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kaleThis article is written by Diane May, a nutritionist at White Plains Hospital.
With the cold and flu season upon us, there are other protective measures we can take beyond just regularly washing our hands. Food is powerful medicine that can kick our immune systems into gear, both to fend off viruses as well as reduce the severity and duration of symptoms such as congestion, sore throat and fatigue.
I often prescribe these essentials as part of any cold-sufferer’s diet:

Garlic has been studied for centuries for its anti-bacterial properties. When garlic is sliced, chewed or crushed, sulfur compounds such allicin, diallyl disulfide, vinyldithiins and s-allyl cycteine are activated (giving off that distinctive garlic smell). These have been shown to support the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells, helping them to fight viruses. Garlic can also be taken as a preventative supplement: I recommend 300 mg a day, or incorporating one to two fresh cloves daily into your diet, including in salad dressings, green juices, or simply rubbing it on whole grain bread for delicious flavored toast.

Chicken Soup
Good, old fashioned chicken soup has been used forever as a common cold aide and there are some real benefits. The warm broth can help alleviate congestion and the electrolytes (sodium) found in the broth can help keep you hydrated and soothe a sore throat. The added chicken and vegetables provide additional protein and nutrients, with carrots, celery, onion, turnip and fresh herbs supplying an even bigger nutritional boost.WhitePlainsHospitalSponsorBanner

When you aren’t feeling your best, warm fluids can soothe that scratchy throat and help to loosen mucus. Opt for decaffeinated tea as caffeine is dehydrating, which is the last thing you need when you are trying to flush a virus from your system. I always recommend ginger tea, as it can soothe a stomach that’s upset from loose mucus draining into the digestive system. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that assist with immune function.

Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Loaded with live cultures and probiotics, yogurt helps to keep your gut lining healthy. Approximately 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, so it is important to keep it in good fighting shape in case your body encounters a virus. Consuming probiotic rich foods can lower the risk of catching a cold and help to speed recovery if you have caught one. Another perk, non-fat Greek yogurt has triple the protein of regular yogurt (without the added sugar).

Red Bell Peppers
Vitamin C is essential for the function of immune cells, and during infections our bodies quickly become deficient of this vitamin. Eating foods rich in vitamin C during a cold or virus can speed the body’s recovery and reduce symptoms. Since vitamin C is water soluble, it’s more efficient to consume it through foods high in vitamin C, such as red bell peppers, rather than from solid supplements which require more work for the body to digest and absorb. One cup of chopped red bell pepper contains 190 mg of this important vitamin. Other foods high in vitamin C include kiwifruit, broccoli, dark leafy greens and citrus fruits.

Blueberries are a great source of anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives the berry (and other colorful fruits and vegetables) it’s rich, deep color. Flavinoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties that can help reduce cell damage and boost immune function. A powerhouse berry that’s low in calories, you can snack on them, add to salads or treat yourself to a crumble.

Diane May, MPH, MS, CDN, RD, CSOWM is a registered dietitian with Scarsdale Medical Group. To make an appointment, call (914) 723-8100.

WP1Laurence Smith (Chairman of WPH Board of Directors) of Scarsdale, Susan Fox (CEO & President), Dr. Erik Larsen, Lucy Schmolka, Allen Waxenberg, Wendy Berk, Kathy Winterroll of Scarsdale, Geralyn Della Cava of Scarsdale, Anna Cappucci.The Friends of White Plains Hospital hosted the “Best is Yet to Come” BASH of White Plains Hospital on Saturday, November 16th. The sold-out evening at Brae Burn Country Club raised $1.4 million for the Hospital’s new Center for Advanced Medicine & Surgery. The gala was co-chaired by Wendy Berk, of Scarsdale; Anna Cappucci, of Harrison; and Geralyn Della Cava and Kathleen Winterroll, both of Scarsdale. Over 600 guests gathered to celebrate the Hospital and honor five exceptional volunteers, and enjoyed a night of dinner, dancing, and a silent auction.

WP2Linda Plattus, Howard Berk, Wendy Berk, Carrie Bank, Andy Bank, Michael Meyers, and Eileen MeyersWP3Allison Fehrenbaker, Patti Dweck, Wendy Kleinman, Amy Hirschhorn, Joan and Joel PicketWP4Ralph and Geralyn Della Cava and Kathleen and Christopher Winterroll

MindfulEatingIt was like a Halloween miracle...the clouds parted and the rain stayed at bay, but now all that trick or treating has left us with bags of tempting candy right before Thanksgiving and a season of feasting. What better time than now, to talk about mindful eating?! No, mindful eating isn’t a new diet fad, but if you practice it regularly you might just feel the effects in both your body and mind.

As Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” So simply put, mindful eating is the act of slowing down and drawing our attention to the physical and emotional sensations that we may feel while we eat. The premise of mindful eating is to try to clear your dining space of other distractions so that you can really focus on how the food you are consuming smells, how it tastes, and how it feels as you chew it. We’re all guilty of chowing down while we distractedly look at our phones or watch T.V. or of shoveling in a granola bar while running from one place to the next, but if we practice mindfulness while eating, we can also begin to create an awareness of how our bodies feel when we are hungry and start to recognize the physical cues of when we are full.

Benefits of mindful eating:

The benefits of mindful eating are plentiful. Practicing mindfulness in general has been scientifically proven to not only strengthen executive functioning skills such as impulse control and decision making, but it has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. What’s more, when practiced while eating, mindfulness can also help aid digestion, establish a healthy relationship with food, contribute to weight loss, and so much more!

Ready to give mindful eating a try?

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that practicing mindfulness takes, well...practice! It might not feel natural at first, but with a bit of effort and time, it can become second nature and before you know it you have created a new, healthy habit for yourself! Here are a few tips to help get anyone started:

-Try to avoid eating food right out of a package or while standing at the counter. Instead, plate your food and sit down to eat it at a table.
-Try to eliminate distractions such as cellphones and T.V. so that you can give all of your attention to your meal.
-Spend a moment feeling grateful for your food and how it was provided for you.
-When you start to eat, use all of your senses to enjoy the food. How does the food smell, taste, feel?
-Take small bites and really try to savor each one.
-Chew slowly.
-Try to take notice of how you the food makes you feel while eating it and how you feel once you’ve finished.
-Tune into your body’s signals and try to recognize when you are full.

Please remember, while it is important to try to focus your attention on the present moment and the food that you are eating, it is perfectly natural for your mind to start to wander. If this should happen just gently bring your focus and awareness back to the sensations of eating and savoring your meal.

Bon Appetit!

For more information about mindful eating and for guided mindful eating mediations check this out.

ketodietCardiologist Joshua Latzman from White Plains Hospital weighs in on the benefits of the latest diet trend.

Chances are you’ve heard of the latest diet and weight-loss fad sweeping the nation: the ketogenic diet (keto for short). It’s a low-carb, high-fat plan that’s become so popular, it was credited for making a dent in Weight Watchers’ numbers.

By drastically cutting back on carbs, keto followers reduce the amount of blood sugar available to be used as energy, which, in turn, causes their livers to produce more ketones for fuel. Since ketones are produced from fat and the body is relying on them for energy, fat burn increases dramatically.

As effective as keto may be, is it really healthy to manipulate the body in such a way? Dr. Joshua Latzman, cardiologist at Maple Medical, believes it can be. “A well-formulated keto diet full of non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and high-quality protein can be healthy,” he says.

The keto diet isn’t just an effective way to lose weight—it may help improve your health in other aspects too. “From a cardiac standpoint, reducing the amount of carbs in the diet generally improves triglyceride levels,” Dr. Latzman says.

Keto may also help manage diabetes. “The diet prevents swings in blood sugar that can result from ingesting large WhitePlainsHospitalSponsorBanneramounts of carbohydrates, especially in people whose bodies have difficulty regulating blood sugar,” Dr. Latzman says. The keto diet is even suspected to be good for conditions such as epilepsy, dementia, and certain cancers, though much more research needs to be done.

But before you dive right in, consult with your doctor. “People with elevated LDL should be careful about significantly increasing their intake of saturated fat when undertaking the keto diet, as this may further increase their LDL levels,” Dr. Latzman warns. He recommends having bloodwork done prior to starting the keto diet and then being monitored on a regular basis to ensure that issues do not develop.

Additionally, “people taking exogenous insulin must work closely with their endocrinologists when drastically lowering their carbohydrate intake,” Dr. Latzman says. In fact, if you’re on any medications, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor just to make sure keto is the best plan for you. Taking the proper precautions is important whenever implementing a new diet or weight-loss plan, but generally, it is safe to give keto a go.

Here’s what to eat:

• Structure your diet to be low carb, moderate protein and high fat
• Choose minimally processed, whole foods and avoid anything highly processed
• Low-carb veggies such as arugula, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell pepper, kale and zucchini
• Low-sugar fruits such as tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
• Healthy fats such as avocado, almonds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, nut oils, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts
• Quality proteins such as wild or sustainably farmed salmon, tuna, codfish, shrimp, organic chicken, turkey, grass-fed organic beef and eggs
• Snacks such as nut butters with no added sugars, sugar-free jerky, cheese, plain Greek yogurt, kale chips and dark chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao

Dr. Joshua Latzman is a cardiologist with Maple Medical at 30 Davis Avenue, White Plains. To make an appointment, call (914) 328-2151.

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