Tag Archives: wellness

10 Stress Busters To Help You Reclaim Your Smile

One of the biggest reasons people are highly stressed is because they don’t look at stress management as an important priority on par with getting enough sleep, eating right, or going to work. In reality, stress management should be among one of the most important things on our list of ‘to do’s because without setting aside time each day to destress, it compounds until you are ready to tear out your hair. Stress also exasperates many health conditions. So here are some activities you should be carving some daily time out for to help bring the cortisol levels down:

  1. Walk it off – exercise has proven itself to be an invaluable stress reduction tool. When you exercise, your body releases mood lifting chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are natural stress-busters. So if you’re feeling particularly stressed, hit the road for a walk or jog.
  2. Breathe away the stress of the day – meditation and deep breathing exercises can be extremely beneficial for lowering anxiety and nixing the physiological effects of stress.
  3. Color the blues away – Yes, this is a real thing. While some contend the trend, many psychologists countrywide are suggesting coloring to some of their patients as a viable stress management technique.
  4. Chat it out – calling up an uplifting buddy for a coffee date when you are feeling the crunch can also help alleviate the stresses of the daily grind. It really does help to get things off your chest. Bottling it all up can lead to your emotions coming out in unwanted ways like flipping at your spouse over something minor just because of your pent up stress.
  5. Progressive muscle relaxation – this is a favorite stress management technique of mine because it can also help with chronic pain. It is all about concentrating on the stress in your limbs and progressively letting it go one muscle at a time. Check out the process here.
  6. Music or art therapy – Creative therapy has made great strides over the years in stress and anxiety management. Creative activities like painting or listening to or playing music can be calming, soothing, inspiring and invigorating.
  7. Giggle up a storm – Similar to positive physical contact and exercise, laughing also triggers the release of happy chemicals in the brain which can boost your mood and help you forget your woes. Getting into a good old fashioned belly laugh may be just what the doc ordered. So turn on your favorite comedy or call your funniest friend and let the chuckles begin.
  8. Grab a cuddle buddy – whether it is your pet, your spouse, your friend or your child, take some time to get some hugs or cuddles. That kind of contact releases feel-good chemical oxytocin which can almost obliterate negative feelings and give your mood a complete 180’.
  1. Take time for something you love – Do you like leisure drives? Or playing guitar? It is likely you don’t get to partake in enjoyable activities as often as you like – so make the time. Each day, set some time aside to do something that totally destresses you.
  2. Therapeutic Writing – Many find journaling or other forms of daily writing to be beneficial for managing stress. This process can help vent your frustrations so you can forget about them and move on with your day. Writing daily positive notes and affirmations can help lift your mood as well.

Thanks for visiting DocChat!

11 Activities For The Mobility Impaired

Sticking to regular exercise can be challenging for anyone, let alone those with barriers like mobility impairments, chronic pain, restrictively obesity or being wheelchair bound. Luckily being mobility restricted doesn’t have to mean no exercise. You can still lead a fulfilling active lifestyle by adapting your exercise regimen to best suit your needs.

Exercises for Joint Pain Sufferers

  1. Water aerobics – is one of the best exercises for anyone with limited mobility and can be especially beneficial for those with joint pain because water negates effects of gravity which greatly alleviates pressure on the joints.
  2. Walking – is an excellent and versatile low-impact workout for those suffering with chronic joint or back pain. You can go at your own pace, walk with a buddy or alone, listen to music, and walk inside or outdoors.
  3. Yoga – can be especially beneficial for people with joint problems as it can help increase flexibility and build and tone muscles. The benefits of stretching have been widely acknowledged for chronic pain sufferers and the elderly.
  4. Rowing Machines – are relatively easy on the joints because of the fluid motion. If you have trouble with your lower body joints, you can focus on working out your upper body with these machines.
  5. Ballroom Dancing – is a gentle, graceful workout that is easy on faulty joints so grab a partner and start 1-2 stepping today!
  6. Golf – is another gentle sport. It can help tone the arm and oblique muscles, and if you walk between holes it adds another level of low impact exercise to the day. Be sure to adequately block-up to avoid skin damage from the sun!
  7. Balance Ball Exercises – can be beneficial for those with joint pain, as you can use the ball in whatever way best suits your needs. Do exercises like sit-ups on top of the ball, gently bounce to strengthen your core (be careful of the knees), lie on the floor and use your legs to lift the ball, or you can do arm exercises by raising the ball over your head (this works best with weighted balls).

