Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Naturopathic Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Painful joint swelling.

Joint stiffness.

Joint deformities and loss of function.

These are just a few of the symptoms you may experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

This is the second most common form of arthritis after osteoarthritis.

It can be a debilitating condition, but if caught early you can more effectively manage it.

Read on to find out more about how you can help manage rheumatoid arthritis using naturopathic solutions for autoimmune disorders.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause painful swelling and inflammation in your joints.

It’s similar to osteoarthritis in that way, but with rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms are caused by your immune system attacking your joints mistakenly.

Another distinguishing factor from other forms of arthritis is that it’s usually present symmetrically in both sides of your body.

This is one of the easiest ways for doctors to tell whether you have rheumatoid arthritis or something else.

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?</2>

Rheumatoid arthritis can have many painful symptoms.

Some of these symptoms include joint swelling and stiffness, deformed joints, and loss of joint function.

It is quite common for rheumatoid arthritis to manifest in the joints of your hands.

It can feel like a burning sensation at first, and then progress to include chronicpain, redness, swelling, and joint stiffness.

Severe cases can result in deformities over time if left untreated.

These symptoms can vary from mild to quite severe.

It is always best to speak to your Mississauga naturopathic doctor before your symptoms worsen so we can get you the help you need early.

Types of Rheumatoid arthritis

There are a few different types of rheumatoid arthritis.

Let’s take a closer look

Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is the most common, can run in families, and is the most severe type.

Symptoms of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis can include stiffness of joints in the morning lasting 30 minutes or more, pain and swelling in multiple joints, fatigue, and weight loss.

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis is not always confined to the joints as it can appear as inflammation in the eyes, nerves, lungs, kidneys, salivary glands, heart , blood vessels, and skin.

Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

Another type is seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by a negative RFblood test result and a negative anti-CCP result, while still having all the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

RF stands for rheumatoid factor, which is a protein your immune system makes.

Your body uses it to fight off illnesses, but it also uses it to attack your own tissues in autoimmune conditions – so the presence of RF can mean you have an autoimmune disorder.

Anti-CCP, on the other hand, is a test that checks for anticitrullinated protein antibodies – also associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Juveline Idiopathic Arthritis

The third type is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which occurs in children aged 17 or younger.

The symptoms can be the same for this type of rheumatoid arthritis, and may also include issues with physical development, and eye inflammation.

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

While the exact cause is not known, certain factors can play a role in increasing the risks of developing Rheumatoid arthritis.

Women, and those with a family history are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Some factors can trigger the onset of the disease, such as:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • History of certain viral infections
  • Exposure to bacteria associated with periodontal disease
  • Obesity
  • Damage to your joints from things such as bone breakage and dislocation

good foods and bad foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Rheumatoid Arthritis

At the time of writing, there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis.

However, there are naturopathic treatments you can use to help manage your condition.

With a little vigilance, naturopathic medicine may help you minimize your symptoms so you can still enjoy a happy, productive life.

1. Eat An Anti Inflammatory Diet

One of the main characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation, and eating an anti inflammatory diet can help with these symptoms.

This type of diet can include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, foods high in dietary fibre, antioxidant rich foods like berries and dark chocolate, and foods containing flavonoids including green tea and soy.

Foods that trigger inflammation should be avoided, such as processed carbohydrates, and saturated fats.

2. Get Active

There are quite a few ways to safely stay active when suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Low impact exercises such as gentle yoga can help stretch your joints and help gain strength and flexibility.

Other activities such as cycling and swimming can also help strengthen your muscles and take some of the strain off your joints.

Yoga is also helpful for relieving stress and sleeping better, so it’s worth trying.

3. Take Curcumin

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the Asian spice that gives curry its distinctive yellow colour.

Studies have shown that taking curcumin supplements can help reduce joint inflammation.

It has also been shown effective as a natural treatment for PCOS, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and may even have some anti-cancer properties.

4. Take Probiotics

Studies have also shown that taking probiotics can help lower inflammation and provide relief for your joint pain.

Probiotics are great for your gut health, and can be ingested as part of your healthy diet through foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods.

They can also be taken in supplement form.

However, there are many different types of probiotics – speak to your naturopathic doctor to find out which would be best for your unique needs.

5. Supplement With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 oils are fatty acids which your body needs to properly function.

They play a host of different roles, including improving brain function, reducing the risk of heart disease, improving eye health, and more.
Studies show that they can also help fight the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Supplementing your diet with Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat inflammation by blocking inflammatory receptors.

Dietary sources of omega-3’s include fish (salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies), chia, flax, and hemp seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?

Do you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis?

If so, please contact us at The Mindful Healing Clinic today for a free consultation, and learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you.

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

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Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Imagine a disease – one that does not discriminate by gender or ethnicity, yet is so deadly that the CDC links it to one-quarter of all deaths in the United States.

It sounds scary.

But what if you learned that this disease is preventable in the majority of cases, and there exist many simple steps to reduce its impact on your life?

At the Mindful Healing Clinic, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga’s clinic, we understand the potentially destructive effects of heart disease on health and quality of life.

Do you have heart disease, think you might have it, or wonder whether you may develop it in the future?

Keep reading to arm yourself with knowledge about heart disease, and take a powerful first step towards a heart-healthy life.

What is Heart Disease?

Broadly speaking, heart disease is any condition that affects the structure and/or function of the heart.

It is not one diagnosis, but a vast array of different illnesses ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.

In all its forms, heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, behind only cancer.

Anyone can be affected by heart disease regardless of age, but some people are higher-risk than others.

For example: men are twice as likely as women to suffer heart attacks, and receive new diagnoses of heart disease about ten years younger than women (55-64 years of age vs. 65-74 years of age).

Those who are elderly or have a family history of heart disease are also at higher risk of developing heart disease themselves.

It can be scary to learn that some risk factors for heart disease are beyond your control.

The good news, however, is that there are many risk factors for heart disease that you can change.

Read on to learn how to seize control of your lifestyle choices and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Different Types Of Heart Disease

1. Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should.

When this happens, the other organs and tissues in your body receive an inadequate supply of oxygen.

This can cause symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, pallor, shock, and cyanosis (a bluish colour in the skin due to inadequate oxygenation).

