300+ Evidence-Based Longevity Promoting Natural Substances

Research has concluded that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory natural substances can increase longevity and improve the aging process by reducing the risk of age-related diseases  Continue reading

My Healthy Baking Secrets Revealed!

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With a few healthy ingredient substitutions, you can prepare delicious, nutritious, guilt-free baked goods in your own kitchen Continue reading

Surprising Finding: Gut Microbes Make Dark Chocolate Healthy

Dark chocolate, especially raw cacao powder, has pronounced health benefits, provided you eat it in moderation Continue reading

Can Food Affect Your Mood?

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Individual food choices may make a difference in how you feel mentally and emotionally from day to day

Mood-boosting foods include dark chocolate, purple berries, Continue reading

Value of Zinc and Chromium

Keeping your blood sugar under control is no picnic — in fact, if you’ve been dealing with type 2 diabetes, I’m guessing your favorite picnic foods have been off the menu for some time.

The fact is, diabetes is more than a mealtime nuisance. It’s a deadly wrecking ball that unleashes oxidative stress on your heart and Continue reading

Heal Your Body One Sweet Bite at a Time with Cacao

Once used by ancient civilizations as offerings to their gods, cacao has a long and colorful history. Cacao beans – which are actually the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree – are native to South America and the West Indies.

The raw beans have been used in beverages and foods for more Continue reading

The Four Foods You Must Avoid if you’re Stressed

One of the more popular ways we cope with stress is to reach for a snack. Sugary or salty treats like chocolate and chips are regular fixtures of “stress eating.” The truth is, most of the things we reach for when we’re feeling stressed actually exacerbate the problem.

When you’re feeling stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisone, Continue reading

Do You Know About the “Love Hormone?”

If the table’s all set for your Valentine’s Day dinner, then you’ve prescribed yourself one of the best treatments to help reduce your stress and even improve your physical health: love.

Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” is a neuropeptide that is released by the pituitary gland. Continue reading

The Foods That Can Fight Aging

Aging populations have spent lifetimes searching for the fountain of youth. Unfortunately, no such fountain seems to exist. There are, however, droplets of youth. By combining enough of these droplets together, you may not find the fountain you’ve been seeking, but you can still refresh yourself with a splash of youthful vigor. Continue reading

Omega-3 fatty Acids Dramatically Increase Female Libido

Women taking fish oil are sometimes pleased – or alarmed – to discover a common side effect: becoming spontaneously orgasmic. On higher-than-normal doses, women often see increased libido and enjoy faster, stronger and more plentiful orgasms. As outlined in The Orgasmic Diet, this and several other dietary factors contribute to adding explosive heat to the bedroom, but men beware: following this regimen will likely only lead to premature ejaculation. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate As Good As Blood Pressure-Lowering Drugs

Taking a major step into the limelight over the past decade has been dark chocolate. Eating a small piece of it each day, high in cocoa, is very good for you. And it’s best for your heart.

That is the reason why candy-bar shelves in supermarkets have changed recently. Alongside the well-known brands sit rectangular bars featuring a high percentage of cocoa. The package makes no mistake that it is dark chocolate.

A brand-new study is worthy of note. Continue reading

Fight HPV Infections with This

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is in the health news a lot these days — and for good reason. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection today. As a virus, HPV is also incredibly versatile, with over 100 different strains. Continue reading

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?:

Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

  • Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:

  • it tastes good
  • it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

Doesn’t Chocolate Have a lot of Fat?:

Here is some more good news — some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid:

  • Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.
  • Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research is shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol.
  • Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk.

That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you.

Chocolate Tip 1 – Balance the Calories:

This information doesn’t mean that you should eat a pound of chocolate a day. Chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits.

One bar of dark chocolate has around 400 calories. If you eat half a bar of chocolate a day, you must balance those 200 calories by eating less of something else. Cut out other sweets or snacks and replace them with chocolate to keep your total calories the same.

Chocolate Tip 2 – Taste the Chocolate:

Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 compounds and chemicals in each bite. To really enjoy and appreciate chocolate, take the time to taste it. Professional chocolate tasters have developed a system for tasting chocolate that include assessing the appearance, smell, feel and taste of each piece.

Chocolate Tip 3 – Go for Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Chocolate Tip 4 – Skip the Nougat:

You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

Chocolate Tip 5 – Avoid Milk:

It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.

 

Your Weird Body Explained

You’re at your office’s end-of-year bash, wearing silly hats and slugging cocktails containing umbrellas, fresh fruit and rum – you get the picture. The boss gets up to Say A Few Words and drops a line about “streamlining operations next year,” and there it is – the gut feeling.

A little tingle somewhere between your navel, your spine and your memory of all the Dilbert cartoons you’ve ever read tells you there’ll be some retrenchments in January.

How weird is that? And what about the other strange things your body does? We’re not talking about sudden urges to ask Lucy in accounts to a Salif Keita concert, or the need to advise the TV on the finer points of Springbok rugby.

What about all the involuntary, visceral rumblings, gurglings, spasms and jerks? Here’s a quick tour of your body and five strange sensations, explaining why it’s strange, but still pretty wonderful.

Why love makes you head for the fridge
Three hours in the sack and you manage to avoid the most cardinal of all male sins – rolling over and going to sleep – because despite Steenberg Hotel’s famous lamb shank, a generous and colourful order of veggies you’re starving.

So, into your shorts and downstairs for a little something, as Pooh Bear says – in this case, some cheese and a banana, plus half a litre of milk from the carton. Back upstairs, feeling rejuvenated and well, recharged.

First thing the next morning, feeling a little sore, but oddly pleased with yourself, and while making a restorative cup of tea for you and her upstairs, you’re back into the fridge, cramming in a slice of pecan nut pie, a slice of cold roast beef and another slab of cheese. Why all this? Well, to quote Lou Reed, love is chemical.

The exertion that so rightly accompanies lovemaking requires your muscle to work, and they burn energy by oxidising blood sugar. Afterwards, your blood sugar is low, making you feel hungry. Simple. Go easy on the saturated fats, Romeo.

Why you get gut feelings
Your boss may look like a worn-out Bryan Ferry, but his throw-away remark about streamlining gives you a funny feeling in your tummy, and that feeling’s never, ever wrong. It’s a primitive fight-or-flight response.

Just like Clint Eastwood’s jaw clenching and unclenching in the classic Hollywood “slow burn” as Bruce Dern walks into the saloon, your brain sends a message down a secure phone line to a veritable Pentium IV network of nerve cells in your belly called the enteric nervous system.

When you’re nervous or even aroused, your belly can produce sounds that would make a plumber reach for his calculator. The enteric nervous system is telling your digestive system to clear the decks for action, be it amorous, combative or simply asking young Lucy out.

Why you yawn when you exercise
You probably noticed this, especially when you were last unfit – oh, ten years ago. Your workout’s under way when suddenly you start yawning like you’re sitting through Police Academy reruns. It’s a shortage of oxygen resulting from being a couch potato. It’s the same thing that makes you sigh deeply occasionally (that and Kerry MacGregor).

Why your limbs “go to sleep”
You always thought this was because your girlfriend’s head on your arms shut off the blood supply to the lower limb. Wrong. It’s something called referred sensation and it happens when a nerve is compressed, then bounces back into the right shape.

Your brain goes “Ah, incoming mail,” and by the time it realises it’s just neurological spam, the tingling passes and you wonder what all the fuss was about. Either that, or you admit defeat and fetch you girlfriend a pillow.

Why you hear mosquitoes inside your head
It’s called tinnitus, a basket term for a number of conditions that produce a number of noises, mostly of the high-pitched, Isobel-Jones-infotainment sort, but also some clicking, pounding ones, like crickets playing castanets.

It’s most likely because you have nerve endings in the ear that have been frazzled by too much Massive Attack and are sending gibbering pleas for mercy to your brain, which your brain interprets as external sounds. When you hear the whine, look around for mozzies, infotainment or alien motherships.

If you see none of the above, resolve to give your ears a little time out from your new stereo.