Category Archives: Expert Health Advice

Surprising Findings for Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergies

Posted on: July 29, 2015

Does early introduction of peanut products reduce the incidence of peanut allergy?

By Dr. Craig Osleeb

Creamy Peanut Butter with PeanutsPeanut allergy is a major problem. It is currently one of the 6 most common causes of food allergy in childhood. The prevalence of peanut allergy has risen over the past decade and currently affects approximately 1.4% of the USA population. While many children will outgrow their food allergy to milk, egg, wheat and soy, 82% of those allergic to peanut will remain so for life. This is a great concern to parents, patient’s and the healthcare community at large. In February of this year the New England Journal of Medicine published a prospective placebo blinded study (Learning Early about Peanut Allergy, LEAP, study) that has far reaching implications for the prevention of peanut allergy.

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Ready to Run

Posted on: July 22, 2015

Ready to Run: Simple Stretches to Stave Off Injury

By Dennis McGovern

Each year, more and more people are inspired to start their own running program. Running provides both physical and mental benefits, the only equipment required is a pair of Runningrunning shoes and you can do it anywhere. I’m a big fan of setting fitness goals, and recommend taking a few precautions to help avoid injury.

A thorough warm up before running is a must. When you do any type of vigorous exercise, you get microtears in your muscles. That’s natural—when your body repairs your muscles, they become stronger. But if you aren’t properly warmed up, you’ll experience many more of these tears and you’ll be much sorer afterward.

While most people think the proper warm up begins with stretching, few know that you need an active warm up to loosen your muscles and get blood flowing before you stretch. Otherwise you won’t get the full benefit of stretching. Try jogging-in-place, jumping jacks, and high-knee stepping for five to 10 minutes. Since running involves your full body, do some arm circles as well: Hold your arms out to your sides and start with small rotations forward and then backward; make progressively larger circles.

Once your muscles are sufficiently warm, the following leg stretches will complete your pre-run regimen and you’ll be ready to go. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, and repeat it two to three times. Despite what you may have heard, stretching should not be painful. You want to feel the stretch but it should be tolerable.

“Exercise doesn’t take as much effort when your
muscles are loose and ready for action.”

Hamstring stretch: Stand facing stairs and place the heel of your right leg on a step in front of you. Keeping your right knee straight, lean forward and reach toward your toe. Switch legs and repeat.

Quad stretch: Facing a wall, place your left hand on the wall for balance and then lift your right heel up behind you, bending your leg at the knee. Grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull your heel toward your rear. You should feel a mild stretch in the front of your leg. Be sure not to lock the knee in the leg you are standing on. Switch legs and repeat.

Calf stretch: Stand about arm’s length from a wall, place your hands against the wall and step forward with your left foot. Now lean toward the wall keeping your body straight and your right heel on the ground. Push back through your right heel as you feel the stretch. Switch legs and repeat.

Forward lunge: Keeping your head up and trunk straight, step forward with your right leg into a lunge position. Sink your hips toward the ground. Lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle. Your other knee should not touch the floor. Then return to the starting position. (You may want to hold onto a chair or wall for balance.) Switch legs and repeat.

Piriformis stretch: This is especially important for women whose wider hips increase the angle to their knees and leave them susceptible to pain and tightness in this small muscle deep in the buttocks. Sitting in a chair, place your right ankle over your left knee and push down on your right knee while leaning forward. Switch legs and repeat.

IT Band stretch: This is the long flat ligament that runs along the outside of your thigh from your hip to the knee, and it can become very tight in runners. Stand in front of a wall and place your right foot behind and to the left of your left foot. Bend your upper body to the left, pushing your hips gently to the right until you feel the stretch in your right hip and outside of your thigh. Switch legs and repeat.

Exercise doesn’t take as much effort when your muscles are loose and ready for action, and by taking the time for a proper warm up, you’ll not only lessen your chances of injury, you’ll improve your running times.

Editor’s Note: Dennis McGovern, DPT, is a physical therapist at Northern Westchester Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at Chappaqua Crossing. Visit www.nwhrehab.org to learn more about Northern Westchester Hospital’s rehabilitation services.