Additionally, as blood backs up in the circulatory system, heart failure can cause swelling of the lower extremities and fluid build-up in the lungs.

2. Coronary Artery Diseases

Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease, occurs when the major arteries of the heart become damaged.

This commonly happens when deposits of a cholesterol-rich substance called plaque form on the walls of the heart’s arteries and obstruct the flow of blood to the heart.

The heart is starved of oxygen and nutrients, causing chest pain and shortness of breath.

3. Heart Rhythm Disorders

The healthy adult heart beats anywhere between 60 and 88 times per minute at rest, kept steady by the heart’s pace-making sinoatrial node.

However, in heart rhythm disorders, a change in the heart’s rhythm (known as arrythmia) causes it to beat too quickly, too slowly, or irregularly.

Many people with heart rhythm disorders experience a feeling of racing, thumping, fluttering, discomfort, or “skipped beats” in the heart; while others may feel faint, tired, light-headed, or short of breath.

Still others with heart rhythm disorders experience no symptoms at all.

4. Structural Heart Disorders

Structural heart disorders are conditions caused by defects or deformities in the heart’s valves, walls, or muscle.

They can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed later in life due to aging, injury, or illness).

In a healthy individual, the four valves and four chambers of the heart work in a coordinated manner to push oxygenated blood out to the rest of the body.

However, when a defect is present in even one of these parts, it can cause symptoms ranging from high blood pressure to stroke.

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease can seldom be traced back to any one cause, yet some factors have been linked to the development of particular types of heart disease.

These include:

• Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes
Dealing with chronic anxiety
Dealing with chronic stress
• Substance abuse
• A bacterial or viral infection
• Smoking
• A sedentary lifestyle

Foods that are great for preventing heart disease | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Heart Disease

Although we cannot control causes of heart disease such as gender or age, we can control those which come down to our choices – like diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress.

In fact, there exist many naturopathic solutions to reduce your risk or symptoms of heart disease that are simpler than you may expect.

1. Lifestyle

What you put into your body can have a powerful and lasting impact on your overall heart health.

For example, people who smoke double their risk of developing heart disease over the course of their lifetime.

Other types of substances misuse (including caffeine, alcohol, and illicit drugs) and the resultant strain on the heart can cause some types of heart rhythm disorders.

High levels of total cholesterol and low levels of HDL (“good cholesterol”), often influenced by diet, can also contribute to the formation of plaque deposits, causing coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

But heart health doesn’t all come down to eating well and eliminating substance use.

Physical activity is another crucial piece of the puzzle, as both obesity and sedentary lifestyles are linked to the development of heart disease.

Finally, chronic emotional stress is known to cause heart disease.

Be it a demanding job, financial burdens, or family problems; reducing long-term stressors can be an important step towards preventing heart disease.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, the long-chain “healthy fats” present in consumer items from seeds to supplements, have promising evidence linking them to improved cardiac health outcomes.

Specifically, some studies suggest that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of death from heart disease.

Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, hemp oil, fish, and eggs.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken as a supplement – in the form of capsules, liquid, or even gummies.

3. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is an antioxidant used in the growth and maintenance of cells.

Everyone produces some CoQ10 naturally, but those who have heart disease have been found to have lower CoQ10 levels than those who do not.

A 2018 study by Zozina et al found evidence that CoQ10 as a supplemental treatment for heart disease may lead to better outcomes, improved quality of life, and decreased morbidity and mortality.

Trace CoQ10 can be found in foods such as meat and nuts, but these amounts are insufficient to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in the human body.

The good news is that CoQ10 dietary supplements are widely available in many forms, including tablets and liquids.

4. Acupuncture

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in the naturopathic treatment of heart disease is new evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture.

In a meta-analysis of acupuncture treatment in heart failure patients, Liang et. al. found multiple clinical studies suggesting that acupuncture can improve cardiac function, although its mechanism is not yet understood.

What we do know is that many acupuncture patients find it to relieve stress – a known risk factor for heart disease.

For those who think they have exhausted all avenues to reduce their cardiac risk factors, acupuncture can be one more piece of the puzzle to maximize heart health.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you have been diagnosed with heart disease?

Do you think you may have heart disease?

Or, do you just want to reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease in the future?

Regardless, here at the Mindful Healing Clinic, we can help you towards the best cardiac health possible.

Call us today to book a free 15-minute consultation, during which we’ll address any questions you have and identify which solutions are best for you.

Based on our approach of complementing conventional medicine with naturopathic solutions, we’ll work together to build a treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.

By investing in holistic care for the prevention or management of heart disease, you are investing in your future.

Contact us, the Mindful Healing Clinic, today.

Naturopathic Solutions for Eczema | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions for Eczema

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Naturopathic Solutions for Eczema | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Eczema is a skin condition that affects 1-3% of the adult population, though it is far more common in children.

It has links to a number of other health conditions, which can make finding a solution challenging and confusing.

When faced with a flare up of an itchy, irritating rash it can be difficult to imagine it getting better, but at the Mindful Healing Clinic, a naturopathic doctor clinic in Streetsville Mississauga, we can help.

This article is an outline of what eczema is, how it can present, and a few things you can try to help your skin heal.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema is a general term that encompasses a number of skin conditions in which the skin becomes dry, itchy, and red.

It often appears as a rash and is triggered by the body’s immune system reacting to a trigger either on the skin or in the body.

While it can be uncomfortable or painful, eczema is not contagious.

Different Types Of Eczema

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, in which a rash appears in response to triggers inside the body rather than on the skin.

Atopic dermatitis differs from contact dermatitis, another type of eczema.

Contact dermatitis is a response to a trigger on the surface of the skin rather than inside of the body.

Dyshidrotic dermatitis causes itchy, scaly rashes on the fingers and palms as well as the soles of the feet, which can become cracked and painful.

Dyshidrotic dermatitis is more common in women than in men.

Nummular dermatitis results in round lesions that often appear on the legs, but can also affect the torso, arms, and hands.

Nummular dermatitis is more common in men than in women and can be triggered by dry weather.

Seborrheic dermatitis causes an itching, flaking, red rash and primarily affects parts of the body where the skin contains oil producing (or sebaceous) glands, such as the scalp, eyelids, eyebrows, nose, and upper back.