Exercises for Handicapped People and the Restrictively Obese

  1. Chair Exercises – are a popular method of exercise among the wheelchair bound or restrictively obese as you can gently tone the upper body using weights and other aerobic motions. There are many free instructional videos online to help you get started.
  2. Alternative Workout Machines – Workout machines such as the arm cycle that can be set up on a table and used to tone and strengthen the upper body and to achieve good cardiovascular exercise.
  3. Resistance and weight training – doing arm curls and raises with weights of various sizes is another excellent way to exercise and build muscle while stationary. Resistance band training can help with mobility, muscle strength and flexibility.
  4. Water exercises – are ideal for people with disabilities that restrict or prohibit the use of their legs, as water creates gentle resistance against motion which can help strengthen any working muscles.
  5. Wheelchair Sports – There are leagues and teams for wheelchair basketball, volleyball and other popular sports in most any city, and if it doesn’t exist in your area – start one!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope some of these ideas helped spark some exercise inspiration for those who have been struggling to find the right activity for their needs!




IBS Symptoms, Triggers And Management

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a troublesome condition of the large intestine that causes a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS sufferers have disrupted digestive rhythms, tending to move food through the tract either too slowly or too quickly resulting in chronic constipation or diarrhea. IBS sufferers experience a range of symptom severity, some with only the occasions stomach upset while others live a more restricted life, always having to know where the nearest washroom is. Fortunately, there are things IBS sufferers can do to better manage their condition and minimize discomfort.

Common Symptoms Of IBS

  • Bloating
  • Bouts of diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain or cramps (that are relieved by using the washroom)
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Gas
  • Upper GI tract discomfort (such as heartburn)
  • Frequent urgent need to use washroom
  • Worsening of symptoms with stress
  • Worsening of symptoms with certain foods

Risk Factors of IBS

Some people may have all these risk factors and never develop irritable bowels while others may fit none of the criteria but still develop the condition. However, those that fall into the following categories are at a higher risk of developing IBS:

  • Age: young people are most often affected by IBS.
  • Gender: IBS is much more prevalent among women.
  • Family history: research points to increased risk if a close family member has IBS.
  • Mental health: those with such conditions as anxiety or depression are at a higher risk for IBS as the stomach and brain are highly connected.

Common IBS Triggers

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. Certain beverages: alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks
  3. Fatty, fried or processed foods
  4. Dairy products
  5. Spicy foods
  6. Wheat and gluten may be IBS triggers for certain people
  7. Medications such as antibiotics or antidepressants may effect the bowels
  8. Not getting enough exercise

Lifestyle IBS Management Tips

Get Moving

To help control your IBS through diet and lifestyle, be sure to start exercising more if you are sedentary. Regular exercise can help ease some of the symptoms of IBS. Yoga, routine walking and swimming can be especially good activities to try if you have IBS as they are not too strenuous.

Stress Management

With most IBS sufferers high stress levels can lead to flare-ups, so it would certainly be in your best interest to keep your cortisol levels in-check. Try to set aside some time each morning (or when you feel stress rising) to do something you find relaxing such as journeling or going for a little drive with relaxing music. Some IBS sufferers experience some success practicing relaxation techniques.

Diet Modification

Try to follow a healthy diet which works in high fibre fruits and veggies while limiting intake of junk food, dairy, take out, greasy or spicy food. Drink more water (especially to replenish your fluids if you tend toward loose bowel movements regularly).

Probiotics or Medication

Some people with IBS find success with probiotics; taking certain kinds daily may help replenish beneficial gut flora that can be out of balance from irregular washroom habits. Talk to your healthcare professional before beginning probiotics to make sure they are right for you. You should also consult your doctor (or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians) if your IBS is still uncontrolled after modifying your diet and lifestyle as you may need to look into other treatment options.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We always love to have you!




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!


