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Healthy Living: Herbs

November 9, 2017

HERBS BLOG POST 11.9.17We often think of herbs as the leafy greens that we put on our food to add a little bit of culinary flair. But did you know that adding herbs to your diet can result in tremendous health benefits? Keep reading to learn more about how to incorporate some of our favorite herbs into your diet.

Basil – There are more than 60 varieties of basil that are used as seasoning for many types of food. Basil is most commonly used to make pesto, but it also tastes great in other pasta sauces, or on salads and sandwiches. Basil provides nutrients essential for cardiovascular health, such as vitamin A, through its concentration of carotenoids like beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent cholesterol build-up in the blood vessel walls, which can initiate the development of atherosclerosis.

Thyme – Thyme is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, iron, manganese, copper, and dietary fiber.

Thymol—This herb has well documented health benefits including a variety of flavonoids, which increases its antioxidant capacity.

Rosemary – There are many foods that pair well with rosemary such as vegetables, potatoes, white beans, chicken, lamb, and fish. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks.

Oregano – This herb goes well in Mediterranean dishes, salad dressings, marinara sauce, pizza and soup. Oregano is a strong source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium.

Cholesterol Education

September 28, 2017

CHOLESTEROL EDUCATION 9.28.17By Lauren Dimitrov, RDN, MPH, LDN

Did you know that September is National Cholesterol Education Month? It’s important to maintain your cholesterol levels because high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Thankfully, with the help of your physician or registered dietitian, your diet and other lifestyle changes can help you reach and maintain your cholesterol goals.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in your body and in many foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Our body naturally produces plenty of cholesterol, but many foods also contain it.

There are two kinds of cholesterol that travel through your bloodstream: LDL and HDL. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because too much can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it works in unison with your liver to remove excess cholesterol from your body.

There are several lifestyle choices you can make to maintain healthy cholesterol levels:

Eat heart healthy foods

  • Incorporate healthy fats, leaner meats, low-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats – found in olive and canola oils – into your diet.
  • Eliminate trans-fats, which increase LDL and lower HDL, from your diet. Trans-fats are common in processed foods and labeled as “partially-hydrogenated oils.” Look for this term on the ingredient’s list of products.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, and flaxseed as these decrease triglycerides and reduce blood pressure.
  • Increase the amount of high fiber foods in your diet, such as oats, fruits, and vegetables, which helps lower LDL levels.

Exercise and be physically active most days of the week

  • Exercise improves cholesterol by raising your HDL levels. Exercising for just 10 minutes several times per day can help improve your cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke – quit! Within just 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease. Within one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. If your doctor recommends medication to lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed, but continue with your lifestyle changes. Everything you do to improve your health matters!

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Linguine

May 25, 2017

Roasted+Vegetable+Quinoa+LinguineOur friends at Native Sun love this roasted vegetable quinoa linguine recipe (our doctors love it too). Quinoa linguine is made from quinoa instead of wheat and provides a myriad of health benefits. Quinoa pasta is a great source of protein as well as iron. It is also gluten-free for those individuals with celiac disease who still crave pasta (you are only human after all).

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil to grease pan
  • 3 yellow squashes, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper, divided
  • 16 oz. quinoa linguine
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach
  • 15 oz. butter beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Add squash, zucchini, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and onion to the baking sheet; sprinkle with half the salt and pepper; bake for 40 minutes or until edges of vegetables are beginning to brown. Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions.
  3. Place spinach and butter beans in a large bowl, top with cooked linguine; toss to wilt spinach; top with roasted vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and remaining salt and pepper. Toss well.

Recipe and image courtesy of Native Sun

Put Your Best Fork Forward

March 16, 2017

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTHBy Lauren Dimitrov, RDN, MPH, LDN

It’s time to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” because we’re celebrating National Nutrition Month in March. The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests making small changes in your diet to live a healthier lifestyle. Continue reading “Put Your Best Fork Forward” »

How much H2O do you really need?

March 9, 2017

TMP_6635It seems like we’re always being told to drink more water, but how much water is really enough? Water supports your energy levels, brain function, and improves weight control. But when it comes to how much water we should be drinking, it seems like every source you turn to throws a different number at you. Continue reading “How much H2O do you really need?” »

Navigating the Holiday Season | Heart Healthy Meal Planning

November 24, 2016

005Lauren Dimitrov, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Expert, shares the tips she gives her clients during the holiday season.

The holiday season is upon us and celebrations with family and friends are underway. If you are concerned that holiday parties and food will ruin your healthful eating habits, remember that all holiday dishes can fit into a healthy eating plan. The truth is, on average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but research shows this weight tends to stay and accumulate over the years. We can avoid those extra pounds by planning.   Continue reading “Navigating the Holiday Season | Heart Healthy Meal Planning” »

Give Your Summertime a Healthy Makeover

June 16, 2016

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Lauren Dimitrov, Registered Dietitian, gives us her expertise to set us on the right track for a healthy & enjoyable summertime. 

Summer is a great time to enjoy the warm weather, time outdoors, and maybe even a vacation. Unfortunately, all of the time away from home may result in poor nutrition, lack of hydration, and potential food poisoning. Here are some summertime tips to steer away from the bad and head towards the good. Continue reading “Give Your Summertime a Healthy Makeover” »

Dr. Caraballo’s Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

May 19, 2016

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It’s easy to assume eating healthy means having to spend more, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Follow tips from Primary Care Physician, Dr. Caraballo, for eating healthy while staying on a budget:

Eat your fruits and vegetables while they are in season. Produce that is in season costs less and tastes better. Click here to find out what is currently in season.

Consider frozen vegetables. Not only are frozen vegetables cheaper but they also don’t go bad as quickly as fresh vegetables.

Create a grocery store list. There are plenty of healthy choices for under $2 a serving including spinach, beans and non-fat greek yogurt. Click here to see a full list.

Plan ahead. Planning your meals ahead of time ensures you won’t be tempted by the fast food drive-thru. Consider making Sunday a planning day for your meals of the week.

Use herbs and spices. They can be a quick way to add a kick of flavor to any meal.

How do you eat healthy on a budget? Let us know on our Facebook page!

National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

May 12, 2016

IMG_0008RTIn honor of May being National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month,, Lauren Dimitrov, Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Expert, talks to us about how food & nutrition can improve our bone health. Continue reading “National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month” »

Healthy Recipe from our Doctor: Farro Salad

December 17, 2015

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Dr. Andrea DeNeen enjoys making farro salad for her family as part of a heart healthy dinner. Farro has been part of the Italian cuisine for thousands of years. It has about eight grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber and 28 grams of protein per cup. It is rich in minerals that may relieve tension and menstrual cramps. In addition, farro is high in vitamin B3, which helps the body break down carbohydrates and fat. Dr. DeNeen loves mixing farro into a salad. It brings a nutty flavor with undertones of oats and barley.  Continue reading “Healthy Recipe from our Doctor: Farro Salad” »

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