Symptoms Of Eczema

Different types of eczema differ in the way that symptoms present themselves.

One common symptom between the types is the appearance of a red, itchy rash somewhere on the body.

This rash can crack or ooze and become painful.

Eczema rashes can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the inner elbows, backs of knees, arms, and head.

Other symptoms of eczema may include:

  • Discoloured patches of skin (red or greyish brown)
  • Small, raised bumps
  • Thickened skin
  • Intense itchiness

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is believed to be triggered by an overactive immune system, either overreacting to minor irritants or responding to proteins present in the skin as though they were foreign substances.

The underlying cause of eczema is still unknown, though it’s likely that both genetics and allergy triggers are involved.

In many cases eczema is a chronic condition that is mostly or entirely dormant until a flareup is brought on by exposure to a trigger.

how to treat your eczema naturopathically | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Naturopathic Solutions For Eczema

There are many treatments options to manage eczema flare ups.

Some are much gentler on the skin than others and using harsh treatments can further dry out the skin and aggravate symptoms.

Here are five naturopathic treatment options for eczema:

1. Avoid Your Eczema Triggers

Eczema flare ups can be triggered by a variety of substances either on the skin or in the body.

Especially in the case of contact dermatitis, simply removing the offending substance can often get rid of the rash that it caused.

Some common triggers of eczema are rough fabrics like wool, things that dry out the skin like chemical cleaners and detergents, sweat, changes to temperature or humidity, or animal dander.

In addition to the environmental factors listed above, eczema flare ups can also be caused by stress, food allergies, or upper respiratory infections.

The simplest natural treatment for allergies is just to avoid your allergens, but that’s sometimes easier said than done.

2. Address Any Comorbidities

It is widely known that eczema can be linked to seasonal allergies and asthma.

More recently some research has shown that there may be a link between atopic dermatitis and cardiovascular disease, and several autoimmune disorders including lupus, vitiligo, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders.

If you suffer from another autoimmune disorder or cardiovascular issue, addressing that as a root cause may help to alleviate symptoms of eczema.

3. An Oatmeal Bath

Colloidal oatmeal is made from oats that have been ground finely enough that they stay suspended in bath water rather than sinking to the bottom.

Mixing a packet of colloidal oatmeal in lukewarm bathwater and soaking for 10-15 minutes can reduce itching caused by eczema and help to moisturize the skin.

Soaking for much longer than that, however, can dry out the skin further.

After an oatmeal bath, apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer as soon as possible and pat dry to avoid the skin irritation that can be caused by rubbing.

4. Calendula Cream

Calendula is a plant that has been used for centuries as a folk remedy to relieve irritated skin.

Now available as a cream, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may help alleviate the symptoms of eczema.

It’s thought to moisturize and improve circulation to the skin.

Calendula is also antibacterial, which is helpful to avoid infection in areas where the skin has cracked.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of using small needles to alter the flow of energy in the body and is used to address a variety of ailments.

In the case of eczema this studyshows that acupuncture can be used to reduce itching caused by eczema and may even be more effective than traditional treatments.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Eczema symptoms can be frustrating and difficult to navigate, but there are solutions.

For professional help managing symptoms and addressing the root causes of your eczema, book an appointment at the Mindful Healing Naturopathic Clinic.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin D | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin D

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Vitamin Profile: Vitamin D | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There are a lot of people who try to offer nutritional advice these days.

From your own family, who may or may not have outdated ideas of what accounts for good nutrition, to doctors and other professionals on TV, who may or may not be trying to sell you something, there is a lot of conflicting information available on this topic.

For many people, getting nutrition advice from a naturopathic doctor who they trust is one way to help cut through the clutter and find good advice which is actually in their best interest.

Today we will take a closer look at vitamin D, an important nutrient which plays a big role in the healthy functioning of your body.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Vitamin D?

The name “vitamin D” is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s not actually a vitamin in the same sense as other vitamins, but a steroid hormone.

Sometimes called “the sunshine vitamin”, the body can create vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun.

However, getting enough sunshine to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D can be difficult, especially for those who live in cold climates (e.g. absolutely everyone in Canada) or are not able to spend enough time outdoors.

Benefits Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D supports a number of bodily systems and processes.

From your mood to your immune system, its role in the body cannot be understated.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. It’s A Great Mood Booster

Vitamin D has been shown to help control mood and works as part of a natural treatment for depression.

One 2008 study found that when individuals with depression took a vitamin D supplement, it helped to improve their symptoms.

Low levels of vitamin D have been found in individuals who were experiencing depression and anxiety.

2. It Helps Support A Healthy Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D can help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health found pregnant folks with low levels of vitamin D were at a higher risk of giving birth prematurely and preeclampsia, or high blood pressure associated with pregnancy.

3. It Keeps Your Bones Healthy

Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping bones healthy and strong.

A 2018 article outlined the role vitamin D plays in regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.

In short, it helps to increase the amount of calcium the body can absorb, which contributes to strong and healthy bones.

4. It Helps Support Your Immune System

There is some evidence to suggest vitamin D may play a role in boosting the immune system and helping to fight off disease.

Research suggests it may help fight disease, lower the risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease your chance of heart disease and reduce the chances of developing the flu.

Further research is needed on these effects, especially as they relate to reducing risk of the flu.

5. It Helps With Weight Loss

Supplementing with vitamin D might be something to look into if you’re trying to lose weight.

In a 2009 study individuals who supplemented with calcium and vitamin D had greater success in losing weight than those who took a placebo.

Foods rich in Vitamin D | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

If you are not getting enough vitamin D, some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to watch for include:

  • Stress fractures
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loss of hair
  • Experiencing sickness or infection on a regular basis
  • Depression
  • Slowed wound healing
  • Bone pain and back pain
  • Muscle pain

Extended vitamin D deficiency can lead to more severe complications, including:

  • Some cancers, namely breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer
  • Issues with pregnancy
  • Infection
  • Heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Neurological disease

Sources Of Vitamin D

Although it’s widely known that exposure to sunlight can help the body to create vitamin D, this is often not enough, especially during the long, dark, cold winter months.

Some foods which are high in vitamin D which can help ensure you are getting enough include:

  • Saltwater fish like salmon, tuna, herring and sardines; mackerel
  • Beef and liver
  • Egg yolks1
  • Mushrooms
  • Dairy: milk, cheese and butter
  • Fortified milk and cereals

Taking vitamin D supplements is generally well tolerated as well, though it’s always a good idea to consult with your naturopathic doctor before beginning any new supplement.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried about deficiency of vitamin D, or any other vitamin or nutrient?

Perhaps you are vegetarian, or vegan and worried about not being able to get enough vitamin D through diet and want guidance on supplementation.

Or you are experiencing some of the symptoms raised in this article and want help to pinpoint the precise cause.

Whatever the issue, the Mindful Healing Clinic can help.

I’m Dr. Maria, and I can assess your needs and any symptoms you’re experiencing, and create a plan for you to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need.

Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic for more information, or to set up an appointment.


Is Vegetable Oil Unhealthy? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Is Vegetable Oil Unhealthy?

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Is Vegetable Oil Unhealthy? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Of course it’s healthy, right?

After all, it has vegetable in the name, and vegetables are good for you.

It’s not quite that simple.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of vegetable oils today.

Even though many of the oils you’ll see at your local supermarket have packaging claiming they are “heart healthy,” it may only be because polyunsaturated fats have a reduced risk of cardiovascular problems compared to saturated fats.

Because they can be hard to navigate without a medical degree, I’ve put together some information for you on which vegetable oils are unhealthy.

Consider booking an online naturopathic consultation if you want more information or are concerned about your oil intake.

What Are Vegetable Oils?

Simply put, an oil that’s extracted from a plant is considered a vegetable oil.

The most common vegetable oils nowadays are coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.

The oil is extracted by pressing the plants or their seeds, and this is the preferable method; however, the oil can also be extracted using a chemical solvent, which is less desirable.

After the extraction, they are usually purified and refined, though sometimes they can be chemically altered in the process, too.

Refined vegetable oils were only available starting in the twentieth century, when the technology finally was able to catch up to a burgeoning population with new culinary needs.

What Are Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

You’ve likely seen them advertised as a good feature on your eggs or other groceries: the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Do you know what they do and how they affect your health?

These fatty acids are called ‘polyunsaturated fats’ because they have many double-bonds.

Because your body doesn’t produce them naturally, the only way you can get them in your diet is by eating them.

You can become deficient and fall sick if you don’t consume enough, which is why they’re considered “essential”.

These fatty acids have an active role in your bodily functions, including inflammation and blood clotting.

They are unlike other fats in this way; they aren’t simply used for energy.

healthy versus unhealthy oils | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

What Is The Ideal Ratio Of Omega-3 To Omega-6?

Even amongst these essential fatty acids, they have different purposes, and they exist symbiotically in your body.

Did you know that there is an ideal ratio for omega-6 and omega-3?

Omega-6 fatty acids tend to be inflammatory, while omega-3 are anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation is a necessary function for your body, but there can also be too much of a good thing – chronic or excessive inflammation can lead to disease.

Scientists have been paying attention to the high levels of inflammation in our bodies, and suspect that an unbalanced ratio could be part of the problem – we’re eating far too much omega-6dense foods and not enough omega-3.

To give you some idea, our current diets deliver omega-6 and -3 at a ratio of roughly 20:1, despite the fact that the human body developed over centuries with the ratio closer to 1:1 – a huge shift.

What Happens When Your Omega-6 Levels Are Too High?

Having high omega-6 levels without the mitigating factors of the omega-3 could lead to chronic inflammation in your body.

This can have a direct impact on not just your risk of obesity, but can also make you more prone to heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease.

What Oils Are High In Omega-6?

To reduce the chance of chronic inflammation, consider staying away from oils such as peanut, soybean, sunflower, sesame, and corn oils.

Let’s quickly go over the different types of fats.

Remember that omega-6 and -3 oils are polyunsaturated fats, which means they have two or more double bonds.

Monounsaturated fats have one double bond, while saturated fats have no double bonds.

Polyunsaturated fats are prone to oxidation, which causes them to deteriorate.

These fats are stored in your cell membranes, so if they oxidize, then your cell membranes could be damaged in the oxidation process.

As the fats degrade into harmful compounds, these can affect your physiology.

What Are Some Healthy Alternatives?

The best idea, truly, is to use a variety of different fats in your cooking, but if you’re looking for options that are lower in omega-6, then choose olive oil, coconut oil, or good old-fashioned butter.

If you’re really in love with your omega-6-laden fats, then consider adding more omega-3 fats to your diet through other means.

Some examples of foods high in omega-3s are: grass-fed lean meats, seafood, eggs high in omega-3, cod liver oil, and plant-based sources such as flax and chia.

It’s also important to keep in mind what the smoke point of your oil is.

This is the temperature at which the oil you’re using starts to break down. This tends to make it unhealthy.

It’s called a smoke point because oil tends to start smoking at this point, but it doesn’t necessarily do so depending on how you’re cooking it.

Olive oil and sesame oil, for example, have a smoke point of about 350 degrees, which makes them ideal for salads and lower temperature cooking, but are harmful at higher temperatures.

Avocado oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 520 degrees, so cook away.

What About The Stuff Labeled “Vegetable Oil”?

Vegetable oil is used as a generic label for a blend of different types of vegetable-based oils.

In general, it’s the least expensive option, and has a fairly high smoke point and neutral flavour, which makes it popular.

However, the problem with vegetable oil is that you don’t know what’s in it.

Generally, vegetable oil includes canola, sunflower, safflower, and corn oils.

The rate of different types of fats in each of these varies, so it’s a lot more difficult to control for what you’re eating.

As a result, most healthcare providers recommend avoiding it.

Book An Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic

Has this dive into vegetable oils and the balance between omega-3 and -6 fatty acids piqued your interest?

Are you interested in better understanding how this applies to your health and the health of your family?

If so, book a consultation today.

It’s simple to book an online appointment with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, so we can review any oil use you may be concerned about, or whether the oils you use could be having an effect on your health.

It’s never too late to take action – book your appointment now.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin A | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin A

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Vitamin Profile: Vitamin A | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

You’ve probably heard the advice “be sure to get your vitamins” – whether from your parents while growing up, or your doctor.

Maybe it was in response to health issues you’ve experienced.