16 Family Fitness Activities You Can Do Together

In this fast-paced, technology-dominated world it can be hard to get your exercise in, and statistics show an unfortunate decline in childhood exercise. So it is more important than ever to find creative ways to stay active so as to better your health and set a good example for your children (if you haven’t caught our article on children and inactivity, feel free to check it out here). We’ve compiled a list of fun activities you can do together regularly to help you enjoy some fam-time and instill the value of fitness in your children.

Explore The Great Outdoors

Take weekly family walks or hikes in different spots around your town or city. Together, you can research locations and choose a new one each week.

Raise The Roof

Hold a household dance party every now and then. Everyone stops what they are doing for 20 minutes of serious boogying! You can play dance games like Freeze Dance as well for extra fun.

Climb The Walls!

Find an indoor wall-climbing business that has adequate safety harnesses and training. These exist in most cities. You may have to travel to get there but if you all love it, it could turn into a fun biweekly family road trip.

Be A Family Of Fish

Attend ‘family swim’ a couple nights a week together at your local pool.

Labour Of Love

Work together to tend your garden or to build something, like a shed or porch outdoors. You can give the safer jobs to your children such as fetching supplies or holding and passing you tools. Both building and gardening are hard work and can be very rewarding. They would be great skills to teach your family.

Blade Your Way To Family Fitness

Get each member fitted out with roller blades and go as a family twice a week.

Pass The Baton

Set up a relay race in your backyard or all around your property with different activity stations, use a colored tie to pass on to the next as each member finishes.

Healthy Competition

Hold a weekly fitness contest. Whoever does the most sit ups or jumping jacks that week gets to pick the movie for family night, or gains a couple dollars for their bank.

Scheduled Slots

Have designated times to use the family treadmill and stick to them. That way each member will know when it is their turn to get their daily exercise in if they haven’t already.

Family Frisbee

Divide your family into two teams and have a routine ‘Family Frisbee Day’ in the park.

Chase A Good Cause

Train for, and complete a ‘fun run’ as a family for a cause you feel collectively passionate about. This will help with family fitness while also illustrating the importance of altruism to your children.

“Ready Or Not, Here I Come!”

Play a long game of hide and seek around your house twice a week with the whole family! This will be fun for any age, exciting for little ones and nostalgic for older members of the family.

Car Games

Make a game of parking your car – Let’s Move suggests “Park farther away and count with your children the number of steps from the car to your destination. Write it down and see if you can park even farther away on your next stop.”

Join The (Dance) Revolution!

Invest in moving video games such as Wi Fit or Dance Revolution and get your whole family involved by making a fun competition out of it, or just schedule a couple evenings a week to take turns playing without competing!

Summer Fun

Go to the beach and make sandcastles! Simple but fun for everyone. Or you can play beach volleyball.

Hit The Family Court!

Learn a sport together. If one of you is good at basketball, teach the rest of the family. Or learn to play “kick ball”, an incredibly fun combination of soccer and baseball. Get the neighbour family together for bigger teams and more fun!

Thanks for visiting DocChat we hope you enjoyed our family fitness ideas and that you’ll be back again soon!






Should You Think Twice Before Doing A ‘Cleanse’?

Cleanses of all varieties are trendy nowadays. Companies have even taken on the name “detox”, flippantly repurposing a serious medical term meaning lifesaving removal of toxic or lethal substances from the body. Many people report success with cleansing, but from a medical standpoint the benefits are unclear. Certain store-bought cleanses may even be counterproductive to your intestinal health.

How Effective Are Juice Cleanses?

Juicing has blown up in the last couple years as the latest health fad. Enthusiasts claim it can fight diseases such as cancer and make you a much healthier human, but there is little empirical research to show the benefits of juicing over simply eating the fruits and veggies whole. Actually, it is arguable that you may be lacking fibre and some other key components of your produce by running it through a juicer. Juicing can be risky if the person is solely consuming juice for too long, as the body will quickly start relying on fat storage for the calories it is lacking.

Benefits Of Juicing

We aren’t saying juicing is without its benefits. Juicing can provide a more exciting way to consume fruits and veggies for those who don’t like to eat them, combined with the fact that juicers are more likely to engage in other health-conscious behaviours such as exercising regularly. Many people report feelings of revitalization and health improvements following juice cleanses, possibly because they are consuming more fruit and veggies than they usually would (which is another plus – more of the good stuff). So, while we recognize the effects of juicing aren’t medically proven, we believe it can be a great addition to an overall healthy lifestyle when combined with healthy eating. At the end of the day, any fruits and veggies are good fruits and veggies no matter how you consume them!

What Do Doctors Think Of Cleanses?

There are doctors out there who would recommend certain cleanses for specific ailments, but most doctors will likely tell you the effects of cleansing are unproven, therefor they don’t endorse it. Dr. Nasir Moloo, a gastroenterologist with C.G.C.M. in Sacramento, California, feels cleanses are redundant. He asserts, “Your body does a perfectly good job of getting rid of toxins on its own, there’s no evidence that these types of diets are necessary or helpful. While there are medical conditions that interfere with organ function and prevent the body from clearing toxins, healthy people already have a built-in detoxification system — the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin.”

Risky “Rapid Weight Loss Detoxes”

Store-bought ‘rapid weight loss’ cleanses can be downright dangerous. If you read the boxes you’ll see many harbour warnings to the consumer to use caution, going on to list potential side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, stomach upset, dehydration or in extreme cases life-threatening perforation of intestinal lining. Other side effects can include fatigue, headache, general pain and mood swings. Many cleanses and detox programs have not proven effective for weight loss. People may lose a few pounds initially with these “quick fixes”, but studies predict that most people will pile more weight on in the following weeks and months.

The Dangers Of Colonic Irrigation

While store-bought cleanses and detoxes can bother anyone’s stomach and cause unpleasant side effects, certain types of cleansing (particularly colonic irrigation) can be especially dangerous for people who suffer certain ailments. People with kidney disease or heart problems have trouble maintaining proper fluid levels in their bodies, so irrigation or other cleansing methods can worsen this issue. Those with connective tissue disorders or gastrointestinal problems such as colitis can risk flare-ups or potentially dangerous effects such as colonic damage from irrigation.

Can You Safely Cleanse?

There is a healthy way to cleanse your body, and it doesn’t involve a hundred horse pill supplements, dangerous ‘weight loss detoxes’ or completely eliminating solid foods. Cleansing your body of toxic junk and the sugar jones is pretty simple, really. Just liberally drink water and gradually add more fibre-rich fruits and veggies into your diet while subtracting refined sugar and simple carbs.  A good way to kick-start weight loss and healthy eating is to stick to high protein, lower fat meats (such as turkey), fish, non-starchy and leafy green veggies, and legumes with only fruit for dessert. Following a diet like this can cleanse your body by breaking that dependence we all have on sugar and simple carbs in a gradual, healthy way. You can eventually add in your favourite “not-so-healthy” foods in much lower doses as occaisonal treats, but to kick start things try to cut the guilty pleasures out. This healthy dietary “cleanse” will nourish the body with all the vitamins and minerals it requires without using harsh, gut-irritating supplements.

Thanks for checking in with DocChat, we hope you’ll be 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!

Life Hacks For The Highly Sensitive (Part 1)

In yesterday’s post about highly sensitive people (HSPs), we promised some hints on how to better manage hypersensitive traits for better quality of life. Here are the first batch:

  1. Stop trying to change yourself. Most HSPs spend plenty of time wondering what is wrong with them. Why do you cry during that one commercial? Why can’t you watch violent movies? Why do seemingly insignificant things bother you so much? Hey, you are what you are! Nothing is wrong with you, nothing is broken. You just have to learn to make your HSP-ness work for you! You’re unique, and that is always cool. It is okay to walk against the current. Embrace your hypersensitivity, just learn to train it a little so you have a more comfortable life.
  2. Reacquaint yourself with nature. HSPs are usually pretty in sync with nature. Not all, but many HSPs are spiritual and feel calmer and more comfortable outdoors, so try to get out more. The vitamin D alone is a great reason, but it may also help you regulate your thoughts and emotions.
  3. Reframe your HSP traits. It is easy for us HSPs to pick on ourselves. While we may see positives easily in others, we are our own worst enemies and usually focus too much energy on our own faults and flaws. Instead of berating yourself for letting your thoughts spiral, try to rewrite your internal dialogue to think positively about yourself. Remind yourself of all the awesome traits you possess because of your highly sensitive nature. These may include conscientiousness, social and global awareness, creativity, a curious and inquisitive mind, extra empathy or perhaps altruistic nature.
  1. Learn to corral your natural tendency to be the best. You’re the front line of help for everyone you love, the keenest student in class, the most over-the-top employee. Giving all of yourself to every task you do has consequences. It is good to have that ‘go-getter’ spirit, but if you don’t learn to slow down and moderate it you will burn out, and may even end up with physical health problems from running yourself into the ground.
  2. Tailor your habits to suit your HSP needs. If you find bustling crowds stressful, try running your errands outside ‘normal’ hours, like doing your grocery shopping an hour before the store closes so the store will be much less crowded. Try catching a weekday movie instead of a peak night showing. If you’re more comfortable in smaller groups, factor that into your social plans. It is okay to accommodate yourself.

