How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor Cost?

How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor Cost?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

A naturopathic doctor’s consultation is based on an hourly rate. A first visit is often 1 – 1½ hours in length. Naturopath doctor costs vary and many have switched to virtual consults following covid and have maintained their virtual practise. This will limit their ability to perform some of the ND role such as acupuncture but allows services to potentially be more cost effective.

When developing an individualized fee guide, Ontario Naturopathic Doctors need to be mindful of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) Standard of Practice: Fees and Billing. This Standard outlines that fees should “not be excessive in relation to the services proposed and are an accurate reflection of the services provided to each patient”.

In a initial consult the Naturopathic Doctor will comprise a full history of the presenting issues, review any documentation provided, collect a detailed inquiry concerning the person’s complaints and detailed examination of the affected part, region or system as required to: a) arrive at a diagnosis, b) complete an appropriate record of findings c) advise the patient on course of treatment; and d) where appropriate, refer the patient for other health care.

In researching the initial Naturopathic Doctor assessments can range $250 up to $450 and more likely higher if this is a in clinic consult versus a virtual one, although this might not be the case especially if they offer a specialty.

The last fee guidelines that came out for Naturopath Doctors was by the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors in 2016. In this guideline it indicated that initial assessments would usually cost between $160-$240. Given that we are now in 2023 (7 years later) assessments being charged between $250 and $450 is reasonable.

Follow up sessions will vary as well from anywhere between $150 to $250 for 45-60 minutes. The Fee guidelines which were last provided in 2016 indicated that 1 hour follow up sessions to be between $135 to $185. So current market rates of $150-$250 is considered reasonable.

Is Naturopath doctors covered by insurance?

Most extended health insurance plans in Canada cover naturopathic treatments, especially now that Naturopath Doctors are regulated health professionals. Insured patients are encouraged to contact their employer or individual insurance brokers to determine if they are covered and/or to request that their policy be extended to include naturopathic services if it does not already do so. Other health benefit plans tend to have flexi plans where they have a certain amount of funds that could go towards alternate health care and the person can choose which health professional they would like to use that money.

Are Naturopath Doctors working in the Auto Sector?

It is rare to find Naturopath doctors that are set up on Hcai and that can complete their own treatment plans. Although Naturopathic Doctors are regulated health professionals they are unable to sign off on the OCF 18’s so this needs to be coordinated by a third party. Naturopath doctors are being covered and approved in the auto sector. Although the FSCO fee guidelines do not have ND’s listed, the adjuster will sometimes question the rate and drop it to a non regulated health professional even though they are a regulated health professional. The nonregulated rate is significantly below market rates for a naturopathic doctor and when this occurs the ND can not proceed with the treatment plan.  

If you are interested in a naturopath doctor consult please book in with Dr. Oliva Chubey or Dr. Karm Hans using our online booking site

If you want more information on what or how a naturopath doctor can help you please reach out to Kylie at [email protected] or call 1 (855) 386-KORU (5678) ex 801. We want to help you and are hear to listen.


What Does A Naturopath Doctor Do And How Can They Help Me?

What Does A Naturopath Doctor Do And How Can They Help Me?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

What is Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is based on the healing power of nature and it supports and stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself.

Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention using natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, lifestyle counseling, health promotion, and disease prevention.

What can Naturopathic Medicine do for you?

Naturopathic medicine treats all health concerns for all ages from acute to chronic and physical to psychological. Naturopathic medicine is beneficial for the following:

  • People that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion strategies.
  • People that have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners.
  • People that have been diagnosed with an illness, often serious or chronic, and are looking for additional treatment options.
  • People that are looking for integrative care, or a combination of conventional and naturopathic treatments, with the aim of minimizing side effects of drugs, surgery or conventional treatments, improving the efficacy of treatment and increasing success of treatment of certain conditions.

What conditions do Naturopath Doctors commonly work with?

Some of the primary conditions treated by Naturopathic Doctors include, but are not limited to:

  • Digestive conditions like IBS, IBD, SIBO, bloating, and food sensitivities
  • Hormonal concerns like infertility, menopause, PMS, irregular periods, painful periods, PCOS, and Endometriosis
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Insomnia or difficulty with sleep
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Autism/ADD/ADHD
  • Autoimmune concerns
  • Adrenal and Thyroid conditions
  • Mental health such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, high stress levels
  • Brain Injury
  • Chronic pain

What Tests can Naturopath Doctors do?

