One of our biggest fears is the loss of memory.We can do a lot to improve brain power through exercise, getting lots of rest, and socialization. Food too is a great way to improve those little gray cells. Elizabeth Somer,MA, author of Eat your Way to Happiness recommends the following:


DHA omega-3s.(fatty acids)-A friend of mine told me years ago that fish is brain food. He was right.  DHA, that is highest in trout and salmon, help the brain cell walls stay elastic, fluid and communicating with each other.Your body can't make DHA so you must get it from external sources.The You Docs* tell of one research study whereby people with memory declines took daily DHA for 6 months and did so well their brains became three years younger!They recommend 900mg per day.

You can also get DHA from algae-based DHA supplements.


Jewel-toned fruits and veggies

You've all heard of damaging free-radicals or rogue oxygen molecules, that are a by-product of cellular activity. Your brain uses up a lot of oxygen. Phytochemicals that are abundant in dark-green spinach,pumpkin, raspberries, and yellow peppers help mop them up.The You Docs say that not only do they disarm free radicals, they also switch on genes that muster your body's antioxidant defenses.They suggest nine servings a day.


Drink lots. Dehydration can blur your thinking. Keep your urine pale.


Walnuts,almonds,hazelnuts, pecans.A good source of mono and polyunsaturated fats that help to keep your arteries clear which allows better transport of oxygen to the brain. The docs suggest 1 ounce a day. That's equal to 12 walnut halves or 24 almonds.Don't overdo it though, they are high in fat.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate that is 70% or more in cocoa boosts feel-good levels of dopamine and produces flavinoids which help keep arteries young . The You Docs recommend eating 1/4 ounce 4 times per day. Yaaaay!

*Taken from the Toronto Star  column "The You Docs" Reboot Your Brain Power With Food. Nov 9,2010.


Green tea is becoming the drink de rigueur these days and rightly so. Not only does it taste delicious but it contains many health benefits that are being just now discovered but have been known in Asian cultures for centuries. Leslie Beck, a nutritionist for The Globe and Mail has written a column “Why green should be you cup of tea”

A guide to green tea

The following describes the main types of green tea you’ll find in tea shops. To add flavour and aroma, try green tea leaves blended with peppermint, dried fruit or flowers.
This is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. The leaves are slender and long and produce a slightly sweet tea with a fresh, green scent. (Lesser quality sencha tea is called bancha.)

Dragon Well

Also called Lung Ching, this is the ultimate Chinese green tea produced in the Chinese village of Dragon Well. Its leaves are broad and flat and bright green. Its flavour is sweet, delicate and slightly brisk.


 This Chinese green tea is made of leaves that are hand-rolled into tiny pellets, resembling gunpowder. Look for shiny pellets, which indicate freshness. The tea has a mildly astringent, grassy flavour; sometimes it’s peppery and sometimes it has a hint of smoke.


This powdered green tea is famous for its use in the Japanese tea ceremony. When you drink matcha you consume the powdered leaves, not just the water from steeped tea leaves. As a result, you consume a higher concentration of antioxidants. Matcha tea produces a bright green, frothy beverage with a very grassy and slightly astringent taste.
Use ½ to one teaspoon of matcha to 2 to 3 ounces of water. Add more water for desired taste. Stir until frothy.

Lemon Iced Green Tea



From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
This refreshing iced tea has very little sugar, making it a much healthier alternative to store-bought versions.. For variety, use different types of green teas, including tea leaves blended with dried fruit or flowers.
Servings: 6


6 green tea bags
6 cups boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
fresh mint leaves, as garnish


Pour boiling water over tea bags in a large pitcher. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on desired strength.
Remove tea bags. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Allow tea to cool before pouring into 6 large ice-filled glasses. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.
From Foods that Fight Disease © Leslie Beck, 2008.

If you’re like me and hate broccoli, Oasis is now marketing its new Oasis Health Break CholestPrevent Juice- 250mls provides 50% of plant sterols shown to help reduce cholesterol in adults. The juice contains a blend of mangoes ,oranges and cranberries and supplements the sterols that naturally occur in vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and vegetable oils. It has no sugar added. For more information, visit

NB: This product is not a substitution for cholesterol-reducing medication like statins, and you should always talk to your doctor before discontinuing any drugs or substituting them with other treatments.