Northern Westchester Hosptial is a proud sponsor of the Kisco 5K. Join us on september 20th for the 2nd Annual Mt. Kisco Race. Register today!

 

 

Organic, Natural, Local, Grass-fed: What does it all mean?

Posted on: July 20, 2015

Decoding Sustainable Foods

By Amy Rosenfeld

In our efforts to be healthy and mindful when choosing the foods we eat, we often come across many environmental food terms including local, grass-fed, organic, etc. But what do all these labels mean?

Food grown or raised in an ecologically and ethically responsible manner, where the environment is protected, human health safeguarded, animals are farmed humanely, and workers are treated fairly is called Sustainable Food.

Sustainable foods are thought to reduce exposure to many harmful substances including pesticides, antibiotics, and food additives.  Many sustainable foods are also higher in nutrients and antioxidants due to limited travel time required to reach the consumer. The less time food travels, the more nutrients it contains when it reaches its destination. Eating sustainably also supports an environmentally and socially responsible food system, promoting local farmers. To help you better understand food labeling, I’m sharing the United States Department of Agriculture’s definition of several sustainable food terms. Keep reading for a wonderful Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad recipe.

Common Sustainable Food Terms: (as defined by the USDA)
Local Food:
Food produced in the same geographical region as the consumer. The size of the geographical region is not specified (e.g. unspecified number of miles).
Free Range or Free Roaming: A method of farming in which animals are allowed to roam freely for a least some portion of the day rather than being confined to an enclosure for 24 hours per day. The amount of free-range time is not specified.
Natural: A product that contains no artificial ingredient or added color. The product was minimally processed meaning, it was processed in a way that does not fundamentally alter the product.
No Antibiotics or Hormones: Animals were raised without being given antibiotics or hormones.
Non-GMO: The acronym GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, which refers to any food product that has been altered at the gene level. Genetically modified foods are also frequently described as “genetically engineered,” “genetically altered,” or “genetically manipulated.”
Organic: Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using “most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” Organic food is also produced emphasizing environmental practices. In order for foods to receive an organic certification, the government-approved certifier inspects the farm for these qualifications.
Grass-Fed: Animals that are classified as grass-fed are to be provided a diet solely from forage consisting of grass, forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.

While eating sustainably is considered by many to be better for the environment and your health, many of these sustainable food choices are often more expensive and more difficult to find. If it is affordable for your family, consider trying to incorporate sustainable foods into your family’s diet, emphasizing local choices whenever possible.  I recommend shopping at local farmer’s markets to find these sustainable options.  My advice? Mix and match sustainable food choices from your local farmers market with options from your grocery store for the best bang for your buck.

Local Northern Westchester Farmers Markets:
Chappaqua Farmers Market
Pleasantville Farmers Market
Katonah – John Joay Homestead
Mt Kisco Farmers Market
Somers – Muscoot Farm
North Salem – Gossett Brothers Nursery
Yorktown – Hilltop Hanover Farm

Try out this seasonal recipe  from CookingLight.com

Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad

(serves 8)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add watermelon and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes); toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Sprinkle with goat cheese just before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 90, Fat 3.8 g, Saturated Fat 1.1 g, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 12.5 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Sodium 95 mg

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/heirloom-tomato-watermelon-peach-salad

Editor’s Note: Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN is a Registered Dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital

Elbow Pain: It’s Not-So-Funny

Posted on: July 15, 2015

Elbow Pain: It’s Not-So-Funny

By Dr. Michael Gott

Elbows can be surprisingly problematic—pain can plague tennis players, golfers, and even Elbowgardeners. Although elbow pain can limit your activities, plenty of solutions exist for resolving the pain.

If you experience elbow pain after a fall, an accident, or the pain comes on suddenly, you should head to the emergency room right away. You could have a fracture or dislocation. Other signs that you should see a doctor are numbness, tingling, sudden swelling, or difficulty moving your arm.

