Posts Tagged nutrition

Dietary Choices and Physical Pain

A new study published in the journal Pain (2017) sought to establish the relationship between dietary choices, and physical pain, as chronic pain has been associated with higher body mass index (BMI).

What did the researchers do?
The researchers recruited healthy obese and non-obese adults, and 98 participants completed the study. Participants were interviewed on dietary habits, which were acquired via a 24 hour dietary recall. Using the information from the dietary recall, nutrient intake was assessed and quality of each participant’s diet was rated on a healthy eating score. Additionally, participants completed questionnaires to assess levels of bodily pain and BMI was determined.

What did the researchers find?
As was shown in previous studies, the researchers found that the greater the magnitude of physical pain reported, the higher one’s BMI. In addition, the study revealed that healthy eating (primarily characterized by seafood and plant protein intake) was associated with less physical pain. This reduction in pain was likely due to the anti-inflammatory components found in seafood and plant proteins.

What is the take home message?
Healthy eating can influence many aspects of one’s health. Specifically, healthy eating decreases and physical pain.
If you would like to know more about healthy food choices, healthy eating, or meal planning, please call 613-290-6115 to book an appointment.

Graham Beaton is a naturopath practicing in downtown Ottawa.

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Moroccan Eggs

Looking for a healthy breakfast option to use fall leafy greens?

Moroccan Eggs

Moroccan Eggs


  • Olive Oil
  • Swiss Chard – 1 bunch – stems removed and sliced, leaves cut into ribbons (can substitute with kale, collard greens, spinach)
  • Crushed Tomatoes – 1 can
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Onion – yellow – 1 medium – finely chopped
  • Garlic – 5 cloves – chopped/crushed
  • Chili – red or green, seeded and sliced
  • Paprika – ½ tsp
  • Cayenne – pinch
  • Saffron – 1 pinch
  • Eggs – 1-2 per person
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In a large oven proof skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. When warmed, add swiss chard stems and sautee for 5 minutes until beginning to be tender. Remove stems from pan from pan.
  • Using same warmed skillet, add olive oil and cumin seeds. Let them fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
  • Add onion, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes until softened.
  • Add tomatoes, Swiss chard stems, chili, paprika, garlic, cayenne and saffron (optional). Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes until sauce thickens. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook until wilted. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Create divots (one divot per egg) in the sauce and break egg into the divot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Place skillet in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes (or until whites have set).

For more on healthy eating, contact Graham Beaton“>Graham Beaton naturopathic doctor at 613-290-6115. Graham is in practice a few blocks south of Somerset St and Elgin St in Ottawa.

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Health Seminar – Colorectal Cancer


Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in Canadian adults, affecting nearly 1 in 14 men and 1 in 15 women. It is possible to reduce one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer, and given its frequency, it is important to properly screen for its presence. Please join us to learn more about managing your colorectal health.

Topics of this seminar will include:

  • Anatomy of the digestive system
  • Description of colorectal cancer
  • Risk factors for the development of colorectal cancer
  • Prevention of colorectal cancer
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Description of management

Graham Beaton, BHSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Ottawa Collaborative Care Centres

Date and Time:
Thursday March 26th at 7 pm.

To register for this free event, please contact the Sunnyside Public Library or call 613-290-6115.

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Pickled cabbage


  • Large head of red or green cabbage
  • 1/3 cup salt


  • Sterilise glass jars and their seals.
  • Wash and dry cabbage. Quarter the cabbage, discard core then shred it finely.
  • Transfer shredded cabbage to a glass mixing bowl and sprinkle salt over top. Mix salt in with the cabbage. Weight down the cabbage to keep it submerged in the liquid that is/will be released from the cabbage.
  • Transfer to the sterile jar(s). Ensure that the cabbage is submerged in the liquid. If needed, add 1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of water to fill the jar, ensuring that the cabbage is submerged.
  • Cover the container with cheesecloth and tie it tightly (use rubber band or string).
  • Store in a cool place (temperature range 65 to 75 degrees F).
  • Let stand for 1 week to cure, cover, then refrigerate.
  • Pickled cabbage can last up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.

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Savory and Red Cabbage Salad


  • Red cabbage – ½ head finely shredded
  • Savory cabbage – 5 to 10 leaves chopped
  • Mango – 1 cup in strips
  • Papaya – 1 cup in strips
  • Mint – ¼ cup chopped
  • Cilantro – 1.5 cups chopped
  • Toasted chopped almonds – 1 cup


  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Maple syrup – 2 tablespoons
  • Olive oil – 4 table spoons
  • Garlic – 1 clove chopped or crushed
  • Salt and pepper


  • Combine ingredients for salad. Make dressing. Combine both and serve.
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    Savory cabbage salad with mint and cumin


    • Savory cabbage – 2/3 head of cabbage
    • Dandelion leaves (in Ottawa, they are available at Whole Foods) – 1 bunch
    • Mint leaves – 1 bunch


    • Olive oil – 2/3 cup
    • Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • Garlic – 1 clove crushed or chopped
    • Salt and pepper


    • Shred cabbage and chop dandelion and mint, combine. Make dressing. Add dressing to salad and serve.

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    Seared Red Cabbage Wedges

    This recipe is very simple to do, and can be served as a side to a wide variety of meats.


    • Head of red cabbage
    • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin)
    • Salt and pepper


    • Heat the olive oil in a cast iron frying pan over high heat.
    • While pan/oil is heating, cut cabbage into 8-10 wedges.
    • When pan/oil is hot, place wedges into pan in a single layer. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the cabbage is golden brown. Turn cabbage over and cook on opposite side, another 3-5 minutes
    • Season with salt and pepper

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    Lentil Salad with squash, carrots, beets and cabbage

    Ingredients for salad

    • Green lentils (puy lentils) – 2 cups
    • 1/4 head red cabbage
    • Acorn squash – 1 small, peeled and diced
    • Carrots – 2, peeled and diced
    • Beets – 2 medium, peeled and diced
    • Summer savory or thyme – 2 sprigs
    • Rosemary – 1 sprig
    • Garlic – 2 cloves chopped or crushed
    • Parsley – chopped
    • Bay leaf – 1
    • Salt and pepper

    Ingredients for dressing

    • Olive oil – ¼ cup
    • Juice from 1 freshly squeezed orange
    • Salt and pepper


    • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast vegetables (squash, carrots, beets) in single layer in roasting pan with olive oil, salt, summer savory/thyme and rosemary for 25 minutes or until tender.
    • Combine 6 cups of water with the green lentils in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add a bay leaf and pepper. Do not salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are tender.
    • Make dressing.
    • Drain lentils and discard bay leaf.
    • Shred red cabbage and toss with olive oil (2-3 tablespoons).
    • Combine lentils, red cabbage, parsley, roasted vegetables and dressing.

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    In Season – Cabbage

    During the winter months, many Ottawans look to continue eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. But, what is in season this time of year? Cabbage. Cabbage is a great meal option in the winter – it is in season, full of nutrients and can be used creatively in recipes. Varieties of cabbage include green, red, savory, and several Chinese cabbages.

    Green Cabbage
    Green cabbage has pale to dark exterior leaves with pale green to white interior leaves. It can be eaten raw, or cooked in stir fries, sautéed, boiled, added to soups, or made into a wrap. Eating green cabbage raw has a peppery flavor, while cooking it makes it taste sweeter.

    From a nutritional standpoint, green cabbage is high in vitamin C (32% RDA per cup), folate (10% RDA per cup), and fiber (2.1 g per cup).

    Red Cabbage
    Red cabbage has red to purple outer leaves (the color of the leaves influenced by the pH level of the soil where it was grown), with white streaks on the inside. Flavor characteristics of red cabbage are similar to green (peppery if eaten raw, sweeter when cooked). With cooking, the color of red cabbage will fade and may bleed into the other foods it is cooked with.

    Nutritionally, red cabbage has a higher content of vitamin C (84% RDA per cup) compared to green cabbage. It has a high content of vitamin A (22% RDA per cup) and is a great source of fiber (1.9 g per cup).

    Savory Cabbage
    Savory cabbage is shaped like green cabbage, with a lighter green or yellowy-green color. Savory cabbage leaves are more delicate and have a milder flavor than green cabbage.

    Like other cabbages, savory cabbage is high in vitamin C (36% RDA per cup), vitamin A (14% RDA per cup) and is a good source of dietary fiber (2.2 g per cup)

    Chinese cabbages
    There are many varieties of Chinese cabbages, which include bok choy, choy sum, gai choy and napa.

    From a nutritional perspective, bok choy has a high content of beta carotene (24% RDA per cup), vitamin C (49% RDA per cup), folate (17% RDA per cup), iron (22% RDA per cup), fiber (2.7 g per cup) and has a much higher content of potassium (631 mg per cup) compared to other types of cabbage.

    Choosing a head of cabbage
    Choose a firm, dense/heavy head of cabbage that has only a few loose outer crisp leaves. For storage, it is best to store it in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator.

    Cancer fighting cabbage
    Cabbage contains several chemicals that may play a role in fighting various forms of cancer. These include many types of indole and isothiocyanate chemicals, that may reduce incidence of colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    Healthy Eating for New Year’s Resolution – Why eat a beet?

    Graham Beaton BHSc, ND
    Ottawa Naturopathic Doctor

    Beets are a root vegetable with two parts you can eat – the root and the green leaves. Beats are a good source of fiber (which helps with cholesterol and blood sugar), potassium (which helps with blood pressure), iron and folate. While folate is more concentrated in the leaves, it is also found in the root and is an essential nutrient for pregnant women.

    Beets can be cooked or served:

    • As a salad – try tossing grated beets with apples in a lemon dressing or in a conventional beet salad
    • As diced cooked beets – try them on their own or mixed with cooked lentils or with brown/wild rice
    • Substitute beets for carrots and make a beet cake
    • Add to coleslaw
    • Sandwiches – top meat or poultry sandwiches with sliced/grated cooked beets and onions or apples.
    • Roasted beets – try roasting the beet with thyme to infuse some extra flavour
    • Pickled beets
    • Salsa – try making a beet salsa with avocado and a blood orange
    • Soup – a chilled beet soup with dill is an excellent starter to a meal
    • Risotto – use beets to liven up a risotto

    While most people just eat the root, the beet greens can be an excellent leafy side dish. Beet greens are a good source of fiber, are high in calcium, iron, vitamin A, C and K.

    Beet greens are often prepared by cooking them in a skillet over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Try sautéing them with garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt in a covered pan for about 3 minutes. Then drizzle with olive oil. You can also add toasted sesame seeds or toasted quinoa for some additional protein and a bit of crunch.

    If you feel like you are struggling to keep your health related New Year’s resolutions, would like help improving your diet, losing weight or addressing cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure, give Graham a call at 613-290-6115.

    Graham Beaton is a Naturopath in Ottawa at the Ottawa Collaborative Care Clinics.

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