Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘www.chewcolat.com’

Which Spices Fight Inflammation?

Which Spices Fight Inflammation?

Once in a while I come across a study that’s so juicy I have to share it.

A group of researchers at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Pennsylvania State set up a brilliant experiment. We’ve known that ounce per ounce, herbs and spices have some of the greatest antioxidant activities known. But that’s only ever been tested in a test tube. Before we can ask if an herb or spice has real health benefits, it is first necessary to determine whether it is bioavailable — whether the active ingredients are even absorbed. This had never been done, until now.

The researchers could have taken the easy route and just measured the change in antioxidant level in one’s bloodstream before and after consumption, but the assumption that the appearance of antioxidant activity in the blood is an indication of bioavailability has a weakness. Maybe more gets absorbed than we think but doesn’t show up on antioxidant tests because it gets bound up to proteins or cells. So the researchers attempted to measure physiological changes in the blood. They were interested in whether absorbed compounds would be able to protect white blood cells from an oxidative or inflammatory injury—whether herb and spice consumption would protect the strands of our DNA from breaking when confronted by free radicals. I cover the DNA findings in my video, Spicing Up DNA Protection. They also wondered if the consumption might alter cellular inflammatory responses in the presence of a physiologically relevant inflammatory insult. What does this all mean?

The researchers took a bunch of people and had each of them eat different types of spices for a week. There were many truly unique things about this study, but one was that the quantity of spices that study subjects consumed was based on the usual levels of consumption in actual food. For example, the oregano group was given a half teaspoon a day—a practical quantity that people might actually eat once in a while. At the end of the week, they drew blood from the dozen or so people they had adding, for example, black pepper to their diets that week, and compared the effects of their blood to the effects of the blood of the dozen subjects on cayenne, or cinnamon, or cloves, or cumin. They had about ten different groups of people eating about ten different spices. Then they dripped their plasma (the liquid fraction of their blood) onto human white blood cells in a Petri dish that had been exposed to an inflammatory insult. The researchers wanted to pick something really inflammatory, so they chose oxidized cholesterol (which is what we’d get in our bloodstream after eating something like fried chicken. If oxidized cholesterol is a new concept for you, please check out its role in heart disease progression in my video Arterial Acne). So they jabbed the white blood cells with oxidized cholesterol and measured how much tumor necrosis factor (TNF) they produced in response.

TNF is a powerful inflammatory cytokine, infamous for the role it plays in autoimmune attacks like inflammatory bowel disease. Compared to the blood of those who ate no spices for a week, black pepper was unable to significantly dampen the inflammatory response. What about any of the other spices? The following significantly stifled the inflammatory response:

  • cloves
  • ginger
  • rosemary
  • turmeric

And remember, they weren’t dripping the spices themselves on these human white blood cells, but the blood of those who ate the spices. So the results represents what might happen when cells in our body are exposed to the levels of spices that circulate in our bloodstream after normal daily consumption—not megadoses in some pill. Just the amount that makes our spaghetti sauce, pumpkin pie, or curry sauce taste good.

There are drugs that can do the same thing. Tumor necrosis factors are such major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases that there are TNF-blocking drugs on the market for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis, which collectively rake in more than $20 billion a year ($15,000–$20,000 per person per year). At that price, the side effects better be hugs and rainbows. But no, the drugs carry a black label warning because they can cause things like cancer and heart failure. If only there was a cheaper, safer solution.

The spice curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is substantially cheaper and safer, but does it work outside of a test tube? There’s evidence that it may help in all of the diseases for which TNF blockers are currently being used. So with health-care costs and safety being such major issues, this golden spice turmeric may help provide the solution.

Mushrooms (Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation), nuts (Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell), and purple potatoes (Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes) may also reduce inflammation.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available atNutritionFacts.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

 

Advertisements

How to Be Happier Within 5 Working Days

How to Be Happier Within 5 Working Days

  Why wait to be happy until the weekend hits or the next vacation beckons? It’s possible to feel happy Monday through Friday. Let me chalk out a simple Happiness Plan for you. It is almost ridiculously easy to follow, because it requires you to do nothing but one feel-happy thing each day of the week.
Monday: Decide to do your health just ONE favor. Think of something you have been neglecting or not doing for a while. Avoiding exercise, perhaps? No time for the gym, no energy to go jogging either. Fine. How about going up and down the stairs for just 10 minutes today? A few stretches at your desk would work, too. A spot of exercise will make a remarkable difference in the way you feel. Check out this University of Bristol research study, which specifically states how exercising on a working day makes you happier (and more productive at work).
Tuesday: Do some good today. Helping others triggers the feel-good hormone in our own systems. This good deed does not need to be time consuming or expensive–in fact, you need not even step out of office to try and help someone! How about bringing a batch of cookies for your coworkers, paying someone a genuine compliment, offering to help lighten their workload… ideas abound. The important thing is to think of something that will make someone’s day, and then do it! A British study has established that kindness leads to happiness: so now you have a science-backed reason to be nicer!
Wednesday: Today is No Negativity Day! Resolve, this morning, to think positive thoughts and wave away everything that is negative. So, no talking behind someone’s back, no criticizing and complaining, no “can’t and won’t.” Just for today, be someone who makes a space feel happier and more positive just by being in it. Smile more, and while you are at it, let go of the grudges you have been carrying around in your heart.
Thursday: Get close to Nature today. Routine work life has wrenched us away from the beauty of butterflies and flowers, trees and sky. Reconnect! Take a stroll in an open space, perhaps visit a plant nursery, or wake up early to hear the birds chirp and the dawn paint the sky gold.
Friday: Meet up with a friend or five! The weekend awaits, with its gift of rejuvenating pleasures. Tonight, just let your hair down and treat yourself to the company of your friends. A research study done at the London School of Economics measured happiness levels among people when they spent time with their parents, children and friends. The results: people were found to be happiest in the company of their friends. Chart your own happiness plan step by one little step.
By Shubhra Krishan
Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  HealthyHighway is a healthy lifestyle company that offers healthy lifestyle solutions for a Happy Healthy You! We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them?  As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for an optimal lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!    Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happier Healthier Life! Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 
ring ~ 770-393-1284
skype ~ healthyhighway

About Us…

 HH - Logo

Lifesyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Each person is unique and deserves a personalized approach when it comes to living healthy.  So, have you ever wondered what’s going on inside your body energetically?

A Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA) evaluation detects energy changes in the body and accesses data about the body’s functional status. This technology utilizes Chinese meridian theory and modern quantum physics. MSA provides extraordinary new perspective on the state of the body’s energetic health. A MSA evaluation will show if your body’s systems are balanced energetically and what support is needed if a system is unbalanced.  What you eat, what you actually absorb from your food and supplements, what products you use ~ on your body, in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters! I believe that excellent health ~ not just physical, but spiritual, emotional, relational, and mental health ~ is found along your journey, not just at your destination.

Would you like to…

  • Stop struggling with health problems?
  • Discover why you just don’t feel good?
  • Receive guidance on how to restore and retain your vitality?
  • Achieve your health goals and feel better?  

Contact me  to schedule your MSA BioEnergetic scan and discover your body’s biological preferences tailored specifically to assist you achieve a more balanced energetic state! Don’t live in Atlanta?  No problem.   We do virtual coaching worldwide! 

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!
 Leesa - Photo for linked in and website 2016
Leesa A. Wheeler, CMSAT
Career & Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now!
 Available on AmazonBarnes&NobleGooglePlayiTunes

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org, NYR Organic

coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An important note…

The information on  the HealthyHighway blog and website is for educational, encouragement, and empowerment purposes only.
It is not intended and should not be considered as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed health or medical professional.  
Leesa does not practice medicine nor does she diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication.  
Many pages in HealthyHighway.org’s web site feature links to other sites, some of which are operated by companies unrelated to HealthyHighway.org.  HealthyHighway.org has no control over the content or availability of any linked site.
Any reproduction, duplication, or distribution in any form is expressly prohibited.  

      Copyright 2004 ~ 2016 ~ All rights reserved.       

Leesa Wheeler, CMSAT ~ Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

5 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation

5 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation

 

Now that summer has officially started, you are probably thinking about, or even planning, a summer vacation. If you don’t have the time to take a real vacation, you might find yourself getting more stressed and sad that you can’t take one.   However, the longer days of summer sunlight and the warmer weather mean that you can still take time to relax and unwind without going on a “real” vacation. Here are some ways to clear your mind by taking a “mental” vacation without having to wander too far from home.

Go for a walk or a hike. As I have written here many times, one of the ways I clear my mind is by walking. Walking is not only good for me physically, but I find that it reduces the stress and any sadness I might be feeling. It gets your endorphins going, and by being out in nature you get to focus on the beauty around you. Without even realizing it, you have refocused and gotten your mind off of the things bothering you. This is especially true if you walk in a new or different place, it feels like you have actually gotten away.

Have a music marathon. When I was away at college, our library had soundproof rooms that you could reserve and LP’s and cassettes you could check out. Whenever I was feeling stressed out, or studying for mid-terms or finals, I would go there, pick whatever music matched my mood, or the mood I was hoping to get in and I would spend hours just listening to music. I could listen completely undisturbed and just focus on the music. While my life is much too busy now to do this, incorporating music into my life whenever I can provides me with mini mental breaks. While in the car I listen to my iPod or satellite radio, whenever I am in the house I put music on instead of TV. Singing along is an added stress reducer. And, whenever possible, I just go in a room by myself or even sit or lie outside under a shady tree and listen to music.

Host a comedy movie festival. That old saying, “laughter is the best medicine” really is true. There’s nothing like a great, big belly laugh to make you feel better and forget all of your troubles. Get your friends together and plan a night of it. Have them choose some of their favorites and make sure that everybody turns off or puts away their cell phones and tablets and just focuses on the movie.

Plan a game night or day. Getting in touch with your inner child will clear out all of the negative thoughts and get rid of the stress you are feeling. Try to schedule monthly game nights or game days and play some of your favorite board games, card games or word games. If you want to plan something a little more ambitious, arrange a play “date” with your friends and family and go miniature golfing, bowling, or to a local amusement park.

Unplug with nature. Take the time to connect with nature and unplug. Sit in your garden or go to a garden, go star gazing on a warm summer evening. If you live near the beach or a lake, go and listen and watch the waves as they hit the shore. Just observe the sights and sounds of summer and you will feel like you had a vacation.

By Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 

Natural Remedies for Radiation and Toxic Overload

Natural Remedies for Radiation and Toxic Overload

Our three sources of oxygen — food, water and air — are polluted and bound with toxins. All forms of pollution starve our bodies of essential oxygen.

When it comes to nuclear radiation, we are all guinea pigs in a risky experiment. Here are a few ideas that may help us adapt and survive radiation and toxic exposure. We need to remember that nothing is 100 percent guaranteed, and supplies of many of these foods and supplements may already be in short supply.

There are a number of foods that can better help our bodies tolerate the effects of pollution and radiation. Keep in mind that the kidneys are one of the first organs to suffer from radiation damage. Eating lower on the food chain minimizes our chemical intake.

The seed buckwheat is high in rutin, helps to protect against radiation and stimulates new bone marrow production. The mucilaginous fibers in seaweed (such as kelp, kombu, arame, nori, sea lettuce, dulse, wakame and hiziki) help to prevent the reabsorption of radioactive strontium 90, barium, cadmium and radium by binding with them and carrying them out of the body. Sea vegetables are also high in natural iodine, which can load the thyroid, so that radiation is not absorbed. Eat two tablespoons daily for protection and be careful of overdoing. Be sure seaweeds are from clean waters like http://www.seaweed.net, or http://www.seaveg.com.

Following the bombing of Nagasaki, a group of surviving macrobiotic doctors and their patients avoided radiation sickness by eating brown rice, miso soup, seaweed Hokkaido pumpkin, and sea salt and were told to avoid sugar and white flour products. These patients did not get leukemia, though the hospital was only one mile from the bombsite!
High chlorophyll foods like wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella and barley grass strengthen cells, transport oxygen, help to detoxify the blood and liver as well as helping to neutralize polluting elements and stimulate RNA production. One can take 3-5 grams daily of these superfoods. Sulfur-rich vegetables in the Brassicceae Family like broccoli, cabbage, kale, radish, Brussels sprouts, arugula, rutabaga, turnip, Bok Choy and mustard greens combine with toxins and help to prevent free radical damage. Also rich in protective sulfur include garlic, onions, and beans.

High pectin foods like carrots, sunflower seeds and apples help to keep pollutants from being assimilated. High beta-carotene foods (like green leafy vegetables, carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes) help promote healthier immunity and cellular protection. Unpasteurized sauerkraut helps promote healthy intestinal flora. Garlic keeps radioactive isotopes from being absorbed.

Radiation sickness can also contribute to the development of anemia, so green foods and beets can all help build the blood. Nutritional yeast, high in B vitamins binds, absorbs and carries heavy metals out of our systems. After the fact, foods that are rich in nucleic acids can help us to rebuild and include spirulina, chlorella, nutritional yeast and bee pollen. Learn to identify and eat some of the wild edible plants from unpolluted areas such as chickweed, dandelion, malva and violets.

Aloe vera gel (Aloe vera) has been found to help heal radiation burns more quickly by its content of biogenic stimulators that encourage skin repair.

Burdock root (Arctium lappa) helps to neutralize and remove toxins from the body. During the Industrial Revolution, burdock was recommended as medicine to help people cope with the increased pollution.

Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) improves the function of our body’s organs elimination process. Consider how this plant has done a good job for itself adapting to environmental pollutants..

Eleuthero herb (Eleutherococcus senticosus) can help alleviate fatigue, ameliorate symptoms from chemical and radiation exposure and lessen the effects of stress.

Ginseng root (Panax ginseng) helps one to decrease the side effects of radiation and recover more quickly its exposure.

Green and black tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) are antioxidant, immune stimulant, and contain radioprotective agents.

Milk thistle seed (Silybum marianum) helps protect the body from chemical exposure, environmental illness and liver damage.

Nettles herb (Urtica dioica) cleanses and strengthens the kidneys as it builds the blood.

Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperita) can reduce nausea from radiation exposure.

Red clover blossom (Trifolium pratense) improves health in general, helping all the organs of elimination function more optimally.

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) have been found to bolster the immune system after radiation exposure.

Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) improves the function of the kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, intestines and skin thus aiding the body’s natural cleansing process.

Supplements to help one better cope with environmental pollutants include antioxidants. Vitamin A and beta-carotene improve tissue strength and decrease wound healing time. The B complex can improve stress and fatigue. Vitamin C gives protection against a wide range of pollutants, reduces allergy symptoms, improves healing time and promotes detoxification. Strontium-90 competes with calcium in the body and depletes vitamin D supplies in the body, so vitamin D supplementation may be helpful. Selenium, helps protect one from heavy toxicity (and is found in Brazil nuts, garlic, green and black tea). Zinc is needed for B and T cell production. It also helps in the elimination of aluminum, cadmium, copper and lead. Glutathione is very protective against environmental pollutants. L-cysteine helps the liver breakdown chemicals. Calcium helps protect the body from absorbing radioactive materials and magnesium helps prevent the uptake of strontium 90. Bee pollen is extremely nutritive and reduces the side effects from radium and cobalt 60. Zeolite clay helps to remove heavy metals and radiation, binding to toxins in the bloodstream and helping them to be eliminated.

