FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HEALTHY EATING

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

How do you keep firefighters and paramedics out of your home?

February 25, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- No joke here… You can start by taking care of yourself and eating right! That’s right says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna, your local firefighters and paramedics respond to thousands of medical related calls each year (approx 75% are medical related calls). This Friday is March 1st and March is National Nutrition Month!

When you see a fire truck, paramedic unit, ambulance and police officers at an incident, it’s ‘more than likely’ they are assisting on a medical emergency! The month of March is National Nutritional Month and now is a good time to take of yourself by eating right!

Here are a few things we like to eat at the Fire Station to help keep us healthy says Chief DiGiovanna – some that may help in preventing anything from heart disease to cancers.

Apples: Apples have so many antioxidants in them. They are also high in vitamin C which means higher iron absorption and less chance of cancer and heart disease!

Broccoli: It contains important antioxidants that reduce your chances of getting many conditions, including cataracts, heart disease, and many different types of cancers.

Salmon: Salmon is one of the top nutritious foods for improving bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It also helps with the functioning of the immune system and the body’s ability to fight against infection. Omega 3 also helps with cardiovascular health as well as the prevention of blood clots.

Beans: "Beans, beans are good for the heart... The more you eat the more you fart" Who can't remember singing that song as a kid! Well, yes, beans are good for both those things, but there's more. Beans are great for removing cholesterol as they pass through your digestive tract. Eating 3/4 of a cup of beans daily can lower your chance of heart attack by a staggering 40%. Eating beans is also beneficial in preventing diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, which helps lower high blood pressure and reduces the risk of getting a stroke. The wonderful mushroom is also high in Copper which has cardio-protective properties.

Walnuts: They are helpful in cardiovascular protection and cognitive function. Walnuts are one of the top nutritious foods that have helpful anti-inflammatory benefits. This is helpful for people who suffer from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and skin problems such as eczema. Walnuts also may be helpful if you suffer from hypertension.

Almonds: Yes, almonds are high in fats, but they are monounsaturated fats, which are good for you. These types of fats have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Almonds are also high in Vitamin E and magnesium. When there is enough magnesium in the body, the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients through your veins and arteries becomes a lot easier.

Spinach: Spinach may also help protect you against osteoporosis, colon cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Spinach is also high in antioxidants which are so important in cancer prevention.

Fish: Eating fish could help you in a variety of ways including reducing the tendency of blood clots, helping to repair arteries that have been damaged, lowering the blood pressure and lowering the risk of getting oral and digestive track cancer.

Ice Cream? Well a debatable food for health, but it sure tastes good Says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It’s important to check with your physician or nutritionist to make sure these and other healthy food choices are right for you!

How good of shape is your plate?  Check out: http://www.foods4health.info/ for additional healthy safe eating.

Stay healthy and chances are, we’ll stay out of your house!

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna