Hannibal Regional Blog

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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


Beyond Weight Loss

The power of food is infinite. I love when people ask me for nutrition advice, because talking about nutrition is truly my passion. I believe that what we put in our body is the force behind everything that takes place within our body. Nutrition is a challenging topic, with continuously changing research, media hype, poorly written nutrition claims and more confusion than the average person can keep up with. It is easy to get lost in the world of nutrition. “What not to eat?” “What diet to follow?” “When and how to eat?” However, what most people lose sight of is the power that food has to offer, the good that food does for our body and that food can actually improve our mental and physical well-being. As you can imagine, the number one reason that people ask me for nutrition advice, is because they have a goal in mind. That shared goal, is often weight loss. Rather than weight loss being the driver for our food choices, let’s make food choices for a reason OTHER than weight loss.  Eating healthy has far more benefits than decreasing the number on the scale, or going down a pant size. Filling up on the right foods have been shown to provide feel-better benefits and improving overall well-being. Benefits of a healthy diet range from improved heart and brain health, to a higher chance of being successful at work!  Below are ten reasons to eat healthy - other than weight loss.

It makes you happy
Fast food and pastries that are high in trans fat and sugar can throw off your brain’s levels of mood-regulating chemicals to spur symptoms of depression. Research consistently shows that health-promoting nutrients—such as omega 3's from fatty fish, and vitamin D in dairy - can boost your mood and combat depression.

It Makes You Smarter
Research from the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging shows that eating a diet high in saturated and trans fats from fried and processed foods reduces your cognitive abilities. Meanwhile, high intakes of omega 3's from foods like fish, walnuts, and avocados improves brain function.

Improves your activity level
Food is fuel. Every one of your dietary decisions throughout the day impacts your exercise performance, as well as your productivity at work and other life decisions you make throughout the day. Consistently getting the hydration, and vitamins/minerals from nutrient dense foods you need, keeps your body primed and ready to work its best. 

It Scores You Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep will not only help you make good food choices, but good food choices also help you sleep more soundly through the night.

It Slashes Stress
Food choices have a huge influence on the level of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine as well as your levels of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Foods high in antioxidants such as dark chocolate, and deeply colored fruits and vegetables help reduce stress related hormones.

Healthy Skin
Staying hydrated, choosing foods with omega-3 fats, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help the body fight dry skin in the winter. Fish is the best source of omega-3 fats, but plant foods such as flax, chia and hemp seeds and walnuts also are good sources

Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to everything from stress and brain fog to heart disease and cancer. According to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat whole grains over refined ones cut their levels of C-reactive protein—a key indicator of inflammation—by 38 percent.

Boost Immunity
Consuming yogurt and other fermented foods containing probiotics, along with complex carbs (whole grains) can strengthen your immune system to reduce your likelihood of infections. (Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology)

Heart Health
Women are more likely to die from heart disease than from anything else. Luckily, all weight loss aside, eating right can help cut your risk. For instance, one New England Journal of Medicine study found that people who eat about a handful of nuts every day were 29 percent less likely to die from heart disease.

It Prevents Osteoporosis
Strong diet = strong bones. Apart from getting adequate dairy, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends consuming fish, fruits, and veggies. It also states that getting your sodium intake into a healthy range (a.k.a. nixing processed foods) can help ward off osteoporosis.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian

 


The Sunshine Vitamin

Unfortunately the amount of sunshine in a day is dwindling. The sunshine is essential for our health, most importantly our skin. Our skin contains vitamin specific precursors that when exposed to ultraviolet light or sunshine, a conversion occurs in which one very important vitamin is given the ability to be utilized by our body. What vitamin is this? Vitamin D! With inadequate sun exposure to our skin, this conversion cannot happen, and our body misses out on all the wonderful health benefits of vitamin D. Not to mention, vitamin D is already lacking in the average diet and deficiencies are quite common.

Why take vitamin D?

  • Helps with the absorption of calcium
  • Positively improves mood
  • Aides in neuromuscular function, helps prevent against autoimmune diseases, maintain healthy immune function & reduces inflammation
  • Maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations for normal mineralization of bone.

What foods contain Vitamin D?
Canned salmon, tuna, milk (all milk has vitamin D added, not just “Vit D” milk!), fortified orange juice, enriched cereals

Who especially at risk for deficiency?
Breastfed infants, older adults, those with inflammatory bowel disease & fat malabsorption conditions, those with limited sun exposure, those with dark pigmented skin, those who are obese or have underwent gastric bypass surgery.

How much should you get?
Experts who specifically study the area of vitamin D agree that all ages can safely consume 1000 IU's through supplements, which is far more than most vitamin D supplements on the market contain. Like all vitamin/mineral supplements, you should inform your healthcare provider of any changes you make to your supplemental regimen.

