SEATTLE, Feb. 25, 2013 - KOMONews.com posted an article today about a newly FDA-approved surgical procedure for acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) called LINX that Swedish is now offering to patients.
I felt compelled to write this post primarily because I am exhausted from witnessing those dramatic cold and flu commercials I see everywhere. We all know how to treat a cold or the flu: rest, fluids, and antioxidant rich foods. Yet many of us (I’m guilty, too) reach for Emergen-C thinking that’s all we need and give little (or no) thought to what ‘antioxidant rich’ foods may do to help. So for your health and mine, I’ve highlighted some of those antioxidant-rich foods that should be featured on our plates this season.
First – what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that quench free radicals (unstable harmful molecules that are the result of oxidative damage), therefore protecting your cells from damage. Free radicals can do a number on your immune system, thus blunting your ability to respond to a cold. Major antioxidants include Carotenes (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium & Zinc.
Where can I get or find antioxidants?
ISSAQUAH, WA, Jan. 23, 2013 - With spring sports starting, don't drop the ball on nutrition. Nutrition is just as important as physical conditioning for athletes. So, as spring sports begin, let Swedish help you and your children prepare to hit it out of the park. Join Registered Dietitian Ally Colson for an interactive training on game-winning meals and snacks and help your young athlete become a nutrition champion.
Picky eaters. We all know at least one, have a child that’s proud to be one, or heck, might have a history of being one (gulp). Every child is unique, hence the approach to picky eating needs to be highly individualized, but here I will outline some general tips on how to establish healthy habits for picky eaters!
The Basic Rules...
As your baby grows, you’ve probably started wondering when and how to start feeding your infant solid foods. Here are some general tips to consider:
Is there a safe age to start feeding solid foods to my infant?
Yes, most infants this is between four and six months of age.
Why is there a ‘safe’ age to start feeding solids?
There are a few reasons why this age is safest. The first reason is because prior to four months of age, an infant is not developmentally ready to safely eat from a spoon.
To be able to swallow solids safely, an infant needs good head control; to be able to sit well with support; and to have lost the “extrusion reflex” (the reflex which enables newborns to tightly latch and suck from a nipple, but makes them shove a spoon out of their mouth).
The second reason an infant should be fed solids between four and six months is something many families are not aware of: it is also a strategy to prevent common food allergies. This is one of the strongest reasons I passionately advocate for infants to be exposed to as many foods as possible during this crucial three-month window.
Starting solids and preventing food allergies:
In the past, healthcare providers have advised parents to avoid potential allergens such as peanuts, eggs, and milk. New evidence is now showing that this practice might have played a role in the increased incidence of childhood food allergies in the U.S
Why might this occur? The ...
With the busiest long-distance travel period upon us, and my own upcoming 29 hour flight itinerary, I thought it would be an appropriate time of year to present my two favorite topics as one: travel foods!
Whether you are boarding an airplane or cramming into the car, providing the right fuel for your body can support an enjoyable travel experience and deliver you at your destination feeling energized and (physically) prepared for your visit.
Traveling by air
Nearly 90 million Americans already have digestive issues, so 35,000 feet up is not the time to exacerbate existing disorders or experiment to see if you can contribute to this statistic. Here are some general flight food tips to keep your tummy travelling well.
- Carbonated drinks. Stomach gases already expand by approximately 30% when you reach flying altitude, hence why downing bubbly beverages can make you feeling like Mr. Clause by the time you are deboarding.
- Alcohol and caffeine. Sure that Jack and Coke takes the edge off turbulence, but alcohol and caffeinated beverages contribute to dehydration. Besides irritated skin and eyes, this can also put you at greater risk for respiratory infections and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). After clearing security, fill or purchase a water bottle and bring onboard, sipping 8fl oz every hour onboard.
- Avoid fried, fatty foods before flight. These foods are already taxing on the GI system (fatty foods take longer to digest), but when traveling at even higher altitudes can cause exaggerated complaints of heartburn and acid reflux.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Wait, did the dietitian just say I don’t need to eat broccoli? These cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage) contain a complex sugar, raffinose, which results in excess gas production in the intestines. Pre-flight is the only time you’ll catch me advising you to stay away from these nutritional powerhouses, as the decrease in cabin pressure results in expansion of stomach gases and a not-so-comfortable traveler. They get the thumbs up the other 360 something other days of the year.
- Legumes. Skip the chili before you board. Beans have a high raffinose content, and are loaded with difficult to digest soluble fiber.
- Dairy. Milk and dairy contain lactose, and many of us have a threshold as to how much we can tolerate as we need an adequate amount of the enzyme lactase to breakdown lactose before running into trouble.
Suggestions for in-flight meals:
Skip the salty, fatty snacks and instead pack your own. Eat a light meal before boarding and eat small snacks every few hours onboard as needed. Avoid large meals while traveling. Check out these 15 in-flight meal suggestions.
Traveling by ground
Although you may have the option of stopping during your car trip, it may be smarter to pack your own foods to ensure your tummy remains a happy traveler. For the sake of your car-mates, I would advise avoiding most of the aforementioned flight foods above if you already struggle with these on the ground. I would also emphasize simple, ‘no-assembly required’ foods for car travel. You also have the option of packing a cooler to keep foods safe while en route.
Suggestions for car-trip snacks and meals:
- Bars (Larabars, Odwalla): Select a bar with at least 3g dietary fiber and 5g protein.
- Fresh fruit (wash before packing in the car): Avoid those with pits (cherries). Try single serve applesauce.
- Easy-to-eat veggies: Pre-washed cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli florets served alongside a thick (no-drip) dip.
- Yogurt and berry parfait: layer yogurt, fresh berries in traveling cup and seal with a lid).
- Simple sandwiches: toast bread before adding spread to avoid soggy sandwiches.
- Wraps: layer hummus, lettuce, veggies and seal in foil or saran wrap.
- Homemade trail mix: chex mix (or low sugar cereal), toasted nuts, air popped popcorn, dried fruit packed in ziplock.
- Instead of soda: Water, 100% vegetable or fruit juice (can be cut with seltzer water).
Whether traveling by air or ground, make sure you consider the foods pre-trip to ensure you are as comfortable as possible while traveling this season!
It is that time of the year when we get together with family and friends at Thanksgiving to eat heaping platefulls of turkey with greasy gravy, green bean casserole and rich pumpkin pie with whipped cream. How about seconds! This can be a difficult scenario for someone with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People with GERD may be bothered with very troublesome symptoms after ingesting large amounts of rich food.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, as it is commonly called, is a condition where you are bothered by burning chest pain behind their breast bone. This commonly occurs after meals or during the night. You also may experience regurgitation of gastric contents up into the throat, causing coughing and difficulty breathing. It may be common for many people who usually do not have GERD problems to have some GERD symptoms following a large Thanksgiving meal. Other people, however, may have these symptoms on a much more frequent basis.
What causes GERD?
With the swallowing process, food ...