May 8, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

5 Healthy Eating Habits to Form Today

The latest numbers say that the average person in the UK spends around £45 per week on food – including groceries and eating out. So, how do we make sure we’re getting our money’s worth? Here are 5 simple, easy, HEALTHY eating habits to form – 

Stay away from fad diets

This should be a no-brainer. Yes, that juice cleanse all your friends are doing on Instagram seems fun, but pause for a second and think – will it help you achieve your fitness and weight goals? Is it sustainable for you in the long run? Or will it be a one-week wonder and you’re left to your devices again? Understand your body, set realistic goals, and create a sustainable diet. A good diet is one that you can continue adhering to, is balanced, and right for your body.

Keep a food diary

The first step to finding or fixing an issue is to collect enough data about it. Keep a food diary to understand what goes into your system each day. Write it down or use an app that will calculate everything for you. With this information, you can track macros and calories, and also make a note of how the foods are affecting your moods and well-being. Monitor, then adjust.

Eat a balanced meal

No-carb is a thing of the past. Try and opt for a balanced meal instead – one that has enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. This also means more fruits and veg, less sugar, and less salt. Also keep in mind that a ‘meal’ includes what you drink – swap out that sugary, fizzy unhealthy drink for a healthier option. Or better yet, opt for some hot water or tea, which will help you digest your food better.

Find healthy alternatives

Studies show that deprivation can result in more intense binging. So how else do you stop eating unhealthy food? By finding healthier alternatives. For example, if you like your grain, choose one with higher fiber content – brown rice instead of rice, wheat bread instead of white bread. Sugar craving? Eat your favourite fruits instead to satiate that. Find healthier options and integrate the swap slowly into your diet.

Watch your meat intake

The NHS recommends a serving or two of fish everyday – mainly for the omega-3 fatty oils that are available in abundance in fish. On the other hand, the general consensus is that red meat may not be as good for us in large portions. Where possible, eat more white meat than red. And more fish than white meat.

Whatever habits you choose to keep or make, ensure that they do not introduce additional stress on your health – physical or mental. What we consume is closely tied to our well-being, so it is important to consume right. If you have questions about allergies, portion control, or how certain foods are affecting your health, talk to your GP. You can also speak to an expert GP at Gogodoc by scheduling an online video consultation  – visit our website or download our app to book an appointment as early as the hour. Eat well, stay safe, and be healthy!

Book an appointment today
and consult on your diet

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 0 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 4 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.

August 30, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Activated Charcoal: The New Black, Or Just Another Quack?

Charcoal? Either I’m missing something or the world’s losing the plot. Because it’s usually the latter, I decided to write this article to rectify the issue.

August 26, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

A Spoonful Of Honey For That Cold

Have you got a cough or cold? Maybe you should think about treating it with good ol’ fashioned honey as the old saying goes.

August 16, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Routine Habits That Harm The Heart

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 17.7 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2015, representing a third of all global deaths.

Most of us think that if we do not smoke, do not carry extra baggage around the waist, we’ll keep our heart in good health. In a way, we are right, since smoking is a major cause of heart disease (estimated to account for about 20% of all cardiovascular death), and obesity is linked to several factors that increase the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.

However, there are many other habits that can damage the heart – habits that are so mundane, they are often overlooked. Some habits are plainly obvious, such as eating too much fat, sugar and salt, not exercising, and neglecting regular health check-ups.

It is worth reviewing your everyday habits and learning how you can reduce your risks to prevent heart disease.

 

 

Get more sleep

Get more sleep

A study showed that people who slept less than 6 hours each night were 79% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who slept up to 8 hours. Sleeping reduces blood pressure, and those who do not sleep enough are more likely to have hypertension. Experts also point out that the quality of sleep also matters. People who snore loudly are more likely to have sleep apnoea, a disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep, and often without knowing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

laugh more

Laugh more

When we are stressed, our body secretes adrenaline and cortisol. This increases the rate and force of cardiac contractions and narrows the arteries – a dangerous combination for heart health. In addition to stress, anger and depression can also negatively affect the cardiovascular system. The antidote? Laughter. Interestingly, laughing relaxes and enlarges the arteries, thus promoting cardiovascular health. There is truth in the old saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’ after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

brush your teeth

Brush your teeth (please)

Research has shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart problems. There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis, which causes red, painful, tender gums; and periodontitis, which leads to infected pockets of germy pus. Scientists believe that bacteria collected in the gums can cause inflammation in other parts of the body. Thus, poor oral hygiene can increase the likelihood of arteriosclerosis (stiffened arteries) and thrombosis (blood clot). So, brush your teeth at least twice a day and use a mouthwash. Your family and friends may even thank you for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

take a break

Take a break from city life

It doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination to know that the pressing and fast living conditions in a big city can overwhelm your poor heart. But stress is not the only factor. In a study published in The Lancet, researchers looked at the long-term effects of air pollution on the heart’s arteries. Poor air quality leads to accelerated plaque build-up in arteries, leading to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. If living in a city is unavoidable, make sure to retreat into the countryside from time to time, even if it’s only for a day or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga

Exercise flexibility

Research in Japan involving more than 500 adults has shown that people who are flexible tend to have more flexible arteries and therefore better regulation of their blood pressure. Flexibility is one of the main components of physical fitness, including cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance.

So perhaps it is not a bad idea to include yoga or Pilates in your exercise routine. This will have the added benefit of preventing exercise-induced injuries, back pain, and balance problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

exercise

Break a sweat

While many chemical elements are essential for life, some such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury have no known beneficial effect in humans. These elements are confirmed or probable carcinogens, and they exhibit wide-ranging toxic effects on many bodily systems, including the cardiovascular system.

