Dr. Estevan Del Castillo Encourages an All-Encompassing Activity That Has Multiple Benefits
Obesity is an epidemic in our country. As a result, more than 2.8 million people die from the ramifications of being overweight. Sadly, it’s not just affecting adults; the statistics are also increasing in young children and teens.
The majority of Americans live sedentary lives; we sit in front of computers. We sit while driving to work and to run errands, and we sit down to relax after dinner by watching television. All of this sitting is bad for our health. We need more physical movement to adequately burn calories, to circulate oxygen-rich blood, and multiple other beneficial aspects that come from exercising.
Obesity can lead to the following diseases and disorders:
. High blood pressure
. High cholesterol
. Fatty liver disease
. Sleep apnea
. Musculoskeletal disorders
. Heart disease
. Vascular disease
. Depression and anxiety
We caught up with Dr. Del Castillo with Millennium Physician Group to find out more about his concern and recommendations for our obesity epidemic.
Dr. Del Castillo explained, “There is a comprehensive approach that needs to be addressed with obesity such as in-depth blood tests, medications for comorbid conditions like elevated blood pressure, and it’s critical to educate patients on the risks of being overweight, as well as to help them with a customized plan. Along with exercise and a healthy diet, I like to recommend gardening for my patients.
“I believe gardening is a good outlet for a lot of people, including the younger and older population, and it’s very beneficial to do together as a family. By planting fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you’re getting exercise, and sunlight (which provides vitamin D), and the nutrients from the food we grow. Gardening can also provide a ‘Zen-like’ aspect, which can help decrease stress and depression.
“I have a garden, my parents do, and I encourage patients to start gardening for multiple benefits. It’s a great way to appreciate where your food comes from, and it helps to expand the palate—people enjoy the tastes of herbs and fresh produce that they’ve grown them-selves, and when these are incorporated into their cooking, all of these activities are good for the body and mind.
“Depending on where people live and how much space and land they have, will, of course, result in what type of garden they can have, but here in Florida, we are blessed to have sunshine and warmth throughout the year.
“For limited spaces, you can grow herbs on a counter or windowsill, and you can grow shallow trays of microgreens on a porch or lanai. There are also raised garden beds that you can make or purchase to grow deeper vegetables like beets, greens, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and many others.
“If you’ve got some land or a yard, you can have larger raised beds for more produce, or you can actually plant a large cultivated garden and possibly some avocado or citrus trees. There are YouTube tutorials, books, and websites dedicated to gardening to help you when you’re first starting out. You’re not only getting exercise, sunshine, eating healthy foods, and experiencing stress reduction, but you’re also learning new information, processing, and building new neural connections. It’s great for individuals and families, and if you have leftover crops that you can’t use or freeze, you can always share them with your neighbors.
“I believe diet plays a crucial role in helping people stay at a healthy weight and to lose excess pounds and stored fat. Many foods that contain chemicals, excessive salt, and sugar can cause inflammation to occur in the body. When the body is inflamed, it can exacerbate disease states, and it can also create plaque build-up in the arteries (atherosclerosis). A diet that lowers inflammation is critical for maintaining health. Eating more plants is vital for optimal health. If you add gardening as a means to get those foods, you’ll reap multiple health benefits.”
Call to schedule your appointment today.
Estevan Del Castillo, MD, MBA, Family Medicine
Dr. Del Castillo was raised in Charlotte County, Florida. He completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Stony Brook University, School of Medicine in New York. At Stony Brook, his main campus was Southampton where his residency training focused on Social Medicine. He worked in two clinics Hudson River Healthcare and Westhampton Primary Care, both of which are Patient Centered Medical Homes which emphasize patient care, coordination and communication.
Dr. Del Castillo attained both his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration in Multi-sector Health Management at St. George’s University, School of Medicine. At St. George’s University he served as President-elect of the Clinical Research Society. Dr. Del Castillo has clinic experience in South Miami working with a Nephrologist/Internist.
Dr. Del Castillo is fluent in English and Spanish.
Millennium Physician Group
315 East Olympia Ave., Suite 111, Punta Gorda, FL 33950