Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate has received a great deal of attention because it’s believed to help protect your cardiovascular system. The reason being is that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids.

Higher grades of dark chocolate are where you will find an abundance of flavonoids.

Some benefits to adding a moderate amount of dark chocolate to your diet are:

  • Nutrition – If the dark chocolate you are eating has a high cocoa content it will also have a sufficient amount of soluble fiber and will be rich with minerals.
  • Antioxidants – Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins to name a few.
  • Blood Flow and Hypertension – The bioactive compounds in cocoa have been known to improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but significant decrease in blood pressure.
  • Heart Disease – Eating dark chocolate has shown to be beneficial in improving several important risk factors for heart disease, reducing insulin resistance, increase high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and decreasing low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol). These reductions could show decrease in cardiovascular disease.

Be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose: chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolate is by no means a heart-healthy food option. Watch out for those extra ingredients that can add lots of extra fat and calories.

There is currently no established serving size of dark chocolate to help you reap the cardiovascular benefits it may offer, and more research is needed in this area. So, for now, it is recommended that a moderate portion of chocolate (e.g., 1 ounce) a few times per week is sufficient while eating other flavonoid-rich foods (lettuce, almonds, strawberries, celery oranges, etc.).

Even though there is evidence that eating dark chocolate can provide health benefits, it doesn’t mean you should over indulge.  It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are Dental Sealants Effective?

Though tooth decay is a growing problem among children and young adults, preventative measures, such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments, can help keep your child smiling brightly.

Children and young adults are more prone to tooth decay for two main reasons: diet and poor oral hygiene. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth uses sugar (from foods or drinks) to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth. A diet consisting of frequent consumption of sugary drinks, candy, and gum greatly contributes to tooth decay. Additionally, inadequate flossing and failure to properly brush at least two times a day, for three minutes each, allows bacteria to grow.

Preventing Tooth Decay
Dental sealants are a great way to protect your teeth against the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. The procedure is simple and pain-free.

Fluoride can also help prevent tooth decay. Dentists apply a fluoride treatment, either a gel, foam, or varnish, directly to the teeth and let it set for approximately four minutes. In addition to an in-office treatment, fluoride can be found in several brands of toothpaste and even tap water.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Flushing Hospital’s Department of Dentistry at 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January’s Employee Spotlight Shines on Soomita Tewari

This month the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Employee Spotlight shines on Soomita Tewari, Executive Assistant to President and CEO, Bruce J. Flanz, as well as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Robert Levine.

As Executive Assistant, Soomita regularly schedules appointments, creates reports and sends correspondence, attends meetings and records minutes from the meeting.  She further acts as a liaison between administration and staff in an effort to ensure smooth operations at the hospital.  As the Administrative Office “Gatekeeper” she screens and directs calls and issues to the appropriate departments for follow-up, manages office services and supervises the Executive Receptionist.

Soomita Tewari joined the MediSys Health Network in 2007 as the Administrative Assistant in Performance Improvement (PI).  She worked in PI for six years before becoming the Medical Staff Coordinator.

In 2013, after being offered the position of Executive Assistant, Soomita joined the staff at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Soomita holds an Associate’s Degree in Health Service Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management and gained the certification of a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and a Notary Public, which assist her in the position she holds.

Soomita is a dedicated wife and mother of two children who moved from Guyana to the U.S. in 2000, seeking a new future for her family.  Her hobbies include yoga, reading and watching movies.  She is the treasurer of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir and a community outreach member of Surya Narayan Seva Outreach Sang.

When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Soomita responded, “When I first interviewed, Mr. Flanz told me that I would have to be the face and voice of Flushing Hospital.  Even though I know we are all representatives of the hospital, this statement stayed with me.  I take pride in being an “Ambassador” of the hospital and try to treat everyone that interacts with Administration with a welcoming attitude and utmost respect.  I try to make everyone feel as though they are a part of the team because in essence, we are all part of the team.”

