The rise of digital streaming platforms has given us an ever expanding way to entertain ourselves. More recently, industry giants like Netflix have been realizing that people want more than to just be entertained — they want to learn. Welcome to the world of documentary streaming.
Watching health documentaries is a great way of learning more about how the body works.
You can habit stack your health documentaries by watching them when you are at the gym, or while you are cooking a healthy meal for friends and family.
Watching health and wellness documentaries can be an empowering way to take control of your health.
If you find some of the subjects distressing, take a break and try watching a health related fictional series with relatable characters and storylines.
Be mindful of binge watching. If you feel you are watching too much, take a nice long walk out in your nearest park and breathe in that fresh air.
Platforms like Netflix have capitalized on our desire to learn more about our mental, physical and nutritional wellness — frequently commissioning some of the highest quality health documentaries. Let’s explore some of the best health documentaries on Netflix.
Best health documentaries on Netflix reviewed
Netflix produces and commissions some of the best health documentaries, giving us the opportunity to delve into a wide variety of health and wellness documentaries. From mental illness movies on Netflix, to food-as-medicine documentaries, there is something for everyone.
Let's look at some of the most highly regarded health and wellness documentaries on Netflix.
Health and wellness documentaries on Netflix
The health and wellness industry is booming. People are realizing that they have the ability to take control of their health, and create healthy habits and hacks to optimize their performance and enjoyment of life. Watching health and wellness documentaries on Netflix is one way of habit stacking — enjoying visual stimulation whilst learning something new about food health, fitness, and even the effects of sugar on the body. Here are the top documentaries about food and health on Netflix.
Netflix food documentaries
Millions of us love learning where our food comes from and how to optimize our health. Finding out about how the food industry works and what’s in our food is of paramount importance.
- Rotten. This sobering food health documentary takes a look at the modern agriculture methods used in America to keep up with supply and demand. Many people have no concept of where their food comes from and the processes it goes through before hitting the supermarket shelf. This Netflix food documentary will change that.
- Forks Over Knives. This is a food health documentary that aims to explain how and why adopting a plant based diet is better for your health. Through the exploration of the meat industry and looking at how a reduction in meat consumption can lead to decreased risk of many diseases, this is well worth a watch if you are health conscious.
- What The Health. Examining the link between food and disease, this food health documentary lifts the lid on the relationship between the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. It’s an important watch, especially if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Documentaries about nutrition
Netflix has a wealth of food health documentaries where we can learn about healthy eating and how to use food as medicine.
- Cooked. A beautiful 4-part documentary about food and health. With a heavy emphasis on getting back in touch with our food sources and the way we prep in the kitchen, this inspiring series makes a strong case for locally sourced meats, vegetables and a more connected way of eating.
- That Sugar Film. This is the ultimate sugar documentary on Netflix and examines just how bad sugar is for the body. By looking at sugar addiction compassionately, this documentary on healthy eating helps the audience to get motivated to stay away from sugar. It also exposes the ways in which unhealthy foods are packaged and sold as more healthy than they truly are. It’s a must-watch if you are battling with sugar addictions and wanting to eat more healthily.
- [Un]Well. This documentary about food and nutrition examines lots of health trends such as intermittent fasting and how they can help or harm in your journey to health and wellness.
Documentaries about obesity
Obesity is a huge problem in America. The disease can lead to a whole host of other concerns, such as cardiovascular illness and diabetes. Watching documentaries about obesity on Netflix can help you understand how to avoid it and what to do if you or your loved ones are affected.
- Bite Size. Following a group of teenagers struggling with obesity, we join a journey that promotes long term health and not quick fixes.
- Fed Up. This documentary about obesity and the effects of sugar takes a critical look at the profits from childhood obesity. We are also given an insight into how to detox from harmful sugars, moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. This incredible documentary takes us on a journey from obesity into wellness from the lens of a young man who is very sick. When doctors thought he'd be on medication for his whole life, Joe decided to take his health into his own hands. This inspiring documentary about obesity and the journey to wellness is well worth the watch.
Mental health documentaries on Netflix
As the taboo surrounding talking about mental health begins to subside, mental health documentaries are on the rise. Documentaries about mental illness help us to understand our brains and bodies better, and the surrounding influences which can add to mental struggles.
- The Mind Explained. A great mental health documentary narrated by Emma Stone. 'The Mind Explained' delves into how the brain works in response to stress and anxiety — looking at how memory functions, dreaming, and the effects of psychedelics.