Naturopath Doctors can run a variety of lab tests for a number of reasons including monitoring health systems, establishing individual baselines, tracking health trends, screening as well as track improvements and efficacy of treatments. It can help to determine a diagnose of a client’s condition identifying the root cause of their symptoms and ca rule out a suspected diagnosis.

Lab tests can be blood, saliva, stool, urine or breath. These tests are either done in a lab, like Lifelabs, or at home by the patient and shipped directly to the testing site.

Different tests that Naturopath doctors can do include:

  • Digestion Panel to identify for Crohn’s, Irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, Irritable bowel disease, maldigestion, malabsorption
  • Liver and Kidney panel
  • Inflammation panel
  • Autoimmune panel
  • Electrolytes panel
  • Food Allergy testing (IgE, IgG)
  • Test for H.pylori or SIBO (Small intestine Bacteria Overgrowth)
  • Test for pathogens, bacteria, yeast, candida, parasites
  • Test for nutrient deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids)
  • Fertility panel for Female or Male Hormonal
  • Adrenal or Thyroid Panel
  • Metabolic Panel for cardiovascular and diabetes/blood sugars (cholesterol, Triglycerides, Hba1c, insulin fasting
  • Hormonal panels for male and females
  • Adrenocortex Stress Profile – melatonin, cortisol for stress and sleep issues

How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor Cost and Are They Covered Under Health Benefits

Please check out our article How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor cost? to have those questions answered.

Do you need a consult with a Naturopathic consult?

If you are interested in a naturopath doctor consult please book in with Dr. Oliva Chubey or Dr. Karm Hans using our online booking site

If you want to get more information on what or how a naturopath doctor can help you and would like to chat please reach out to Kylie at [email protected] or call 1 (855) 386-KORU (5678) ex 801. We want to help you and are here to listen.

What Can I Eat When I Have A Stomach Ulcer?

What Can I Eat When I Have A Stomach Ulcer?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Researchers estimate about 1% to 6% of people in the United States have stomach ulcers otherwise called gastric ulcers. (1)

Studies have shown that the prevalence of gastric ulcers increases with age. Most ulcers caused by H. pylori are completely treatable. But untreated stomach ulcers can lead to more serious problems, like internal bleeding and stomach cancer.

What is a Stomach Ulcer?

Stomach ulcers are open sores within the lining of the stomach and they can be extremely painful, especially when eating. They develop when the acids that normally help you to digest and break down food damage the lining of the stomach or the small intestine.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stomach Ulcer?

Signs that you may have a stomach ulcer include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, burping, loss of appetite and difficulty tolerating eating due to pain. A person may feel full too soon while eating a meal or feel uncomfortably full after eating a meal. As a result of difficulties eating and with digestion, many people reduce their food intake leading to weight loss.

People may not develop symptoms until an ulcer leads to complications.

What Causes Stomach Ulcers?

70% of stomach ulcers is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. (2)

Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin (Bayer), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).

What Tests are Done to Diagnose a Stomach Ulcer?

An endoscopy involves a small, thin tube with a camera attached being inserted down the throat and into the stomach. It allows your doctor to see and diagnose an ulcer. Your doctor can also take a sample of your stomach lining or run tests of your blood, breath, or stool to test for H. pylori bacteria.

How to Treat Stomach Ulcers Naturally?

To effectively treat stomach ulcers, you need to first address the underlying cause. So if you have a H. pylori infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications, which may include amoxicillin, tetracycline, clarithromycin or bismuth subsalicylate.

To address stomach ulcers through diet, here are 7 nutrition recommendations:

1. Consume a High Fiber Diet
High-fiber foods can prevent excess stomach acid secretion, which can reduce ulcer pain and protect the stomach lining as the ulcer heals.

Many high-fiber foods are also good sources of polyphenols, plant chemicals that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and protective properties that work to improve healing.

2. Consume Broccoli
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that exhibits anti-H. pylori activity. In one study involving people with H. pylori infection, eating 70 grams of broccoli sprouts per day reduced stomach inflammation and significantly reduced infection. (3)

Check out our delicious vegetarian broccoli stir fry

3. Consume Foods High in Antioxidants and Flavonoids
If your stomach ulcer is caused by an H. pylori infection, foods that are rich in antioxidants may be beneficial. They can help activate your immune system and help fight the infection. They may also help protect against stomach cancer.