Epsom salt baths (1 pound per bath) can also be used to help draw radiation and toxins out of the body. Get a water filtering system for the entire household. Houseplants that are used to reduce indoor pollution include Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos and Mother-In-Law Tongue, English Ivy, Gerber Daisy, Peace Lily, Spider plants, and Janet Craig.

(Leesa recommends Chews4Health!  Chews4Health contains 4 seaweed/sea vegetables – Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwack, and Nori!   Plus it tastes great and it is so convenient!  Learn more at www.chews4health.com/Leesa)
 

Chocolate: Fact vs. Fiction

Chocolate: Fact vs. Fiction

A new study reported in WebMD leaves health professionals questioning results. First off, the study was conducted by Hershey Company (ah what?) and published in Chemistry Central Journal. The study compares the total flavonol and polyphenol content as well as antioxidant activity content of cocoa powder and dark chocolate vs. superfoods like acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate.

Researchers found a higher level of antioxidant activity in cocoa powder than some of the other antioxidant-laden superfoods to which it was compared. But a review of the story and study on Health News Review brings up some important questions. For example, most chocolate sold in the U.S. is nothing more than sugary candy, including Hershey’s candy bars. And even more importantly, serving size matters. If you eat an entire candy bar, whether it’s dark chocolate or not, expect an expanded waistline, rather than the benefits of antioxidants.


Separate Dark Chocolate Fact From Fiction

 1. It’s Cocoa Not Dark Chocolate That Has Antioxidants

The story in WebMD did make a clear distinction between milk chocolate and dark chocolate when it comes to health benefits. But the fact of the matter is that it’s much more than just milk chocolate versus dark chocolate. Dark chocolate itself doesn’t supply the antioxidant value; it’s the cocoa powder that it’s made with. So in order to get the antioxidant benefits outlined in the study, there must be a high percentage of cocoa. The chocolate should be Fair Trade certified, organic, and be at least 70 percent cocoa. Avoid any filling like peanut butter, which could be laced with hydrogenated oils.

2. How Small is the Serving Size?

The serving size is incredibly important here. It’s normally a tiny square of chocolate within the chocolate bar, and depending on the size of the chocolate bar, there can be between 4 and 12 servings. If you’re not careful you can really overdo this, meaning that the saturated fats and sugar content can outweigh any benefits that you might have enjoyed beforehand. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, authors of YOU: On a Diet, answered some important questions on the specifics of dark chocolate consumption. According to the article in the Sun Setinel, you don’t need a whole bar to get a healthy dose of antioxidants. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are so powerful that a daily piece the size of a Hershey’s Kiss can lower your blood pressure. While this is an ideal size comparison, it’s not a good quality comparison as written above.

3. The Price Is Much Different with Real Dark Chocolate

When compared to a conventional candy chocolate bar found in the candy aisle, real dark chocolate with known health benefits is much more expensive. Projections for world food prices show that the cost of chocolate is going up, up, up and real dark chocolate, already averages between $3 and $8 per bar.

4. Find the Benefits of Cocoa in Other Places

Sometimes a candy bar isn’t the best place to find the benefits of this known antioxidant. One of my favorite places to find it is in whole leaf tea. Use a French press to seep the tea leaves for at least 7 minutes. Add a touch of cream and raw sugar and you have the essence of delicious dark chocolate that’s much easier on your waistline. You can also enjoy cocoa by adding the unsweetened raw cocoa powder to a smoothie in the morning.

(Leesa recommends Chewcolat!  It’s the best of both worlds,  amazing acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate found in www.chews4health.com/Leesa and just the right amount of natural dark chocolate!  Learn more and place your order at www.chewcolat.com!)

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: