Your nutritional & wellness consultation at OHP will walk us through your health history and your lifestyle to seek out the components that are adding to or taking away from your success.
We will closely examine your habits, including eating, supplementation, exercise, sleep patterns, and stress management of past & present.
We will then work together to come up with a realistic plan that aims to balance your nutritional, fitness and lifestyle habits, This may include lessons in basic proper nutrition & healthy cooking techniques, shopping tips, along with lifestyle advice & a fitness program. Ultimately, we aim to work together with you to improve your wellbeing!
Call OHP to book your nutrition & wellness consultation today!
Healthy Foods for the Heart
Foods that supply antioxidants are ones that help provide protection for your heart. The importance of antioxidants can not be overstated. This is because our bodies produce particles called free radicals These are unstable molecules that our bodies form in the normal processes of breathing and digesting food.
Free radicals can damage cells and lead to heart disease, a weakened immune system and other serious illnesses. Countering the natural production of those metabolic villains, are the antioxidants. Their purpose is to eliminate the potential harmful effects of free radicals.
Some antioxidants are produced by our bodies, while others must come from our diet. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Selenium(a mineral)
- Glutathione(only produced in the body)
Let's learn more about these specific antioxidants!
Besides fighting free radicals, vitamin A is necessary to keep our immune system healthy and our vision sharp. Excellent sources of vitamin A are: eggs, fortified milk, dark green, yellow, orange vegetables, and fruits like carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.
Vitamin C works hard in many ways. One important job is to scavenge free radicals. It helps raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and it appears to reduce the risk of cancer. Excellent sources of vitamin C are: bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi fruit and citrus fruits.
Vitamin E has been shown to block buildup of plaque in arteries by defeating the oxidation of LDL (the bad type of cholesterol). It also seems to help slow the progression of plaque that is already formed. Good sources of vitamin E are: whole grains, wheat germ, leafy green vegetable, nuts and seeds.
We hear a lot about beta-carotene, but less often about the family of carotenoids, of which beta-carotene is only one. There are hundreds of carotenoids and it seems likely that some may be as important as, if not more important than, beta-carotene. In fact, new research shows it's quite likely that health benefits are due to many carotenoids working together to produce antioxidant protection. Lycopene, for instance, is a powerful carotenoid that may protect against heart disease. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, but have little beta-carotene. Other carotenoids found in green leafy vegetables are being studied for protective effects against eye disease.
Phytochemicals are compounds found in vegetables and fruits. Antioxidant phytochemicals include the many types of flavenoids. Flavenoids are found in: apples, onions and garlic, other vegetables and fruits, tea, red wine.
Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that helps vitamin E do its work. It may inhibit types of cancer and slow the aging process. Selenium is found in: meats and fish, grains, dairy products.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that the body produces, and is linked to cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the immune system. Researchers think that getting enough cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and broccoli, may raise glutathione levels in the body.
Antioxidants in Foods
You need a variety of fruits and vegetables every day because they each contain different protective nutrients. The best advice is for your DAILY consumption of food to consist of:
At least 3 servings of dark-green, yellow or orange vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. A serving size consists of:
- 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables
- 1/2 cup chopped raw vegetables
- 6 oz. vegetable juice
- 1 cup raw leafy greens
At least 2 servings of fruits. A serving size consists of:
- medium apple
- 1 banana, or orange
- 1/2 cup fresh berries
- about 15 grapes
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- 6 oz. fruit juice
6 to 11 servings of whole-grain breads and cereals. A serving size consists of:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 to 1 1/2 half ounces of dry cereal
- 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta
- 4 small crackers
- 1/2 bagel
- 1 hamburger bun
- 1 English muffin
There is a lot of scientific debate about the use of antioxidants supplements and for good reason. Many of the studies that have demonstrated the benefits of antioxidants have been performed with the use of supplements. Furthermore, some researchers believe that we cannot get enough antioxidants in our diet to stay healthy to an extended age. As we age, our bodies don't absorb nutrients from food as well, so supplements may provide a necessary boost. On the other hand, nutrients in food are balanced, and those in supplement form are not. It's entirely possible to load up on beta-carotene and ignore other carotenoids, such as lycopene, which works together with beta-carotene to produce protective effects.
A Word of Caution About Supplements
An imbalance caused by antioxidant supplements can even be dangerous to your health. As little as 25,000 IUs of vitamin A daily can damage the liver. There is some evidence that excess vitamin E can lead to stroke, and that large doses of vitamin C can cause gallstones. Some people have food allergies, medical conditions, or lifestyles that make it difficult to eat a balanced diet. Experts generally agree that it's safe to take up to 1000 RE vitamin A, 100-400 mg vitamin C, 50-200 IU vitamin E, 70 mcg selenium, and 5-8 mg beta-carotene per day. Talk to a registered dietitian if you think antioxidant supplements might help. This will help you determine whether your diet is balanced, and if it's advisable for you to make changes. Ultimately, your best bet is to get enough nutrient-rich foods.
OHP Kelowna has a nutrition services department composed of food and nutrition professionals dedicated to helping individuals and families attain and maintain health, well being. In particular, we have worked extensively with students in the past in promoting health habits for lifelong nutrition and fitness practices.
In addition, we have an in-house naturopathic doctor committed to offer a holistic approach to health and wellness. Unlike most treatment approaches, naturopathy treats each person as an individual and supports the whole person to enable him/her to live a healthy lifestyle.Naturopathy aims to educate the person to look after their own health and the health of their family, minimising symptoms of any illness, supporting the body’s capacity to heal, and balancing the body so that illness is less likely to occur in the future.
Our nutrition programs offer the following:
- Nutritional consultation for metabolic diseases
- Critical care nutrition
- Customized weight loss programs
Contact us today for more information or to book consultation.