Or maybe it was just general health advice.

I’m a Streetsville Mississauga naturopathic doctor, and I want to help you to better understand what all of the various vitamins do.

Today we’ll take a close look at vitamin A, and its benefits.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A, although generally referred to as one nutrient, is actually the name of a group of compounds which include retinal, retinyl esters, and retinol.

The vitamin A which is found in food comes in two forms:

● Provitamin A – alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These are forms of vitamin A found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables.

● Preformed vitamin A – this is found in animal products such as chicken, fish, and dairy.

In order for the body to be able to use vitamin A, it must be converted to retinal and retinoic acid, which are its active forms.

As a fat-soluble vitamin, excess vitamin A which cannot be used by the body is stored in fat tissue.

Benefits Of Vitamin A

There are a number of reasons to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin A, either through diet or supplementation.

It helps your skin, eyes, and bones, is good for your immune system, and may even help stave off cancer.

Keep reading as we look at these benefits in more detail.

1. It Has Anti-Cancer Properties

There are a lot of products and supplements which claim to “cure cancer”.

Let’s be very clear – there is no supplement or product which can cure or out-right prevent cancer from forming.

There are too many factors at play for any one supplement to be able to make this claim.

There are, however, substances which can help to lower the risk of cancer developing, and vitamin A is one of them.

A 2017 article in the Annals of Hematology showed vitamin A can assist in lowering the risk of cervical cancer.

It has also been found to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer and bladder cancer.

For more naturopathic cancer care solutions, contact us here at the Mindful Healing Clinic.

2. It’s Good For Your Skin

The secret to clear, glowing skin?

It may just be vitamin A.

Well, vitamin A might be a part of it, at least.

A deficiency in this nutrient may lead to an increased risk of acne development due to the overproduction of keratin in hair follicles.

This would result in blockages in your pores which make it harder for dead skin cells to be removed.

3. It’s Good For Your Eyes

Vitamin A is important for preserving and promoting eye health.

It helps preserve eyesight, and prevents night blindness.

A 2015 article in JAMA Ophthalmology found a link between vitamin A consumption and declines in vision with age.

What vitamin A is good for | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

4. It’s Good For Your Bones

When you think of bone health, you probably think of calcium, and perhaps vitamin D.

Vitamin A, however, also plays a role in proper bone growth and maintenance.

An analysis published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health showed individuals with lower levels of vitamin A in their blood were at higher risk of bone fractures.

5. It Supports Your Immune System

A 2012 article in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found vitamin A deficiency resulted in higher-than-average levels of inflammation which decreases immune function.

Another article, in Expert Opinion Biological Therapy notes that providing treatment for vitamin A deficiency can decrease the risk of death from malaria and measles in children, in countries where these are prevalent.

Symptoms Of Vitamin A Deficiency

There are a number of risks associated with vitamin A deficiency. In this section we will review some of them.

Individuals at higher risk for vitamin A deficiency include people with cystic fibrosis, premature infants, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Low vitamin A levels are a leading cause of blindness in children across the world.

Deficiency also increases the risk and severity of diarrhea or measles.

Pregnant individuals with low levels of vitamin A are at increased risk of anemia, and even death.

Other, less serious issues which can result from low vitamin A include skin issues such as acne and hyperkeratosis, which is a thickening of the outer layer of skin.

Dietary Sources Of Vitamin A

There are a number of dietary sources of both preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.

Some sources of preformed vitamin A include:

  • Trout
  • Eggs – yolks specifically
  • King mackerel
  • Beef liver
  • Liver sausage
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salmon
  • Cod liver oil
  • Chicken liver

While sources of provitamin A, such as beta-carotene include:

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Dandelion greens
  • Parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Pumpkin

Should You Supplement With Vitamin A?

Because it is fat-soluble, if you have too much vitamin A, it is stored in the body and excessive amounts can lead to toxic levels.

Side effects of vitamin A toxicity include:

  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Liver damage
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Headache
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Itchy skin
  • Low appetite

Due to this, you need to be careful if considering supplementation with vitamin A.

However, those who are vegan or vegetarian may have difficulty getting enough preformed vitamin A in their diets, as most of the dietary sources of this form of the nutrient are animal products.

If you are worried about not getting enough vitamin A for any reason, book an appointment with us at the Mindful Healing Clinic.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried about nutrient deficiencies?

Did you read this article and wonder if you’re getting enough vitamin A – or any other vital nutrient in your diet?

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we can help.

We’ll work with you to determine any nutrient deficiencies you may have and offer natural solutions to help ensure your body is getting everything it needs to perform at its peak.

Contact us today to set up an appointment.

What Can Your Pee Teach You About Your Health? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

What Can Your Pee Teach You About Your Health?

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What Can Your Pee Teach You About Your Health? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

There are certain factors most of us look at to get an idea of our overall health.

Did you sleep well, and wake up feeling rested – or groggy?

In general, do you eat a healthy diet, or is it fast food every night?

Is regular exercise a part of your routine?

One factor that may not be top of mind when it comes to health indicators is your urine.

Admit it, you’ve looked from time to time, and perhaps noticed sometimes the colour, or odour is different.

Well, what if I told you that, as gross as it may sound, you should be paying attention to your pee – it can tell you a lot.

It may also be an early warning sign of kidney damage, which is one of the side effects of stress and also a result of many conditions.

Keep reading to learn more about the things your pee can tell you about your health.

From A Physiological Perspective, What Does Pee Do?

Pee is primarily composed of a combination of water, electrolytes, salt, urea, and uric acid.

It’s made by your kidneys as they filter waste products from your blood.

You may have noticed your urine is usually darker first thing in the morning, when you’ve been sleeping all night, but generally lighter later in the day when you’ve had a few glasses of water (or cups of coffee).

Perhaps you detect a stronger smell after you’ve eaten certain foods.

Your body gets rid of waste by-products and extra fluids through your urine in order to prevent it from building up in your body and making you sick.

Therefore, factors such as what and how much you’ve eaten or drank, and when the last time you did so all play a role in how your urine looks and smells.

Let’s have a look at some of the ways our urine is communicating with us.

What Can The Colour Of Your Pee Tell You?

In healthy individuals, urine should be a pale yellow colour.

