Why Chocolates can be good for the Health?

Chocolates is the crowds favorite, almost everybody can’t resist having it. Young and old enjoy eating chocolates as a part of dessert or just fulfilling their cravings. But have you wonder if having a sweet tooth for chocolates can give you health benefits?

There were a research that proves chocolates specifically dark chocolates and cocoa powder has health benefits and it can even make life sweeter and longer. According to these researches, chocolates have substances that are natural antioxidant like resveratrol. Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals.

And the antioxidant that was recently found resveratrol in chocolates. It is produced by certain fruits and vegetables including grapes, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. The difference of resveratrol to other antioxidants is that it can cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system. Here the other health benefits of resveratrol :

  • Protecting your cells from free radical damage
  • Inhibiting the spread of cancer, especially prostate cancer
  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Keeping your heart healthy and improving elasticity in your blood vessels
  • Normalizing your anti-inflammatory response
Though chocolates have some health benefits, from nutritional perspective there are still better food to eat than chocolate. Here are some advices from Dr. Mercola if you are eating chocolates:

  • If you eat chocolate, only eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties, which can actually help to protect the body from damaging oxidative stress. It appears that adding milk to the chocolate cancels out the antioxidant effects, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

  • Only eat chocolate if you're healthy
Chocolate, even if it is dark, still contains large quantities of sugar, and eating sugar is one of the most devastating things you can do to your health. If you're sick, your immune system is working hard to combat your illness, but sugar weakens the immune system. So eating chocolate will only make it harder for your immune system to fight the illness.

  • Make sure you eat it in moderation
Even if you're healthy, you don't want to eat huge amounts of chocolate. The key is to eat it in moderation (something like once every two weeks) and enjoy it when you eat it. A small bit of chocolate can be very satisfying if you savor each bite, rather than just wolfing it down.

Sleeping can Improve Creativity

Is there a logical reason why big and successful companies like Google, Cisco Systems and Procter and Gamble installed Energy Pods with leather recliners? The answer is yes, these companies want their employees to have power naps when it is needed.

Most people think that when sleeping brains are close to not functioning but in reality sleeping enhances performance, learning and memory. And also during sleep there is an improvement in the creativity. According to Dr. Ellenbogen’s research at Harvard indicates that people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping, but few realize that their performance has actually improved.

Other than brain activity sleep can affect body function and growth. And there are a lot of negative effects that might occur if you’re not getting enough sleep like:

  1. Alter your metabolism and make you gain weight
  2. Cause your brain to stop producing new cells
  3. Increase your risk of cancer by altering the balance of hormones in your body
  4. Increase your risk of diabetes by reducing your leptin levels
  5. Accelerate aging
  6. Increase your risk of heart disease and stroke
  7. Raise your blood pressure
  8. Speed up tumor growth. Tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions

Effects of Vegetarian Diet on Pregnant Women

Vegetarian or vegan diet is a diet that includes only foods from plants like fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. And most of the vegans have low or devoid of animal products. Many studies have shown that being in vegetarian diet lowers the risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

There was a study that shows being vegan has some unhealthy effects specifically to pregnant women. They have a high risk of having deficiency on essential nutrients like:

  • Iron: Vegetarians may have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. The richest sources of iron are red meat, liver and egg yolk -- all high in cholesterol. However, dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer's yeast and dried fruits are all good plant sources of iron.
  • Vitamin B-12: This comes naturally only from animal sources. Vegans need a reliable source of vitamin B-12. It can be found in some fortified (not enriched) breakfast cereals, fortified soy beverages, some brands of nutritional (brewer's) yeast and other foods (check the labels), as well as vitamin supplements.
  • Vitamin D: Vegans should have a reliable source of vitamin D. Vegans who don’t get much sunlight may need a supplement.
And also researchers have found that vegetarian diet during pregnancy may not be health to the mom and to the unborn child. Pregnant women who are vegetarians are five times at risk of delivering a boy hypospadias, a birth defect of the penis where the opening of the penis is found on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip. It is a common congenital defect, affecting about 1 in 300 newborn males. The condition requires surgery to correct it, where the foreskin is used to repair the problem. Untreated, it can interfere with urination and sexual function.

However there are proper nutritional planning should be done if you’re into vegetarian diet. This needed to balance the nutrients, calories and energy the body needs:
  • Keep your intake of sweets and fatty foods to a minimum. These foods are low in nutrients and high in calories.
  • Choose whole or unrefined grain products when possible, or use fortified or enriched cereal products.
  • Use a variety of fruits and vegetables, including foods that are good sources of vitamins A and C.
  • If you use milk or dairy products, choose fat-free/nonfat and low-fat varieties.
  • Eggs are high in cholesterol (213 mg per yolk), so monitor your use of them. Limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day.

