March 16, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Meet 2020’s Top 10 Superfoods

Superfoods are in the spotlight again – foods jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and the best bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. As we fight the newest Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, here is a look at the immunity-boosting, nutritious superfoods in 2020 – check it out to see how many you are including in your diet today:

Turmeric

This star spice has been used a lot in Asian medicine – it boasts of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants and is good for your immune system and heart.

Try: Get a full dose of this superfood by drinking a turmeric latte, complete with ginger, cinnamon and black pepper (pepper helps curcumin in turmeric to be absorbed by the body).

Avocado

A superfood for a few years now, the avocado is going nowhere due to its grammability (#AvoToast) and the healthy fats it provides (it is a staple in keto diets). 

Try: There’s the OG avocado toast, but you can eat it in guacamole form, or simply slice and add to a grain/salad bowl.

Garlic

This strong contender is good for the heart, contains antioxidants, and may help prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Try: Make Garlic Bread, or add garlic oil to flavour creamy soups!

Beets

The red-bodied stepchild is a favourite pick for 2020 due to its antioxidant properties – beets also help improve blood circulation and maintain a clean delivery system for all your other nutrients. 

Try: Cut up some luscious beets and add goat cheese, apple slices and arugula for a healthy salad.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like pickles, miso, kimchi, yogurt and kefir are good for your gut – they promote the growth of healthy bacteria, which help regulate metabolism and boost immunity.

Try: Add miso to your soup broths, or add kimchi to your curries for an extra boost of flavour.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type of plant fibre that lay the groundwork for probiotics and promote gut health. Good sources are asparagus, chicory and oats. 

Try: Roasted asparagus goes well with polenta, mashed potatoes and balsamic vinegar.

Pulses

Think peas, lentils, and beans – they are rich in protein (most vegetarian diets rely on them for protein), carbs and fiber.

Try: Lentil soups for the win! Slow-cook them french style.

Seeds

Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds are all good to add to your diet – they have healthy fats, vitamins, fiber, protein and minerals.

Try: Add chia seeds to your overnight oats or breakfast parfaits.

Microgreens

Basically the miniature version of most greens – kale and mustard greens are good examples, packed with vitamins and minerals. 

Try: Get a dose by adding them to your grain bowls/salads.

Dragon Fruit

Fiber, vitamins, minerals, and exceptionally photogenic for the ‘gram. Need we say more?

Try: Slice this gorgeous fruit and use it to top off your smoothie bowls. Don’t forget to take a picture!

 

Regardless of superfood status, adding healthy, nutrient-rich foods to our diet can go a long way in building immunity and lowering the risks of diseases. Ask your GP if you are unsure of what to eat, when. At Gogodoc, our online video consultations with qualified doctors can help you manage your nutrition and health – book a same-day appointment today! And tell us in the comments which of these superfoods you are most likely to consume 🙂

 

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March 12, 2020 by Community Manager 11 Comments

Vitamin Gummies – Yay or Nay?

Who wants to say no to some childlike fun while also boosting their health? Vitamin Gummies may have been created for people that were unable to swallow tablets, but it has grown in popularity primarily because it’s fun while promising to be healthy.

Gummies pack just about the same nutrients as the tablet versions, sometimes even more, if some supplement testers are to be believed. They have steadily grown in popularity and found their way into trends and celeb culture, but the nutrition world is still divided on whether they work. 

The argument for Gummies is that they deliver nutrition in an easy-to-consume form, and that they are not much different from other supplements out there. The argument against is that they aren’t great for oral health (you need to brush after gummies as they tend to leave behind residue).

Take it a step further and there’s the larger question – do we need vitamin supplements at all? The answer isn’t as simple as we would like it to be. The NHS published an article a year and a half ago detailing studies that showed no correlation between vitamin supplements and any reduction in cardiovascular disease (or death in general). The conclusion they arrived at was that it was best to get the necessary vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, rather than rely on supplements.

It is entirely possible that we are not taking supplements as they are intended to be taken. There is a push with this generation to take charge of our own health and rather than ‘supplementing’ our nutrition needs with gummies, we might just be consuming more of it because we consider it a ‘good thing’. This is a dangerous slope – vitamins in higher doses can actually cause harm – like vitamin B12, which causes dizziness, headache and nausea in large, unnecessary doses. Or that scary story of a man needing a liver transplant because he took too many green tea pills. 

Understanding our nutritional needs (a quick online consultation with your doctor can help!) is paramount. Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are also important. So when might you need a supplement?

  • If you have a specific deficiency due to your lifestyle or diet habits 
  • If you have a dietary restriction that prevents you from getting vitamins the natural way (eg., vegan diets do not have B12 so there might be a need for supplements)
  • Pregnant women may need folic acid supplements
  • Women with heavy periods may have an iron deficiency and a need for supplements
  • Special circumstances – residents in the UK are advised to take vitamin D supplements in the autumn and winter months since we do not get enough sun for the body to synthesize this naturally
  • When your doctor recommends a supplement based on your current health needs
  • Children are usually recommended Vitamin A, C and D as supplements

 

Bottomline, not all bodies are created equal, so neither can nutritional needs. The best way to go about maintaining your health is to figure out what your body needs, and then make it as fun as possible to do that.

