Hannibal Regional Blog

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


It’s Apple Season!

A member of the rose family, the apple was considered a symbol of beauty in Greek mythology. The fruit made its way to North America in the 1600s. Soon after, John Chapman earned his famous nickname “Johnny Appleseed” by planting apple seeds from Ohio to Illinois.

Worldwide, more than 8,000 varieties of apples are grown, with about 2,500 cultivated in the United States. Almost all apple trees today don’t actually come from seeds, but rather from a process called grafting, since most seeds will not produce the same apples from which they came.

When it comes to nutrition, there is some truth in the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” An apple WITH the peel, that is. With the majority of its nutrients found in the skin, an apple is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Apples are available year-round across the country, typically in peak season from late August to October. Prolong shelf life by storing fresh apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. Apples produce the natural gas ethylene, therefore they can cause other fruits to ripen faster so be choosy with what produce you store apples with.

Every variety of apple has a distinct taste, color and texture. While some are great for snacking, others may be better suited for baked good, applesauce, apple cider, and more!


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


Brain Health Facts

Brain Health Facts

Brain Health1. Your brain has ENORMOUS energy and nutrient demands. 

  • The average brain is 2% of body weight yet accounts for 20-30% of the body’s total daily energy expenditure and uses 20-25% of all the glucose that enters the bloodstream.

2. Your brain requires a very robust blood flow. 

  • The average brain utilizes 15% of the body’s total blood output from the heart. 


3. Your brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage. This is due to the following unique brain features: 

  • The brain is filled with fat. Fatty tissues are more readily oxidized. 
  • The brain is filled with large amounts of iron (from its robust blood flow) and iron can be a powerful pro-oxidant. 
  • The brain processes massive amounts of oxygen (25% of all the oxygen you breathe) and oxidative stress/oxidation is a normal byproduct of oxygen metabolism.

4. Oxidation in the brain leads to inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is the culprit for most all forms of damage that occur in the human body and is a fundamental driver of chronic diseases. Stress, depression, other forms of mental strife, as well as neurodegenerative diseases like dementia are clearly linked to excess inflammation in the body and brain.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


5 Quick, Minimal Heat Required, Summer Meal/Snack Ideas

In the heat of summer, sometimes the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen by cooking. Here are 5 easy, minimal heat required (if it all), lunch ideas.

Avocado Tuna Salad
Serves 4

  • 2 – 5oz. cans tuna
  • 1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix with a fork, mashing avocado and breaking up the chunks of tuna as you go, until the ingredients are well combined. Serve with crackers or bread.

Fruit and PB Roll Ups
Serves 2

  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • 6 tbsp. Peanut butter
  • 2 bananas (or other fruit of choice)
  • 4 tsp. honey

Spread 3 tbsp of peanut butter on each tortilla. Drizzle 2 tsp. honey over top of peanut butter. Place banana or other fruit at edge of tortilla and roll up.

Avocado  Egg Salad
Serves 4, this is best to use right away as the avocado turns brown with time.
*May use Mayo or Miracle Whip in place of avocado.

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

Chop eggs coarsely and put into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Serve with whole wheat tortilla, on whole wheat toast or crackers.

Salsa Cheesy Bean Dip

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 wheel Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle Cheese®
  • 2 cups of salsa

Spread an even layer of refried beans on bottom of a plate. Unwrap all of The Laughing Cow cheese wedges and place in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until cheese is warm enough to mix well with salsa. Mix salsa and cheese together. Spread this mixture evenly over top of the refried bean layer. Serve with chips or crackers or toasted whole wheat tortilla.

Cottage Cheese with veggies
Serves 2

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes or sliced tomato
  • Dash of Pepper (or to taste)

Prep ahead- measure out ½ cup cottage cheese into separate bowls. Add Dash of pepper to top of each bowl. Top bowls with ¼ cup cucumbers slice and tomatoes each. 

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Low Blood Glucose

Hypoglycemia means your blood glucose is too low. Because a drop in blood sugar can happen quickly, it is recommended to always have simple carbohydrate snacks available to correct blood glucose. You might have sweating or cold, clammy skin, dizziness, shakiness, or tingling feeling, fast heartbeat, headache, confusion or irritability. If you are feeling any of these symptoms, always check your blood glucose right away. If it is too low:

1. Eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate (1/2 cup fruit juice, 3-4 glucose tablets)

2. Recheck blood glucose again after 15 minutes. If it is still low, repeat Step 1. Check again after another 15 minutes. If it is still low, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

3. Once your blood sugar rises, eat a small snack if your next meal is not in the next 30-60 minutes.

15-grams of Carbohydrate Snacks:

  • 1 medium fruit
  • 6 oz light yogurt
  • 3 cups popcorn
  • 4 small gingersnaps
  • 5 vanilla wafers
  • 1 ounce pretzels
  • 10 baked potato or tortilla chips
  • 6 saltines
  • 3 squares graham crackers
  • 1 granola bar

Reference: American Diabetes Association (2016). Living Well With Diabetes. (n.p.)


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