Chocolate Health

What’s the healthiest bean in the world? There’s good evidence that it’s the cocoa bean, the stuff that chocolate is made of. Research into chocolate shows that it can lower your blood pressure, reduce your chance of heart disease and stroke, energize victims of chronic fatigue, repair blood vessels in the liver, improve skin, fight dental plaque and help you think better. Those are pretty impressive benefits for a flavorful food with an alluring taste.

Only in the past decade or so have scientists taken a serious look into the health benefits of chocolate. And what they are finding has cemented chocolate’s reputation as a food with remarkable effects. The consumption of chocolate seems to have originated with the ancestors of the Mayans and the Aztecs in the Western Hemisphere thousands of years ago. Believing chocolate to be a healing food, these ancient civilizations consumed it unsweetened, sometimes mixed with hot peppers and may have incorporated it into religious ceremonies.

Today, many people consume chocolate religiously because they like the taste, not necessarily for its healing powers. But studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that two tablespoons of cocoa convey more antioxidant benefits than a cup of blueberries, a half glass of red wine or four cups of green tea.

Chocolaty Health

According to Monica Bearden, R.D. and Shara Aaron, M.S., R.D., authors of the book Chocolate, A Healthy Passion, contrary to its reputation, chocolate (without the sugar added to it in chocolate candy) is actually good for your teeth. Research at the University of Osaka graduate School in Japan found that rinsing with a cocoa extract decreases bacteria and plaque found on teeth.

Some of the most impressive research on chocolate demonstrates that consuming dark chocolate is associated with a remarkable one-third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. When British scientists at the University of Cambridge examined the results of seven studies that involved 114,000 participants, they discovered that “the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels.”1

Chocolate In The Body

Other scientists who have looked at how chocolate may help heart health have found that it boosts the body’s production of high density lipoprotein (HDL, the so-called good cholesterol). Studies show that flavanols (antioxidants) in chocolate increase the activity of proteins that interact with DNA to raise levels of HDL in the liver and intestines. This is accompanied by a decrease in low density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol).

Furthermore, chocolate’s flavanols may protect the hearts of smokers by increasing their levels of nitric oxide. In the blood, this extra nitric oxide can offset some of the harmful blood vessel contraction linked to the free radicals fomented by tobacco smoke. “This raises the possibility that a potential new agent for the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease may emerge from additional research,” says Malte Kelm, M.D., a researcher at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Dr. Kelm believes that further work in this area will show that chocolate may help support better blood vessel health for people with diabetes. ”While more research is needed, our results demonstrate that dietary flavanols might have an important impact as part of a healthy diet in the prevention of cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients,” he predicts.

Other researchers have found that dark chocolate can reduce liver damage. Spanish studies found that when cirrhosis impedes the function of blood flow in this organ, pressure in the liver’s blood vessels can get dangerously high after meals. But dark chocolate can relax the vessels and decrease this hypertensive destruction.2

More Energy

Cocoa has enjoyed a long reputation for providing extra pep. Even the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II, who ruled in the 16th century, noted that, “The divine drink… builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink [cocoa] permits man to walk for a whole day without food.”3 And in research on people suffering chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), British scientists have discovered that chocolate “has a beneficial effect in improving fatigue and residual function.”4 They suggest that “This may be of benefit for subjects with CFS if included as part of a healthy diet or in a formal treatment protocol.”

If you decide to eat a healthy amount of chocolate, make sure that you consume healthy chocolate: dark chocolate that is high in cocoa solids and low in fat and sugar. Yes, in this form, chocolate has a slightly bitter taste compared to highly sweetened milk chocolate. But the health benefits are that much sweeter!

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Century-Old Man Completes Marathon

At the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 16, a 100-year-old man was the last to cross the finish line, breaking a world record as he completed his eighth 26.2-mile run, according to media reports.

Fauja Singh began running marathons at age 89 after the passing of his wife and son. He attributed his fitness to a healthy lifestyle of abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, eating a vegetarian diet and running or walking 10 miles per day, according to NBC Chicago.

“I have said it before: that I will carry on running, as it is keeping me alive,” said Singh, quoted on the Toronto marathon’s website.

A recent study that was conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology supports the idea that exercise contributes to longevity. In a trial, a team of researchers showed that regular physical activity can help a 50-year-old reach fitness levels of a 20-year-old.

