on both acute flare-ups and chronic arthritic inflammation when taken daily.

  1. Cilantro

Cilantro is a health powerhouse herb which has long been used for its anti-inflammatory effects on such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory stomach conditions and even cardiovascular disease. Cilantro has also been celebrated for its diabetes, cancer and cholesterol fighting components. Cilantro is also packed to the gills with phytonutrients and anti-oxidant flavonoids, so stock up your spice cabinet with this stuff today!

More Anti-Inflammatory Choices

Other anti-inflammatory foods include beets, fruits (especially berries for their abundance of anti-oxidants), broccoli, celery and garlic. Stay tuned for our future article on inflammatory foods to avoid if you have issues with swelling.

If you have any questions or concerns about inflammation or medical treatment options for inflammatory conditions, feel free to sign up to DocChat today for a video consultation with one of our highly qualified, board certified physicians! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Why Your Plate Should Resemble A Rainbow

We all know it is important to eat a plethora of fruits and veggies in order to sustain a healthy diet, but ensuring you include produce of all colors in your diet has other merits as well as the obvious. Different colored fruits and veggies harbour helpful phytochemical colorings, each with its own unique benefits. Fruits and veggies fit into color categories: red, green, white/brown, purple/blue yellow/orange and green.

Ruby Red

Red fruits and veggies are more than just a pretty color. That eye-catching pigment is actually called lycopene and it is a heart-healthy antioxidant. It has been extracted and used to treat various ailments such as certain cancers, the human papilloma virus (HPV) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). However, when taken in concentrated supplement form only (fruit is fine) it can be potentially dangerous for pregnant women or men who already have prostate cancer. These risks aren’t fully established, but it is best to be safe than sorry. Some fruits and veggies of the red variety are rhubarb, radishes, tomatoes, apples, cherries and certain berries, among many others.

The Cooler Colors

The blue-purple colored fruits contain a pigment called anthocyanin, which, according to registered dietitian/Dr. Densie Webb of Today’s Dietitian, “Studies in animals and humans suggest that anthocyanins may play important roles in helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer. The role of anthocyanins in the prevention of these diseases has been linked to their antioxidant properties, but research now suggests that anthocyanins’ health benefits likely result from unidentified chemical properties beyond their antioxidant capacity.”

Sun Kissed and Colored

Did anyone ever tell you that eating carrots are good for your eyes? Well they were right! Yellow and orange fruit and veggies such as lemons, sweet potato, corn, oranges and grapefruit contain the phytochemical coloring agents, carotenoids. Among these are the infamous beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene and similar coloring agents help protect against diseases of the eyes and help maintain good general eye health.

White, Tan and Brown Produce

What do potatoes, coconuts and cauliflower have in common? While they might not find a spot on a real rainbow, they all fit into the white/brown category of the fruit and veggie rainbow. Many of these foods contain goodies like potassium. When it comes to coloring, these foods contain their own phytochemicals such as allicin, which is known to have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. Now does ginger and garlic as common cold remedies make sense?

Lean Green

While green fruits such as apples and kiwi are great for the system, arguably the best group of the whole rainbow is the green veggie variety. They contain chlorophyll which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol levels. It has also shown promise in reducing the risks of certain cancers such as breast and colorectal cancer. Coloring aside, leafy greens also contain vitamin K, folic acid and plenty of fibre. If these veggies take up a little more of your plate, there’s nothing wrong with that!

So there you have it, a veritable nutritional kaleidoscope! From us here at DocChat, thanks for visiting, and go eat a rainbow!

Give Your Diet A Makeover!

We are all guilty of sneaking too many candies or chips from time to time and going through the occaisonal no-veggie stint, but sometimes just a few little things need tweaking to make a nutritious impact. Here are some simple diet changes that can go a long way in helping you feel, live and look healthier:

  1. Up your protein: chicken and turkey are great meat choices for protein, if you are a vegetarian, try chickpeas!
  2. Add more of those leafy greens: spinach is actually amazing. It an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C and B6, folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium! It looks like Popeye was on to something! Lettuce and kale also throw big nutritious punches with very few calories.
  3. Eat more (of certain) dairy products: skim milk, cottage cheese and low fat, low sugar yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great choice, as it is full of protein and helps balance your gut flora. These foods are great sources of calcium and protein without the extra fat of some other dairy products.
  4. Help eggs recover their good name: Eggs got a bad rep in the 80’s for ‘raising cholesterol’, but it has since been discovered that eggs do not raise plaque-building LDL cholesterol. They are also great sources of helpful tryptophan protein. So start crackin’!
  5. Trade in your white bread for whole grains: Numerous studies have shown that whole grains are so much better for you than starchy white bread and crackers. If you have trouble with gluten, there are even gluten-free whole grain food options available. Brown rice flour is a good source or fibre as well.
  6. Aw, nuts! Nuts are nutritious sources of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre. Measure out ¼ a cup of any kind of nuts you choose for a nice helping of good health.
  7. Don’t party too hardy: Read DocChat’s post about the dangers of binge drinking!
  8. Less salt is best salt: Adults should consume under 6 grams (one teaspoon) of salt a day.
  9. Good nutrition smells fishy: Fish are among some of the best foods you can eat. Many of them are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) and vitamin D.
  10. Add Antioxidants: Antioxidants remove harmful oxidizing agents that can cause cell damage in the body. Various fruits are good sources of antioxidants such most berries, black plums (over 4800 antioxidants per plum!) and oranges.
  11. Hydrate to feel great: This one is obvious, we’ve all heard the 6-8 glasses of water requirement ad nauseam, but we still let days go by without reaching for the water jug enough. Dehydration can cause serious health issues and unpleasant symptoms, so be sure to give your body what it needs the most and drink plenty of H2O!
  12. Less bad fats: While some fats such as the polyunsaturated variety are essential to good health and great for the heart, saturated fats (in many animal products) should be eaten in moderation as they can cause high cholesterol. It goes without saying that junk food is high in bad fat and should also be reduced to the occasional treat.
  13. Don’t skip out on meal time: It is important to eat at least three balanced meals a day, but some people have more success with 5-6 smaller meals. Either way, you shouldn’t skip meals as they provide necessary energy and nutrients the body needs to get through each day. Check out our blog post about why you especially shouldn’t skip breakfast.
  14. Variety is the spice you need: It is important not to focus on one or two favoured foods, even if they are healthy. A balanced diet is the key to healthful success, so make sure to spice things up. Try different meats and dairy products at the grocery store, and make new recipes.
  15. Fibre gives your food an easier journey: Fibre is essential to good digestion. People who are chronically constipated often aren’t consuming enough dietary fibre and may notice considerable benefits upon increasing it. Beans, dark green veggies and whole grains are all rich sources of fibre.We hope you have fun with these healthy diet tweaks, and thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope to see you again soon.