Although her job can present many challenges, Soomita Tewari faces each with her signature smile, calm demeanor and professionalism.  She is a wonderful asset to the Flushing Hospital Medical Center team.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

#WellnessWednesday

With all the running around we do and the stress we deal with each and every day, try to take a moment to center your mind and bring wellness to your entire being.  Try reciting these and other positive affirmations to help start your day in a positive way.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Winter Weather Exercising Tips

Winter weather doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor exercise routine. If you plan to continue to run or bike after the mercury drops, consider following these tips so you can stay safe and warm while exercising in the cold.

Know the weather conditions before heading outdoors – In addition to the temperature, those heading outside to exercise need to understand how wind and precipitation can affect your health.  These factors, combined with the length of time spent outdoors need to be taken into consideration before beginning an outdoor exercise regime.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia –Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation.

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue.

Get out of the cold and seek emergency help right away if you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress in layers – Dressing too warmly is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The best option is to dress in layers that can be removed as soon as you start to sweat and then put layers back on as needed.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears – When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable. Ways to protect these parts of your body include wearing a thin pair of glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves, purchasing exercise shoes one size larger to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat to protect your head or headband to protect your ears.

Use proper safety gear – If it’s dark when you exercise outside, wear reflective clothing. If you ride a bike, both headlights and taillights are a good idea. Also choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s icy or snowy.

It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. Protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Drink plenty of fluids – Don’t forget about hydration, as it’s just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.

These tips can help you safely and enjoyably exercise in cold conditions. Closely monitor how your body feels during cold-weather exercise to help prevent injuries. While exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather, if you do have certain condition such as asthma or heart disease that could limit you ability, you should check with your doctor first.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Maintaining Sobriety in The New Year

Maintaining sobriety in the New Year is a common resolution for those who are overcoming alcohol addiction. As with other resolutions, maintaining this goal can be difficult as there are many challenging obstacles you can encounter.

Resisting the temptation to drink at social gatherings is often one of several difficulties you may face. However, there are measures you can take to avoid relapse and maintain your sobriety while socializing. Creating a plan ahead of time to avoid temptations and triggers is one of your best defenses against jeopardizing your sobriety.

When creating a plan, these are some factors you may want to consider:

  • On-call sober friend/sponsor – Choose a person you trust to call if you are experiencing the desire to drink.
  • Alcohol alternatives – Bring or ask the host to have non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Eat a sweet – If an urge to drink hits you, eat or drink something sweet. Since alcohol is a sugar, eating a sweet can satisfy the part of the brain that triggers the need for alcohol.
  • Bring a Friend – Ask a sober friend to accompany you to the party for moral support.
  • Get rest – Take some time to nap, meditate or just to remain quiet. It’s best to try and relieve stress before going to a gathering.
  • Work on your response – Not everyone knows you are in recovery. They may ask you if you’d like a drink.  A response that works well is, “I have plans early in the morning tomorrow or I’m driving tonight.”
  • Pick and choose your events wisely – If you are invited to an event where there will be excessive amounts of alcohol served, remember you have the right to decline the invitation. Many recovery groups organize non-alcoholic mixers and sober holiday events.
  • Limit time with triggers – If you know your “drinking buddy” is going to be at an event you are attending, you can limit the time you spend with them and surround yourself with people who are aware of your sobriety or “safe-zones.”
  • Be honest – Honesty just may be the best policy. If you are honest with the people around you, they can help support you in maintaining sobriety.

While alcoholic beverages may be served at events, keep in mind that social gatherings are not only about drinking. You can have an exciting time while staying sober.

The road to recovery can be difficult but it is one that you do not have to travel alone. Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Services Division provides support and treatment for alcohol and chemical dependence through our Inpatient Chemical Dependence Unit and Reflections Outpatient Program.  Our highly trained staff utilizes a medical and holistic approach in helping our patients to address addiction and the impact it has on their lives. These approaches help patients to build coping skills so they can better reflect and focus on their goals. To schedule a consultation, please call 718-670-5087.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Much Post-Holiday Drinking IsToo Much?

