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Archive for March, 2014

Vitamin C is Linked to a Reduced Stroke Risk

March 27, 2014

A new study links vitamin C to a reduced stroke risk. The study compared patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke with healthy counterparts.

All of the participants had blood tests that checked their vitamin C levels. 41% of all participants had normal levels, 45% were at a depleted level and 14% were so low that they were labeled as vitamin C deficient. After comparing the blood test results to which patients experienced a stroke, it was found that patients who suffered a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C.

Doctors who took part in the study believe that vitamin C may reduce stroke risk by reducing blood pressure. Other added benefits of the vitamin include protection against immune system deficiencies, eye disease, cardiovascular disease and it assists in making collagen which gives structure to skin, bones and tissue.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, with over 130,000 deaths per year. It is recommended that individuals over the age of 55 with risk factors should have a stroke screening.

 

Preventive Health Measures

There are several risk factors that increase your risk of stroke:

  • Age (75% of all strokes happen to individuals over the age of 65)
  • Family history of stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Poor diet
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Physical inactivity
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Drug abuse
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Being overweight or obese

If you have any of these risk factors, schedule a stroke screening with us online. We offer five different types of stroke screenings to help you better understand your risk. Take advantage of the power of prevention today.




Boost Your Immune System with Power Foods

March 20, 2014

Giving your body the nutrition it needs can be the best form of disease prevention. Studies show that most Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grans, dairy products, and oils. So what do we eat? Many of us exceed the recommended intake levels of solid fats, added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fats.

Many of the foods that help your immune system to prevent disease and infections fall under the healthy category that many Americans are lacking. We all know that it takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. It turns out that eating some pretty surprising nutrients will help keep your immune system on guard. You can ensure your body and immunity run smoothly by rounding out your plate with plenty of colorful servings of fruits and veggies, plus 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, at the very least.

 

Immune Super Foods

  • Yogurt: Probiotics, or the “live active cultures” found in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs.
  • Garlic: It contains allicin which is known to fight infection and bacteria. Studies show that people who eat garlic are about 66% less likely to catch a cold.
  • Oranges: Deliver a big dose of vitamin C, which can help to minimize symptoms that are associated with a cold. Also, this vitamin is water soluble, so what your body doesn’t use it flushes out.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These are full of vitamin A, which plays a major role in producing connective tissue, essential to skin. Your skin is your body’s first defense against bacteria and viruses, so it’s a crucial part of your immune system.
  • Mushrooms: Researchers have discovered that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive – which is exactly what you need to fight off an infection.
  • Green Tea: Has an antioxidant called catechin that is helpful to prevent viruses.
  • Oats and Barley: Both grains have beta-glucan, a fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities. They not only help boost immunity, but speed up wound healing, and help antibiotics work more efficiently.

 

Importance of a Healthy Diet

Having poor nutrition is related to major health risks that can cause illness and potentially death. Heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer are all associated with poor diet habits.

At Life Line Screening, we believe in the power of prevention. If you have a healthy diet plan in place, check out the preventive health screening services that we offer, and schedule a screening for you or someone you love online today




New Stroke Prevention Guidelines Designed for Women

March 13, 2014

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have released new guidelines specifically geared toward women to prevent stroke. Women and men have similar risk factors, but women have separate issues that relate to hormonal factors and lifestyle choices.

Each year, there are 800,000 strokes and more than half of these occur in women. It is the third leading cause of death for women in the United States, with 3.8 million women living after suffering one.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 50 or anyone over the age of 40 with risk factors should have a stroke screening annually. For a full list of risk factors visit our stroke screening and symptoms page  and schedule a screening online with us today.

 

Women’s Stroke Risks

Certain risk factors are higher in women than they are in men; these include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, emotional stress, depression and migraine with aura. The new guidelines highlight women’s risk factors and how to lower and treat them.

  • Women who have a history of high blood pressure before they become pregnant should be considered for a low-dose aspirin and/or a calcium supplement therapy to lower their pre-eclampsia risk.
  • Women who have pre-eclampsia have double the risk of stroke and four times the risk for developing high blood pressure. Be proactive with your doctor and discuss a stroke risk assessment.
  • Women should be screened for high blood pressure before starting a birth control regimen, the combination of the two raises stroke risk.
  • Women who suffer from migraine headaches with aura and smoke should quit to avoid a higher stroke risk.
  • Women over the age of 75 should have an atrial fibrillation screening since it is linked to a high stroke risk.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle and participate in regular physical activity with a diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil and low in saturated fat.

 

Recognize a Stroke Using F.A.S.T.

Around 30% of people who suffer a stroke have a permanent disability after. These disabilities range from an inability to speak, unable to walk and affect cognitive abilities. Identifying a stroke as soon as it happens can help ensure that the patient gets the treatment they need as soon as possible. Here are the signs to look for:

Face drooping: Look for one side of their face that is drooping down or ask if it is numb. You can tell by asking the person to smile.

Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask them to raise both of the arms up, watch for one arm to drift down.

Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred or are they unable to speak? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, and check to make sure they say it correctly.

Time to call 911: If they are showing any of these symptoms call 911 and get them to a hospital, even if some of these symptoms go away.




Heart Healthy Fats to Add into Your Diet

March 6, 2014

Trying to eat healthier this year? Instead of focusing on cutting out all of the fats from your diet, try to incorporate fats that have health benefits. Nutrition experts say that up to 35% of the calories consumed in a day come from good fats.

To get you started on the right track, here are the categories of healthy fats, and the best natural sources to find them. To take the next step in disease prevention, schedule a health screening to assess disease risk factors.

 

Monounsaturated Fats

These types of fats help lower LDL cholesterol, boost HDL cholesterol, and can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Monounsaturated fats also help provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. They are typically high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that many of us need more of.

Where can you find it? Try eating avocados, olives, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, peanut butter and olive oil.

 

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

This type of fat is a polyunsaturated fat which helps to control total and LDL cholesterol helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-6 fatty acids also help brain function, maintain bone health and regulate metabolism.

The best sources to find omega-6 fatty acids are from sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, soybean and corn oil.

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are needed for the body to function normally. They also help to protect against irregular heart rhythms and reduce inflammation throughout the body including blood vessels and joints.

While many companies manufacture omega-3 pills, you can find it naturally in flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil and in fish like herring, salmon, sardines, lake trout, and albacore tuna.

 

Important for Heart Health

These fats, when used in the proper moderation, have heart healthy benefits that work within your body to prevent disease. We offer heart disease screenings  that include tests for high cholesterol, which is a major risk factor. Take preventive measures with your health by implementing a healthy nutrition plan and schedule a screening with us online  today.




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