 

If you are unsure whether you need a supplement, in gummy or tablet form, ask your doctor – schedule an online video consultation with a Gogodoc doctor to understand your health needs and how best to go about living your best life. Our £20 online doctor consultation services are the best way to get expert health advice without having to leave your couch!

 

But the question still remains – if you passed by vitamin gummies in the Supermarket, would you still pick it up? Tell us in the comments!

November 7, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Is Obesity A Disease Or A Choice?

Obesity is a very important public health problem. The rates are now very high, with over 25% of the UK population and 33% of the US population classified as obese.

September 12, 2018 by Community Manager 5 Comments

Eat Back The Years With These 10 Youth-Boosting Foods

Want firmer, smoother skin and a brighter complexion? Try these top 10 anti-ageing foods.

July 25, 2018 by Community Manager 12 Comments

Meat And Health: Assimilating The Facts

Still having dinner according to your grandmother’s advice of ‘meat and two veg’? How very 2017 of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Mintel’s Meat-Free Foods UK Market Report, more than one in four Britons are now favouring a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegetarians have many reasons for not eating meat, including concern for animal welfare, health benefits, and reduced environmental damage. Here are some of the benefits of leaving meat off your plate.

 

Are humans meant to eat meat?

The dietary status of the human species is that of an ‘unspecialised frugivore’ – an animal specialised for nuts, grains, seeds, fruit and vegetables, but can handle ‘unspecialised’ food sources too. Biochemistry, comparative anatomy and genetics do not support the contention that human digestive tract is specialised for meat-eating. ‘But we have canines!’ is the all-too-common quickfire rhetoric.

 

Our pathetic, short and blunt canines may be useful to take a bite out of an apple. But try lunging for the throat of a cow and see if they are of any use then.

Due to limited resources our ancestors became habituated to eating meat, and through evolution our gut can handle it to some degree. But it is not the case that we are specialised for meat eating or need it in our diet to be healthy. In fact, the opposite is the case.

 

The WHO report

A wealth of research indicates that vegetarians have reduced incidences of diseases, and overall greater longevity. In support of this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen. Tobacco smoking and asbestos are classified in the same category. As stated on their website, ‘this classification is based on sufficient evidence … that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer’.

Moreover, red meat is classified as Group 2A, which means it’s ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’. My gut feeling is that it is only a matter of time that additional evidence will confirm this positive association.

Put it this way: if you had a choice between a meal that is proven to be protective against cancer (e.g. a wholefood, plant-based meal) and one that is ‘probably carcinogenic’ (e.g. a meal that contains red meat), which one would you choose?

Nevertheless, there are other health risks that are associated with meat eating such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, to which we now turn.

 

Backed up by research

In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors state that ‘Vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of [ischaemic heart disease] than did nonvegetarians’. And a study published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that vegetarians had an overall 18% lower cancer incidence. Moreover, the largest study to examine the effects of different sources of dietary protein found that a high intake of proteins from animal sources – particularly processed and unprocessed red meats – was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, whereas high plant protein intake had an inverse effect. The authors note that, ‘substitution of plant protein for animal protein … was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source’.

To be fair, a limitation of some epidemiological studies is that they do not consider the food source and the quality of the meat. However, in a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, 73,308 participants were analysed and were controlled for important demographic, lifestyle and food confounders. They found that even a modest amount of red meat, regardless of the source, led to an increased rate of mortality. Whereas vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with reduced all-cause mortality and increased longevity.

In a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that a higher intake of red meat and poultry is associated with significantly increased risk of developing diabetes. Further, in a 2017 Sweden study, it was found that beef, pork and poultry are associated with colorectal cancer, which is considered one of the most common forms of cancer in the Western world. In fact, heart disease and cancer are the biggest killers on the planet, both of which have been directly linked to meat consumption.

 

Colossal damage

Aside from the health issues, rearing livestock for food is highly inefficient and wasteful. Every year over 56 billion animals are slaughtered by humans, not to mention sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only tallied in tonnes. The crops fed to industrially-reared animals worldwide could feed an extra four billion people on the planet.

Let us not forget the devastating effect of the meat industry has on the environment. A staggering 51% of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. Grass fed, and ‘humanely slaughtered’ (an oxymoron) is even more unsustainable.

 

Conclusion

Humans have been facultative meat eaters for a long time, but recent research suggests that a diet with minimal meat is much more healthful. And we certainly do not need meat nutritionally in our day and age.

But the health benefits of keeping meat of the menu is only one side of the argument. For many, it is the ethical implications that make meat indigestible.