While many older individuals may fear that exercise can trigger cardiovascular events, the Norwegian research revealed that activity actually strengthens the heart and improves oxygen uptake.

Seniors should consult with their healthcare provider before beginning new exercise regimens.

Study Underscores Importance Of Proper Minerals During Pregnancy

A team of researchers at the University of Granada in Spain conducted a study to determine some of the main factors that may contribute to miscarriage. They found that low blood levels of certain minerals could play a part in fetal death.

Overall, a miscarriage was associated with inadequate amounts of copper and zinc in the blood. The researchers noted that just 12 percent of women who experienced the loss were taking prenatal vitamins.

Additionally, the scientists observed that many women are simply not following recommendations to quit smoking and drug use when pregnant. One third of volunteers who miscarried smoked during their term, and 80 percent took some kind of drug known to be dangerous to fetal health.

“Despite the significant progress made in reproductive medicine, spontaneous abortion is still the most frequent complication during pregnancy. It is estimated to affect 15 percent of pregnant women, mainly during the first trimester,” said researcher Jesus Joaquin Hijona Elosegui.

Pregnant women should always consult with their healthcare provider before beginning any nutritional supplement regimen.

Ginger Root Fights Inflammation

Individuals given ginger ale in childhood to soothe stomachaches and those who finish off a meal with ginger tea understand the root’s ability to calm the tummy. Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School believe that this effect may be due to anti-inflammatory properties.

In fact, a study reveals that taking supplements of the spicy root may even help protect against colon cancer. They were shown to significantly reduce markers of inflammation in a clinical trial.

“We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research,” said lead author Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H. “Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

Sick and Tired Of Not Being Able to Sleep?

Yet another night spent staring at the ceiling and wondering when you’re going to finally get asleep eh? And the worse thing is that you felt so tired just before you went to bed that you figured you’d be fast asleep in a few minutes.

I’ve had the unpleasant experience of spending several hours trying to go asleep and getting nowhere. Sometimes you’ll just have a bad night where you can’t get asleep and this can happen now and again and isn’t something to really worry about. The problems can start thought if you find that you’ve been unable to sleep for several nights in a row. This is when your sleeping disorder can develop and if you’re not paying attention it can slowly take over your life.

There are a number of different causes for insomnia but the main ones you’ll come across are either physical or emotional in nature. If you’re suffering from any type of physical pain problem like back pain then it could cause insomnia because you simply can’t rest properly. Of course there are other medical condititions like acid reflux (heartburn) which can crop up during the night and cause enough pain and discomfort to keep you awake too. Basically any physical condition that causes you pain is enough to disrupt your sleep for an entire night.

After that you need to look at emotional problems and the how they can affect your sleeping pattern. If you’re under extreme emotional or psychological stress then you’ll probably find it very difficult or impossible to sleep. Even though you might find yourself constantly tired because you’re suffering from depression no doubt you’ll have even more trouble getting asleep each night because of this.

For most people the real cause of their insomnia is the pace of their life and the fact that they have a fractured (at best) sleeping pattern. Human beings operate on a 24-hour clock known as the circadian rhythm. This is a natural cycle that tells our bodies to wake up when it’s bright and sleep when it’s dark – like most of the rest of the life forms on planet earth. If you work weird shift patterns or night shifts you’re constantly messing with your body’s ability to sleep properly.

There are two things you need to do in order that you can create a regular and normal sleeping pattern for yourself. It’s also important to not over-stimulate your mind before you try to sleep each night so keep your social networking activities to a minimum and definitely avoid watching action movies before you sleep – the technical term for this is practicing good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene is something that you’ll get better at the more you practice it and it’s the healthiest and quickest route to resetting your body clock and getting back to sleeping properly each night.

 

Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Stop Panic Attacks

  • Are you plagued by worry and anxiety for no apparent reason?
  • Do you worry about all sorts of things day in and day out?
  • Do you tend to expect the worst outcome in everything?
  • Is your worry stopping you from leaving your house?
  • Does your constant irrational worry impact your job, your family and daily activities?

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, otherwise known as GAD, is one of the most common anxiety disorders. It is characterized by chronic irrational excessive worry and nervousness about everyday things.

People with GAD find that they worry about all sorts of things much more than others do and they find it very hard, if not impossible, to turn these anxious thoughts off all together. Their head is constantly busy with thoughts of anticipated disasters and general over concern about everyday issues.

Of course with all this worry comes a whole basket of physical symptoms which often further exacerbate the anxiety.

Signs and Symptoms of GAD

Signs and symptoms of GAD vary from person to person and can vary from day to day.  Some days are better than others but most people experience some symptoms daily.  Symptoms can be physical, behavioural and of course emotional. Below is a list of some of the more common symtoms:

  • frequent anxiety and worry that interferes with life
  • significant worry about a lot of different things
  • intrusive thoughts
  • restlessness / tension
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • fear of losing control / fear of going crazy
  • avoidance of situations that trigger anxiety
  • palpitations
  • sweating
  • trembling / shaking
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • chest discomfort
  • dizziness

Treatment

There are lots of treatments available for Generalized Anxiety Disorder but unfortunately most of them don’t work or work only short term. The Linden Method however is different, it offers long term permanent relief from anxiety in the form of a very well structured recovery program, including phone and email support and 100% money back guarantee.  It is available in printed or downloadable version so you can get started today. Don’t wait, act now, rid yourself of this debilitating condition and start living the kind of life that you deserve.

 

The Importance Of Iodine

If you suffer from fatigue, depression, weight gain, memory loss, hair loss, muscle cramps, dry skin, decreased libido, cold feet, confusion, delirium or even heart failure, you should suspect an under-performing thyroid (hypothyroidism) and iodine deficiency first.

You really can’t separate hypothyroidism from an iodine deficiency. The two conditions should be looked at together. Unfortunately, most of the time hypothyroidism and/or iodine deficiency are unsuspected by doctors and most of them don’t even think to test for them.

Really nothing could be simpler to diagnose and treat.

Anyone can test themselves for hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency. Low basal (at rest) body temperature is an important sign of low thyroid function. For the most accurate reading, take your underarm temperature for three days in a row, in the mornings before you get out of bed. Figure the average of these three measurements. If you run as much as one degree or more below 98.6° (F) you can suspect you have hypothyroidism.

Test Request

It is perfectly reasonable to request an iodine-loading test from your doctor. One way to perform a test is by just rubbing food-grade iodine (Lugol’s) on a small spot, maybe two inches, across the arm. If the iodine disappears overnight, you can take this to mean an iodine deficiency. Even when too much iodine is taken, it is excreted. And iodine has a detoxifying effect on the body.

Chances are that most of us have an iodine deficiency. We can assume this because iodine is generally low in agriculture soils everywhere. While iodine is important for the entire body, it is concentrated in the prostate gland, the thyroid and breast tissue.

According to David Brownstein, M.D., in his excellent book, Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It,  “If a person suffers from iodine deficiency, using thyroid hormone supplementation without first correcting (or simultaneously correcting) the iodine deficit will exacerbate the body’s deficit of iodine.”

So iodine and thyroid hormone go together. Thyroid hormones increase the body’s need for iodine. Alternative doctors always recommend Armour Thyroid, which is natural thyroid hormone (from pigs) and available from compounding pharmacies.

Points from Brownstein:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that iodine deficiency is the world’s greatest single cause of preventable mental retardation.
  • Iodine supplementation markedly increases urinary excretion of fluoride and bromide.
  • Brownstein says that more than 90 percent of his tested patients exhibit laboratory signs of iodine deficiency.
  • In the brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area that has been associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Iodine deficiency is one of the main underlying causes of many varied illnesses including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer (including cancer of the breast and prostate) and other health issues.
  • The thyroid gland and the breast primarily utilize iodine. The prostate gland concentrates iodine.
  • Breast cysts have been treated with iodine for more than 50 years. Iodine deficiency is a causative factor in breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
  • The relationship between hypothyroidism and breast cancer has been reported for more than 100 years.
  • Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development.
  • In children, iodine deficiency can result in mental retardation as well as goiter (enlarged thyroid).
  • Research has found an almost 50 percent increase in infant mortality due to iodine deficiency.
  • Many studies have shown that children who live in iodine deficient areas have lower IQs compared to children living in iodine sufficient areas.

All of this adds up to one important fact: Your iodine status is too important to ignore.