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What is a “nutrient-rich” food?

A nutrient-rich food contains many vitamins and minerals (also called micronutrients) but not very many calories. Vitamins and minerals nourish your body and help to keep you healthy and reduce your risk for chronic diseases. You can get these micronutrients through a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and lean meats and fish. Getting vitamins and minerals through food ensures that your body is able to absorb them properly.
If I don’t get enough nutrient-rich foods in my daily diet?

If you don’t eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you may not be getting all the micronutrients your body needs. In fact, Americans tend to eat foods that are high in calories and low in micronutrients. These foods often also contain added sugar, sodium (salt), saturated fat or trans fat. Choosing these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods contributes to weight gain and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
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What might be missing?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), adult Americans may not get enough of the following nutrients:
Nutrient Food Sources
Calcium Low-fat and fat-free dairy and dairy substitutes, broccoli, dark leafy greens, sardines
Potassium Bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, nuts, spinach and other dark greens, fish
Fiber Legumes (dried beans and peas), whole-grain foods and brans, colorful fruit and vegetables, apples, strawberries, carrots, raspberries, seeds
Magnesium Spinach, black beans, almonds, peas
Vitamin A Eggs, milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe
Vitamin C Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, red and green peppers
Vitamin E Avocados, nuts, seeds, whole-grain foods, spinach and other dark leafy greens

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Seasonal Allergies

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 35 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies. For some, seasonal allergies are merely annoying. But allergies can sometimes impact a person’s quality of life, as well, making it difficult for people to leave the house or participate in outdoor activities.

According to Dr. William Storms, an allergy specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, seasonal allergies can led to secondary diseases, such as ear infections, sinus infections, and asthma. For some, allergies can cause life- threatening breathing problems.

Allergic reactions occur when the body is overly sensitive to things in the environment. Allergy problems are common in the spring because of all the newly-blossomed plants and weeds. In the fall, other plants and leaf mold contribute to seasonal allergies.

Mild allergic reactions often mimic the common cold. Symptoms may include sneezing, a runny nose, and red or itchy eyes. A cold usually runs its course in seven to ten days, however, while allergy problems can last for weeks or even months. Allergic reactions may also include itchy or inflamed skin, hives, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition in which a person’s airway swells shut and they can’t breathe.

1 Keep the culprits out of your home as much as you can. Keep your windows closed. Keep furniture dusted, and reduce clutter as much as possible, especially things like knickknacks and bric-a-brac, because they easily collect dust and pollens. Vacuum carpets regularly. If your allergies are severe, consider removing your carpets and installing wood, tile, or vinyl floors instead.

2 Weather conditions affect the amount of pollen and mold in the air. Allergy symptoms are often minimal on rainy, cloudy, or windless days, while hot, dry, and windy weather can increase symptoms. Stay indoors as much as possible during times your symptoms are likely to be worse. If you are outdoors on a day your allergies are bothering you a lot, change your clothes and take off your shoes as soon as possible when you come inside. Shower and wash your hair as soon as possible to remove pollen and other allergens.

3 If keeping your environment as allergen-free as possible doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to consider medication. There are a number over over-the-counter medications for seasonal allergies. If over-the-counter medications aren’t enough, there are also a number of prescription medications available.

4 If allergies continue to plague you after trying a number of medications, or if allergies are particularly severe, ask your doctor if you should have a skin test to determine exactly what you are allergic to. For this test, the doctor pricks the skin with a number of possible allergens. If you are allergic to a substance, a small raised red spot will appear. Once the doctor determines exactly what you are allergic to, you can receive allergy shots designed specifically for you. Each shot contains small amounts of the things you are allergic to. Over time, you become desensitized to these substances. After a few years, you may no longer need the shots.

Child’s Allergy Symptoms www.Claritin.comLearn How To Recognize The Signs Symptoms Of Children’s Allergies
Allergy Symptom Self-TestACAAI.org/Allergy-Self-TestReview Your Symptoms. Free Personalized Treatment Plan.
Mold Extraction www.RestorationManagement.comMold, Mildew, Black Mold Removal. 24 Hour Services for San Diego.
Read more: How to Cope With Seasonal Allergies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5741814_cope-seasonal-allergies.html#ixzz1KBCO2UVv

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When it Comes to Skin Cancer Remember Your ABC’S

With the abundance of sunshine here in Southern California it’s important to protect your skin from excessive UV exposure and recognize the warning signs of cancerous skin lesions. I’ll review the three primary types of skin cancer here and give you some quick and easy tips for picking out those concerning moles and freckles.

1. Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and while it has the ability to spread locally on the skin surface it is the LEAST likely to metastasize or spread to other areas of the body. These lesions can be described as “smooth” or “pearly” and commonly have small visible blood vessels on their surface. Greater then 90% of these cancers occur on the face (Wolff, Johnson, Suurmond 282)

2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a cancerous lesion that arises from the outermost layer of the skin and has a greater ability to spread both locally and less commonly to other areas of the body. These lesions tend to have a more scaly, plaque-like appearance and can bleed easily. They most commonly occur on the sun exposed areas of the scalp, face, back of the hands, neck and forearms (Wolff, Johnson, Suurmond 276-281).

3. Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. This form of skin cancer can be further divided into five classifications (which I will not discuss here). The most common type (greater then 70%) is Superficial Spreading Melanoma. (Wolff, Johnson, Suurmond 312) It is typically an elevated lesion with irregular borders and a variety of darker pigmented brown, black, and pink skin tones. These lesions most commonly occur on the upper back and while excessive sun exposure does increase the risk of development, this type of skin cancer also has a genetic predisposition. If left untreated this type of skin cancer has the greatest ability to spread into the deeper skin structures and to other areas of the body. (Wolff, Johnson, Suurmond 295-317)

When it comes to recognizing concerning characteristics of moles and freckles again just remember your ABC’s……

A – asymmetry

B – border irregularity

C – color variation

D – diameter greater then 5 mm

E – elevated lesions

Any freckles or moles with the above characteristics, or that are growing / changing should raise suspicion and be brought to the attention of your health care provider. It is important to check your skin regularly for growths or changes and have a head to toe skin exam by your health care provider annually. Protection from excessive sun exposure is vital to preventing skin cancer as well as keeping your skin youthful and healthy. Always wear a high SPF (greater then 50) sunscreen and apply liberally. I think Neutrogena makes a high quality product at a great price. If you will be in or around the water it is important to reapply regularly. The backs of your hands and neck are common places that are forgotten and tend to receive some of the highest levels of exposure so don’t neglect those areas. Have fun and stay active but don’t forget to protect your skin and it will stay healthy for the many years to come.

Christopher Handron, MPA, PA-C

Wolff, Klaus; Johnson, Richard; Suurmond, Dick. Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 2005.

Note: I have no affiliation with the Neutrogena Corporation.

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