Health Benefits of Pumpkin by Your Marque Team

Fall is here - which also means pumpkin season! But there's more to pumpkins than pie- pumpkins offer many health benefits! Both fresh and canned pumpkin are packed with so many healthy nutrients.  Here are some reasons why incorporating more pumpkin into your diet might be a wise and healthful idea:

  • Pumpkins are that delicious orange color because of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is essential for healthy eyes and has also been linked to preventing coronary artery disease.

  • Pumpkin seeds are so nutritious! They're packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Studies show that these seeds aid in blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, lowering cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure. They may even prevent some types of cancers due to the prominent levels of phytosterols (a group of compounds found in plants).




  • Eating pumpkin may aid in weight loss. Pumpkins and their seeds are low in calories and a high source of fiber, which keeps you full longer. Feeling full longer means beating those cravings and lessening the desire to snack too much. Eating a high-fiber diet boosts the metabolism, also aiding in weight loss.

  • Consuming pumpkin improves your complexion. Pumpkin contains lots of fruit enzymes and AHAs, which increase cell turnover, helping to brighten and smooth skin. It also contains antioxidants, which boosts collagen production and prevents wrinkles.

  • Eating pumpkin helps you sleep sounder! Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to that post-Thanksgiving dinner grogginess. Tryptophan makes you sleepy, but also helps the body produce serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter.


Try incorporating more pumpkin into your diet in a healthy way, like roasting cubes of it or sprinkling the seeds on top of your salad or morning yogurt parfait. Pumpkin is so versatile; the possibilities are endless! Have a happy and healthy pumpkin season!

References: https://www.curejoy.com/content/health-benefits-of-pumpkin/, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-pumpkin#1, https://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Tips to Alleviate Gastrointestinal (GI) Stress by Your Marque Team

Are you having digestive issues?  Here are some user-friendly tips to help alleviate GI stress:

Fiber helps with constipation.  Cherries, grapes, bell peppers, beans, whole grains and nuts are rich in fiber.  They all help keep your digestion regular.  Your body needs around 20-35 grams of fiber daily.  It also helps keep away weight gain, heart disease, blood sugar (high or low) and hemorrhoids.

Chew gum to help fight heartburn.  It may relieve reflux by stimulating the production of acid neutralizing saliva.   Just make sure to chew every other flavor besides peppermint.

Lose weight to cut gas and heartburn.  Loose just 2 pounds and you could improve gastrointestinal symptoms.  Extra pounds especially around the midsection can worsen digestive issues like heartburn, gas and belching.

Stop bloating and heartburn with smaller meals.  It’s a good way to stop indigestion.  The key is to eat smaller and more frequent meals and eat slower.  It avoids overloading your digestive system and helps shrink stomach capacity.

Drink to stop constipation.  Drinking fluids helps your body get rid of waste to help with constipation.  Eight glasses a day is not enough, drink as much as possible throughout your day.

Get moving to beat bloating.  It may help with most minor digestive problems from bloating to constipation.  Physical activity helps your body’s digestive system.  It moves things and eliminates waste.  It also helps reduce stress a prime irritant of any digestive problems.

Stop smoking to beat heartburn.  When you smoke you wreak havoc on digestion in many ways.  Smoking weakens the valve at the end of the esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux and heart burn.  It also increases the risk for various gastrointestinal cancers.

Drink less alcohol to ease stomach issues.  Alcohol interferes with acid secretion, stomach muscles, and nutrient absorption.  Too many drinks can contribute to heartburn, diarrhea, liver problems and even esophageal cancers.

Maybe dairy is the problem.  Some people find that their bodies can’t digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk.  As a result gas buildup is in your stomach.  Eliminating anything dairy related can help relieve gas issues.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Probiotics by Carlos Perez

Probiotics have been known to help the human body in many ways and they have become a popular supplement in recent years.  They are live bacteria and yeasts that can bolster your digestive system.  Probiotics may offer benefits and relief from minor to serious conditions such as diarrhea, constipation, vaginal and urinary tract infections, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Crohn's disease, and bladder cancer. Different stains of these live micro-organisms offer different health benefits from oral health to intestinal and weight gain prevention.

Antibiotics kill the "good" bacteria in your body.  It can be a helpful to consume probiotics when you are done with your medication to replenish the "good" bacteria to keep your body functioning properly.

Probiotics are in demand, and as a result, the price of these supplements have increased.  Although many different types of supplements are available, it’s significant to note that there are foods which contain natural forms of probiotics.  This is a cost-effective way to get a similar result without having to swallow a daily pill.  There are a variety of foods that contain probiotics to choose from such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, cottage cheese, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, and pickles.