Sweet Lies: Truth about Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener and as sweet as sugar in typical concentration without the high energy value of sugar. Many years now people thought that taking substances with artificial sweeteners like sucrose and aspartame is better especially as an alternative for sugar used by diabetic and those who are in a diet.
A study shows that aspartame is consisting of three chemical that breakdowns during ingestion which includes aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. And as the aspartame continuous to breakdown it produces substances like formaldehyde, formic acid and diketopiperazine.
According to the recent studies of experts from University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo, it shows that high dose of consumption of aspartame and other artificial sweetener may neurological and behavioral disturbances on individuals. And during the study they have found that there are direct and indirect changes in the brain which includes disturbances:

  • the metabolism of amino acids
  • protein structure and metabolism
  • the integrity of nucleic acids
  • neuronal function
  • endocrine balances
Visit Sweet Deception for more details.

How to End Sleepless Nights

Sleeplessness or insomnia is one of the common sleep disorders. It is characterized by difficulty in falling to sleep or staying asleep. And on serious cases it already interferes with the normal physical, emotional and mental functioning. An average person 15 minutes to fall asleep when they are in bed and 30 40% of adults are having insomnia. Affects all age groups and it usually occurs 1.4 times more common on women than men.

In general insomnia is classified according to the length of occurrence:

  • symptoms lasting less than one week are classified as transient insomnia,
  • symptoms between one to three weeks are classified as short-term insomnia, and
  • those longer than three weeks are classified as chronic insomnia.
If you are suffering this kind of condition, Dr. Mercola in his Natural Health Newsletter posted some tips on how to have a good night sleep:
  • Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars.
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible.
  • Read something spiritual or religious
  • No TV right before bed.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks.
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Make certain you are exercising regularly.
  • Establish a bedtime routine.

Breakfast for Better Health

Skipping breakfast is very common nowadays. This is because of the fast faced lifestyle and having a wrong idea that breakfast is not as important as the other meal of the day.
There are studies that show young and adults specifically the teens that skipped breakfast are more likely to be obese. They are the ones who tend to eat less healthy during the day and exercised less.

Breakfast is as important as the other meals of the day. As the day starts you need something to fill your empty stomach while you were asleep and something to charge your energy. But there is more to it than not skipping breakfast. Breakfast should be healthy. So if you’re planning breakfast you should avoid the following:

  • Doughnuts
  • Cereals
  • Fruit juice
  • Waffles and pancakes
  • Bagels and toast (even whole grain organic types)
  • ALL cereals (even whole grain organic types)
It is ideal to have healthy food during breakfast or in any meal. And to have a healthy breakfast, Dr. Mercola advised that you should avoid whole grain breads and cereals because it rapidly breakdown sugar and stimulating insulin production. He also said that eggs, juiced fruits and vegetables are ideal for breakfast.

You must take note that in preparing meals like breakfast for you and your family you must always consider the nutritional type. And by doing this you will enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

How to Get Healthy Bones

Bones are important part of our body. Its main function is to move, support and protect most parts of the body. And because of this it is needed that we take good care of it for a health bones.
Here are some tips according to Dr. Mercola on how we can make our bones strong:

1. Get plenty of omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, and reduce your intake of omega-6 fats from vegetable oils. (Studies have shown that a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is linked to lower bone density at the hip -- a condition that could lead to osteoporosis.)

2. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin K. It serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix. Green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin K, but even better is natto, a fermented soy food that I personally eat nearly every day (it has the highest concentration of vitamin k in the human diet).

3. Eat more vegetables, according to your nutritional type.

4. Exercise regularly. This, along with diet, is a KEY to building strong bones.

5. Get the right kind of calcium. The best form of calcium is from milk. However, I would strongly advise you to avoid pasteurized milk like the plague. An acceptable alternative for most is raw milk. You can also convert the raw milk to kefir (fermented raw milk) for an excellent source of vitamin K2 as well.

Thinking Makes You Hungry

There were researches that shows mental work induces an increase in appetite. The research team measured a the spontaneous food intake of 14 student correspondents after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. And it shows a relative increase in the calorie intake.

This must be the reason why some people tend to eat more when feeling stressed or after a hard day mental work. Here are some reasons why people feel hungrier:

  • Seeing food, which makes your body anticipate eating.
  • Time of day. Your body is conditioned to eat at certain times.
  • Drinking alcohol, which can impair your judgment and make you eat more than normal.
  • Eating refined carbs, which generates a rapid rise in blood sugar, followed by a subsequent “crash” that makes you want more food.Portion size. Studies show that the larger the portion, the more you’ll eat.
  • Eating too fast, which allows you to consume more food before your body has a chance to let you know it’s full (it takes about 20 minutes for this to happen, so you should wait at least 20 minutes before going back for seconds).
  • Not sleeping enough, triggers hormone imbalances that boost your desire to eat.
And by knowing that appetite can be stimulated by mental work it doesn’t mean that it is not good and you will just ignore it. If you feel hungry, listen to your body and eat something that will satisfy it. But you must keep in mind to eat just the right amount and eat something that is nutritious and healthy.

Here are some food suggestions from Dr. Mercola’s Natural Health Articles that are known to nourish your brain:
  • Organic eggs
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Seeds and nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Organic grass-fed beef and chicken
  • Green tea
  • Omega-3 fats (like krill oil)