Flavonoids are a phytonutrient found in certain fruits and vegetables, in particular berries can help protect the stomach lining by defending the lining of the stomach and allowing ulcers to heal.

In one laboratory study, extracts of various berries inhibited the growth of H. pylori. (4) There is also some evidence to suggest that unsweetened cranberry juice may be useful in treating H. pylori infection. (5)

Check out this delicious berry smoothie for a high antioxidant breakfast.

4. Olive oil
Some research shows that the fatty acids contained in olive oil can also help treat an H. pylori infection. In one study, people with H. pylori infection took various doses of olive oil every day for 14 days. The results were mixed, but the researchers concluded that olive oil might be moderately effective in treating H. pylori infection. (6)

5. Probiotics and Fermented Foods
Studies have shown that probiotics may be helpful in wiping out H. pylori. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces supplements have shown benefits in people with H. pylori ulcers. (7) Consuming fermented foods such as plain Greek yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and tempeh are loaded with probiotics to help fight off the H.pylori infection.

6. Raw Honey
Raw pure honey can contain 100’s of compounds and nutrients, including but not limited to polyphenols and antioxidants. Honey is also a powerful antibacterial and has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth. Manuka honey and Oaktree honey in particular are particularly potent. (8)

Check out our stomach ulcer soothing smoothie which contains raw honey, berries and kefir!

7. Focus on Therapeutic Herbs
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (taken one hour before meals) and curcumin extract (the active component of turmeric) have shown promise in some ulcer research due to their action against H. pylori. (9,10)

For more information on turmeric and its health benefits including anti-cancer check out this article.

8. Drink Green Tea
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in many plant foods that can be used to manage stomach ulcers. Polyphenols in green tea can help calm inflammation and help to strengthen the tissue that lines the stomach. (11)

Check out our yummy matcha green tea recipe!

9. Consume Foods High in vitamin A
There’s evidence that this nutrient can help shrink stomach ulcers and may also play a role in preventing them. Foods with a good dose of vitamin A include spinach, kale, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, and beef liver.

Check out our sweet potato and pomegranate salad loaded with antioxidants, fiber and vitamin A.

10. Foods to Avoid When you Have a Stomach Ulcer
Ulcers can often cause acid reflux therefore you want to avoid foods that are acid forming or contribute to acid reflux.

To reduce acid reflux pain, you may want to limit these acid forming foods:

• coffee and other caffeinated beverages
• carbonated beverages
• chocolate
• chilies and hot peppers
• processed foods
• refined grains such as white bread, white pasta and white rice
• foods with a high amount of salt
• deep-fried foods
• acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes


Stomach ulcers can be extremely painful and problematic but implementing nutrition support can not only help address the underlying cause of the ulcer (such as H. pylori) but can better help manage symptoms and support the healing process.

Give us a call and we can provide you with an individualised program to help you manage and address your stomach ulcer.

Stay happy and healthy



  1. [1] Ingram RJM, Ragunath K, Atherton JC. Chapter 56: Peptic ulcer disease. In: Podolsky DK, Camilleri M, Fitz G, et al, eds. Yamada’s Textbook of Gastroenterology. 6th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016:1032–1077.
  11. Muni Raja Lakshmi K, Kiran M, Sai Prasanna K. A review on natural plants for phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities. J Drug Delivery Ther. 2021;11(2):232-236. doi: 10.22270/jddt.v11i2.4593
What You Need To Know About Stomach Cancer

What You Need To Know About Stomach Cancer

Mental Health Gut Article

During their lifetime, nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer. On a positive note, cancer mortality rates are decreasing more than 2% per year in several different cancers including stomach cancer. (8)

The Canadian Cancer Statistics: A 2022 special report on cancer prevalence – was developed by the Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee in collaboration with CCS, Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The report details that at the beginning of 2018, an estimated 1.5 million people alive in Canada had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 25 years; approximately 60% of whom were diagnosed 5 to 25 years ago. This highlights the high number of people living long-term with or beyond cancer.


The most common type of stomach cancer is called adenocarcinoma, and this accounts for 90-95% of all stomach cancers. Stomach cancer occurs when normally healthy cells that line with stomach become cancerous and grow out of control, forming a tumor. This process generally happens slowly and usually develops over many years.


  • Have a family history of gastric cancer
  • Have an infection of the stomach by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H pylori)
  • Had a polyp (abnormal growth) larger than 2 centimeters in your stomach
  • Have inflammation and swelling of the stomach for a long time (chronic atrophic gastritis)
  • Have pernicious anemia (low number of red blood cells from intestines not properly absorbing vitamin B12)

Dietary/lifestyle risk factors include

  • Consume a lot of cured, smoked meats
  • Eat a lot of salty or processed foods
  • Eat meat frequently
  • Having a diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Drink a lot of alcohol (at least three drinks per day) (1)
  • Don’t get enough exercise
  • Don’t store or cook food properly
  • Smoking

Certain ethnicities are at risk for the development of gastric adenocarcinoma. Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Native Americans, and people of Pacific Island descent are at the greatest risk. In contrast, Filipinos and Caucasians are at the lowest risk.


The stage of stomach cancer indicates how far the cancer has spread in the body.

A lower number represents an earlier stage of cancer. While tumor growth and spread will vary, in general, each stage looks like:

  • Stage 0 – There are abnormal or cancerous cells in only the surface of the stomach lining, but the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
  • Stage 1 – The tumor has extended into deeper layers of the stomach. The cancer may or may not have spread to one or two of the lymph nodes surrounding the stomach, but it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 2 – The tumor has reached deeper layers of the stomach, and the cancer has usually spread to the lymph nodes. It hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 3 – The tumor has grown deeper into the layers of the stomach and possibly into nearby organs. The cancer has likely spread to the lymph nodes, but hasn’t reached distant parts of the body.
  • Stage 4 – The cancer may have reached deeper stomach layers or nearby lymph nodes, but this isn’t a requirement. At this stage, the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, brain, or liver.

As long as the cancer hasn’t spread to distant parts of the body, it will be between stage 0 and 3. If it has spread to other areas, the diagnosis will be stage 4 stomach cancer.


The World Cancer Research Foundation in there 1997 report concluded that by making a few simple changes to your diet you could reduce the risk of cancer by 30-40%.

  1. Consume a Mediterranean Diet

People following a Mediterranean diet over a 4 year period compared to those that followed the American Heart Association diet showed a 61% reduction in cancer risk and half the risk of death. (2)

Click here for more information on the Mediterranean diet.

  1. Eat lots of Fruit and Vegetables

This is specifically so for cancers involving the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, pharynx, colon and rectum). Eating the rainbow ensures that you are getting all the different antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help boost the immune system and fight off cancer. A study has shown that consuming a carrot a day can cut your cancer risk by a third. (3)

  1. Eat Garlic

Garlic contains about 200 compounds many of which protect against cancer. A National Cancer Institute study found that provinces that used garlic liberally had the lowest rate of stomach cancers. (4) People who consume raw or cooked garlic regularly reduced their risk of stomach cancer by 50% and two thirds the risk of colorectal cancer compared to people who eat little or none. (5)

  1. Limit Red Meat and Eliminate Processed Meats

Red meat includes beef, bacon, pork, lamb, goat and processed meats which are meats that are preserved such as smoked, salted and cured or with added chemical preservatives in it. These meats have been linked to stomach cancer. Carcinogens are often formed by cooking meats at high temperatures or on the BBQ when it becomes blackened. Processed meats contain nitrates that damage DNA increasing the risk of cancer to develop. One study revealed that certain cancers such as stomach cancer was 45% less likely to occur in vegetarians. (6)

Ideally you should limit red meat consumption to 5 ½ ounces of red meat (equivalent to the size of the palm of your hand) twice a week.

  1. Eat Organic

Pesticides in contaminated foods can damage DNA and predispose a person to cancer. We understand organic food can make your grocery bill more expensive but the good news is that all foods do not need to be organic (although ideally it does if you have been diagnosed with cancer). The “dirty dozen” are the foods that have been identified as the most polluted and highly sprayed so it is best to buy organic for the following: peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries and grapes, sweet bell peppers, celery, kale, lettuce, potatoes and carrots.

  1. Balance Blood Sugars

It is very important to balance blood sugar levels because when blood sugars drop, it raises the insulin-like growth factor. (IGF-1) These hormone have the ability to promote the growth of cancer cells. Eating foods high on the glycemic index has been linked to stomach cancers. (7)

So you need to make sure your meals are balanced with a ¼ plate containing a lean protein (such as chicken, fish or tofu), a ¼ plate of starchy vegetables or grains (such as quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato) and a ½ plate of non starchy vegetables (such as salad, asparagus, cauliflower or broccoli). It’s best to avoid sugars and refined grains as much as possible as cancer feeds on these.