It is important to keep in mind that our bodies work differently; one type of probiotic which helps one person may not be as beneficial for another. Be sure to get informed and educated on which probiotic will be more beneficial for your needs. There are numerous brands available – a doctor can provide insightful knowledge to help you select a probiotic that will yield the most benefits for your health.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Caffeine: Pros and Cons by Marianne Leffert

What is caffeine and where does it come from? Caffeine is a natural stimulating chemical found in familiar products like soda, tea, energy drinks, and coffee. Caffeine is naturally found in about 60 plant types such as cocoa beans, kola nuts, and tea leaves. It works when entering our central nervous system, usually taken orally in a drink or pill form.  As early as 10 minutes after ingesting caffeine you will start feeling the side effects. At about 45 minutes after ingesting caffeine we will get about 99% of the full effects lasting anywhere from 4-8 hours.

Because caffeine is a stimulant some possible side effects include: elevated heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness or jittery feeling, irritable bowels, nausea or vomiting, increased respirations, and elevated blood pressure. If caffeine is taken in larger doses (i.e. 6 or more cups of coffee per day) can cause anxiety, chest pain and headaches, even cause irregular heartbeats.

With all these side effects, why are there so many products produced containing caffeine? When taken in moderation, (i.e. 2-3 cups of coffee a day) there are many temporary benefits of caffeine that have been found. Such as being more alert and having a better ability to concentrate.  This is especially true with those who have chronic fatigue or sleep deprivation. It can also alleviate headaches or tension migraines.  When consumed in moderation, it has also been proven to reduce the risk of diabetes and lowering our hemoglobin A1c. Coffee consumption may aid in those who have constipation, although this has been mixed results. Caffeine has even proven to reduce the risk in certain cancers such as throat or liver cancer and even prostate cancer. It has even been known to help in aiding those who are asthmatic with airway function for up to 4 hours.

Many athletes will promote energy drinks because it is proven to enhance athletic performance on such a wide spectrum. It has proven to increase strength and power output, high intensity cardio and aerobic exercise. It can increase our bodies responsiveness to testosterone and adrenaline.

Here are some recommended caffeine dosages from WebMd:

  • For headache or improving mental alertness: 250 mg per day.

  • For tiredness: 150-600 mg.

  • For improving athletic performance: 2-10 mg/kg or more has been used. However, doses in excess of 800 mg per day can result in urine levels greater than the 15 mcg/mL allowed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

  • For weight loss: the ephedrine/caffeine combination products are commonly dosed 20 mg/200 mg three times per day.

  • For headache after epidural anesthesia: 300 mg.One cup of brewed coffee provides from 95-200 mg of caffeine. An 8-ounce serving of black tea provides from 40-120 mg of caffeine. An 8-ounce serving of green tea provides 15-60 mg of caffeine. Soft drinks such as cola provide from 20-80 mg of caffeine per 12 ounce serving. Sports or energy drinks typically provide from 48-300 mg of caffeine per serving.


Is caffeine addictive? Since caffeine is a stimulant, daily use can cause a physical dependency. Let us say you have a few cups of coffee every morning, as many people do to jumpstart their day. If you were to abruptly stop having your coffee or any caffeine intake, you may experience some symptoms of withdrawal for a couple of days until your body adjusts back from the physical dependency. Some common side effects are headache, extra fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Caffeine dependency is not considered a serious addiction or harmful like street drugs or alcohol.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-979/caffeine

https://www.webmd.com/diet/caffeine-directory

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Healthy Eating by Jessica Medina



Did you know that 60% of American men and women are considered obese? This is a result of a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Although exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating is critical since your diet can greatly impact your life in a positive or negative way.

Healthy eating starts at home with the meals that we prep. Many people don’t care about what they’re putting in their mouth until they have a health issue like a condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or even cases as extreme as coronary artery disease. Most of these problems can be avoided by a healthier diet.

How can you eat healthier and what is considered healthy eating?  Natural, whole foods with minimal processing and added sugar are examples of healthy food choices. A diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables has a plethora of health benefits- from lowering blood pressure, to helping your eyesight, or helping to fight different types of cancer.

Healthy eating also means knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats. You don’t want to load your body with bad, saturated fats. These types of fats are very common in foods that we love to eat such as fried foods and baked goods. Olive oil is an example of a good fat and one that is beneficial to your body.

Vegetables are proven to help provide your body with essential nutrients necessary for optimal functioning. People who have a diet high in vegetables are less likely to develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Veggies are also high in fiber, which is great to maintain regular bowel movements and relieve constipation. Fruits, beans, nuts, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are also healthy, delicious, high fiber food choices.

If you start making healthy food choices, you are taking steps to save not only your health, but also your bank account.  A healthy diet can cut on the cost of medical bills and insurance, and you’ll reduce your visits to the doctors.  Consume foods that are high in good fats, high in fiber, and high in health benefits.  Drink more water throughout the day because often we confuse thirst for hunger.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Q. & A. with Bree Maloney – Nutrition

Question- What do you consider to be a healthy diet?

Answer- I consider a healthy diet to be a balance of fruits, veggies, grains, protein, fat and carbs. I say – everything in moderation. It’s not just about a healthy diet, it’s about developing healthy eating habits. You want to eat a variety of healthy foods. If you diet, day after day, consists of the same half dozen foods, you could fall short on some key nutrients your body needs. You also want to focus on high-fiber foods such as avocados, almonds, broccoli and lentils. Foods containing high fiber should supply about 20-35 grams of fiber a day, depending on your calorie needs. You do want to eat lots of produce. Remember to buy organic if you can to limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances. Limit sugary foods, beverages and refined grains, which includes soda, candy, white bread, regular pasta and many snack and baked foods. A high intake of added sugar increases inflammation, risk of diabetes and insulin resistance in the body. And remember to drink alcohol in moderation if you do. Try and limit one drink a day for women and two for men. While alcohol has potential heart benefits, it poses a variety of health risks, especially in excess amounts.

Question- What are unhealthy ingredients on labels to avoid?

Answer- As a rule of thumb, I always try and eat things that don’t have a lot of ingredients in them. If I run my eye by an ingredient list and see a dozen names I can’t even pronounce, chances are it’s not good for you. Try aiming for foods that are minimally processed. Some ingredients to avoid and watch out for are: High-Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, Partially Hydrogenated Oil, Sodium Nitrate, BHA, and BHT.

Question- What is MSG, and should I avoid it?

Answer- MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and is one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. It’s basically a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Just like salt and sugar, MSG exists in nature, it tastes good at normal levels, but large amounts at high concentrations can do harm to you. MSG has been known to cause headaches and asthma.

Question- Can you please recommend healthy snacks?

Answer- I do recommend having some sort of snacks throughout the day. I tend to eat about 4-5 smaller meals a day and snacks are a big part of my diet. What my go-to snacks are raw almonds or any type of raw nuts, dried fruit such as raisins (golden raisins), apricots or crunch banana chips. Sometimes I’ll cut a few apples slices and put nut butter on them or some low-sodium beef or turkey jerky. I do have a recipe I like to make where I can make my own energy balls. They’re easy to make and contain almond butter, crushed dates, walnuts, cocoa and protein powder. I’ll sprinkle and roll them in coca nibs and coconut flakes. You can easily google an energy ball recipe, I highly recommend it!

Question- Is salt really that bad for you?

Answer- Again, everything in moderation. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure will be and with higher blood pressure comes to greater strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. I tend to choose foods that say ‘low-sodium’ or I check the nutrition label to see how much salt content is in what I want to eat. Some foods claim to be ‘low-sodium’ but then turn out to have a ton of salt! Though we do need salt/sodium to survive as our bodies rely on sodium for muscle contractions, nerve transmissions and the control systems for balancing body fluids, together with other electrolytes like potassium, you don’t want to have too much salt. Excessive sodium intake is one of the major factors contributing to stroke and heat attacks.

Question- If I want to get healthy, what are the basic first steps?

Answer- Start small and work your way up. You don’t suddenly want to cut salt, fat and carbs out of your diet like some people do. It’s not a long-term solution. Still reward yourself with some fat or sugar such as dark chocolate, but just don’t be excessive. What I did is simply substitute things. Instead of this type of cereal, I’ll choose a healthier option. Instead of whole milk, choose coconut or almond milk. Throw some chia seeds in your yogurt or add blueberries or kale to your smoothie. Remember to do what is going to work for you. There are tons of diets and fabs out there, but if you stick to reading nutrition labels and eating more whole foods than processed foods, that is a great start.

For many people eating healthy is a challenge, and to some a source of dread. But eating healthy should bring you joy and a centerpiece to your life. Like the things you eat and enjoy cooking and making meals with friends and family. Once you create good habits, then eating healthy won’t be a chore, it will become a lifestyle and something that’s easy to do.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

5 Foods that Cause Breakouts

When it comes to your skin, the phrase “You are what you eat” has never been more true. You know that what you eat and put into your body affects your overall health, but did you know that it also affects your skin’s health? The best way to keep your skin happy and healthy is to eat foods that will help you to achieve that goal.