Sometimes it’s lighter, or even clear if you’ve been taking in a lot of fluids, and this can be a sign of over-hydration, while darker urine means you need to drink more fluids.

Additionally,first thing in the morning, your urine is often darker than usual – this is because it’s more concentrated since it’s probably been seven or eight hours since you last had something to drink.

Urine which is too-light or too-dark are probably the most common variations you will see in colour, however, there are others to watch for:

  • White: This is a sign of excess phosphate or calcium; also an indicator of a urinary tract infection
  • Amber: Sign of dehydration
  • Dark Brown: Possible indicator of kidney or liver issues
  • Orange: Possibly due to food or medication, but can also be due to liver problems. Vitamin B12 supplementation can also cause orange pee.
  • Blue or green: Could be from food dyes or medication, but may also be bacterial. In infants could be a sign of blue diaper syndrome
  • Pink or red: Sign of blood in the urine. Could also be due to food such as beets, carrots, or berries, or because of medication.

What Can The Smell Of Your Pee Tell You?

You probably don’t notice the smell of your pee most of the time, but when you do, it’s probably because it’s quite strong.

Certain foods are known for producing pee that smells bad, the most notable being asparagus.

There a number of factors that can affect the way your pee smells, so here’re a few scents to be aware of:

  • Ammonia: Urine that smells like ammonia can be a sign of dehydration
  • Sweet: If your pee smells sweet, it might be a sign of a urinary tract infection
  • Fruit: This may be a sign of type 2 diabetes
  • Foul: If your urine has a foul smell to it, this may be indicative of a sexually transmitted infection

urine test and what it can tell you about your health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

What Can The Translucency Of Your Pee Tell You?

We’ve already discussed what healthy urine should look like – it should be light yellow, and only have a mild smell to it.

It should also be clear, and not cloudy – and if it’s not, there are a number of possible reasons for this.

Some of the reasons your pee may be cloudy include:

  • Vaginitis
  • Infected or inflamed prostate
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stones
  • Sexually transmitted infection

What If You Pee Frequently?

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly getting up to use the toilet – even though you aren’t drinking excessive amounts of fluids?

This may be due to ageing, and your bladder losing some of its capacity to hold liquids.

It’s also a common side effect of pregnancy.

Increased consumption of alcohol or caffeine, as well as certain medications like spironolactone and Prozac among many others, can also result in a constant need to pee.

Generally speaking though, if you are pregnant, drinking more than usual, or on medication where peeing is a side-effect, you’ll be aware of this.

If you’re peeing more than normal and aren’t sure why, it could be because of one of the following reasons:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Problems with the prostate
  • Diabetes

If you find yourself peeing more than usual, and you can’t figure out why, book an appointment here at the Mindful Healing Clinic.

What If There’s Blood In Your Pee?

We talked already about how to recognize blood in your urine – typically this will result in it being a reddish-pink colour.

But what does this mean?

Blood in the urine is often a sign of a medical condition.

Potential causes of this may include:

  • Cancer of the bladder or kidney
  • Injury or disease of the kidney
  • Bladder/kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Enlarged prostate

The bottom line is blood in the urine can be a sign of something very serious, and if you notice it you should contact your doctor or naturopath right away.

What If It Burns When You Pee?

As with everything else that could be unusual with your pee, if it hurts or “burns” to urinate, it’s likely a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Painful urination is most commonly indicative of a urinary tract infection, but it could also be due to:

  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Prostate disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Inflammation of the urethra
  • Vaginal inflammation

If you have a child who is complaining of painful peeing, check their bath products, as chemicals in bubble baths and soaps can sometimes lead to irritation.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Have you noticed some of these signs and feel that something is just not quite right with your urine?

Are you worried it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, and want to take action?

I’m Dr. Maria at the Mindful Healing Clinic and I want to help.

I’ll get to the bottom of what is causing any issues you’re experiencing, and offer natural solutions to help your body heal.

Contact me today to set up an appointment.

foods to eat and to avoid to improve your focus | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Having Trouble Focusing? Here’s What Might Be Causing It

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Having Trouble Focusing? Here's What Might Be Causing It | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

We’ve all had days where we couldn’t focus on work.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself trying to read an important document, only to realize you’ve been re-reading the same sentence over and over again.

Or you try to get started on a particular task only to find yourself constantly distracted.

Seeing as how difficulty concentrating is one of the side effects of stress, you may have been feeling more unfocused than usual this year.

Because – let’s face it – 2020 has been a more stressful year than normal.

Sometimes we refer to difficulty focusing as “brain fog”.

Keep reading to learn more about what brain fog is, and what might be causing it.

What Is Brain Fog?

Also known as mental fatigue, mental fog, or, clouding of consciousness, brain fog is defined by:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of focus
  • Memory difficulties
  • Lowered mental clarity

While not a medical condition in and of itself, brain fog is generally a symptom of another medical condition.

What Causes Brain Fog?

There are a number of potential causes of brain fog.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the conditions it can be associated with.

1. Poor Nutrition

The foods you eat have an important effect on how you feel.

Eating foods you have an allergy or intolerance to can result in a number of side effects, including brain fog.

Common food allergies which may result in brain fog include:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Peanuts
  • MSG
  • Aspartame

Not getting enough of certain nutrients can also affect brain function.

In particular, vitamin B12 deficiency may result in dementia, depression, paranoia, and sometimes irreversible neurological damage.

foods to eat and to avoid to improve your focus | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

2. Poor Sleeping Habits

You probably know what it feels like to not get enough sleep.

When this happens, you feel slow and sluggish, and your reactions aren’t as quick as when you’re fully rested.

If this happens once in a while, most of us can push through, perhaps with the help of an extra coffee or two.

However chronic insomnia or lack of sleep can have long term effects and interfere with your health and relationships.

Risk factors for insomnia include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • High stress
  • Age – older adults are at higher risk
  • Sex – women are at greater risk
  • Certain medications, including SSRI drugs like Prozac, anabolic steroids, and dopamine agonists.
  • Caffeine and other stimulants
  • Obesity
  • Changes in the environment
  • Poor sleep hygiene

3. High Stress

Everyone will experience some stress in their lives – and at times it can even be beneficial.

During the stress response, your body releases hormones which help get you ready to respond to situations by increasing your heart rate and breathing in order to send more oxygen to the body.

If the stress response doesn’t subside when the stressor is gone, however, it can result in symptoms which affect your overall health and well-being.

The physiological effects of stress affecting concentration include headaches,depression, and insomnia.

Stress can also lead to mental fatigue which makes it difficult to concentrate.

4. Hormonal Issues

Changes in hormone levels can result in difficulties with memory and concentration.

For example, during pregnancy, levels of progesterone and estrogen increase, and this can cause what is sometimes referred to as “pregnancy brain”, memory issues and short-term cognitive impairment.

On the other side, lowered estrogen levels during menopause can have the same effects.

Some ways to counteract the memory issues which come with menopause include:

  • Getting enough quality sleep
  • Exercise
  • A healthy, nutritious diet
  • Doing brain teasers such as crossword puzzles, quizzes, and Sudoku

5. Certain Pharmaceutical Drugs

Brain fog is a side effect of many pharmaceuticals on the market.

Some examples include:

  • Flurazepam, a benzodiazepine similar to Valium, used as treatment for insomnia.
  • Prednisone, a steroid used to treat different types of inflammation and many conditions.
  • Escitalopram, an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drug.

These are just a few examples of drugs which can cause difficulty concentration – always be sure to read any warning labels on your medications and be aware especially if they note that they can cause drowsiness.

6. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the world’s most widespread causes of chronic pain.

Those with fibromyalgia often experience fatigue and heightened pain response.

Another side effect is brain fog, specifically memory difficulties, and confusion.

The reason for these side effects is unknown, although it may be linked to nervous system disruptions which in-turn affect blood flow to the brain.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you experiencing difficulty concentrating?

Having trouble remembering even simple things?

Are you worried this might be the side effect of a larger issue?

I’m Dr. Maria, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and I’m here to help.

I’ll help you get to the bottom of your brain fog – figure out what is causing it and offer natural solutions which get to the root of the problem.

Contact me today to set up a consultation.

Is A Raw Food Diet A Good Idea? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Is A Raw Food Diet A Good Idea?

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Is A Raw Food Diet A Good Idea? | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

For many people, moving to a raw food diet has been not just a good idea but a great one.

It may be ideological, purely for health reasons, or an attempt at how to lose weight and keep it off.

Whatever the reason, though, it’s important to consider all the impacts a raw food diet can have.

Below, you can find out more about how a raw food diet works, but it’s also a good idea to book a nutritional counselling session to find out more.

What Is A Raw Food Diet?

In a raw food diet, seventy percent or more of the food you eat will be completely raw.

You can heat food to a certain extent – but only up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (or 48 degrees Celsius).

Beyond this point, certain nutrients can be damaged in the process.

The majority of the raw food diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and sprouted grains.

Benefits Of A Raw Food Diet

Let’s start by looking at the many benefits of a raw food diet.

Please note that although we’ve expanded below on some of the primary benefits, there are other benefits.

It can also be very good for your skin, the environment, and can help reduce your chances of getting certain chronic diseases.

1. It Focuses On Whole Foods

The average diet leans away from dairy, meat, and grain-dense foods.

When you drop these from your diet, what’s left are the whole foods, including vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits.

Broadly speaking, these foods can bring you most of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

This diet also ends up being low in sugars, sodium, preservatives, and additives.

2. It Can Be An Effective Weight Loss Tool

A very common ‘side effect’ of eating a raw food diet that I hear from my patients is that they lose weight.

When patients start to eat whole, raw foods, they start getting high-quality calories.

Part of the reason we eat too much is because our bodies require the nutrients, and will keep us hungry until it gets what it needs.

If we eat foods with low-density nutrients, we will have to eat more to get what’s needed.

Meanwhile, eating high-quality calories means you’ll need fewer calories.

It’s a very pleasant side effect, as side effects go.

As a result, the raw food diet has developed a bit of a reputation for being an effective tool for weight loss.

3. It’s High In Fibre

Instead of getting fibre from breads and other fast food, you’ll be getting the fibre from more natural sources – which are often higher in fibre than their counterparts.

All that added fibre, in the form of fruits and vegetables, will help clean out your system, provide bulk to your diet and feeling fuller longer, and will help keep you comfortably regular.

4. It Retains Nutrients That Cooking Would Otherwise Destroy

That’s right – when you cook your food, you’re mostly destroying some of the most beneficial nutrients, or leaching them out into cooking water.

By protecting those nutrients, you’re obtaining more of them from the same amount of food, increasing the chances your body is getting what it needs from your meals.

In particular, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and several of the B vitamins can be damaged by the process of cooking.

5. It Virtually Eliminates Processed Foods

Everyone knows that processed foods are bad for them, but it can be tough to keep away from.

Another factor is that we don’t truly listen to our body’s signals well enough, and instead of giving it what it’s actually wanting – whole, nutritious food – we are filling it with processed junk.

When you commit to a raw food diet, it necessitates dropping processed foods – however, many people find they don’t miss them once their diet transition is complete.

the benefits of a raw food diet | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

Drawbacks Of A Raw Food Diet

Of course, every change will have negatives as well as positives.

Part of making a wise decision for you is to look at the drawbacks as carefully as the benefits.

At The Mindful Healing Clinic, we stand for patient education, however, and want to be sure you have all the information you need.

1. It’s Highly Restrictive

Although there are more and more workarounds being discovered by raw food chefs, you just can’t get past the fact that everything you eat on this diet is essentially going to be uncooked.

The cooking process allows for many modifications in how the food is delivered, and such options will be gone.

It’s not just that juicy steak we’re talking about – items like tea and coffee will also be out of bounds, because of the roasting or manufacturing process.

Anything canned is also off the table.

2. It’s Hard On Your Digestive System

Some people have stronger stomachs than others, but the raw food diet can still surprise the hardiest.

One of the reasons is that the fibre you will get plentifully can lead to bloating and gas, in particular a specific type of fibre called cellulose.

The cooking process breaks these fibres down, which makes vegetables easier to digest.

Blending your food can also make these fibres easier to digest, hence why many raw vegans rely heavily on blenders.

3. Cooking Increases The Availability Of Some Nutrients

Now, while we largely retain the best nutrients by eschewing the cooking process, there are times when cooking actually improves the availability of a nutrient.

One example is tomatoes: when cooked, they have up to four times more lycopene.

By adhering to a strict raw diet, you won’t be able to acquire these nutrients in as great quantities.

4. It Increases The Risk Of Some Foodborne Illnesses

Although most people who follow a raw food diet are vegans or vegetarians, there are people who follow the diet that are not.

Yes, you can eat raw meat or fish, in certain situations, as well as raw milk, and other dairy products made using raw milk.

However, the heating process is beneficial for killing off bacteria.

By eating only meat, fish and dairy in their raw state, you’re more likely to be hit with a foodborne bacterium and fall ill.

5. It’s Difficult To Meet Some Nutrient Needs

Protein can be difficult to get in sufficient quantities when on a raw food diet, even if you still eat some limited meat or dairy.

Vegetable-based proteins commonly used by vegans are not all appropriate on a raw food diet, further complicating the issue.

Is A Raw Food Diet Right For You?

Everyone’s needs are different, and everyone has different constraints, so adjustments must always be made for those with considerations.

However, it can be a healthy diet, if followed correctly and if it matches your lifestyle.

Because the answer to this question really depends on each individual, it’s the reason any diet changes require medical check-in first.

As a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, we are qualified to help you determine the answer for that.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

If you’ve read both the pros and the cons above, and you’re interested in trying out a raw food diet, we’d be very pleased to help you along your path.

Book an appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic to get a qualified medical professional review your current health and make sure that you won’t be causing more harm than good.

We have the experience to help you find just the right diet and plan to help you achieve your health goals.

The Health Benefits Of Carrots | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

The Health Benefits Of Carrots

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The Health Benefits Of Carrots | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

When it comes to healthy meal planning there is a lot of conflicting information available.

Should you go vegan, or pivot in the opposite direction with keto?

Is paleo for you, or will you visit South Beach?

Or perhaps you just want to eat sensibly, in a way which makes sense for you.

Today we will have a closer look at a vegetable that is good for you, jam-packed full of nutrients, with a wide array of health benefits.

What’s more, it’s welcome in just about any healthy diet you can imagine.

Keep reading to learn more about the mighty carrot.

Why Are Carrots Different Colours?

Picture a carrot.

It’s probably orange.

Maybe it’s in the hand of a certain cartoon rabbit.

But there’s a lot more to carrot than the orange variety popularized by Bugs Bunny.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Streetsville Mississauga and I’m going to help demystify some of the different types of carrots for you.

Let’s start by looking at why carrots come in a whole rainbow of colours.

Red, orange, yellow, magenta, purple, and even white.

And each colour of the carrot comes with different benefits.

Orange carrots are high in beta-carotene, purple carrots are high in anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid, and could be orange, red, or white on the inside.

What’s The Deal With Baby Carrots?

When you want a healthy snack between meals, sometimes you might reach for “baby carrots”.

But what exactly are these bite-sized snacks?

They can refer to each whole carrots which are harvest before they are fully grown, but more often they’re fully grown carrots that are machine-cut, polished, and peeled into the easy-to-eat snack you’re familiar with.

Because they start from the same source as fully-grown carrots, baby carrots have the same nutrient profile as their larger counterparts and carry with them the same health benefits.

Health Benefits Of Carrots

Whether as part of your dinner, or a quick snack in between meals, carrots are jam-packed full of health benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you’ll want to add more to your diet.

why carrots are so good for your health | Mindful Healing | Naturopathic Doctor Mississauga

1. They’re Nutrient Dense

Carrots are packed full of important vitamins and minerals your body needs.

These nutrients include:

● Vitamin A
Vitamin C
● Vitamin K
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B7
● Potassium

2. They’re Good For Your Eyes (No, Really)

You may have heard rumours carrots can help improve your eyesight.

But is there any truth to this, or is it just an old wives’ tale?

As it turns out, they might just be something to this claim.

A 2013 study in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics notes carrots have an extremely high vitamin A content, which is important for eye health.

People with low vitamin A levels experience night blindness more often than those with higher levels.

Additionally, beta-carotene protects your eyes from the sun, and reduces your odds of developing cataracts.

3. They’re Good For Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, so if you can take simple measures to protect your heart, why wouldn’t you?

As it turns out, eating carrots is one way you can do this.

A study in the European Journal of Nutrition found eating carrots reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats.

It also increased antioxidant levels which are also linked to heart-health.

4. They’re Good For Your Immune System

Carrots are a source of vitamin C, which is known for its immune-boosting properties.

It is used by the body to produce collagen which is important for wound healing, and the function of immune cells.

Vitamin C consumed when the immune system is under stress .

5. They’re Low On The Glycemic Index

Carrots are a sweet vegetable, however, they are relatively low in sugar overall.

Because they are low on the glycemic index (GI), carrots won’t cause a blood sugar spike.

This means they are safe for people with either type 1 diabetesor type 2 diabetes, and other concerns regarding blood sugar levels.

6. They Can Help With Digestive Issues

Carrots contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibres feed the good bacteria in your gut, which is important to keep your gut healthy.

Insoluble fibres such as cellulose and lignin help combat constipation and promote regularity.

7. They Can Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer

Some of the compounds found in carrots may be linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

Cancer risk is increased by an abundance of free radicals in the body, and this can be counteracted by antioxidants.

Carrots are high in carotenoids, such as beta carotene, as well as vitamins A and C which are both antioxidants.

Specific links have been found showing a relationship between carrots or carrot juice and lower risks of prostate cancer, leukemia, and lung cancer.

8. They Can Help You Lose Weight

Carrots are a low calorie, and high fibre food, it makes sense carrots would be beneficial for weight loss.

A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found subjects who ate carrots with a meal felt increased feelings of satiety and ate fewer calories for the remainder of the day.

Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic

Do you worry your diet may be lacking?

Despite trying to eat well and balanced meals, do you feel sluggish throughout the day, and wonder if it might be because you aren’t getting enough of a particular vitamin?

Here at the Mindful Healing Clinic, we want to help.

I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D., and I offer nutritional guidance which can help you fill any gaps in your diet, and get you feeling your best again.

Contact me today to set up a consultation, and let me show you how naturopathic medicine can help you.