Tag Archives: healthy food

10 Healthfully Refreshing Summer Food Ideas

The hot summer season calls for a change in your diet. No one wants to be bloated or have a heavy stomach in the summer when there is always an adventure waiting around the corner to be had. So beat the heat with these yummy, fresh food choices!


  1. Frozen Grapes

Frozen grapes are a delicious, refreshing spin on the already yummy fruit snack. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients for a guilt-free munch. So the next time you get a craving for something sweet and icy, reach past the ice cream to the container of frozen grapes!


  1. Assorted Melon Ball Platter

Make your snack tasty and aesthetically pleasing by using a melon baller to make an assorted platter of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon. These are excellent summer foods as they are crisp, light, nutrient-rich and contain a high percentage of water. This is a great snack to share with friends on a hot summer day!

  1. Grilled Chicken Dishes

Chicken is an excellent summer meat choice as it is leaner than red meat but still chockfull of protein, iron and other health goodies. Try making glazed grilled chicken and veggie shish kabobs or a grilled chicken Caesar salad! Mmmm!


  1. Topped Cucumber Delights

Cucumber is another wonderful, light summer food that made up largely of water. A couple great cucumber snack ideas are cucumber slices topped with tuna (you can make tuna salad the same as you would for a tuna sandwich); or try tuna and hummus if you’re not a fish fan (it is a scrumptious and highly healthy combo)!


  1. Real fruit pops

One of our favorite summer snacks here at DocChat is blended or whole frozen fruit such as berries, kiwi and citrus poured into popsicle molds for an icy treat! Full of healthful perks, real fruit pops will help keep you cool, hydrated and energized in the hot summer sun.

  1. Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Replace your heavy, winter-style pasta with a light and flavorful spaghetti squash. You can make an easy ground turkey and tomato-based sauce to go on top, or go with a lighter green pea pesto dressing! What a simple, delightful and healthy summer supper.


  1. Broccoli soup

Try this fresh, creamy broccoli soup for a light-on-the-tummy summer lunch. You’ll have enough left over for a few days of summer lunches.


  1. Romaine lettuce wraps

Eschew the heavy carbs and use a piece of romaine lettuce to roll up a delicious chicken, tuna or veggie “wrap” instead. You can add all the toppings you would normally add to a sandwich without the added calories or weight of bread on your stomach. With a nice, light lunch like this you’ll be ready for another dip in the pool in no time!

  1. Homemade (Naturally Sweetened) Iced Tea

If you’re looking for a sweet thirst-quencher try brewing some tea of your choosing, cooling it down and mixing it with a few cups of water as well as some freshly squeezed lemon and a few drops or packets of stevia (a healthy natural sugar alternative) for the best iced tea you’ve ever tasted. This is a much better alternative to store-bought iced teas, as they contain either too much sugar or unhealthy artificial sweeteners.


  1. Sweet Thai Chili Salmon

Grill up some fresh (non-farmed) salmon slathered with this delicious, healthy homemade Thai chili sauce for one of the tastiest suppers you can imagine. You can also buy Thai chili sauces, but why not make your own?

So there are a few of the endless healthy options for refreshing summer meals and snacks – be sure to take in enough fruits and veggies, fish, low-fat dairy and lean meats to feel your best! Thanks for visiting DocChat.



Spice Up Your Health With These 13 Nutritious Seasonings

  1. Turmeric contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and fat-suppressing properties. It is also associated with helping lower the risk of metabolic conditions such as obesity.
  2. Cinnamon boasts healthy helpings of iron, calcium and antioxidants. It has shown promise in helping stabilize blood glucose and blood pressure.
  3. Cardamom works as a gastrointestinal soother and contains a natural antiseptic called cineole.
  4. Sage has proven effective to help with cognitive function. In a particular study, sage helped increase memory in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients. It has also been used in traditional medicine throughout history for a variety of reasons.
  5. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory which, as you may know, is known for its gastrointestinal benefits. It has even been used in pill form by popular pharmaceutical companies as a stomach soothing medication. Research has also linked ginger with appetite suppression.
  6. Peppermint helps reduce irritable bowel symptoms by relaxing the stomach muscles to allow easier food passage as well as reducing bloating. When used in steam form, peppermint can also help decongest people with post nasal drip, sinusitis or rhinitis. When combined with hot water, peppermint helps open the airways and drain blocked nasal passages (breathe in 3-4 drops of pure peppermint oil in a cut of boiling water).
  7. Cayenne is often used to help cold and flu symptoms and works as a natural decongestant. Research suggests it may also help stabilize the metabolism, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  8. Oregano has natural antimicrobial properties and has traditionally been used to help such conditions as dandruff, UTIs, lung conditions and menstrual symptoms. It is also a rich source of vitamin K.
  9. Chili flakes contain an anti-inflammatory compound called capsaicin. Chili pepper flakes have quite a powerful analgesic (pain reducing) effect when enough are consumed.
  10. Chives contain allicin which may help control LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels as well as possibly aid in reducing high blood pressure, thus contributing to overall cardiovascular health.
  11. Thyme is a spice powerhouse. It brags natural antiseptic and antifungal characteristics and contains pyridoxine (also known as vitamin B-6) which helps lower stress levels. Thyme is also rich in antioxidants, potassium, iron, folic acid and vitamins A, B, K, E and C. Can a garnish get any healthier than that?
  12. Garlic is another spice superstar. It contains even more allicin than chives, as well as antifungal and antibacterial components. Research proposes that when consumed regularly, garlic may help lower the risk of cardiovascular problems and shows potential anti-carcinogenic properties as well.
  13. Cocoa may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There have been several studies done on the effects of cocoa on the heart, many of which have resulted in positive findings that dark chocolate can help the heart when consumed regularly. The anti-inflammatory compound flavanol may be to thank for cocoa’s heart healthy quality.

Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you come back soon!


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.



10 Healthier Treats To Keep The Sugar Monkey Off Your Back

When your sweet tooth is acting up, we all know it is best to indulge a little so you can get on with your day, undistracted. Luckily, there are healthier sweet choices you can make in these moments so you won’t have to pay too dearly when it comes time to work them off. Here are some of our favorites from various healthful sources:

  1. Homemade Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse recipe is decadent but low in fat, calories and sugar. All you need is low-fat yogurt, cocoa, vanilla extract and sugar substitute such as stevia, and voila! You have a lovely mousse to satiate your sweet craving.

  1. Cherry Sorbet

This homemade cherry sorbet recipe is the perfect frozen sweet treat if you’re craving something creamy like ice cream. You can substitute stevia for the little bit of sugar in this recipe for an even healthier dessert. An added benefit to this treat? Cherries are great for gout, so any gout sufferers out there should try this one.

  1. Smoothie Pops

If you’re a fan of freezes or popsicles and are craving those artificially coloured, high-sugar frozen treats, your palate (and body) will thank you for going with a healthy homemade smoothie-pop instead. Here are 54 healthy smoothie recipes with that you can make and pour into popsicle moulds or little plastic containers for delicious, nutritious treats for later.

  1. Banana Cream Pie

Banana cream pie made with fat-free yogurt, banana slices, flaxseed and a graham cracker will trick your taste buds into thinking you’re eating actual pie. Bananas offer plenty of vitamins and nutrients including B12, while the flaxseed adds fibre for a dessert that is just as healthy as it is scrumptious.

  1. Frozen grapes

While grapes may not be a conventional frozen fruit choice, these tasty little buddies are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and even a special cholesterol-busting ingredient called resveratrol. So put a serving of grapes in the freezer and check back later for a yummy, sweet-tart frozen treat!

  1. Ants On A Log

Remember this old-fashioned favorite? Well it’s one we love here at DocChat, so we thought we’d resurrect the satisfyingly delicious treat in case you forgot. Celery sticks topped with nut butter and raisins (or dark chocolate chips) are delicious with a nice cup of tea. They can serve as a meal and dessert all rolled into one.

  1. PB And Dark Chocolate Banana Bites

Mmm. These tasty nutty banana treats are healthy and creative. Most people just think to dip a while banana in a bit of chocolate when they think of such frozen delights, but this recipe yields a flavour-packed punch with each mini treat, so you have the option of just a couple to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  1. Yummy Protein Oatballs

You can have instant cookies by adding a cup of oats, half a cup of nut butter, chia or flaxseed, dark chocolate or raisins and some honey (to taste) in your blender. Then mix, squish into 1.5 inch balls, and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple hours. Soon you’ll have yummy frozen cookie-dough balls full of protein and fibre!

  1. Zucchini Whoopie Pies

If it’s a baked good you’re craving, check out these zucchini Whoopie pies with cream cheese icing. With veggies hidden in the cake batter, and applesauce in place of fatty and unhealthy ingredients, this unconventional little dessert is sure to satiate your craving without the extra fat and sugar.

  1. Dried Apple And Cinnamon Dip

What could be better than already yummy dried apple slices combined with a sweet cinnamon yogurt dip? You get the vitamins and nutrients apples have to offer, combined with calcium and vitamin D from yogurt, and anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon!

Well, there you have it! 10 of DocChat’s favorite heathier sweet treats!



Foods That Can Be Toxic

Roasted slices of potato in rustic clay pot

Not to scare you away or ruin the joys of eating, but there are certain ‘healthy’ natural foods – not just the canned and processed foods – that contain some chemical elements that can be poisonous to your body and hazardous to your health. Since forever, it has been constantly ingrained in our minds by many healthy lifestyle magazines as well as our parents, that eating fruits and vegetables is good for the body. While they are indeed a part of a well-balanced diet, too much consumption of certain foods can be very dangerous and toxic to your health and body.

This article will mention some of the toxic foods that can be potentially harmful to the human body in order to forewarn you:

Red Kidney Beans

If consumed without boiling, red kidney beans can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Before integrating red kidney beans in your cooking, make sure that you soak them in water for a couple of hours and then boil them for at least 10 minutes.

Potatoes and Tomatoes

Both, potatoes and tomatoes stem from the plant that contains glycoalkaloid poison in its leaves. This type of poison can trigger extreme nervousness as well as upset the stomach. While, potato and tomato poisoning is rare, it can even lead to death from a coma. Make sure that you steer clear from green potatoes and remove any attached leaves before consuming.

Bitter Almonds

Almonds are known to stimulate brain activity and further boost your memory. However, you need to know that there are two varieties of almonds, one is sweet and the other one bitter. While sweet almonds are good for the memory, bitter raw almonds contain harmful substances like cyanide which has the potential to kill you.

Wild Mushrooms

It comes as no surprise that mushrooms are also one of the most toxic foods out there. There are certain mushroom types like toadstools that can kill you. Since it is difficult to distinguish a poisonous mushroom from a non-poisonous mushroom, you need to ensure that you get mushrooms of a reliable brand and from a credible grocery store.

Apple and Cherry Seeds

While an apple a day does keep the doctor away, eating apple seeds will have the opposite effect. This is because apple seeds are poisonous and contains components of amygdalin. If you consume enough quantity of apple seeds, it can cause a toxic effect in your body. Similarly, cherry seeds contain poisonous components of hydrogen cyanide. However, accidentally ingesting a few seeds is not harmful.

This does not mean you should stop consuming the above mentioned foods. What’s important is that you consume them in the prescribed manner and in case you see any health issues, get in touch with a telemedicine expert.