Your skin is made up of water, fats, and proteins. By eating lean proteins, healthy fats, and drinking plenty of water you can keep your skin in it’s best shape. Now that you know what to eat, what specific foods should you avoid? While the science, testing, and experimentations are still in preliminary phases, here are 5 foods that have been linked to acne breakouts that you should avoid in order to eliminate breakouts.

1) Milk


milk pouring
Milk and other dairy products such as ice cream and cheese can cause your body to produce high levels of insulin when you consume milk. This insulin spike can lead to inflammation, which can then lead to breakouts.

2) Sugar


sugar pouring into cup
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar are usually bad news for your skin, especially soda and chocolate. The quick “sugar rush” that your body produces when consuming sugar is especially bad for your skin. This doesn’t mean you will break out each time you consume sugar, but we recommend that when you feel the need to indulge, you choose dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants, and less sugar which makes it better for your skin.

3) Spicy Foods


three different spices in tablespoons
A study conducted in 2006 and published by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal concluded that spicy foods can be another trigger that causes breakouts on your skin. This is because spicy foods often contain acidic lycopenes that can irritate your skin, throw off the balance of your pH levels, and trigger breakouts. While everybody will react differently, you can consider cutting spicy foods to eliminate acne.

4) Gluten


two loaves of fresh bread
White breads, chips, bagels, white rice, pretzels, pizza, and all other high-glycemic foods have been linked to causing breakouts, most likely due to the high insulin levels these foods produce. This high level of insulin encourages inflammation and triggers the release of hormones that have found to be acne-promoting. Recently, studies have shown that foods with high glycemic indexes can be especially troublesome. A ½ cup serving of rice is considered a 17 on the on the glycemic index rating and anything over a 20 is considered high, so while smaller amounts of these foods might not cause an immediate breakout, eating these foods in larger amounts certainly can. Remember that the next time your eating sushi!

5) Fast Food


fast food platter
Greasy foods are known to cause inflammation which, as we previously stated, can cause acne and breakouts. Be especially careful around greasy foods since getting the grease from your food on your hands, and then subsequently on your skin (especially your face) can also clog your pores and cause breakouts.

So What Should I Eat?


Consuming healthy fats, proteins, and water is always the best way to keep your skin healthy. Vegetables, lean proteins (such as nuts and lean meats), and healthy fats (such as olive oil and avocados) can help your skin to be it’s very best. Drinking water helps rid your body and skin of toxins and helps improve overall health.

More Caffeine Please? By Gale Ferreras

Before you make your usual stop to your favorite local coffee shop for the routine energy-boost in the morning, do you ever wonder if your zombie-like state pre-caffeine is not normal?

If you tend to feel lethargic and lackluster until you get your caffeine fix, you are not alone.  According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 Americans do not get enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation can be attributed to an array of reasons such as work, stress, guilty pleasures, and responsibilities. Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you?  The typical reasons for feeling lackluster in the morning are as follows: babies, sick kids, needy spouses, needy partners, college papers (I remember these! So fun!), work deadlines, stress and anxiety, a late night out (cheers! drinks up!), social media, and my favorite - Netflix.

If the aforementioned does not quite explain the lack of pep in your step in the morning, then you may want to consider seeking medical advice from a professional.  Not to sound too alarming, but a possible diagnosis could potentially need to be treated, or may need immediate medical attention. A simple initial visit such as a physical assessment and routine lab work can help to accurately provide a diagnosis.



As researched by Medical News Today, here is a list of what may be some of the causes for concern for a population of tired and sleepy day walkers:

  1. Lack of sleep

  2. Poor diet

  3. Sedentary lifestyle

  4. Excessive stress

  5. Medical conditions


Fatigue and lack of sleep are causes for concern for the general population. For example, a statistic provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states,

“Around 15.3 percent of women and 10.1 percent of men regularly feel very tired or exhausted in the United States,” and “1 in 25 adult drivers report falling asleep at the wheel each month,” which accounts to “72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries, with 6,000 of those reporting as fatal crashes as a result of drowsy driving.”

Although it may seem routine to wake up every morning feeling depleted from the stress and chaos of everyday life, it’s important to note that constant sleep-deprivation is unhealthy and negatively impacts your health. The quest for a healthy, balanced, and satisfactory life is common for everybody. Drinking coffee for energy is a crutch, not a solution.  Have no shame in the expertise of your coffee game, but get more sleep.  A trip to the doctor may be necessary to help you achieve a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

References

Nichols, H. (2018, February) Why you feel tired all the time. Medical News Today.

Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320800.php

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.