The Health Benefits of Watermelon

One of the foods most closely associated with summertime is watermelon. It is tasty and quenches your thirst but did you know that it is also healthy for you ?

It is believed that watermelon may help in the prevention of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heat stroke, kidney disorders, and macular degeneration.

 

Some of the known benefits of watermelon are:

  • It is high in lycopene, an antioxidant believed to curb cancer and also protect the skin from the sun’s rays
  • It contains an amino acid citrulline which may lower blood pressure and also lower the risk of a heart attack
  • It contains beta-cryptoxanthin which lowers joint inflammation
  • It contains vitamin A which is good for the eyes
  • It is 92% water and good for keeping hydrated and feeling full
  • It contains vitamins A, B6, and C which keeps the skin soft and supple
  • It is low in calories
  • It is high in potassium which is important for flushing out the toxins through the kidneys
  • It is easy to digest
  • The potassium and magnesium helps insulin to function properly which controls diabetes

One of the risks associated with eating watermelon is that if it is pre-cut, there is a chance of being exposed to salmonella. It must be refrigerated below 40 degrees and washed thoroughly before eating.

Enjoy your summer and make watermelon a part of your summertime snacks.

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.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Flushing Hospital can diagnose memory loss

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affects all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 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.

Is the keto diet right for you ?

A ketogenic diet, also called keto diet is based on the concept that foods that contain fat are responsible for 90% of our daily calories. This type of diet tries to change the source of our body’s fuel from carbohydrates to ketone bodies that the liver produces from stored fat.

In order for the body to do this, it has to reduce the use of carbohydrates as fuel. That means lowering our intake of carbohydrates to between 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. It can take a few days for the body to adapt to this kind of change.

The keto diet requires a person to eat fat at every meal. Food that contains saturated fat like palm and coconut oil, butter, beef, pork and bacon are recommended. Unsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are also allowed.

Fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, have some, they are recommended only in small amounts daily.

The risks of a keto diet include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Liver problems
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Resuming a normal diet will cause weight gain

Before beginning any diet, it is recommended that you speak with your physician first. If you would like to speak to a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, you may call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment.

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.

Sunglasses – Strength and Protection

At this time of year we spend more time outdoors and for that reason it is important to protect our eyes from the potentially harmful rays of the sun. One of the ways we can do this is by wearing the right sunglasses.

Don’t be fooled by the price tag when purchasing sunglasses. Just because sunglasses are expensive doesn’t always mean that they are the best at blocking the UV rays. Always check the label first.

For sunglasses to be completely effective they should:

  • Block out as close to 100% of the UVA and UVB  rays as possible
  • Block out 75 to 90 percent of the visible light
  • Have gray lenses for proper color recognition

If we are exposed to too much UV rays, over time, it can cause cataracts and can also harm the cornea and the retina. Short term exposure to UV radiation can cause photokeratitis, an inflammation of the cornea. It is temporary in the short term but can have serious consequences long term.

It is also important that sunglasses fit properly. They shouldn’t be worn so close that they touch the eyelids yet not too far off that they let sun get in around them.

A good rule to follow is if you are wearing sunscreen you should also be wearing sunglasses.

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.

The Health Benefits of Parsley

If you are like most Americans, you probably think of parsley as just something decorative that gets put on a plate to make a meal look pretty. However, parsley is now known to have many health benefits that many of us don’t know about. Before it became popular as a food, parsley was originally used for medicinal purposes by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Parsley contains many nutrients. It has vitamins A, K and C, minerals that include magnesium, potassium, folate, iron and calcium. It is also relatively low in calories.

The health benefits of parsley include:

  • Helps treat fatigue, hormone imbalances, liver problems, and menstrual pain,
  • Possesses antioxidant power
  • Promotes kidney cleansing
  • Reduces edema
  • Helps weight loss
  • Helps metabolism
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Helps heal scars
  • Reduces toxins in the body
  • Aids digestion
  • Slows tumor growth
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduces acid formation
  • Has antibacterial and antifungal properties

Consult with a physician before adding parsley in large amounts to the diet. People who are pregnant, have a tendency to form kidney stones, or susceptible to a rash should be cautious when eating it. You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5486 to discuss if parsley is good for you.

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.

Natural Ways To Lower Cholesterol

 

High cholesterol is one of the health issues that affects millions of Americans and is responsible for people experiencing a higher risk of heart attacks, heart disease and stroke. Poor diet, lack of exercise, heredity and lifestyle choices are some of the reasons people are affected. Physicians can prescribe medications that will help control cholesterol levels in the blood, but there are also some ways to bring cholesterol levels down without medication.

Diets that contain a lot of red meat, dairy products, eggs, chocolate, baked items, processed foods and sugar are not healthy. Eating foods that are healthier such lean cuts of meat, nuts, and oils such as olive oil, canola oil and safflower oil tend to be better choices when watching cholesterol levels.

Additionally, diets that are rich in the following will tend to help lower levels of bad cholesterol:

  • Whole grain cereals (oatmeal and bran)
  • Fruits (apples, prunes, pears, oranges)
  • Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • High fiber foods (beans, legumes, apples )
  • Vegetables
  • Spices (oregano, mint, thyme, clove, cinnamon)
  • Soybeans
  • Green tea
  • Supplements that lower cholesterol (niacin, psyllium husk, L-carnitine)

Alcoholic beverages and smoking can raise bad cholesterol levels so these should be kept to a minimum if even at all. Obesity can also raise the cholesterol level.

