Why is a Vitamin K Deficiency Dangerous ?

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is responsible for the production of the components needed for blood clotting. It also may play a role in bone production. Without sufficient vitamin K we would potentially bleed too much.

There are two types of vitamin K: K1 which comes from leafy greens,  spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green beans and some other vegetables and K2 which comes from meats, cheeses, and eggs.

People who are at risk of vitamin K deficiency include those :

  • Taking certain antibiotics
  • Taking blood thinners including Coumadin
  • Having poor absorption by the intestines due to celiac disease
  • Having a diet poor in vitamin K
  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol frequently

Vitamin K does not transfer well with breast milk and for this reason many infants are given an injection of vitamin K at birth to help them get the necessary amount that the body requires.

To determine if a person has an adequate amount in the body, a prothrombin test is performed to check blood clotting time.

If you are experiencing blood clotting issues, you should speak to your physician about the possible causes. You can schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

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.

Does Adding More Protein To Your Diet Really Build Muscle?

Nutritionist in Flushing QueensIt is common for people to increase their intake of protein when building muscle. This may be the result of a common misconception that adding more protein to your diet helps to increase muscle mass. The truth is, excessive amounts of protein can do your body more harm than good (Experts recommend that anywhere between 10 to 30% of your diet should include protein).

An excessive amount of protein in your diet can have the following harmful effects:

  • A buildup of toxic ketones
  • An increase in the risk of dehydration
  • An elevation in blood lipids
  • An increase in the risk of heart disease
  • Protein being converted to fat

Another misconception about diet and building muscle is that carbohydrates should be avoided.  In fact, adequate amounts of good carbohydrates, found in whole grain bread and cereals can provide the energy needed to exercise and help your body process protein (Dietary guidelines suggest around 55% of your calories each day should come from carbohydrates).

To achieve the best results when building muscle, you must combine strength training exercises along with a diet that includes the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, water, fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and nutrition, please call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment with a dietitian at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

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.

The Medicinal Benefits of Cinnamon

Most people think of cinnamon as a spice that adds flavor to food and beverages. What many people don’t know however is that for thousands of years people have been using cinnamon for medicinal purposes.

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. The bark is then crushed into a powder which we can use as a flavoring or for medicinal purposes.

Some of the known medicinal benefits of cinnamon are:
• Acts as an anti-inflammatory
• Lowers blood sugar
• Acts as an anti-oxidant
• Acts as an anti-microbial
• Helps manage symptoms of Alzheimer’s
• Helps manage symptoms of Parkinson’s
• Thought to have anti-carcinogenic properties
• Helps manage polycystic ovarian syndrome
• Help manage dry eye and conjunctivitis
• Can be used as an insect repellant

Though cinnamon usually has no side effects, too much can irritate the mouth and the lips. Some people may also be allergic to it. As with anything, speak to you your physician before using cinnamon to treat any medical condition.

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.

Wound Care and Nutrition

 

Please, help me fasterThe nutritional status of a patient plays a large role in their body’s ability undergo wound healing.  It requires a higher than normal level of energy and nutrients if it is going to be successful. The body requires an additional 35 calories per kilogram of body weight to help a chronic wound to heal.  This will include eating a well-balanced diet that includes protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

For proper wound healing, a well-balanced diet should include 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. Keeping hydrated is also very important, eight glasses of water per day should be the minimum and more if the person sweats profusely, has a wound that is draining, or if vomiting and or diarrhea are present.  Meals should include meats, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, yogurt and dried beans. In some people who have difficulty obtaining proper caloric intake from their daily meals, high protein and high calorie shakes can be used as supplements. Two amino acids, found in foods having protein and that have been identified as having potential to help wound healing are arginine and glutamine.

People with diabetes often have difficulty with wound healing, and this is due to poor circulation, nerve damage which leads to the constant breakdown of healthy tissue components needed to heal,  and a higher than normal level of sugar in the blood which can lead to higher rates of infection and causes fluids to be drained from the body. It is therefore very important for a person with diabetes to keep tight control of their disease.
Wound healing also requires additional levels of vitamins and minerals, however care must be taken too not take in more that the daily recommended amounts because this can have a negative effect on the body.

It is important to consult with a physician about how to eat successfully when trying to heal a wound and also a nutritionist who specializes in wound care.

If you have a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s  outpatient Wound Care Center.  To schedule an appointment or speak with a clinician, please call 718-670-4542

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 Air Fryers a Healthier Way to Prepare Your Food?

In a world focused on calorie consumption and step counting, there has been a lot of hullabaloo about Air fryers and the benefit they may have when preparing food.

Air fryers claim to help lower the fat content in foods we would normally steer clear because of their high fat content such as french fries, chicken fingers and egg rolls.

So, how does an air fryer work?

According to Healthline.com, an air fryer is a kitchen appliance used to prepare food. It works by circulating hot air that contains fine oil droplets around the food to produce a crunchy, crispy exterior.

Air fryers are publicized as a healthy alternative to deep fried foods because it does not completely submerging the food in oil,  it only utilizes one tablespoon of oil.

Some pros to air fryers are:

  • They significantly reduce overall calorie intake
  • They are time efficient in that they cook the item quicker
  • There is an easy clean up

The cons of air frying:

  • Consumers can be misled into thinking they can healthy and eat fried food everyday
  • Air frying produces high temperatures at a very fast rate making it more likely to burn your food
  • Air fryers are small and not conducive to feeding a large family

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is committed to bringing you healthy alternatives to your lifestyle. Although we are not endorsing air fryers, anything that lowers the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are worth having a healthy discussion about.

For more information on air fryers and their benefits, you can visit Healthline.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.

Emotional Eating

Have you ever turned to food not because you were hungry but because you needed to relieve stress? Many of us have turned to food to get us through rough patches in our lives. When we turn to food for emotional comfort this is referred to as emotional eating. For most people this  emotional eating can occur over a short duration of time, and for others, seeking emotional relief through food can last for years.
People indulge in emotional eating for many reasons, all in the hopes that it will get them through their relationship problems, financial issues, work conflicts, school problems, health crisis, or just being bored. Food also acts as a  distraction from our problems because we will concentrate on what we are eating and not the source of the problem. Most of the time we will pick the kind of foods that are high in sugar for that burst of energy that it will provide.
Some suggested activities to help avoid emotional eating:
• Try taking a walk
• Spend time with a friend just chatting
• Clean your home
• Go to the library and read a book
• Listen to music
• Try meditation
There are ways to get relief from emotional eating issues. One of the best ways is to work on the issue causing you stress. This may require getting professional help if the problem persists. You would also want to avoid having unhealthy snacks that are easily accessible. Try to arrange to eat regular meals that are healthy for you so that you won’t crave snacks during the day. If you are still having difficulty managing your issues and the only thing that seems to help is eating, you might want to consult a physician who can help you. To schedule an appointment with a doctor 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.

The Acai Berry

The acai berry is a grapelike fruit that comes from the rainforests of South America. It contains fiber, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats, and is known as a superfood because of all the health benefits it possesses.

Some of the health benefits that are thought to be attributed to the acai berry are that it:

  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps digestion
  • Is good for weight loss
  • Increases energy level
  • Increases immune system response to infection

The acai berry can usually be found in several health food stores or gourmet food shops. It can be eaten raw, but it also comes in tablet form, and as an additive in some juices, energy drinks, ice cream and jelly. It is usually safe to consume but as with all foods, should be eaten in moderation.

If you are concerned about the effects the acai berry may have on medications that you might be taking, consult with your physician first.

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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.

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.