Fun Fact: Did you know that you have something in common with a mushroom? Our skin is similar to that of a mushroom when absorbing sunlight. Mushrooms grown outdoors have more vitamin D than those grown inside. Taking mushrooms out of the package and putting them in the sunlight for about 15-30 minutes boosts vitamin D content!

Grilled Portabello Mushroom Caps

  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 portabello mushroom caps

Directions

Combine all ingredients (except portabellas). Let the oil mix sit to absorb all the flavors. Brush  oil mix over both side of mushroom caps. Grill on high, underside down. When underside is well done (about 4-5 mins) flip over and grill again for same length of time.

Serving ideas

  • Add mushroom cap to whole wheat bun with your favorite burger toppings.
  • Top with your favorite rice mix or stuffing.
  • Crack an egg in middle of rounded side, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake until egg is done to your lighting.

 

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Summer Fruit and Veggie Challenge

What better time to try some new fruits and vegetables? Fruits and vegetables pack a ton of nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and water, making them a much needed food group to every meal. Trying new foods can be intimidating but you never know if you like something until you try it. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables, how many have you tried? Try them more than once, and try them more than one way (canned, fresh, frozen, dried). Happy Summer!

Vegetables
Fruits

__ Artichoke
__ Asparagus
__ Avocado
__ Beets
__ Bell Pepper
__ Broccoli
__ Cabbage
__ Carrots
__ Cauliflower
__ Celery
__ Corn
__ Cucumber
__ Dried breans
__ Eggplant
__ Green beans
__ Jicama
__ Kale
__ Mushroom
__ Okra
__ Radish
__ Spinach
__ Squash
__ Sugar Snap Peas
__ Sweet potato
__ Tomato
__ Turnip
__ Zucchini

__ Apple
__ Apricot
__ Banana
__ Blueberries
__ Blackberries
__ Cherries
__ Cranberries
__ Cantaloupe
__ Fig
__ Grapes
__ Grapefruit
__ Honeydew melon
__ Kiwi
__ Mango
__ Nectarine
__ Orange
__ Papya
__ Peach
__ Pear
__ Pineapple
__ Plum
__ Pomegranate
__ Raspberries
__ Star fruit
__ Strawberries
__ Watermelon
 


*If renal complications apply, talk to your Registered Dietitian about appropriate serving sizes!

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Diabetic Friendly Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Breakfast For most busy individuals and families, meal planning is not always high priority. Quick and convenient foods can be high in fat and calories but they can also be well-balanced and nutritious. Most women need about 3 carbohydrate choices per meal while most men need about 4 carb choices per meal. Keeping this in mind during meal planning can guide you to better eating. Here are some diabetic friendly meal ideas that require little to no preparation or cooking.

Breakfast Meal Ideas:

(1.5 cup) High Fiber Cereal = 2 Carbs
(1 cup) Skim or 1% Milk = 1 Carb
(1) Hard-Boiled Egg

(2) Whole Wheat Toast = 2 Carbs
(2 tsp) Whipped or Light Butter (Made with Canola or Olive Oil)
(1) Greek Yogurt = 1 Carb
(1 Cup) Berries = 1 Carb

(1 Packet) Flavored Oatmeal = 2 Carbs
(1/4 cup) Nuts or (2 Tbsp) Peanut Butter
(1) Small Banana or (1 Cup) Sliced Strawberries or Blueberries = 1 Carb

(2) Whole Wheat Toast = 2 Carbs
(2 Tbsp) Peanut Butter
(1) Small Banana = 1 Carb

(2) Whole Wheat Toast = 2 Carbs
(1 Slice) Cheese
(1) Scrambled Egg
(1) Tomato
(1) 5.3 oz Light Yogurt = 1 Carb

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


HEALTH ROLES- Magnesium

Magnesium rich diet HEALTH ROLES

Magnesium is needed in biochemical reactions, including energy production, nutrient metabolism, fatty acid and protein synthesis, transmission of nerve and muscle impulses, glucose control, blood pressure regulation and transport of calcium and potassium ions. Higher levels of serum magnesium have been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Evidence supports an inverse relationship between dietary intake of magnesium and risk of Type 2 diabetes. One large cohort study showed magnesium intake may aid in preventing pancreatic cancer.

 

SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is widely available in plant and animal foods and often is included in fortified foods and enriched grains. Soil health can impact the amount of magnesium in foods.

Table

Food Sources   Rating
1 ounce dry roasted almonds 80mg Excellent
1/2 cup boiled spinach 78mg Excellent
1/4 cup oil roasted peanuts 63mg Good
1 cup soymilk 61mg Good
2 slices whole-wheat bread 46mg Good
1 cup cubed avocado 44mg Good
1/2 cup cooked brown rice 42mg Good
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt 42mg Good
Fortified breakfast cereals 40mg Good

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD