5 Documentaries & TV Shows That Will Make You Healthier
Watching one too many true crime shows left you feeling disturbed? Transform your bingeing habit with our pick of the best documentaries and TV shows about health and wellness, which explore everything from veganism in sport to experimental fitness tech.
TV Programmes & Documentaries About Health
What really makes us happy? Is it money? Success? Family? Roko Belic – director of the Academy Award nominated Genghis Blues – investigates in this inspiring documentary, which takes viewers on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata. We meet a rickshaw driver who finds joy in his shack home protecting him from the elements, alongside an American woman who found purpose in her life after being disfigured in an accident. In Bhutan, meanwhile, there are people who define their own happiness by their global happiness index. Belic encourages us to consider the principles of positive psychology, suggesting that everyone can in fact become happier. Amazon Prime
The Truth About… Getting Fit at Home
One of the topics covered in the BBC’s The Truth About… series – which sees experts tackling the big issues of today – is a at-home fitness, which remains huge post-lockdown. Journalist and blogger Mehreen Baig delves into the ever-expanding world of home workouts, looking at the latest science to explore topics such as the links between strength training and lifespan, equipment and wearable fitness tech. Former GB athlete Becky Lyne also features in the programme, helping Mehreen trial some new experimental tech that could help transform our running technique. And, in a final experiment, Mehreen tests her own body to reveal how pursuing the perfect six pack can actually damage your health. BBC
The Game Changers
There’s plenty of research showing a vegan diet is best for the planet – yet there’s ongoing debate about whether it’s the healthiest for humans. Netflix documentary The Game Changers argues that it is, documenting the experience of former MMA fighter James Wilks, who begins to research nutrition after tearing ligaments in both his knees. The programme draws on research suggesting Roman gladiators were in fact vegetarian, speaking to vegan athletes about how their diet impacts their performance. There’s a fair amount of controversy surrounding the health documentary – particularly in regards to the reliability of the on-screen experiments – but it certainly explores a number of interesting questions about veganism in the fitness world. Netflix
Clean Eating: The Dirty Truth
Has clean eating become dirty? Dr Giles Yeo takes a closer look at the wellness phenomenon – and the backlash which followed – in a documentary for BBC Horizon. He chats to Ella Mills, also known as Deliciously Ella, often dubbed the ‘queen of clean eating’, who explains how the term has become loaded. ‘I haven’t used it, but as far as I understood it when I first read the term, it meant natural, kind of unprocessed, and now it doesn’t mean that at all. It means diet, it means fad,’ she says. Dr Yeo also meets Dr William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, a cardiologist arguing that grains are harming us, going on to explore whether his claims have any merit. BBC Two
The episodes in Channel 4 series Food Secrets may be short (each one is just a few minutes long), but they pack a lot of interesting information in. Each one sees Food Unwrapped’s Kate Quilton tackling a big question from the health world, from how to cook veg properly to the best post-gym drinks to whether chocolate can ever be good for you. Channel 4
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