  1. Maintaining Positive Emotions and Mindset

The more I research the more I see the power of emotions and mindset and the dramatic impact it has on our body both good and bad. Negative mindset weakens the immune system, increases the risk of infection and onset of disease.

A 2003 study published in the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences linked “negative” brain activity or thought patterns with a weakened immune system. One study followed 100,000 women over 8 years and found that optimists in the group were 23% less likely to die of cancer than those women who tended to have a general distrust in people.

Click here for strategies on how to improve your positive mindset.

  1. Manage Stress

Research has shown that cancer is frequently diagnosed in people who have major loss or traumatic events within the previous 2 years. Stress tends to impact cancer development quicker than those exposed to asbestos which can take up to 40 years to manifest. Stress rapidly weakens the immune system and subsequently our ability to fight and manage cancer cells, which we all have and for the most part our immune system is good at fighting off. But with chronic or intense stress this makes it harder for our immune system to do.

Stress dramatically suppresses the immune system in our gut which is the major gateway for carcinogens entering our body. Also 75% of our immune system is in our gut making it even more important to support healthy gut flora and functioning.

Click here to read an article with more detailed information on this topic.


Cancer is scary and can rear it’s ugly head at any time. Taking a proactive approach is best but that usually occurs only when people have a family history of it or have seen a close one be diagnosed with cancer. There are so many ways through nutrition and lifestyle to help mitigate the risk of developing cancer and managing it. But you need to find the right approach for you and your cancer journey.

If you are interested in cancer preventative meals please check out our free 1 day cancer prevention meal plan or our 7 day cancer prevention meal plan for only $9.00.


  2. De Lorgeril, et al “mediertanean dietary pattern in a randomised trial; Prolonged survival and possible reduced cancer rate” Archives of Internal medicine, 1998 June 8;158(11):1181-7
  3. Buijsse, et al., Plasma Carotene and alpha -tocopherol in relation to 10y all-cause and cause specific mortality in European elderly; The Survey in Europe on Nutrition and Elderly, A Concerted Action, American Journal of Clinical nutrition , 2005 Oct,;82 (4):879-86
  4. C. You, et al., “allium vegetables and reduced risk of stomach cancer” Journal of the National cancer Institute, 1989 Jan. 18;81 (2): 162-4
  5. T. Fleischauer, et al., Garlic consumption and cancer prevention: Meta analysis of colorectal and stomach cancers”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000 Oct.;72 (4):1047-52
  6. Patrick Holford, “Say No To Cancer: The Drug Free guide to preventing and helping fight Cancer” 2010, Piartkus
  7. Bertuccio, et al., “Dietary Glycemic Load and Gastric Cancer Risk in Italy” British Journal of Cancer, 2009 Feb. 10;100 (3):558-61
  8. Government of Canada Cancer statistics










6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Or Contributing To Your Depression

6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Or Contributing To Your Depression

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Everywhere I look these days people are struggling with depression and anxiety. Teenagers, mom’s, older people, even in young kids! Mental health was already reaching a crisis point prior to the pandemic, and following this it has become at an all-time high, even though life has gone back to (relative) normal. By 2030, experts report that major depressive disorder (MDD) will become the main contributor to disease burden globally, and The Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on depression states that depression is already a global health crisis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 5% of adults (300 million people) worldwide live with depression, but about 75% of people with depression don’t get the treatment they need. About half of individuals diagnosed with depression also have a history of one or more anxiety diagnoses. So often people are dealing with multiple mental health problems.

The first course of action is for people to go to their family doctor and be put on antidepressants. But those can often come with many side effects and do not always work effectively. There can be a number of underlying reasons for depression and these are rarely explored by your doctor. It is important that these should be looked at to determine potential underlying issues and subsequently the best treatment approach.


Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies can cause or contribute to depression

Vitamins and minerals, although needed in smaller amounts in the body, are crucial for our body and brain to function effectively. Research shows that deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, folate, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium can all contribute to depression. Research also shows that low levels of B6, B12 and folic acid are excellent predictors of low mood.


Depression and Methylation

There is a process in our body called methylation, which is responsible for keeping thousands of neurotransmitters, hormones and other essential biochemicals in balance. Methylation is an important factor in determining your mood, motivation, concentration and ability to deal with stress. If you have problems with methylation this can contribute to high homocysteine levels.

Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid, so we always want to keep homocysteine levels in the body low. That’s where vitamins B12, B6 and folate come in. They help to break down homocysteine to create other chemicals your body needs. Without treatment, elevated homocysteine increases your risk of depression. Research shows that the higher your homocysteine levels the more likely you can feel depressed and demotivated. (1)

Studies have shown that over half of people with severe depression were found to have high homocysteine levels and high levels of homocysteine can double the risk of having depression. (1) High homocysteine levels are common in individuals with a folate or B12 deficiency and in those suffering from depression who have a poor response to anti-depressants. (2,3) So you may want to consider as part of your treatment to get blood work done and have your homocysteine levels as well as your B6 and B12 tested.


Folic Acid and Depression

Poor folic acid intake is found in up to 38% of people with diagnosed with depression and many notice improvements when they increase their intake of folic rich foods. (5) Folic acid is essential for nerve cell growth and maintenance as well personality and mood. Depressed patients who are folic acid deficient may be less responsive to antidepressant medications.

Research in men showed that men who had the highest blood levels of folic acid had half the risk of developing depression. (4) Another study of 15,000 people showed that the lower the persons folate levels in the blood the greater their risk of depression. (5)

Folic acid is found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and beans but is easily destroyed when food is cooked too long, reheated or cooked in large amounts of water such as boiling instead of the preferable method of light steaming.

Try our pesto baked eggs recipe which is loaded with folic acid as well as vitamin D.


Vitamin B6 and Depression

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation. Several studies have shown that depressive symptoms are associated with low blood levels of B6 and a diet low in B6. (6) B6 is necessary for creating neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, including serotonin (that makes us happy), dopamine (that helps us feel motivation and the sense of pleasure) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (that helps us feel calm and relaxed). Therefore, it plays a crucial role in managing our moods and feelings. (7)

Vitamin B6 may also play a role in decreasing high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which have been linked to depression and other psychiatric issues. (8,9) Although the research doesn’t necessarily show that supplementing with B6 can help with depression, this might mean that a more collaborative approach of taking a B complex with B12 and folic acid might be a more effective strategy. It also gives you better bang for your buck in terms of cost with taking all the B vitamins at once.

Loaded in B6, Folic acid and zinc try this simple spinach scramble recipe.


Vitamin B12 and Depression

Researchers found that a decrease in the vitamin B12 levels in the blood correlates with an increase in depression and that high vitamin B12 status may be associated with better treatment outcomes of depression. (10) One possible connection is the effect of vitamin B12 on the levels of serotonin in your brain, in addition to other chemicals. B12 is an important nutrient needed in the methylation process. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products so vegetarians, people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease or people who have low stomach acid are more at risk of a deficiency. Stomach acid naturally diminishes as we age (over 40) so older people are also at greater risk of a B12 deficiency. For example, in a study of 700 elderly women, those with vitamin B12 deficiencies were twice as likely as others to be severely depressed. (11)

Vitamin B12 supplementation in conjunction with antidepressants has been shown significantly improve depressive symptoms. (12) So, this might be a great option to enhance the effects of your medication.

Looking for a delicious meal that is high in B12, try our classic beef roast recipe!


Vitamin D and Depression

There are Vitamin D receptors found in the areas of the brain that are linked to the development of depression. Canadian researchers reviewed 14 studies, consisting of over 31,000 participants and found a strong correlation between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. The lower the Vitamin D level, the greater the chance of depression. (14)

Vitamin D can be obtained through foods, but this is limited. Most of our vitamin D comes from the sun and our skin’s ability to make Vitamin D. For some individuals obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin D through exposure to UV light throughout the year is nearly impossible. The best way to get the vitamin D that you need is to supplement. Ideally it is best to get your vitamin D levels checked as you may require significant higher doses if you are low.

Ideally supplementing between 1000-3000 IUs a day is a good starting point. Try our delicious Vitamin D rich rosemary walnut crusted salmon recipe.


Zinc and Depression

Zinc is important for helping to balance blood sugars, stabilise your metabolism, and make serotonin. In one study low zinc levels in the blood were strongly linked with increased risk for depression and this might be one nutrient that you need to increase in your diet. (16)

One study showed that supplementing with 25 mg of zinc improved recovery in people with depression that did not respond to anti-depressants. (17) If you are low in zinc, you may experience frequent colds and flu, loss or diminished sense of smell and taste, lack of appetite and of course depression.