It is recommended that you see your physician annually for a thorough examination and to have lab work performed to check your cholesterol level. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 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.

Why is it Important to Keep the Brain Active ?

 

Why is it important to exercise your brain? Just like we exercise our bodies to keep it in good working order, research has shown that it is equally important to exercise our brain to keep it sharp and potentially to lower the risk of developing dementia.

A few of the activities that can help exercise the brain are:

  • Working on puzzles
  • Socializing with others
  • Reading books and newspapers
  • Playing board games or cards
  • Volunteering or joining a club
  • Learning how to play an instrument
  • Visiting a museum or going to the movies

 

It is normal for the brain to slow down with age. We tend to be less active physically and this can affect our brain activity. Therefore in addition to keeping our brains active we should exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Maintaining our physical health helps the process of neurogenesis which is the creation of new brain cells. Exercise also helps the flow of blood to the brain

If you would like to discuss with a physician any issues concerning the brain functioning, please call 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.

How would you know if you have meningitis ?

Hearing the word meningitis scares most people. We know that it is a serious disease, but do we really know what it is or what causes it?

Meningitis is a disease, caused by either a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. It causes an inflammation of the membranes, also called meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms of meningitis include:

  • Stiff neck with sudden onset
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Skin rash

There are several complications that can occur from meningitis. These include, seizures, hearing loss, difficulty remembering things, kidney failure and in severe cases, death.

In most cases in the United States the cause is due to a virus, which is the least severe form of the disease. It is spread by poor hygiene, or coming in contact with bodily fluids of someone who is infected, such as through kissing, sharing utensils, sneezing and coughing.

Viral Meningitis is the least severe and often it can get better on its own. The viruses that cause it are more prevalently found in summer and early fall. Bacterial meningitis is more severe and is caused when certain types of bacteria enter the blood and travel to the brain. Bacterial meningitis can also start as a sinus infection or an ear infection. Meningitis caused by a fungus is a rarer form and it usually affects people who are immunocompromised, like those with AIDS.

People who are at higher risk of getting meningitis are usually the people who haven’t been vaccinated against it. Children under five are at higher risk for viral meningitis, bacterial meningitis is more commonly seen in people under the age of 20. Other at great risk are people living in group settings like dormitories.

Treatment for meningitis is dependent on the cause. If it is bacterial, treatment will include antibiotics, for viral it may be mild and just treat the symptoms. If it is fungal it can be antifungal medications.

Keeping in mind that meningitis is contagious, it is best to seek appropriate medical care immediately. You should consult with your medical doctor or go to an emergency room to have the appropriate tests performed. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 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.

Sudden Hair Loss Can Happen To Anyone

Alopecia areata is a condition that affects over 6.8 million people in the United States. It is a common autoimmune disorder that is characterized by the unpredictable loss of hair. Usually, the hair loss is localized to small patches that are about the size of a quarter but in more severe situations a larger amount of hair may fall out. Hair loss is typically from the scalp but it can also be from the beard, eye lashes or the entire body. It can affect both men and women at any age but most commonly is seen before the age of 30. Approximately 20 percent of the people who experience alopecia have a family member who has had it.

Alopecia occurs when the white blood cells in the body attack the hair follicles, which in turn causes them to slow down hair production and ultimately lead to hair loss. The hair follicles aren’t usually destroyed so once the autoimmune response is controlled either spontaneously or with the help of medication, hair can start to regrow. For many, hair regrowth can be achieved without the use of medication.

The diagnosis of alopecia is usually made by simple observation of the area where the hair loss occurs. In some cases a dermatologist may want to perform a biopsy or a blood test to test for the autoimmune response.

While there is no cure for alopecia there are ways to treat it. The medications that are used to treat it typically are very powerful anti-inflammatories, administered either orally which can have serious side effects, through localized injections or as a topical cream. They act by suppressing the immune response that causes alopecia. The sudden loss of hair may cause people emotional distress and therefore they may need emotional support or professional help.

If you have noticed a sudden loss of hair, you should speak with your physician about the possible causes. You can schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 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.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem gambling is a serious issue that affects millions of people in the United States. An estimated two million people can be classified as having a gambling addiction and an additional four to six million people can be said to have a problem with gambling. Uncontrolled gambling can ruin families, finances, and careers.

The National Council on Problem Gambling began a campaign 16 years ago in order to raise awareness and to suggest ways that these people can be helped. There are three main goals of this campaign:

  • Increase public awareness of problem gambling
  • Increase awareness of the resources to aid with problem gambling
  • Encourage medical providers to screen for gambling problems

Some of the criteria for defining problem gambling include:

  • Patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage family or work
  • Preoccupation with gambling and the need to bet money
  • Restlessness or becoming irritable when attempting to quit
  • Continuing to chase the big payoff

Compulsive gambling can be described as having the same effect on certain people as using drugs or alcohol. They build up a tolerance to it and are always in need of more in order to satisfy their urges.

A person who feels that they have a gambling issue should contact their physician to see about getting help. You can also go to the website of Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/ for referrals in your community.

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.