Patients often end up in my office due to more chronic concerns. Arthritis, bursitis (inflammation of a fluid cushioning sac in the joint), and pinched nerves (especially the ulnar nerve—your “funny bone”) can all create the kind of persistent pain that will lead patients to seek medical help. The most common complaints I see are tennis or golfer’s elbow. The pain is usually a form of tendonitis—inflammation in the tendons that connect forearm muscles to bone.

The first step for patients to try is RICE: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting your arm and applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes, three times a day will help reduce inflammation and ease the pain. You can achieve compression with elbow braces and wraps easily found at the drugstore; these will help take pressure off the tendon. Finally, keeping your elbow elevated above your heart will also help reduce swelling.

To help manage pain, I recommend starting with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, if you don’t find relief with these measures, your doctor may suggest a cortisone (steroid) injection, especially for tennis or golfer’s elbow. This can provide immediate pain relief and, with physical therapy, allow patients to gradually return to play. If the pain persists, surgical solutions also exist. A surgeon can perform arthroscopic surgery to address structural problems like bone spurs.

An exciting new option is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a therapy used by athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal. Blood is drawn from the patient and platelets—which contain proteins called growth factors—are separated, concentrated, and then re-injected into the problem elbow. The concentrated growth factor seems to speed healing. We’ve had some excellent success in treating chronic tennis and golfer’s elbow with PRP.

Editor’s Note: Michael Gott, MD is the Medical Director of Northern Westchester Hospital’s Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Yorktown. Dr. Gott specializes in conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle including traumatic and sports related injuries as well as arthritic conditions.

The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Posted on: June 22, 2015

The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN

This 4th of July, celebrate our country’s independence with good health and a patriotic plate. American flagRed, white, and blue foods are superfoods: nutrition powerhouses packed full of rich antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Red fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, and pomegranate, are full of phytonutrients, anthocyanins, flavonoid compounds; nutrients that reduce cancer by fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to cells. Red fruits and veggies are particularly high in the phytochemical lycopene, shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

White foods often get a bad reputation but fresh white foods, such as daikon radish, turnips, jicama or pears, are packed with nutrients. The anthoxanthins in white foods can reduce inflammation of all kinds.  One of the most common anthoxanthins, quercetin, is linked with lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, easing the symptoms of allergies, and helping with pain from arthritis.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries, beets, and eggplant, have rich doses of phytonutrients and flavonoids that lower your risk of heart disease. Flavonoids may also help improve memory with aging and prevent many cancers.

Try out these easy recipes for your 4th of July this year. These recipes are perfect for a party, cookout or relaxing picnic.
Grilled Chicken with Red & Blueberry Salsa 

(Adapted from All Through The Year Cheer)
(Yield:  4 servings)

Ingredients:
4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tbsp olive oil (for grilling the chicken)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 c fresh blueberries, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 TB fresh minced parsley
2 TB fresh minced mint
1 TB lemon juice

Directions:
1) In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to 1 day in advance but if you do so, I recommend waiting until right before you serve it to add the fresh minced herbs).
2) Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).
3) Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa.

https://allthroughtheyearcheer.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/grilled-chicken-with-red-blueberry-salsa/

Nutrition Facts: 278 calories, 12.2 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 393 mg sodium, 7.7 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 33.6 g protein
Cous-Cous & Fruit Salad

(Courtesy of Eatingwell.com)
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1 cup chopped nectarine
1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Directions:
1. Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts: 259 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g sat; 40 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 7 g fiber; 146 mg sodium

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_red_white_and_blue_recipes?slide=15

 

Red, White and Blue Yogurt Popsicles

(Adapted from The View from Great Island)
Yield: 10 popsicles

Ingredients:
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt

Directions:
1. Using a small food processor, or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside. Repeat for the blueberries.
2. Put your popsicle mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour, or more.
3. Layer a little bit of the blueberry puree into the mold. Put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until solid. Alternate with layers, putting in the freezer for 10 minutes in between each layer.
4. When done layering, insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.
5. Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. If the pops don’t come out of the mold easily, run the outside of the mold under hot water for a few seconds.

Nutrition Facts: 31 calories, 0.1 g fat, 8 mg sodium, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 2.3 g protein

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/red-white-and-blueberry-popsicles/