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National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month: Benefits of Eating Healthy

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Centura College, Health, Lifestyle

By Esperanza Poquiz Edited by Jul DeGeus

Eating healthy is something that we all know is important. After all, ‘you are what you eat’. Normally, eating healthy is motivated by the drive to get fit or to make sure our physical physique doesn’t alter. But did you know that living a healthy lifestyle can also help you stay in shape mentally? June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month and today we will share a few of the benefits that come with eating healthy:

Antioxidants

Fresh fruits and vegetables are known to contain a high dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep the body’s heart, immune system and eyes healthy, all the while helping the brain with memory and mood disorders. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich with antioxidants include:

Blueberries

They also contain anthocyanins and compounds that fight against diabetes. Source: Pixabay.

 

Apples

Apples are also high fiber. Source: Pixabay.

 

Spices and herbs, like cinnamon and oregano

Source: Pixabay.

Olive Oil

Rich in monounsaturated fats, or fats that protect the body from heart disease. Source: Pixabay.

 

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are essential in keeping your mind and body functioning. Vitamin E is known to protect the body from toxins and help reduce cognitive decline in diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth, cell division and growth and building a healthy immune system. Iron and phytonutrients help your cells function and communicate which is essential in making red blood cells. Here are foods that are high in vitamins and minerals:

Almonds

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. Source: Pixabay.

 

Dark Leafy Greens, like kale and spinach

Greens are packed with iron and phytonutrients. Source: Pixabay.

 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are high Vitamin A and fiber, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Source: Getty Images.

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the body’s cognitive function, by helping with depression, ADHD, and dementia. They help prevent heart disease and can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3 fatty also essential in the early stages of baby development. Some foods include:

Walnuts

Source: Pixabay.

Avocados

Source: Pixabay.

Salmon

Source: Pixabay.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil also helps with your metabolism and weight loss. Source: Getty Images.

 

Caffeine

Often overlooked, caffeine is a healthy substance for the body and mind, when taken in moderation. It stimulates the brain, keeping you more focused and alert. Caffeine consumption can help boost your metabolism, assisting in the prevention of weight gain. It also reduces chronic inflammation and can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Get your caffeine kick through these treats:

Coffee

Source: Pixabay.

Dark Chocolate

Source: Pixabay.

Green Tea

Source: Pixabay.

Now that you are equipped with some benefits of eating healthy, the next time you go to reach for the chips, think again. Instead, try grabbing an apple or a handful of blueberries and walnuts. Planning meals like salmon cooked in coconut oil or spinach avocado salad dressed in olive oil will ensure you get the nutrients your body needs. Choose healthier foods to keep your body and mind functioning at its best.

 

Source:

“19 Best Brain Superfoods”. Retrieved May 29th, 2017 from, http://www.livestrong.com/blog/19-best-brain-superfoods/

Men’s Health Month: Keeping Up with Your Health

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Adult Education, Centura College, Health, Lifestyle, Spotlight Feature, Tips & Tricks

The key to staying healthy is to take small, positive, consistent steps. Taking the initiative to start new practices that will improve your overall health is the easy bit. Making these practices habits requires you to be regular and develop a healthy lifestyle. Do this by using the following men’s health tips:

Create an Exercise Routine

Source: Pixabay

Whether you are 20 or 50, you can turn around your physical fitness with a few weeks of regular exercises. Decide whether you should exercise at home or if you should join a gym. Ensure that you put aside several hours a week and start small. For example, your first week could start with three 30 minutes session of activities, like jogging or weight lifting, and then increase the amount of sessions and time as necessary.

Tips

  • Don’t push too hard-You will be tempted to push your body beyond limits when you are starting out at the gym, especially when you are noticing results. Instead, stick to a guided, gradual gym program.
  • Stay active-In addition to exercising, keep your body active by walking regularly or by joining a sports team. You burn more calories when walking or playing than by sitting.

Eat Healthy Meals

Source: Pixabay

You probably already know all the foods you should quit, but why haven’t you quit them already? The food you eat affects a wide range of aspects in your life; physical fitness, stress levels and sex drive for example. Visit your nutritionist for guidance and stick to well-balanced meals that can provide all the nutrients needed to keep you fit and healthy.

Tips

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking-If you commit yourself to healthy meals, make the extra sacrifice of quitting alcohol and smoking. Reducing alcohol intake levels can improve mental health and decrease alcohol-related health risks.
  • Drink more water and eat fruits and veggies– Your body needs to stay hydrated. While water is the most obvious way to hydrate, fruits and vegetable, like watermelons and cucumbers, are a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Find Support in Your Friends and Family

Source: Pixabay

Find motivation from friends who can become part of your exercising team. Rely on a cheering squad; people who will honestly give you feedback about your progress and remind you to watch what you eat whenever you go out.

Tips

  • Forgiveness– Forgive yourself if you “backslide” once in a while when you eat meals you had decided to quit.
  • We Got This- Motivate your friends to join your exercising team if you want a bigger cheering squad.

Visit your Doctor Often

Nurse and patient

The best time to visit your doctor is today. Book an appointment to get a checkup while you still remember. Explain any issues you have to the doctor; and you will get advice that could shape the future of your ‘stay healthy’ goal in the future.

Finally, enjoy yourself. Don’t be too conscious about men’s health that it affects your other aspects of life. Embrace one health tip at a time, and you will develop a healthy life style in no time.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Centura Salutes Nurses on International Nurses Day

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Adult Education, Career Change, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Health, Lifestyle, Practical Nursing, Spotlight Feature

By Esperanza Poquiz Edited by Jul DeGeus

International Nurses Day is a day for people around the world to give thanks to the subtle heroes who quietly help save lives, daily. Though nurses should be appreciated every day, it’s always nice to have a dedicated time to celebrate these hard working professionals. International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12th, which is the anniversary of the birth of one of the most famous nurses in history, Florence Nightingale. Today, Centura College acknowledges a few nurses that helped changed history and say thank you to all the nurses around the globe.

Source: Library of Congress

Florence Nightingale is widely known as the founder of modern nursing. In 1854, the Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert, requested Nightingale to assemble a unit of nurses to help aide the soldiers of Crimea. Not only did Nightingale care for the wounded, but she also improved the hospital’s living conditions. Before her arrival, soldiers were dying more from infectious diseases than actual battle wounds obtained on the field. She was able to help drop the mortality rates in the hospitals by changing the sanitary methods in the facility. Her work did not go unnoticed and she was honored with the title of “the Angel of the Crimea.” (1)

Source: Library of Congress

Clara Barton, or “the Angel of the Battlefield,” is the founder of American Red Cross. Barton traveled with Army ambulances during the American Civil War. She tended to the victims of the battlefield, distributed supplies, and provided comfort and support to patients in hopes to keep the moral high. After the war was over, Barton headed a program that helped locate and identify men, both alive and deceased, to notifying their families of their statuses. When her duties to the Civil War were complete, Barton traveled to Europe and came into contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Inspired by what the organization stood for, Barton petitioned to begin a branch of the Red Cross in America. Though she was met with resistance from the government at first, the request was granted in 1881, with Barton as the American Red Cross’s first president. (2)

Source: Library of Congress

Dorothea Dix is known for bringing to light the terrible treatment of the mentally ill and fighting for their rights. After seeing the horrible conditions patients were living in, Dix decided to bring matters to the United States Congress. With her carefully noted research and data, she was able to get the support and funds needed to help provide more humane living conditions and treatment for the mentally disabled. Dix’s efforts resulted in the creation of more than 30 institutions for the mentally ill across the United States and Europe. (3)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mary Eliza Mahoney is the first registered African American Nurse. She began her “health care” career working as a janitor, cook, and laundry woman at the New England Hospital. Between her three jobs at the hospital, Mahoney became an unofficial nurse aide. This unsanctioned hobby helped kick-start Mahoney’s passion and career in nursing. In 1829, Mahoney became “official.” She was admitted into the hospital’s nursing program and was one of only three students to graduate. Her perseverance helped African American students become widely accepted for nurse training. After experiencing racial discrimination in the field, Mahoney helped co-find the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, NACGN, in 1908. This improved the statuses of African American nurses nationwide. (3)

So there you have it, just a few nurses whose actions and passions helped mold the field of nursing as we know it. Centura College thanks these incredible ladies and nurses all over the world for the hard work, toiling hours and dedication that goes into helping better the health of others. If you are feeling inspired and can see yourself in a health care field, a great way to start that new journey is looking into the various health programs we offer here at Centura College.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Biography.com Editors. “Florence Nightingale.”Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 5 May 2017. < http://www.biography.com/people/florence-nightingale-9423539 >
  2. History.com Staff. “Clara Barton.”History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 5 May 2017. < http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/clara-barton#>
  3. “25 Famous Nurses – Past to Present World’s Popular Nurse Professionals | Coffee Time – Pulse Uniform.” Pulse Uniform – Medical Nursing scrubs. N.p., 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 05 May 2017. < http://www.pulseuniform.com/coffee-time/index.php/2016/02/01/25-famous-nurses-past-to-present-wolrds-popular-nurse-professionals/ >

Let’s Get Practical: Centura College’s Practical Nursing is Now Enrolling

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Adult Education, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Health, Practical Nursing

Let’s Get Practical: Centura College’s Practical Nursing is Now Enrolling

Licensed Practical Nurses help meet the nation-wide need for health care workers.

By Brian Stauss

Centura College’s Norfolk and Richmond campuses announce new classes enrolling now for Practical Nursing. Students learn to work with patients, to evaluate patient health status, and develop individualized care plans. Classroom instruction and supervised clinical (patient care) experiences are integrated to reinforce learning and to help develop the attitudes to succeed. This program prepares students to work in a variety of settings including: doctor’s office, a clinic, hospital, long term care facility or in a private home care setting.

“Nursing is a dynamic and expanding profession, ideal for individuals looking to help others, be intellectually stimulated, and have a variety of employment and educational opportunities,” says Tara Crosby, Nursing Director of Education at Centura College’s Norfolk campus.

The program is designed to take only 15 months to complete and teach the student the skills and qualifications to begin a career in the world of nursing. Completion of the program, and subsequent Practical Nursing licensure by the Commonwealth of Virginia, qualifies the graduate for an entry level position as a Practical Nurse as defined by the Virginia Nurse Practice Act.

Centura College’s Norfolk campus is located at 7020 N. Military Highway, Va. For more information, call (757) 853-2121.

Centura College’s Richmond campus is located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield, Va. For more information, call (804) 330-0111.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

Autism: What is “The Spectrum?”

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Adult Education, Centura College, Health, Lifestyle

Autism: What is “The Spectrum?”

By Esperanza Poquiz & Jul DeGeus

What is Autism?

                Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain disorder commonly characterized by having difficulty with communication and forming relationships, alongside having repetitive behaviors and obsessive interests. Symptoms are almost always present before the age of three and one in every 68 children are known to have some form of ASD. This results in more than 200,000 cases of ASD in the United States each year. (1) In honor of World Autism Awareness Month, here is some insight into Autism and ways you can help support research and spread awareness.

Signs and Symptoms

Autism spectrum disorder behaviors are typically present in early childhood. Parents may notice that their child is unresponsive when their name is called, or that there is a delay in learning to talk. Other signs caught in the early stages are a low interest in people, playing alone, and little to no eye contact. (2) Below are a few more signs that may develop:

  • Repetitive or unusual behaviors, i.e. rocking, repeating sounds, jumping
  • Difficulty in handling sensory stimuli ( touch smell, sight, sounds), may find it painful or confusing
  • Responding in an uncommon way when faced with emotions
  • Becoming distressed when placed in an over stimulating environment or when their routine has a minor change
  • Difficulties engaging in conversations
  • Having a tendency in eating non-food items, known as Pica

Behaviors and their severity vary with each person. Recognizing and tracking these signs can help you and your physician determine which treatment is best for you or your loved one.

Screening for ASD

                As recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should have a specific ASD screening done at their 18 and 24 month checkups. If the child has a sibling or other family members with autism, are premature with low birth weight, or show ASD behaviors earlier than 18 months an earlier screening may be needed. A child will be referred to additional evaluation if developmental problems are found during the screening.3 In some cases ASD characteristics may not be noticed until adult hood. Adults with ASD signs should speak with a doctor and ask to be referred for ASD evaluation or to a psychologist or psychiatrist with expertise in ASD.

Treatments and Therapies

Being that there is a vast range of symptoms associated with ASD, there are no standards in treatments. If you or your loved one has ASD, working with a health care professional is essential to develop a health care plan tailored specifically to your needs. If treatment starts early, most children can learn how to relate and communicate better with others. (3) Here are a few common treatments:

  • Medication – Taking medication can lead to having fewer problems with aggression, anxiety, depression, irritability, and repetitive behaviors.
  • Behavioral Training – This uses positive reinforcement by rewarding appropriate behavior which teaches social skills and helps with communication.
  • Therapy – Speech therapy, physical therapy, and psychotherapy can help those with ASD.

 

How You Can Help

                Awareness and education amongst family members and friends can lead to a less stressful environment when it comes to caring for someone with autism. By being trained, family members can learn the routine of the child and learn how to handle certain situations and reactions that the child may go through. Support groups or autism organizations are great ways to connect with people. By joining a support group you are able to trade information and experiences that may help you learn new options. (2)

There are many ways that those who are not directly affected by ASD can support the cause. Multiple organizations, such as Autism Society, Autism Speaks or Autism Cares Foundation, allow you to donate or fundraise for ASD. Search for local events, such as races, concerts, dinners or festivals, that are being held to raise money for ASD. Every little bit helps, whether you attend or volunteer to work these events. Fashionista? Some clothing and jewelry lines donate portions of their sales to ASD research and even have exclusive items created to showcase ASD awareness. If you are a bookworm, there is a long list of books to expand your knowledge of ASD. Any way you choose to help will benefit the spread of ASD awareness.

Caring for someone who has ASD can be hard at times, but by having the proper knowledge, support, and training, life for your loved ones can go a little smoother. If you want to know more about autism and how you/a loved one can get treated, consult your personal physician. If you would like more information or want to connect with others, call the Autism Response Team (ART) at 888-288-4762.

 

Sources:

  1. Autism Speaks. What is Autism. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/section/what-autism
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from  https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from  http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/default.htm

Go With The Phle[botomy]

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Adult Education, Centura College, Health, Phlebotomy

Go With The Phle[botomy]

By Jul DeGeus

What is Phlebotomy?

Phlebotomy is “the drawing of blood (as by venipuncture ) for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures.” (1) What was once used as the go-to cure for almost any illness, phlebotomy’s most common purpose today is to help doctors diagnose patients through testing. Now a days, the only time it is used as a primary care treatment is limited to rare diseases like hemochromatosis, a metabolism disorder, or polycythemia vera, the increase in blood volume.

 

When did Phlebotomy begin?

Phlebotomy, or “bloodletting,” has been around for quite a while.  Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations are some examples of ancient cultures that preformed phlebotomy. It was thought that most medical illnesses could be cured through bloodletting. However, the practice of drawing blood in previous eras was based less on scientific reasoning, and more so on superstitious belief.  A majority of bloodlettings occurred to rid people of their “evil vices” or let out the “demons” that resided inside of them. Phlebotomy eventually made its way over to the United States in the 18th century with the pilgrims. (2)

 

Then Vs. Now

Bloodletting was an extremely dangerous practice that often wound up killing the victim before the disease the phlebotomy was “treating” could. In 1163, the church banned any of the clergymen from preforming the procedure and passed the job onto barbers. It only made sense, since the profession required the artisan to be skilled with a razor. A “normal” blood draining session would stop when the patient informed the vampire that they felt woozy, and would produce one to four pints of blood. On average, the human body has ten pints of blood and loosing this much blood in such a short amount of time, would ultimately prove fatal for the patient. (2)

Today, phlebotomy technicians are required to go through schooling to learn about sterilization, technique and the proper volume of blood to sample for testing or donating. So no more bloodlettings of four pints or till the patient passes out, the limit is capped to approximately one pint every 56-112 days. (3) Thanks to the wondrous advances in science, technology and medicine, we are no longer relying on barbers to draw blood. That is, of course, aside from the occasional nick while shaving.

 

Sources:

  1. Phlebotomy. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phlebotomy
  2. Phlebotomy. (2015, July 30). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Pa-St/Phlebotomy.html
  3. The Red Cross. (n.d.). Blood Facts and Statistics. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics
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