July 29/2011

A yogurt a day may keep heart disease away  

Adding a serving of yogurt to your daily diet may do more than help keep your bones strong. A new study suggests it could also lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
We’ve long been advised to limit our intake of cholesterol and saturated fat from dairy products to cut heart-disease risk. Yet several studies have found that regular consumption of dairy – in particular fermented milk products – benefit the heart.

Canada's Food Guide through the years

Test your nutrition IQ

Fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir contain friendly probiotic bacteria that may help guard against disease.

A new study published online in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate at least 100 grams (slightly less than half a cup) of yogurt every day had significantly less plaque build-up on the walls of their carotid arteries.

The carotid arteries are the major blood vessels supplying the brain with blood. The thicker the plaque in them, the less space there is for blood to travel through. The thickness of the two inner layers of the carotid artery (called carotid artery intima-media thickness) has been shown to predict the risk of stroke, heart attack and death from heart disease.
In the study, researchers measured the dairy consumption of 1,080 Australian women over the age of 70. Carotid artery thickness was measured by ultrasound three years later.

High consumption of yogurt – but not milk or cheese – was associated with lower carotid artery thickness and higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Women who ate 100 to 200 grams (half to one cup) of yogurt each day had significantly better test results than their peers whose daily diets provided less than 100 grams.
This finding remained strong even after accounting for other cardiovascular risk factors such as body mass index, physical activity, smoking, diabetes, calorie intake, fish intake and so on.
The results suggest – but don’t prove – that increasing yogurt consumption may prevent thickening of the carotid arteries and, ultimately, guard against heart disease and stroke.

Previous research has also found that daily yogurt consumption increased HDL cholesterol levels. As well, certain strains of probiotic bacteria (lactobacillus casei, for example) have been shown to improve blood triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure.

There are other reasons to add yogurt to your diet, providing, of course, you’re not allergic to it. Yogurt’s active bacterial cultures can help stimulate the immune system, reduce symptoms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and improve the absorption of lactose in people with mild to moderate lactose intolerance.
(Probiotic bacteria break down the lactose in milk.)
The healthiest yogurt has no refined sugar added. A 175-gram tub of plain low-fat yogurt packs 9 grams of protein and 320 milligrams of calcium, as well as a fair amount of riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12, zinc and potassium. All for only 100 calories.
Not all yogurts are created equal. You need to read labels to know if you’re buying a really healthy yogurt.
Choose low-fat

To reduce your intake of cholesterol-raising saturated fat, choose a yogurt with 1 per cent milk fat (MF) or less.
Limit sugar

If you don’t eat your yogurt plain, you need to consider the amount of sugar in fruit-bottom and flavoured yogurts.
The sugar numbers on nutrition labels include added sugars and naturally occurring sugars such as lactose. A 175-gram serving typically contains 12 to 14 grams of lactose, and sweetened yogurts have 2 to 4 teaspoons of added sugars. That extra sugar also reduces the protein content.
Choose a yogurt with no more than 20 grams of sugar per 175-gram serving, including the 12 to 14 grams of natural milk sugars.
Smaller tubs will have lower cut-offs. For example, if comparing 100-gram tubs, choose a product with no more than 12 grams of sugar.
Review calcium

Unlike many unhealthy foods that are growing in size, tubs of yogurt are getting smaller. That means they don’t supply as much calcium as you might think.
The amount of calcium is expressed as a percentage of daily value (% DV) on the
nutrition label. The % DV is based on the average recommended daily intake for calcium (1,100 milligrams).
Look for at least 20 per cent DV for calcium per 175-gram serving. That means you’re getting a minimum of 220 milligrams of calcium.
Look for at least 12 per cent DV for calcium per 100-gram serving (132 milligrams of calcium). And remember, you’ll need to eat more than a tiny tub to get a milk serving’s worth of calcium. You’re better off buying a large tub of yogurt and portioning out a 175-gram serving.
Consider Greek-style

If you want creamy, rich-tasting yogurt that’s higher in protein, try Greek-style yogurt. Once the milk has been heated and cultured, it’s strained in a filter to remove the whey, the liquid part of milk. The result is a thick yogurt with twice as much protein as regular yogurt. One serving (175 grams) of plain Greek yogurt has 18 to 21 grams of protein. (The zero-fat variety contains 120 calories.)
Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based dietitian at the Medcan Clinic, is on CTV’s Canada AM every Wednesday. Her website is