All people have some level of toxic metals in their bodies, circulating and accumulating with acute and chronic lifetime exposures. Research shows that sweating with heat or exercise may help to eliminate these toxic substances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sit less

Sit less, move more

It can be argued that chairs are detrimental to our health. Indeed, ‘sitting is the new smoking’. According to the WHO, 60 to 85 per cent of people globally lead sedentary lifestyles (i.e. remaining seated for much of the day), making it one of the more serious yet inadequately addressed public health problems of our time. A sedentary lifestyle, along with smoking and poor diet and nutrition, is increasingly being adopted as the norm, which is resulting in the rapid rise of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and cancer. For every 30 minutes of sitting still, be sure to walk, stretch or jog on spot for 1 to 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

raw meat

Eating meat

In a previous article, it was stated that the WHO have classified processed meats as a Class I carcinogen. It turns out that these meats, which include bacon, sausages and pepperoni, also increase the chance of having cardiovascular problems. Processed meats not only have a lot of salt, which elevates our blood pressure but large amounts of saturated fat, which contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases.

August 3, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Top Tip On Migraine Management

Migraines are common in both children and adults and are estimated to affect up to 10% of the population in the UK.

July 25, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Enjoying The Heatwave? Here Are 10 Healing Benefits Of Sunlight

Whereas exposure to excessive levels of sunlight is detrimental to our health, moderate exposure can boost our physical and mental state. The aim is to enjoy the sun sensibly, to make enough vitamin D, while not increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Vitamin D is made in the skin with the help of sunlight, which is useful because there is very little found in typical dietary sources. To prevent deficiency of vitamin D, it is recommended to have 2-3 sun exposures per week. Each exposure should last 20-30 minutes and be to bare skin.

The following are some of the health benefits that exposure to sunlight can bring.

 

Heatwave, sleep, hot,

 

1) Improves the quality of sleep

Waking up in sync with the sun’s natural light switches off melatonin, a hormone made in your pineal gland, associated with sleep onset. This is the reason why you feel alert during your waking hours and tired at bedtime – and discombobulated when you cross time zones after a long-haul flight. It is, therefore, a good idea to open the curtains in the morning and avoid artificial light once the sun goes down.

People with irregular sleeping schedules often have trouble sleeping or feel tired during waking hours. Several studies have shown that chronic disruption of circadian rhythms can lead to weight gain, slower thinking, and other physiological and behavioural changes – analogous to the changes observed in people who experience shift work or jet lag.

 

 

2) Reduces risk of some cancers

Prolonged sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, but vitamin D is also known to be protective against several cancers, including of the colon, kidney and breast. In a study conducted by the US National Cancer Institute, it was found that high levels of sunlight were significantly associated with reduced mortality from breast and colon cancer. Similar effects were seen in the bladder, womb, oesophagus and stomach cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Improves mood

Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. It’s no surprise that spending time outdoors improves mood and relieves stress. Lack of sunlight exposure in some people can even trigger a type of depression known as a seasonal affective disorder, which is treated with light therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Lowers blood pressure

Rates of hypertension tend to be higher in the winter and in countries farther from the equator, and a 2014 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology provides a possible explanation: Exposure to sunlight causes nitric oxide in the skin to be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can help widen blood vessels and lower the pressure inside them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Improves pregnancy and fertility

Reduced vitamin D levels during pregnancy have been shown to be associated with complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Babies are also more likely to be born underweight. Of course, it takes two to be infertile. Male fertility may also get a boost from sunshine. A 2008 Australian study found that one-third of 794 men visiting an infertility clinic had a vitamin D deficiency. When this was corrected with sunshine and supplementation, there was a 75% drop in ‘sperm fragmentation’ and the men were more successful at conceiving with their partners.

 

 

 

 

 

6) Can help with some skin disorders

Sunlight can improve several skin complaints, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. Indeed, eczema and psoriasis are sometimes treated with UV light (phototherapy). However, sunlight can aggravate other skin conditions, particularly rosacea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) Enhances the immune system

In a 2016 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found that low levels of blue light and UVA light, found in sun rays, boosts the activity of T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that can fight infection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8) Improves the musculoskeletal system

It is common knowledge that vitamin D is important for healthy bones by helping the body absorb calcium. In a 2013 large Danish study, researchers found that having a history of skin cancer was linked to a lower risk of hip fractures. This may be because those who developed skin cancer also had prolonged sun exposure.

Vitamin D is also important to muscle health, and people with low levels are more likely to experience muscle cramps and joint pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) Improves memory

In a 2018 study published in the journal Cell, researchers exposed a group of mice to UVB rays. This mock-sunlight increased levels of glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory processes. The UVB-exposed mice showed significant improvement in the object recognition tests and motor skills compared to the control mice. Although this effect was shown in mice, it could also be the same for humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10) Helps you shed fat

By getting sufficient sunlight between 8am and noon will help synchronise your circadian rhythm, optimising the metabolism and preventing excess weight gain. Serotonin not only improves our mood, but it also suppresses our appetite. It’s no surprise if you prefer lighter meals during warmer weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One last thing

There are of course risks associated with sunlight. Prolonged exposure causes damage to the epidermis and to other parts of the skin such as the supporting elastic tissue in the dermis. This damage is known as actinic (solar) elastosis, and gives the skin a baggy, wrinkled appearance.

A significant risk factor for malignant melanoma is sunburn, especially during childhood. Chronic sun damage does not appear to be a risk factor for malignant melanoma but it is for basal cell and squamous carcinoma, and lentigo maligna melanoma.

To summarise, try to have 2-3 sun exposures per week, but avoid the sun when it is strong; and when you think you’re exceeding the recommended limit, cover up, or use high-factor sunscreen.