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Archive for the ‘Health Benefits’ Category

Oh yes ladies (ok guys, you can join the party too), this one is for you.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am going to give you reasons why you SHOULD be enjoying chocolate (dark chocolate that is) every day.  YES, I said every day. Now listen up…

Dark Chocolate:

  • High in flavanols (sub-class of polyphenols). These concentrated antioxidants fight free radical damage which causes disease. 
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by improving blood flow
  • Offers a satiated feeling that reduces cravings for sugar and high fat foods
  • Reduction of LDL cholesterol
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Helps regulate stress hormones. *when stressed, reach for an ounce of the good stuff* 🙂
  • Flavanols increase blood flow to parts of the brain. *Want to get smarter? Eat more chocolate.*
  • Chemicals found in the cocao bean affect our brain, and evoke feelings of love and euphoria.

What to look for when buying dark chocolate:

  • 70% cocao or higher. The higher the percentage of cocoa the higher the antioxidant content.
  • High quality. Brands like Hershey’s are highly processed.  You will pay more for a better brand, but it will be worth it.
  • Go organic if possible.
  • Look at the sugar content. Some bars will have more sugar than others and should be avoided.

 

*Did you know that not all chocolate is created equal?  According to Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, milk has been shown to hinder the absorption of antioxidants and negate the health benefits of eating dark chocolate.  Interesting right? That means stick to dark, even though milk chocolate is unbelievably delicious, especially Cadburys. Hmmm… alright, maybe you can have a little milk chocolate every once in a while, for a treat.  We are only human after all. ;)*

I have a pretty adventurous palate when it comes to food, and like to try new things often. However, I do have brands that I will frequently buy.

Here are my favorites:

My favorite time to eat dark chocolate is after lunch. As a matter of fact…I haven’t had any today. Be right back! Ummm…there is no chocolate in my house! NOOOO!!! Alright, well it looks I’m going to store, NOW!!!  🙂 Till next time…

Wishing you all radiant health and a Happy Valentine’s Day!

References:

http://www.medicinehunter.com/chocolate_love_drug

http://www.allchocolate.com/health/basics/antioxidant_effects.aspx

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/benefits-of-chocolate?page=9

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate

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You may ask, “Why should I add green tea into my diet? Seriously Amanda, every other day a new study comes out telling me I should drink this or eat that. What makes this so different?”  Trust me, as a person who studies nutrition, I understand the frustration. I know how annoying it is to read that something is good for you, only to read a new study the next day that tells you it’s not. Green tea is the real deal, and is full of lovely cell protecting jewels called antioxidants.

So…give in to the power of the tea. 🙂

Here are some reasons why you should drink green tea every day:

  • Slow down effects of aging. The antioxidants in green tea help prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. Protected cells=less wrinkles.
  • Provides revitalizing energy. Enough to run a marathon…well…maybe not that much, but more than you have now…so drink up. 🙂
  • Boosts immunity due to its catechin content. Catechins help prevent bad bacteria from attaching themselves to your cell walls.
  • Astringent effect. Rinse your mouth out with the green stuff and strengthen your gums.
  • Helps reduce cholesterol
  • Helps your body become more Alkaline. Reduction of acidity levels in the body is vital for disease prevention.
  • Helps keep your blood sugar level by improving pancreatic health.
  • Speeds up your metabolism, and aids in weight loss
  • Free radical protection is known to protect against cancer. Less free radicals=lessen your chance for cancer. 
    *This
    is reason enough for me to drink it every day!*

Did you know:

A cup of green tea has more antioxidants than broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries.

Easy ways to drink green tea:

Instead of grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, why not grab a green tea. I like mine venti, iced, and unsweetened. 🙂

or

Grab your BPA free water bottle and add a bag of green tea. Like this:

Remove the string and staple, cut down the center, and tie together to keep the tea in its bag.

Drop in

Drink up 🙂 (refill again and get more green tea goodness)

My favorite green teas:

Yogi, Green Kombucha 16 Teabags

I also like  Teavana. A little pricey, but totally worth it. My favorite is the Moroccan Mint Green Tea.

Wishing you all radiant health! 😉

Update:

I had posted several links , but they are not working. If you would like to know more information about anything I posted here please let me know. Thanks!

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