/Nutrition

Corona Virus Prevention & Support – A Naturopathic Approach

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND Currently the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has become the center piece of every news story. My purpose in this article is to provide you with information on how keep your immune system strong. COVID-19 is classified as a pandemic by the WHO and the number of people infected is rising quickly around the globe. It’s important to recognize that the majority of individuals who are already or will become infected, will experience symptoms of a typical cold or flu. As with any respiratory infection, those at greater risk are the elderly (over 65) and those with underlying health conditions and lowered immunity. Without a known cure or vaccine it’s crucial for individuals to focus on two areas; immune system health and acute care. […]

Cow Dairy Intolerance: The Evidence

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Humans have been consuming cow dairy for thousands of years. In fact, a recent archaeological dig from Britain showed that prehistoric farmers were consuming dairy products as early as 6,000 years ago – despite being lactose intolerant! And we are still at it! Humans consume dairy in volumes despite it being linked to a number of problematic health issues such as diarrhea, constipation, dermatitis, eczema, respiratory conditions and more. Cow dairy offers a creamy, satiating food that is readily accessible. Its nutritional profile is noteworthy with 1 cup of 2% milk offering 8g of protein, 5g of fat, 30% of daily calcium requirement as well as naturally occurring Vitamin A and B6. However, despite this healthy profile, milk seems to cause a lot of problems for a lot of people. In Canada, close to 7% of the population report a food allergy. At the top of the list of reported food allergens is dairy with 2% of the Canadian population reporting an actual Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA). This is the highest reported food allergen in Canada! Anecdotally, from my clinical practice, many patients speculate that dairy is a trigger for their health concerns. However, they are often told that ‘there is no evidence’ that milk or dairy-based foods is an inflammatory or immune-triggering food – and so they don’t eliminate dairy. I am always surprised to hear this as there is plenty of evidence that milk is problematic. Here are a few reasons why:  […]

‘Defecation Posture Modification Device’ AKA ‘The Squatty Potty’

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Squatting during bowel movements (BMs) is commonly practiced in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia while western populations prefer to use the toilet. When people say they are ‘constipated’, they are often referring to not ‘going’ daily but are also often referring to a lengthy time spent attempting to poop, straining or incomplete poops. These last few problems lead to troubling issues such as pelvic floor issues, hemorrhoids or fissures, blood in the stool and, of course, stress. People become nervous to ‘go’ which worsens the problem. But there is hope in sight! […]

By |2020-03-07T10:25:40-04:00March 7th, 2020|Digestion, ND Editorial, Nutrition|0 Comments

Women’s Heart Health

By: Dr. Keara Taylor, ND Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older post- menopausal women.  As women, the risk of cardiovascular disease is 2-3 times higher after menopause (1).  Statically, men are at a higher risk, however, as women age, their level of risk approaches that of men, and the lifetime risk for women may actually be higher because we live longer (2).  The risk of cardiovascular disease in women should not be underestimated, and because there appears to be a link between hormones and cardiovascular disease – we see rates increase significantly after menopause – we can and should be proactive in managing that risk, especially as we age. The average age of menopause in women is approximately 51, and is often accompanied by the immediate symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. However, longer-term issues can also arise, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) looked at the correlation between a menopausal woman’s experience of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes with cardiovascular risk factors.  It found that vascular aging, endothelial dysfunction and large artery stiffening seemed to increase in women during the menopausal transition and that women with hot flushes had higher rates of subclinical cardiovascular disease (1). As women enter menopause, treating symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may be a good option, and should be discussed with a health care practitioner. While the use of BHRT in menopause is beyond the scope of this article, here are some dietary and lifestyle practices that you can implement right now that have been shown in the literature to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events: […]

Connecting Cancer & Nutrition

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND I have always found the connection between nutrition and health fascinating. I have written many articles on this topic but rarely addressed the connection between food and cancer. It is certainly something I think about and talk about to patients in the context of prevention and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Recently, I have been affected personally by a number of cancer diagnoses in my own family where there was no prior family history. In my reading, I have been alarmed by the increasing number of cases worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the number of new cancer cases is expected to rise by approximately 70% over the next 20 years (1). There is no denying that the way we are living, the chemicals we are exposed to and consume, how we are farming and how we are managing our environment is influencing our global cancer risk. In addition, we are getting older as a population and cancer can be an age-related disease. Finally, our immune system is one of the most important defences we have against cancer and many of our modern practices work to suppress this important system. If you wrote a list of ALL the potential cancer-causing elements in our world, you would be overwhelmed and wouldn’t know where to start. This is why I like talking about lifestyle and food. You can modify your habits (with a little support) and you can control your own kitchen. Positive change starts at home and nutrition is an impactful, empowering place to begin. So, what are the facts? An estimated one third to one half of cancers could be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices such as eliminating tobacco [...]

By |2020-02-09T13:00:41-04:00February 5th, 2020|Cancer, Naturopathic Medicine, ND Editorial, Nutrition|0 Comments

The Hormone & Mental Health Connection

By: Dr. Keara Taylor, ND When it comes to addressing and optimizing mental health, it is vitally important to take a holistic approach, which may include looking at and addressing your hormonal health since hormones and mental health are intrinsically linked. As we know, PMS or premenstrual syndrome, is composed of both physical and psychological symptoms, which include low mood, anxiety, mood swings, social withdrawal etc. that occur in the two week period prior to menstrual bleeding and affect daily functioning. PMDD or premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is defined in the DSM-5 and includes severe mood and physical symptoms (1). We see an increase in low mood and anxiety in peri- and post-menopausal women (2). All of this shows us that mood changes can be linked to shifts in hormones, such as a decline in estrogen, and sometimes a rise in progesterone or progestogens, which can then affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, and dopamine(3). A good way to determine whether hormones are affecting your mood symptoms is to track your symptoms along with your cycle. There are many free apps out there that make this very easy. If you are undergoing a hormonal transition, for example, pregnancy, post -partum, or perimenopause, then it may be worthwhile to work with a health care practitioner who can help you determine whether your hormones are having an effect on your mental health. The importance of a proper diagnosis cannot be stressed enough to ensure that you get the proper care and treatment that you need (4). […]

5 Fruits & Veggies a Day for Mental Health

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND In the coming decade, we will see more and more attention focused on the role of food in brain chemistry. Studies have shown that ‘higher intake of fish, fruit and vegetables is associated with lower incidence of mood disorders’ (1).  The United Kingdom (UK) is a world leader in this research initiative of connecting what we eat with how we feel. One of the more recent studies to come out of the UK looked at the relationship between well-being and the consumption of fruit and vegetables by drawing data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) which includes information collected from 50,000 people between 2009-2017. In this ‘Lettuce Be Happy’ study, the authors concluded: Increased fruit & vegetable consumption can enhance mental well-being. Increasing how frequently you consume fruit and vegetables is as important as the overall quantity you consume. The relationship between food and mental health is meaningful and significant across different measures of well-being. […]

Harnessing Energy to Achieve Your Goals in 2020

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Energy is the fundamental fuel you need to achieve your goals this year. In addition to discipline, focus, vision and other forces required to realize your goals, adequate amounts of energy are essential are essential for the endurance, focus and positivity needed to reach our goals.  The role energy plays in goal setting is paramount. Have you ever failed at a New Year’s resolution and experienced negative self-talk? ‘Lazy’, ‘Unmotivated’, ‘Unfocused’, ‘Depressed’ are some of the words people hear. Does this sound like you? If it does, ask yourself this important question:  […]

Chocolatey Chia Immune Smoothie

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Looking for a change from your fruity, summer smoothie? This chocolatey, chia blend can be eaten warm or cold and combines the perfect winter ingredients. The combined antioxidants, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D & probiotic will help to boost your immune system during the busy holiday season and all winter long. It also contains a balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber that make for a balanced meal replacement. […]

By |2019-12-18T15:58:49-04:00December 18th, 2019|Cold and Flu Season, Nutrition, Recipes, Self Care|0 Comments

5 Tips for Glowing Winter Skin

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Looking for a natural solution to grey, dull winter skin? Remember that beauty begins on the inside. Try these simple naturopathic nutrition tips to keep your complexion glowing this winter season. Minimize Alcohol Choose Herbal, Skin Building Teas Don’t Cut Out All Carbs Cod Liver Oil Probiotics […]