The holidays are behind us, but some habits may linger.  After the merriment of the season, you may want to ask yourself, “How many drinks are too many?”

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Answer: According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: men should not exceed four drinks per day or a total of 14 per week and women should not to exceed three drinks a day or a total of seven per week.

When following these guidelines here are some factors to consider:

.Portion size: Standard portions in the United States include 12-ounces of beer, 8-ounces of malt liquor, 5-ounces of wine and 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.

  • Alcohol content: There are differences in alcohol percentages between red and white wines, as well as between light beers and lagers.
  • Gender: Women have less body water than men and hence retain a higher blood-alcohol concentration than men from a single drink.
  • Food:  An empty stomach speeds up alcohol absorption. Food slows absorption rates in men and women.

Remember, everyone metabolizes alcohol differently and moderation is key. Make smart choices when enjoying dinner or a night out with friends and NEVER drink and drive.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, please contact Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Treatment Division at 718- 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Holiday Heart Syndrome

Holiday Heart Syndrome, coined in 1978, is a real syndrome in which the heart’s vulnerability to certain arrhythmias is increased by excessive alcohol ingestion (binge drinking) and the onset of a heart rhythm disturbance in people who are otherwise healthy.

The most frequently seen arrhythmia during the holiday season is atrial fibrillation, in which the top chambers of the heart quiver or fibrillate causing the heart to beat irregular and often quite fast.

Excessive alcohol intake in women is defined as consuming seven or more drinks per week or over three doses at one time.  For men, heavy consumption is defined as over 14 drinks per week or over four drinks at one time by the U.S. Department of health and Human Service.

Alcohol alone does not fully explain Holiday Heart Syndrome.  There are other risk factors for atrial fibrillation that are higher around the holidays such as:

  • Overeating
  • Stress
  • High levels of sodium consumption
  • Dehydration

Everyone has some degree of stress in their lives.  Health concerns, family and relationship issues, financial problems can all cause stress which can ultimately affect your health; the idea of “letting go” at a holiday event and consuming more alcohol than usual as a way to forget the present may have a negative effect on your future.

If you have any heart symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention immediately; even if your symptoms appear ON a holiday.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

SafetyTips for the Holiday Season

We tend to cook and decorate more during the holiday season.  These activities if not exercised with caution and safety can lead to burn injuries, which is one of the most common problems emergency rooms face at this time of year.  Doctors are requesting that people pay close attention to potential hazards that can result in burn injuries and avoid them by following these safety guidelines:

  • Do not leave food unattended on the stove or oven for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid wearing loose garments around flames by the stove or fireside.
  • Keep flammable objects such as pot holders, paper towels or utensils made of wood away from the stove.
  • When buying a real tree make sure that it is green. Also remember to water your tree if it is real – a dry tree is a fire hazard.  If purchasing a synthetic tree be sure to check for a label that reads “fire resistant.”
  • Keep trees away from fire places or radiators.
  • Never leave candles or oil burners unattended.
  • Keep gifts and wrapping paper away from fireplaces.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected each year.
  • Make certain that smoke detectors are working.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher within reach.
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Inspect holiday lights to make certain that wires are not cracked or frayed.

Please keep your holiday season safe and accident free by following recommended fire safety guidelines.  For a list of further safety tips please visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website www.NFPA.org .

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

I’LL BRING THE DESERT

The holiday season brings so many invitations to celebrate with family and friends.  Next time you are invited to a party, tell your host that you will BRING THE DESERT!

Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 30 chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

FILLING:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white rum
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 10 tablespoon fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add 3 ounces melted chocolate and oil; process until blended. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes or until set.
  2. To prepare the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan; stir with a whisk. Add half of milk and 2 yolks; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in rum. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours or until set. Serve with raspberries and whipped topping.

For this and more healthy deserts, check out – MyRecipes.com

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.