Tag Archives | Essentia Health

No Need to Cry-Let’s Celebrate the Onion

Guest Post By Bonnie Brost, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.

onion recipe

The onion is a hardy vegetable that can be planted right now. It does well in cool climates and can be planted five to six weeks before the final spring frost date, which is early June here in the Northland. You can plant seeds or small starter bulbs.

Onions are the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States, according to the National Onion Association. Per person consumption is about 20 pounds per year, which translates to more than 450 semi-truck loads of onions used each day.

There are two main kinds of onions, fresh and dry. Fresh onions include green onions, also known as scallions, and sweet onions, such as Vidalia, that are availablein spring. Dry onions, also known as storage onions, can be yellow, white or red. Dry onions usually have a stronger, more pungent flavor.

The onion’s strong flavor and odor come from sulfuric compounds. These compounds cause our eyes to tear. To keep tearing to a minimum, refrigerate an onion for 30 minutes before cutting and leave the root end on as long as possible, which reduces the release of the sulfuric compounds.

Onions provide a little vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium. Onions are high in flavonoids, the antioxidants that can neutralize harmful free radicals and suppress inflammation in our bodies. One flavonoid is quercetin, which has been linked to protection from lung cancer and asthma.

For some people, onions can increase the symptoms of gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome. Onions, especially when eaten raw, can bring on symptoms of GERD or heartburn because the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not to close well, allowing the acid from the stomach to come up into the esophagus. Some people can tolerate cooked onions or onion powder better than raw onions.

For those with irritable bowel syndrome, onions are a source of fructans that need to be broken apart by an enzyme in the small intestine. If they don’t have enough of this enzyme, the fructans continue into the large intestine where they ferment and result in gas, bloating and/or diarrhea. Avoiding all types of onion is best. Try adding onion flavor by sautéing large pieces of onion in oil, removing them and then only using the flavored oil.  This doesn’t work with soup because fructans are soluble in water and remain in the soup.

Here are two recipes featuring onions.

Marinated onions are a great addition to sandwiches and salads. Try different onions, such Vadalia onions for something sweeter or red onions to add some color.

Marinated Onions

1 medium onion

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup rice vinegar or red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Peel and thinly slice onion. Separate into rings. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended. Add onions. Shake to coat onions. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Nutrition facts

Serving:  About 6

Calories:  40

Total fat: 2 grams

Saturated fat: 0 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol:  0 milligrams

Sodium: 1 milligram

Potassium: 35 milligrams

Carbohydrate:  6 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Protein: 0 grams

French onion soup is usually very high in saturated fat and sodium but this one is more heart-healthy.

The traditional soup uses toasted French bread but whole-grain bread makes it more nutritious.

 

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups thinly sliced sweet Vidalia onions

4 cups thinly sliced red onions

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

1½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

6 cups unsalted beef stock (140 milligrams sodium or less per cup)

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

3 slices whole-grain bread, toasted and cubed

¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese

Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, pepper and salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, broth and thyme, bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a pan. Add 1 cup of soup to each bowl. Add ½ slice of toast cut into cubes and then top with 2 tablespoons of Swiss cheese. Broil for 3 minutes until cheese begins to brown.

Nutrition facts

Servings: 6

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 195

Total fat: 7 grams

Saturated fat: 3 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 13 milligrams

Sodium: 250 milligrams

Potassium: 150 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 21 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Protein: 10 grams

Bonnie Brost is a licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.

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Hooked? Fishhook Removal Tips that won’t Spoil your Summer Fun

{Shared with permission from Essentia Health press release}

The lakes draw many to live and vacation in our beautiful area. However, a common injury for those who fish or just hang out near docks and boats is becoming “hooked” when the intended catch was a fish.

Fish hook removal

The medical team at Essentia Health recommends removing the fish hook from your finger using the String Yank Technique:

 Remove hook from lure by cutting at attachment ring.

  1. Tape any additional free hooks to prevent the hooks from also getting embedded.
  2. First, wash your hands with soap and water, or disinfecting solution, and then wash the area surrounding the hook.
  3. Tie off a loop with some fishing line. Place the loop over the hook’s shank and lightly pull it against the bend of the hook.
  4. With your other hand, press down and back on the hook’s eye.
  5. Continue pressing down on the hook’s eye. Quickly and firmly jerk the fishing line backward, ensuring that the line is parallel to the shank. Don’t worry; only a tiny bit of skin is behind the barb.
  6. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply a bandage.
  7. Watch the area for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pain, or drainage.

fish hook removal

We do not recommend pushing the hook through your skin and cutting the barb as this introduces another potential wound for infection. Also, do not try to remove a fish hook that is deeply embedded in the skin, lodged within a joint or tendon, or located in or near an eye or artery. If you are at all unsure, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Essentia offers four convenient locations for walk-in care 7 days-a-week when the unexpected happens:

Convenient Care located at both the Baxter and Brainerd Cub Foods, respectively located at 417 8th Avenue NE in Brainerd and 14133 Edgewood Drive in Baxter. These locations are open 8am-8pm.

 Urgent Care, located at the Essentia Health Baxter Clinic 13060 Isle Drive in Baxter, is open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and on weekends from 9am-4pm.

Emergency care is available 24 hours a day at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, located at 523 North Third Street in Brainerd. Wait times for Convenient Care clinics, Urgent Care, and Emergency Department can be viewed at EssentiaHealth.org.

If fishing is a favorite past time, we recommend your tackle box contain an electrician’s pliers with a wire-cutting blade and disinfecting solution. Additionally, don’t forget to receive a Tetanus immunization every 10 years. If needed, it may be done any time in the 72 hours following the injury.

 

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May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day and Essentia Health wants to Help

**Shared with permission from Essentia Health

 

It may seem like a simple concept, but washing your hands really is one of the best ways to stay healthy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), handwashing reduces the number of diarrhea cases by a third, and the number of colds and other respiratory illnesses by 20 percent.  May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day and Essentia Health is using this time to spread the word about not spreading germs.

“Good hand hygiene is really being aware that we can transmit infectious germs on our hands and that we carry them around with us,” says Dr. Kevin Stephan, an infectious disease specialist at Essentia Health. “Hand hygiene provides a means to get those germs off your hands.  There are several ways to do that, including an alcohol-based handwashing rub or old-fashioned soap and water. The key is to do it properly and to do it at the proper times.”

You should always wash your hands before, during, and after preparing and eating food.  If you care for someone who is sick or are treating a wound, wash your hands first.  After changing diapers, using the bathroom or blowing your nose, it’s time to lather up or sanitize.  And it is good hygiene to wash your hands after petting an animal, cleaning up animal waste, or handling pet food.  Don’t forget to sanitize after touching or taking out your garbage as well.

Effective handwashing involves five simple and effective steps:

  1. Wet
  2. Lather
  3. Scrub
  4. Rinse
  5. Dry

Dr. Stephan adds many places people commonly miss include their thumbs, the webs between their fingers, nail beds and around jewelry.

Please encourage your family to use good hand hygiene habits. Consider these tips:

  • Put a nail brush next to your sink
  • Remind yourself and others to wash carefully around nails and between the fingers
  • Show children how to properly wash their hands and remind them to wash after going to the bathroom, before eating and after playing with pets
  • Use an antibiotic wipe on shared surfaces of your home regularly, including your cell phone, computer mouse, and television remote

The CDC also has some great resources and science to back up healthy hand hygiene at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html

 

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Healthy Community Grants Available through Crow Wing Energized First application deadline April 15

{shared with permission from Essentia Health press release}

Crow Wing Energized is awarding Healthy Community Grants to support efforts to move our community to a place where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Crow Wing Energized
Grant applications to Crow Wing Energized, a grassroots community movement led by Essentia Health and Crow Wing County Community Services to improve health and wellness in our community by making healthy choices essential, are being accepted. The first application deadline is April 15, 2017.
 
Organization criteria for applying includes serving or located within Crow Wing County, including but not limited to: neighborhood, youth, or environmental groups; faith-based organizations; health care organizations; civic or citizens’ associations; economic development agencies; local government entities; local businesses; school districts and other similar groups. Applicants are not required to be incorporated 501(c)3 organizations.
 
Applicant projects need to align with the Crow Wing Energized guiding principles as well as Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) SHIP’s financial guide:
• Creating and sustaining a united approach to improving health and wellness in Crow Wing County
• Collaboration towards solutions with multiple stakeholders (e.g. schools, worksites, medical centers) to improve community engagement and commitment focused on improving community health
• Being anchored in evidence based efforts around greatest community good that can be achieved through available resources.
 
The Healthy Community Grants are made available through Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funding that was awarded to Crow Wing Energized. Grant applications are reviewed by the Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership Team and Goal Groups:
Healthy Choices goal group develops sustainable strategies and encourages healthy choices by increasing access to healthy foods, increasing active living opportunities, and helping to promote and support the healthy environments.
Mental Fitness goal group encourages and equips citizens in achieving and maintaining mental fitness by building networks throughout the county for achieving resilience, increasing the practice of intentional choices to help reduce stress and anxiety, and educating our communities to increase the knowledge of mental fitness so it will help to make positive choices regarding their overall health.
Workplace Wellness goal group helps to create a healthy and energized workforce by increasing employee satisfaction, maximizing productivity, minimizing absenteeism, and helping to reduce health care costs.
 
For a Healthy Community Grant Application visit crowwingenergized.org “Resources” page or to learn more about Crow Wing Energized and what it’s community partners are currently doing, please contact Cassie Carey – Crow Wing Energized Coordinator at Cassie.Carey@crowwingenergized.org or 218-828-7443.
 
 

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