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Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day: May 15th

by Morgan Robbins RD, LD at LMC

Before you sit down with your glass of milk and cookie on May 15th, take some time to read about how chocolate, in moderation, can promote health. Chocolate, made from the cocoa bean, is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may prevent, or delay cell damage by blocking free radicals.

cookies4Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in chocolate. Flavanols have multiple health benefits including lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and brain as well as their antioxidant properties. Flavanols are also found in onions, apples, celery, red wine and tea.

Keep in mind, not all chocolate is created equal. Cocoa’s natural flavor is strong and pungent; the steps taken to process cocoa will reduce this taste. It used to be said the darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant properties. Research shows the more processed the chocolate is, the less flavanols the chocolate will have, meaning darker doesn’t always mean better. Commercial chocolate (i.e. Reeses, Snickers, etc.) are highly processed and therefore lack the heart healthy antioxidant properties.

For now, your safest bet is to stick with darker chocolate; it is too difficult to determine the exact path your chocolate has taken to arrive to your table. Additional sugar, fat and oils are added to milk chocolate, making it the less healthy choice of the two. Be mindful of the type of dark chocolate you eat, added ingredients (nuts, caramel, nougat) all mean additional processing. As with anything, moderation is key, keep your chocolate serving to one ounce or less, only a few times weekly.

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Day, try adding some dark chocolate chips or chunks to your yogurt, oatmeal or to a homemade trail mix!

Source: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate.aspx

Stroke: Every Second Counts!

Please join Lexington Medical Center on Monday, May 19 for a free physician lecture called “Stroke – Every Second Matters!” The lecture is at 6:00 p.m. inside the Lexington Medical Park 1 Auditorium on the hospital campus.

Dr. Francisco Albert

Dr. Francisco Albert

Dr. Francisco Albert of Lexington Medical Center will give the lecture. Statistics show that the Southeast region of the United States has a higher incidence of stroke than the rest of the nation. Nationally, about 2.5% of Americans will suffer a stroke. In the Southeast, nearly 4% of residents will have a stroke. Dr. Albert will talk about risk factors, symptoms, types of strokes, the role of blood pressure in stroke risk and the importance of timely treatment.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and begins to die. According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Stroke – Every Second Matters!” is free and open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. Light refreshments will be served. The event is part of the hospital’s monthly physician lecture series and also recognizes May as Stroke Awareness Month. For more information on the physician lecture series, visit LexMed.com

What’s a Stroke?

May is Stroke Month.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and begins to die. Warning signs include weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, facial drooping, confusion and the inability to talk. Risk factors for stroke are untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol.

StrokeIllustration

According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Stroke is an emergency. Call 911 at the first sign of stroke. Modifying your lifestyle can help prevent stroke.

Lexington Medical Center has received many national awards and accolades for its stroke care. Read about them here.