Today is March 26

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 26, 2021

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Spinach Day

Doctors may not recommend their patients take dietary advice from cartoons, but people looking to eat healthy could do worse than to follow the example set by Popeye. The beloved, nearly century-old, musclebound cartoon sailor often credited his incredible strength to spinach, a nutrient-rich green vegetable that can benefit the body in myriad ways.

A 2010 study from researchers at Mahidol University in Bangkok found that children increased their vegetable consumption after watching Popeye cartoons. And while adults can certainly follow suit and watch more Popeye if they need motivation to eat right, many may only need to learn just how spinach affects their body to start including more of it in their diets.

  • Spinach is good for your bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation notes that green foods, including kale, spinach and brussel sprouts, are great sources of vitamin K and calcium, each of which promotes healthy bones. Spinach alone won’t be enough to prevent broken bones or osteoporosis, but when coupled with exercise and an overall healthy diet, spinach can be a key component to keeping bones healthy and reducing risk for fractures.
  • Spinach can help fight off viruses. The world received a crash course in immunology in 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic changed life as the world knew it, seemingly in the blink of an eye. As measures to prevent the spread of the virus took hold, individuals looked for ways to bolster their immune systems. Leafy green vegetables, including spinach, are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that strengthen the body’s immune response. For example, vitamin A is fat-soluble vitamin that’s vital for immune system function, and spinach is loaded with it. In fact, a single cup of cooked spinach provides men and women with more than the recommended daily amounts of vitamin A as advised by the Institute of Medicine.
  • Spinach promotes a healthy heart. Spinach is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber, making it a heart-healthy food worthy of addition to anyone’s diet. Spinach is especially rich in folate, which research has shown promotes the growth of healthy red blood cells necessary for a healthy heart.
  • Spinach can benefit your eyes. Spinach is high in the antioxidant lutein, which has been linked to eye health. Lutein naturally absorbs UV blue light, which is the most harmful wavelength of sunlight. But it’s important that people recognize that uncooked spinach tends to be the most effective way to consume it and still benefit from lutein, the effects of which may be minimized when the spinach is cooked.

Whether they eat spinach thanks to the influence of a beloved cartoon character or after reading about the leafy green vegetable’s many health benefits, people who include spinach in their diets can reap a host of rewards


Clutter Awareness Week

Clutter can be a major source of stress that affects how individuals feel about their spaces. Psychology Today indicates messy homes and work spaces can contribute to feelings of helplessness, anxiety and overwhelming stress. Clutter bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, makes it more difficult to relax and can constantly signal to the brain that work is never done.

Tackling messes no matter where they are lurking is not a one-time project. Much like losing weight and getting healthy, clearing a home of clutter requires dedication and lifestyle changes. With these organizational tips and tricks, anyone can work through their home room-by-room and conquer clutter.

Find a place for everything

Clutter creeps up as people accumulate possessions over the years. Over time, failure to regularly go through belongings and thin the herd can lead to the accumulation of clutter. But clutter also can accumulate if people fail to find a place to put items. Racks for garages, organizational systems for closets and furniture with storage capacity, such as storage ottomans, are some storage solutions that can help people find a place for their possessions.

Utilize vertical space when possible

Getting items up and off the floor can maximize square footage in a home. Bookshelves, hanging wall shelves, hooks, cabinetry, built-ins, and other storage solutions that rely on walls and ceilings are simple and effective storage solutions. Unused space behind cabinet or closet doors are some additional places to store belongings. Hang razors or toothbrushes on medicine cabinet walls and curling irons and other hair tools on the interior of cabinet doors in bathrooms.

Create a coding system

Home offices can be some of the more disorganized rooms in a house simply due to the volume of electronics and paperwork within them. HGTV suggests using a color-coded system for important files to keep them organized. Label important items, whether they’re paper or digital files, in accordance with your system.

Put it away

When you finish using an item, return it to its storage location. This eliminates piles of belongings strewn around the house – and hunting and pecking for missing things. If you can’t put it away immediately, have a few baskets on hand labeled for the different rooms in the house. Pop the items in the requisite baskets and then routinely take each basket around the house to return the items.

Investing in custom cabinetry and organizational systems also can help people organize their belongings. Tackle rooms such as the garage, basements, bedroom closets, and pantries, or those areas that tend to accumulate clutter the fastest.


Purple Day – Supporting Epilepsy Around the World

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain, mainly the cortex. It produces recurrent seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. It is also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects the brain. The official definition of epilepsy is “a disorder of the brain that causes seizures.” But epilepsy patients know that there’s so much more to living with this neurological condition, and that it can often be unpredictable and frightening. Not all seizures are epileptic. Some seizures are provoked by another medical condition like a drop in blood sugar or even caused by a medication/drug. Some seizure-like manifestations are part of a psychological disorder and not a brain disorder (psychogenic non-epileptic seizure).

Is epilepsy common?

More than 4 million adults in the United States have had a diagnosis of epilepsy or seizure disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 470,000 children had epilepsy in 2015. Contrary to popular belief, epilepsy can start at any age. Most cases of epilepsy have no identifiable cause. Some risk factors include family history, head injury, brain surgery, stroke, meningitis andfebrile seizures.

Symptoms of epilepsy

Seizures come in various shapes and sizes — some are quiet staring spells, while others can cause a person to collapse, shake and become unaware of what’s going on around them. Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure and the part of the brain where the seizure originates. Some, but not all, patients have brief “warnings” or “auras” before having a seizure. Othersymptoms may include uncontrollable jerking movements of arms and legs, loss of consciousness or awareness, fear, anxiety or déjà vu, smelling, hearing or seeing things that are not there, language problems (expression and comprehension) and tingling. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will have the same type of seizure each time. Some seizures come from a specific part of the brain (focal or partial epilepsy) and some come from the whole cortex (generalized).

How is epilepsy treated?

Epilepsy is treated by seizure medications (antiepileptic drugs). About two thirds of patients with epilepsy achieve seizure freedom with medications only. Persons with epilepsy should never ever stop taking their seizure medications even if they go decades with no seizures. Some epilepsy cases are resistant to medications and may require other treatments like brain surgery to help control the seizures.

What are seizure precautions?

Seizure precautions are measures intended to minimize the health consequences of breakthrough seizures, like avoiding driving. Seizure precautions are commonsense and are based upon asking, “What would happen if I had a seizure while doing this?”

Planning for pregnancy when you have epilepsy

Epilepsy should not prevent women from having children, but pregnancy must be planned and monitored carefully. Patients should not stop taking their medication when they realize they are pregnant; they should consult with their neurologist immediately. We recommend all women who can get pregnant take folic acid to reduce the risk of malformations.

If any of the following occurs, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • A seizure that lasts more than three minutes
  • No breathing or consciousness after seizure ends
  • Another seizure follows immediately after the first
  • An injury during the seizure
  • A high fever or heat exhaustion
  • If the patient is pregnant

For more information visit:

Since 2010, Dr. Amer Awad has continued the practice of neurology in his family’s hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and neighboring areas. Dr. Awad is board-certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. He is dedicated to providing high-quality, personalized care to patients with neurological disorders, as well as helping to advance the field of neurology.

After concluding his Neurology Residency at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Hospital, Dr. Awad completed his Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals in Ohio. He has been involved in several research projects and has published and reviewed numerous articles. He devotes the overwhelming majority of his time to clinical practice and looks forward to advancements and new research findings he can implement. 

Dr. Awad is dedicated to providing high-quality, up-to-date, evidence-based,compassionate, thorough and individualized care to patients with neurological disorders, as well as help advance the field of neurology. He thoroughly enjoys making accurate diagnoses and providing appropriate therapy with the ultimate goal of improving each patient’s quality of life.