- Heal. This documentary is wonderful if you want to explore a more spiritual side to a mental health documentary on Netflix. With many speakers from the leading edge of scientific progress — and the high stakes healing journeys of those features — Heal is sure to get you thinking.
- Take Your Pills. A wonderful exploration of the way stimulants and pills have become something normal in the lives of millions of people. It’s a great mental health documentary which critiques our constant need to do more, achieve more and be more, and the effect of these stresses on our minds.
Mental health movies on Netflix
There are many mental illness movies on Netflix which have captivating storylines centered around relatable characters dealing with mental health issues.
- Strange Voices. This movie takes us on a journey with the protagonist, who gets a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This mental illness movie gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to accept this kind of disorder, both for the sufferer and their friends and family.
- Pieces of a Woman. A deeply traumatizing look into what the death of a child can do to a family. Not for the faint-hearted, there are many emotional triggers here that surround birth, death, depression and having to relive trauma.
- Secret Window. This movie delves into many ideas relating to mental illness being induced by isolation, questioning the nature of reality and the confusion that can be felt after long periods of being alone. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and playing the guessing game about what’s really going on.
Medical shows on Netflix
The medical world is fascinating. Until recently, unless you worked in the medical industry, it was hard to get the inside scoop. Medical series and medical documentaries on Netflix provide us with critical information about medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, empowering us with knowledge previously only available to insiders. Let’s have a look at some of the best medical shows on Netflix.
Taking a look into the private world of medicine, we get to understand the workings of a well oiled machine that can help us in times of crisis, and can also have a darker underbelly.
- The C Word. This is the ultimate Netflix cancer documentary and deals with cancer head on. By looking at the ways in which it can be prevented using food, exercise and stress management, we are taken on an empowering journey to regain control of our health.
- The Bleeding Edge. This is one of the best medical health documentaries on Netflix right now. It calls out the medical device industry, taking a look at the lack of regulations and how oversights from the FDA are costing millions of dollars and thousands of lives each year.
- Pandemic: How to prevent an outbreak. An insightful behind the scenes glimpse of scientists working with influenza prevention. It’s actually a reassuring medical documentary, as we get to see just how many people are using their brilliant minds to prevent and fix global health issues.
Medical series on Netflix
Sometimes, medical documentaries can be a bit too sobering. If you still love the medical world but want something fictional, then try our favorite medical series on Netflix that have relatable storylines and interesting character arcs.
- Call The Midwife. An emotional and poignant glimpse into the world of midwifery in London, the 50s and 60s. With fabulous acting and realistic storylines, it’s informative and emotionally engaging.
- Grey’s Anatomy. Hospital drama at its finest. We follow a group of charismatic and humorous doctors as they learn to become highly skilled physicians — with plenty of drama along the way.
- Chocolate. Following a prominent neurosurgeon, we are taken on a journey of reigniting past dreams, chance meetings and inspiration. A real feel good medical show on Netflix.
Documentaries about fitness
Fitness documentaries on Netflix are in high demand. As millions of us begin to take a deeper look into our own health and wellness, we are also looking for ways to maximize our fitness levels. Here are our favorite documentaries about fitness and weight loss on Netflix.
- Bikes vs Cars. If you are looking for inspiring documentaries about fitness on Netflix, then look no further. It deals with the effects of sitting in traffic and how much better our health is when we replace cars with bikes. With implications for health and weight loss, this is one to watch.
- The Game Changers. While this isn’t a film that tries to convert you, it is a fitness documentary that touts the health benefits of weight loss and muscle building with a plant-based diet. By looking at how plant-based diets have taken the professional sporting world by storm, you can expect to feel more motivated to stay on track with healthier eating habits.
- Nike Training Club. Documentaries and weight loss shows on Netflix will only get you so far. If you are serious about going on a weight loss journey, then you are going to have to get up off the couch and get moving. Thankfully, Nike Training Club has teamed up with Netflix to bring you a whole host of amazing fitness videos that will inspire you and get you motivated.
Documentary streaming is a great way to up level your knowledge about the world we live in. Netflix has a vast array of health documentaries to choose from — giving you a glimpse into worlds that were previously hidden. Try the ultimate mind and body habit stack by bringing your tablet to the gym and watching health and wellness documentaries on Netflix while you take a brisk walk on the treadmill.
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