May is National Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States1, local hospitals are offering Stroke & Aneurysm Vascular Screenings. They include non-invasive screenings for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Peripheral Artery Disease and Carotid Artery Disease. Contact your local hospital for more information.

“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” said Satish Rao, M.D.1 “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”1 Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” said Satish Rao, M.D. “F is for face – is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.”1

The primary stroke symptoms include:

•Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping

•Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

•Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech

•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

•Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

•Sudden severe headache with no known cause

About Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States1. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes1. An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties. Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, exercising daily, and healthy eating can also help reduce your stroke risk.

For more information about stroke, visit

1 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association.

Circulation 2013; 127:e133-242; Epub Dec 12, 2012. American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75231

The GOOD and BAD on Carbs

Sometimes after we eat something, like a cookie, we think ‘that was not very healthy’ other times we eat a ‘health food’ and don’t even realize it was as bad as having a banana split! One thing you can look for that can set food apart, is the quality of the carbohydrates (carbs). Carbs are our energy source for EVERY cell in our body. We need carbs for our cells, and organ systems, but it needs to be the right kind of carb to do their jobs effectively. It all comes down to definitions. So let’s make sure we understand the difference between Simple Carbs (the bad ones) and Complex Carbs (the good ones).

Simple carbohydrate’s have little or no nutritional value because they were stripped of their nutrients during processing. We call these BAD CARBS. Food companies might ‘Enrich’ a simple carbohydrate food with a few nutrients after processing or if it had NO nutritional value to begin with, they ‘FORTIFY’ it. Examples of these simple carbs would be bleached or enriched flour, white rice, white pastas, pastries, sugary sodas, and even juice. These simple carbs are digested quickly and will compromise our immune system, contribute to weight gain, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

The best sources of energy for our bodies come from Complex carbohydrates, the GOOD CARBS. These can be found in WHOLE grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. They are naturally loaded with vitamins, minerals, and FIBER. They take longer to digest, which keeps us fuller longer, provide a more constant flow of energy for our bodies, promote a proper blood-sugar balance and encourage healthy digestion.

To promote a healthier body, along with Juice Plus, keep these 5 simple steps in mind:

  1. Fill your day with whole grains.Aim for at least 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and LESS than 6 grams of sugar in each serving of your whole grain cereal. If the first ingredient says ‘enriched’ or ‘fortified’ put it back. Look for ‘whole wheat’ or some other ‘whole’ grain.
  2. Stay away from white….instead of white rice try brown rice. Instead of white spaghetti, try whole wheat spaghetti. And, if you’re going to eat a baked potato, try a baked sweet potato. Regardless of the kind of potato, skip the sour cream – eat the skin and load it with other GOOD carbs like broccoli and beans, maybe even a little hummus…yummy!
  3. Choose WHOLE fruit instead of juice. – Craving a little OJ for breakfast? Eat the orange instead, it has 2x as much fiber than 12 ounces of juice, and an apple can absorb 20 times it’s weight in waste
  4. Bring on the Beans. They are slow to digest, an excellent source of fiber and protein and will keep you full for a long time.
  5. Serving size. A serving size isn’t the size of your plate…it’s about the size of a computer mouse.