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Health experts in the UAE share their favourite apps

Health experts and professionals in the UAE share some of their favourite apps and why they stand out.

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Dr Rocco Arzoumanian, dentist at Dr Rocco’s Specialized Dental Center in Abu Dhabi, recommends Brush My Teeth, free to download for iOS, from Beansprites:

“This is a game that teaches children how to brush their teeth in an informative and fun way. Children move the brush around the characters’ teeth and ultimately find out how to brush properly. Kids are very much hooked on apps and games right now, so it’s good to utilise that and teach them good habits. Plus it makes dentistry and dental hygiene seem like fun.”

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Patricia Al Chammas, a health specialist and manager of United for Healthier Kids for Nestlé Middle East, recommends its new Tummyfish app and the accompanying book, which encourages children to drink more water. The app is free for Android and iOS and the book costs Dh40 at www.arabiabooks.com:

“The book takes the child into a fantasy world where Tummyfish finds her way into the child’s tummy. Through the app, they then engage and monitor this virtual pet. When the child drinks water more frequently, the parent adds it to the app and then Tummyfish will be happier. The happier Tummyfish is, the more the child can unlock other games.”

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Nicola Pearson, a clinical nutritionist at DNA Centre for Integrative Medicine, Wellness and Bio-Aesthetics, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, recommends Deliciously Ella, Dh15 for iOS and Android:

“Having heard so many stories in the clinic of ‘I stopped eating that because my app told me’ or ‘My app says I shouldn’t eat that’, I’ve moved away from recommending anything that counts or tells us what we should be doing. Apps are amazing, but so far, nutrition-wise, they don’t take into account the whole person, how you’re feeling, health conditions or the female cycle. Instead, my recommendation is recipe-based. There are 250 recipes on Deliciously Ella, and more are added every couple of months. You can find breakfasts, smoothies, mains, salads and puddings. The images are inspiring and the dishes are easy to make, taste great and are fruit and vegetable based, and gluten and dairy free. It’s brilliant for anyone who is new to the kitchen, upgrading to a healthier lifestyle or the busy bee who needs inspiration at the end of a long day at work.”

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David Hill, an Abu Dhabi-based human resources professional, was diagnosed with diabetes in April. He has been monitoring his daily food intake through the Carbs & Cals app, by Chello Publishing, which costs Dh17.90 for iOS and Android:

“The handy thing about this app is that you can actually see pictures of the portion sizes, so there’s no need for scales to measure out your meals if you’re on a calorie-constricted diet. You just find your food in the database, select your portions and the app does the sums. I think that in order to be able to lose weight or regulate diabetes efficiently, you have to be quite disciplined, and this app is a great tool for dieting in a structured way.”

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Dr Mourad Habib Kirollos, family medicine consultant at Intercare Health Center in Abu Dhabi, recommends Fitter Fitness Calculator & Weight Tracker from MigoApps, which is free for iOS:

“This app doesn’t just count your BMI [body mass index] but also your body fat, your waist-to-hip ratio, as well as BMR [basal metabolic rate]. It is well known that BMI alone is not a very accurate health measure. I advise intermittent fasting, but I advise my patients to use this app to monitor the response of this fasting on their body fat, body water and muscle mass. The app is so easy to use and records your personal data. Quite often I refer my patients to it when they start embracing an IF [intermittent fasting] or LCHF [low carb, high fat] lifestyle.”

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Sam Walter, a mindfulness trainer in Abu Dhabi, recommends Stop, Breathe & Think, free for iOS and Android:

“It’s a simple and highly effective tool to help you tune into your emotions. As you check in, you have five options to choose from about how you are feeling mentally, physically and emotionally. The app then offers a range of practices to choose from to match your mood and then keeps a record of which practices you have done and for how long, which helps with progression. They range from two to 10 minutes.”

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