June 26/2011

Michael Kesterton writes in the Globe and Mail April 27, 2011:


“According to experts, one-half of the population uses dietary supplements,” Psych Central reports. “ For most of us, we believe this is a method of improving our health status. However a new research effort suggests this supposed health-enhancing behaviour may in fact cause poor health practices. Taiwanese researchers…designed a study to determine if increased use of dietary supplements had unintended consequences for subsequent health related behaviours….(Their experiments) demonstrated that participants who believed they had taken dietary supplements felt invulnerable to health hazards, thus leading them to engage in health risk behaviours. Researchers discovered participants in the perceived supplement use group had less desire to exercise, consumed a less healthy diet and walked less than the control group.”

July 19/11

Campbell Company of Canada to raise some salt levels.

The Globe and Mail reports that the Campbell Company in the U.S and Canada is planning to increase the salt content in some of its soups sold under the Select Harvest Brand. The reason why-taste. One good reason why we need government watch-dogs over food companies.

For the full story go to:

Aug 6/2011

Eating Your Way Out of Hypertension

American Heart Association study finds foods high in soy milk or milk proteins or even reverse hypertension.


Go Nuts to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure



Cut Saturated fats, Refined Sugars to Boost your Brain

Aug 15/2011

 Do you eat when you’re stressed? This new study knows why

Aug 17/2011

Trying to cut calories? Up the protein first


Aug 30/2011

Oats and Barley Blast Bad Cholesterol: Proper Diet best Defence Against Bad Cholesterol : Study

Sept 22/2011

You’ve got to read between the lines:

Not all food labels are created equal: Look closely at claims such as “contains real fruit” or “probiotics” before you buy.

Oct 14

Oct. 20/2011

Eating fish may lower risk of stroke

Oct 26/2011

More Compelling Reasons to Eat Your Broccoli (yuck)

Jan 9/2012

“It Used To Be: Butter or Margarine?”- Leslie Beck

Jan 11/2012

Want to eat right in 2012? Take the quiz By Leslie Beck of the Globe and Mail
Jan 12/2012

Willpower’s secret weapon? Sugar ByTralee Pearce

Jan 26/ 2012

Magnesium Can Help Lower Stroke Risk

Feb 9/2012

Feast On Flavonoids, Help Your Heart

March 2/ 2012

Oats and Barley Blast Bad Cholesterol

March 12/2012

What’s the Most Nutritious Lettuce?

March 19/2012

An orange a day may keep strokes at bay

March 27/2012

The new weight-loss math

                                     Canada: Saltiest Of The Earth ?

Where do you think the most excess salt comes from? The salt shaker? Nope. Most excess salt consumed by Canadians comes from prepared foods from the grocery store and fast food suppliers that load our french fries with it.Canadians are one of the highest consumers of salt in the world! My husband and I starting cutting down on our salt intake years ago, and now I have become super sensitive to the taste of salt.You might be surprised how deadened your taste buds become to heavy salt, it becomes very unpalatable when you stop consuming it on a regular basis. Salt acts like a sponge in your blood vessels, drawing in too much fluid from your tissues or holding on to excess fluid that you drink, which in turn raises your blood pressure.Raised blood pressure can damage the sides if your blood vessel walls which causes a roughened surface that more easily attracts plaque . The build up of plaque can restrict blood flow to your vital organs and slow down the blood flow within the vessels which allows clot formation that can cause a heart attack or stroke. It is recommended to keep your salt intake below 2,300 milligrams per day. Remember to read your labels!

April 19/2012

Fish tips: A 12-step program for ridding yourself of fish phobia

Best fish stores in Toronto

Tsukiji Fish Market

Grilled Whole Fish by Lucy Waverman

Roasted Fish by Lucy Waverman

Traditional Fried Fish By Lucy Waverman

April 25/2012

Watch that soft drink consumption- research shows that it increases your risk of stroke.

May 9/2012

How To Get Your "Bacteria Fix" With Probiotics

June 22/2012

Aug 16/2012

Artificial Butter Flavouring Linked To Alzheimer's Disease Risk

Oct 29/2012

Cracking the Claims About Coconut Oil

                      Nov.27/ 2012

          Stronger Warnings About Grapefruit



Seville Oranges



Do you need a multivitamin?