  3. Pay attention to your body’s unique needs. You should change dietary habits that may be wearing on you such as too much caffeine, artificial colors or additives – HSPs often have allergies and food intolerances because they are generally physically hypersensitive as well as mentally and emotionally. Eat healthy so you will have more energy (HSPs often struggle with fatigue). Also, be sure you don’t overexert yourself and end up needing to spend too much time recovering. HSPs are usually all-or-nothing which can be detrimental when it comes to exercise. Try low-key exercises, such as yoga which will be easier on your body also help to quell your mind a little and center you before or after a long day.
  4. Take time for your favourite small pleasures. Love cuddling? Reading? Coloring? Allow yourself some time each day for the little things that make you happy and get those endorphins flowing. This will help block out stress and negativity that you may gather throughout the day. Hobbies are important outlets for HSPs as many of us are creative and need to purge all the pent up emotion or anxiety. Making art or woodworking are good ways to do that but really, most any productive hobby will do!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for HSP Life Hacks Part 2 in the future!





“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’!


Why Is Breakfast So Important?

Being that March is National Nutrition Awareness month, we thought we would take a closer look into the infamously dubbed “most important meal of the day”. And by breakfast, we don’t mean a leftover donut. We mean a healthy, well balanced, colorfully nutritious breakfast. We’ve compiled the following list of reasons a balanced breakfast is so important:

  1. It will kick start your metabolism for the day – studies show that eating within the first two hours of waking can help your body better metabolize glucose all day
  2. Eating breakfast stabilizes the body’s natural eat/fast rhythm by replenishing your blood-sugar which drops while you snooze
  3. A healthy morning meal can keep you going all day – skip it and you will likely feel fatigued, possibly get a headache and start to crash before its even time for lunch
  4. It is a great opportunity to sneak some of those essentials vitamins and minerals into your body so you won’t be scrambling to consume them later on
  5. According to WebMD, “If you’re dieting, don’t think cutting calories by skipping the meal will help. Studies show that most people who lose weight and keep the weight off eat breakfast every day.”
  6. If you skip breakfast, your body will produce more ghrelin, the body’s hunger hormone, which could cause you to overeat for the rest of the day
  7. Perpetual breakfast-skipping can cause insulin resistance and has been linked to type 2 diabetes
  8. Heart health – according to Consumer Reports, “a recent study that involved almost 27,000 men, researchers found that those who didn’t eat a morning meal were 27 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who did.”
  9. You’ll be more efficient at work than the person who skipped breakfast – studies have shown greater productivity and problem solving skills in those who always ate a healthy breakfast
  10. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that regular breakfast eaters to be more physically active than those who routinely skip the meal

The Benefits of Breakfast For Kids

Consuming a daily balanced breakfast of fruits, veggies, protein and/or whole grains is especially important for children because:

  1. Growing bodies need more fuel than full grown ones, they also require more vitamins and minerals
  2. Kids (and teenagers) who routinely skip the first meal of the day are more likely to become overweight and obese, as they tend to eat more junk food, and overeat during the day
  3. Children who eat balanced breakfasts have more energy, are less tired and therefor perform better in school
  4. Children who don’t eat breakfast show irritable moods, decreased attention span and appear more restless during class
  5. Research suggests that kids who regularly eat a balanced morning meal do better in tests, non-academic subjects, and extra curricular activities (perhaps because of extra energy)

So there you have it! A multitude of reasons not to pass on a healthy morning munch! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll drop by again soon!