Loaded in zinc, try our yummy coconut yogurt clusters.



Magnesium helps to make serotonin which can help combat depression. Research shows that there is a significant link between low magnesium intake and depression in adults. (18)

Studies are also showing that over-the-counter magnesium may be a safe and effective way to treat mild to moderate depression and comparable to prescription SSRI treatments in effectiveness as well as for individuals that have not seen any improvements with taking antidepressants. One study showed that magnesium was just as effective as an anti-depressant in treating depression in diabetics with the added of bonus of not having any of the side effects of the antidepressants and in other studies it has shown that in conjunction with an antidepressant the benefits of the antidepressant was stronger. (19,20)

Food processing, taking antacids and diuretics, as well as caffeine, stress and alcohol can decrease our ability to absorb magnesium. Try our quick and easy broccoli mushroom fried quinoa recipe loaded in B6, magnesium, zinc and folic acid.



If you or your loved one struggles with depression, make sure you explore potential underlying causes of depression that could be contributing to your low mood. This might help provide you with better or more specific treatment options that can give you a lot of success in helping to boost your mood.

Make sure if you visit your doctor you get blood work to check vitamin B12, folic acid, B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc. Increasing your intake of food high in these nutrients and possibly supplementing might help to give you that added boost to your mood and help get you out of that funk.


1. H. Tiemeier, et al. Vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine in depression: The Rotterdam study, American Journal of psychiatry, 2002:159 (12): 2099-101, T. Bottiglieri, et al., Homocysteine, folate, methylation and monamine metabolism in depression, Jounral of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, 2000;69;228-32; M. Fava and T. Bottiglerri, et al Folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine in major depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 1997;154;426-8

2. BMC Psychiatry. 2003;3:17–22. 16. Tiemeier H, vanTuijl HR, Hofman A, Meijer J, Kiliaan AJ, Breteler MM.

3. Vitamin B12 folate and homocysteine in depression the Rotterdam Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002;159(12):2099–01. 17. Sachdev PS, Parslow RA, Lux O, et al. Relationship of homocysteine folic acid and vitamin B12 with depression in a middle aged community sample. Psychol Med. 2005;35(4):529–38.)

4. A. Nanri, et al., Serum folate and homocysteine and depressive symptoms among Japenese men and women, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2010;64 (2):289-96

5. S. Gilbody, et al., Is low folate a risk for depression? A meta-analysis and exploration of heterogeneity, Journal of Epidemiology and Community health, July 2007;61 (7): 631-7








13. Spedding, S. (2014). Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws. Nutrients, 6(4), 1501–1518. doi: 10.3390/nu6041501

14. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, St Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


16. Rafalo, A., Sowa-Kucma, M., Pochwat, B., Nowak, G., & Szewczyk, B. (2016). Zinc Deficiency and Depression. Nutritional Deficiency. doi: 10.5772/63210

17. M. Siwek, et al., Zinc supplementation augments efficacy of imipramine in treatment resistant patients: A double blind placebo controlled study, Journal of Affective Disorders, November 2009;118(1-3): 187-95, Department of Psychiatry, Jagiellonian University, Poland

18. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2015;28(2):249-256. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2015.02.140176

19. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B, MacLean CD, Kennedy AG, Daley C. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. Song Y, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(6):e0180067. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180067

20. 1.Tarleton EK, Kennedy AG, Rose GL, Crocker A, Littenberg B. The association between serum magnesium levels and depression in an adult primary care population. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1475. doi:10.3390/nu11071475

5 Weight Loss Hacks To Shed That Winter Weight Gain

5 Weight Loss Hacks To Shed That Winter Weight Gain

Mental Health Gut Article

Every year, weight loss is one of the top new year’s resolutions. But before you sign-up for that expensive gym membership, check out these 5 awesome weight loss hacks we’ve put together to help shed those winter lbs.


Yeah, yeah – we all hear and know that we have to drink more water – but do we? And do we really know why drinking water is so important apart from everyone telling us to?

Our bodies are made up of 60-65% of water so we need water to help support our metabolism and all the various functions in the body. Water helps to metabolize fat as well as help you feel full. Often people mistake feeling hungry when, in fact, they are thirsty. So instead of grabbing a water bottle people will often grab food instead.

