Sweet Science for a Sweet Tooth – Your Health Detective

Dark chocolate, and the least processed, is the healthiest. Today,raw cacao products have become vogue provided they don’t contain high amounts

of fillers or high fructose corn syrup for instance.

Scientifically
Speaking…

A 2011 Swedish studyfound that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9

grams of this sweet indulgence.

The following shouldprovide you enough “evidence” to indulge in that dark, rich, creamy, decadent delight

without all the guilt.

Chocolate…

 Boosts Heart Health

Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease by as much as 10 percent by some studies.

We know antioxidantsare health-enhancing. Cacao contains antioxidants that are said to work like brushes

to sweep plaque from the arteries.

                One of the reasonsdark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fightingproperties, which reduce cardiovascular risk. NOTE: Remember, moderation,moderation, moderation. For those with chronic inflammatory disorders like Fibromyalgia,

Lupus, Scleroderma, etc., the chocolate is healthy but the sugar is NOT!

Fills You Up

Because it’s rich infiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you’ll eat less,according to Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention

Research Center as stated to The Huffington Post. Regular chocolate

eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of

snacking on “11 other things first” he said.

Dark chocolate doesthe trick much better than milk chocolate, according to a small study from theUniversity of Copenhagen, and may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty andfatty foods. So, when you have that craving to snack, maybe dark chocolate isn’t

such a bad idea?

May Fight Diabetes

A small Italian study from 2005found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, therebyreducing risk for diabetes. NOTE: Again, caution is paramount if you’re adiabetic or have a blood sugar imbalance. Monitor your blood sugar carefully tosee what type and quantity of dark chocolate is best suited for your body and

your blood sugar levels.

Protects Your Skin

Chocolate doesn’tnecessarily cause breakouts; dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. Thetype of antioxidants, called flavonoids, found in dark chocolate offer someprotection from UV damage from the sun. And no, that does not mean you can skipthe sunscreen! Many times I’ve found that it isn’t the chocolate, per se, thatcauses breakouts but the added fillers…you get what you pay for, buy quality

dark chocolate.

Can Quiet Coughs

Can’t stop coughing?An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the

vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs.

                In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists wereinvestigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrupscontaining codeine, which can have risky side effects including dependency and

liver damage.

Boosts Mood

There’s no denyingthat indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while feels great. Enjoyingfood is part of enjoying life, points out wellness editor, Dr. Patricia

Fitzgerald. Chocolate eaters also report feeling less stressed.

Chocolate containsserotonin, a natural anti-depressant, thereby stimulating endorphin productionto create feelings of happiness and well-being. On study found that meltingchocolate in the mouth produced feelings of pleasure longer than passionate

kissing; explaining why many people reach for chocolate when they’re depressed.

Improves Blood Flow

Cocoa hasanti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin,which can improve blood flow and circulation. Note: If you feel cardiac stressor possibly symptoms of a heart attack, don’t reach for the chocolate, reach

for the aspirin and get medical care immediately.

Researchers at JohnsHopkins University found dark chocolate can protect the brain after a stroke by

its ability to shield nerve cells from further damage.

Helps Fight Cancer

Several studiesfound chocolate to be one of the best cancer-fighting foods along with foodslike red wine, garlic, and tea – it works by inhibiting cell division and

reducing inflammation.

Good for Oral Health

Research confirms
that the theobromine in chocolate prevents tooth decay by eliminating streptococcus mutans, a bacterium found
in the oral cavity that contributes to tooth decay and infections.

Contributes to Health and Longevity

A Dutch studyfollowed 200 men over 20 years and found that the ones who consumed largeamounts of chocolate lived longer and had lower overall disease rates than

those who ate little or no chocolate.

A study of the KunaTribe in Panama, conducted by Harvard University, found similar findings inhealth and longevity as those in the Dutch study. The Kuna consumed largeamounts of raw cacao daily and they had lower overall diseases and a longer

life expectancy than neighboring tribes who did not consume as much raw cacao.

If you need furtherevidence to make your personal case for consuming chocolate, the world’slongest-lived person, Jeanne Louise Calment, lived to the age of 122 andascribed her longevity in part to her consumption of 2.5 pounds of dark chocolate

weekly.

Improves Vision

Because of chocolate’sability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at theUniversity of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate mayalso increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost –something baby-boomers can especially use, wait until you share this with your

optometrist!

Boosts Brain Power

That boost of bloodflow to the brain created by cocoa’s flavanols seems to make people feel moreawake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting

tasks – darn, wish I would have known that before taking my finals!

Researchers atCalifornia’s Salk Institute found that epicatechin, a chemical in dark

chocolate, improved memory in mice.

High in Nutrients

Cacao is higher inmagnesium than any other plant. We know magnesium is an important mineral thathelps in regulation of the digestive, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.In modern economies many people are magnesium deficient – adding magnesium-rich

dark chocolate can help improve overall health.

The Way I See It…

If you needed any more reasons to justify consumption of chocolate, this article provides scientificvalidation for us to consider the type of chocolate we consume and the amounts

necessary for long term health benefits…ah, sweet science to the rescue!

Dr. Gloria is a doctor of natural health and nutrition, a certified
dental professional, a homeopath, a certified dietary supplement counselor, an
EcoErgonomist© and Wholistic Rejuvenist©.

She is internationally respected as an authoritative influence in
uncovering the causes, effects and drug-free solutions for leaky gut syndrome,
fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, digestive and chemically-induced immune system
disorders, and disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment.

She is respectfully known by the thousands of clients she’s
assisted as their “health detective” (and is host of a radio show by the same
name) because she leaves no clue uncovered in order to provide her clients and
readers with individualized protocols to rebuild their health.

As an EcoErgonomist, environmental health consultant, health
journalist and medical researcher, she teaches, lectures and consults worldwide
with doctors and dentist for pre- and post-procedural protocols, nutraceutical
companies for product formulation and consumer education, and the spa industry
for product formulation, environmental modifications to create green spaces,
and for client educations services.

She maintains a private practice – consulting in nutritional
biochemistry, detoxification, environmental health, nutrition and lifestyle
modifications. She designs custom wellness plans (nationally and
internationally) via telephone and Skype™ (she even places the call within 13
countries) or onsite at her office in Gig Harbor, WA (just south of Seattle).

Dr. Gloria has written over 1,700 articles for newspapers, health
magazines  and blogs, and trade journals
published in the U.S., Canada, South America and Asia. She is author of 13
books and 8 courses for post-graduate education.

As a keynote presenter and seminar leader she speaks on varied
disciplines of wholistic health as well as post-graduate courses she created to
become Certified Wholistic Rejuvenists (CWR). Her work has taken her throughout
the U.S. and to more than eleven countries. Her Wholistic Skin & Body
Rejuvenation (WSBR) courses are accredited in medical schools and teaching
hospitals in Europe, Latin American and Asia.

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-chocolate.html

Leave a Comment