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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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 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.

July 25, 2018 by Community Manager 0 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.