Research shows that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction of 75 calories per meal which can equate to a whopping 27,000 fewer calories per year. (WebMD). Ideally you want to minimize drinking during the meal as this can dilute your digestive juices and make it more taxing on your digestive system. Try our refreshing keto lemonade recipe loaded in electrolytes if you struggle to drink just plain water.

Just remember if you are thirsty, you are already 5% dehydrated and will be experiencing a 25-30% loss in energy!  When fatigued this might leave you more inclined to look for something sweet to give you that energy burst, when really you need fluids. Mild dehydration can also cause your metabolism to slow down by 3%. So there are a number of reasons why drinking adequate amounts of water can help you feel and look your best.

Health Canada recommends that women should consume on average 2.7 liters per day and men 3.7 liters per day. But if you work out, go in a sauna, steam rooms, or in hot weather you may need more than this.


This has definitely been growing as a popular weight loss strategy and this is not surprising.  There is no mess, no fancy recipes to follow, it helps to save money as you are missing meals and it has been proven to help successfully lose weight.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet but an eating pattern and involves restricting your eating window during the day. This can include a 4, 8, or 12 hour window to eat.

Intermittent fasting has been proven to help people lose weight for a number of reasons. Not only are you reducing calories by reducing the amount of opportunity to eat but, intermittent fasting has been shown to lower insulin levels and increase growth hormone levels, which assists with fat loss and muscle gain. It also increases the release of the fat burning hormone, norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and can increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14% which means while you are sitting here reading this article you are burning more calories that what you would before.

People often experience less anxiety, depression, and feel happier than usual when doing IF. This might help people who struggle with emotional eating and over eating. For more information on intermittent fasting, go to our article.


Thermogenic foods are foods that can help increase metabolism and calorie burning. This is a process in which the body burns calories to utilize the foods you have just eaten. Each time you eat, the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract start working faster, your stomach starts to produce digestive juices and every nutrient requires a different amount of energy to be broken down and absorbed.

There are thermogenic foods and negative calorie foods – which means, that your body uses more energy to help digest the calories in food, resulting in a calorie deficit. Approximately 10% of calories are burned through diet-induced thermogenesis.

Scientists from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the University of Warwick looked at the energy required to digest celery. Raw celery contains 53 calories, but it took 72 calories to digest the raw celery so it actually ran a calorie deficit.

Examples of thermogenic foods include: almonds, apples, berries, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), cucumber, green leafy veggies, mushrooms, cinnamon, ginger, Turmeric, hot spices, coffee and hot peppers.


Who knew that sipping on green tea can do wonders for your waistline! Research shows that habitual tea drinkers had an average of 19.6% less body fat, and had slimmer waists, than people who didn’t drink tea regularly. Most of these tea drinkers chose green tea (Journal of Obesity Research). Check out our delicious .

The great thing about green tea is that it contains a flavonoid called EGCG, which helps burn fat and reduce diet-induced obesity and research shows that it also helps to keep the weight off afterwards (Obesity Research, June 2005). EGCG, can help inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine (1). When this enzyme is inhibited, the amount of norepinephrine increases, promoting fat breakdown and weight loss (2).

Also, green tea contains L-theanine, a calming amino acid which can help decrease cortisol, a stress hormone linked with anxiety (12). Excess cortisol is responsible for that nice tire around our belly so managing cortisol can really help to slim down waistlines.


Jalapenos contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin can increase your body’s fat burning ability, which promotes weight loss. Jalapenos are found in salsa and research from Oxford University showed that salsa can stimulate the metabolism by 20-25%.

Salsa is a great alternative to ketchup for a number of reasons. Ketchup is heavily loaded in sugar. 2 tablespoons of Ketchup have 40 calories and 7.5 teaspoons of sugar, while 2 tablespoons of Salsa are less than 10 calories and 2 teaspoons of sugar.  Add on the fat burning properties of the capsaicin in the salsa and you have a great weight loss condiment. Add salsa to your eggs, on burgers, as a dip or with your chicken.


To get more bang for your buck try our weight loss virgin bloody mary which is loaded with fat burning properties. This is a great option when entertaining or out with friends, without feeling the pressure of drinking.


12. Keservani RK, Sharma AK, Kesharwani RK. Medicinal Effect of Nutraceutical Fruits for the
Cognition and Brain Health. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:3109254. doi:10.1155/2016/3109254
13. Al-Dujaili E, Smail N. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and
improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Endocr Abstr. 2012;28:313.