Health Benefits of Chocolate
Oct02

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Recently, chocolate has been getting a lot of attention not only as a yummy snack food, but also for its benefits to our mental and physical (not to mention sexual) well being. It seems that the special bean the god Quetzalcoatl gave to the Aztecs more than 800 years ago is rather magical indeed. Chocolate, or more specifically the Cacao fruit, first appears in historical records in Egypt in the 16th century BC. Little is know of its use in Egyptian culture, but we know that the Mayan culture used it and called it xocoatl, from which we get its current name. The Aztecs and Mayans believed that their ancestors brought the Cacao seeds from paradise. This fruit bestowed wisdom and power upon all who ate it or, in most cases…drank it. It’s suspected that the Cacao tree originated in the Amazon region. Chocolate for Heart Health As reported in the article Chocolate and Cardiovascular Health, chocolate’s rich flavonoid content is being recommended by medical professionals for heart health. The phenols contained in one chocolate bar are comparable to those in a glass of wine or cup of green tea. The article states, “Chocolate protects the development of heart disease by oxidizing LDLs (bad cholesterol) which protects them from damaging artery walls and helps reduce the chance of heart disease.” The article cites many studies that support the heart healthy benefits of chocolate. But this tasty treat has other health benefits. Other Health Benefits of Chocolate Among the more recognized health benefits of chocolate are those associated with its antioxidant content. In the article My Favorite Power Foods & Superfoods”, the author states that “Flavonoids reduce risk of heart disease and help clean the bloodstream and arteries of fat and other toxins. Cocoa also helps keep blood pressure down and regulates blood flow, not unlike a low dose of aspirin.” In her article Chocolate for Coughs and Other Medicinal Purposes, writer Annmarie Kostyk, cites many studies related to chocolate’s health beneifts, including its effectiveness as a cough syrup for children, its use in restoring memory in Alzheimer’s patients and its potential use in fighting cancer. All this and it tastes great too! Chocolate for Love Just when you thought chocolate couldn’t possibly get any better…we bring you a few of its less “technical” aspects. Chocolate has long been recognized as a natural aphrodisiac. It is known to regulate blood pressure, which can help with sexual performance and it releases endorphins. As one article puts it…”[chocolate] improves circulation, stimulates the nervous system and enhances the production of endorphins in the brain.” That’s a powerful combination for love. But chocolate has...

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Green Tea and Health
Sep13

Green Tea and Health

by Valerie Brooks Green tea is no longer confined to the beverage arena. Its myriad medicinal and curative effects include acting as an immunity booster, offering anti-cancer properties, improving insulin sensitivity, assisting with balancing cholesterol levels, and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. To reap the most benefit from this wonder leaf, a host of products now contain green tea. While its ingestible form is usually seen in powder (great for mixing into beverages) or extract, which may come in liquid or pill form, now you can wear it, eat it, or even brush your teeth with it. Skincare Proactiv Solution Green Tea Moisturizer–very lightweight, great for acne-prone skin H2OPlus–offers an array of antioxidant products that includes Japanese green tea: Antioxidant Face Complex–hydrating formula for sensitive skin Urban Defense Lotion–Neutralizes free radical production using Japanese green tea antioxidants, which are reportedly 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E. Green Tea Antioxidant Serum–helps premature aging by protecting skin from environmental damage. Green Tea Skin Natural Anti-Aging Cream–this paraben and petroleum-free product uses green tea for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and rejuvenating properties. Haircare Abba Pure Shine Conditioner–this vegan and sulfate-free conditioner is ideal for dull, coarse hair, and uses a blend of green tea, tropical fruit extracts, and banana. June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber Conditioning Shampoo–this is a gentle shampoo with powerful antioxidant properties that is ideal for chemically treated hair. Aubrey Organics Green tea Finishing Cream Rinse–featuring organic green tea and nettle extract, this detangler is ideal for oily hair. Edibles Sencha Naturals Green Tea Bars–these gluten and wheat-free desserts contain 225 milligrams of polyphenols (potent antioxidant compounds) along with rice, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Three flavors include original, pear, and lemongrass. Green Tea Mints–these sugar and caffeine-free treats contain a blend of teas, botanicals, and mint oils create these innovative mints in original, pear, lemongrass, and lychee. The Cozy Tea Cart–An excellent comprehensive site offering a variety of green tea foods from a wide array of brands. www.thecozyteacart.com Tea-Infused Chocolates–From Keiko, these indulgent organic treat double packs the antioxidant benefits because of the tea and the chocolate. Caramel Green Tea Chews–these organic sweet delights are a great alternative to a sugar-filled treat. Tea-Infused Caramels–offered in cranberry or gingerbread orange, these hand-made fudge-like deserts melt in your mouth. Toothpastes Dr. Ken’s Toothpaste–offered in a variety of flavors, Dr. Ken’s Toothpastes are infused with green tea. Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste–this fluoride-free toothpaste uses tea tree oil, neem, and baking soda. Jason’s Tea Tree Toothpaste–with tea tree oil to prevent plaque and decay, this natural toothpaste also has a kick...

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All About Pomegranate for Health
Sep13

All About Pomegranate for Health

The World’s Oldest Fruit Considered the world’s oldest fruit, the pomegranate is a long way from extinction. In fact, it’s making a major comeback as one of our healthiest and most versatile foods…and considered by many to be one of the Earth’s healthiest things. First, the delightful red juice of this timeless fruit is one of our best sources of antioxidants and many of the new anti-oxidant “red drinks” coming onto the market include pomegranate in their formulations. You can also find pomegranate juice with nothing but…pomegranate juice in it. One great source is POM juice. But pomegranate is finding its way into more than just anti-oxidant juices. Now you can find pomegranate in skin care products. This is not only because anti-oxidants are great for the skin, but also because pomegranate has special rejuvenating and healing qualities all it own. The skin of this fruit can be dried and used in tinctures as an antiseptic spray and it makes a natural sunblock. Here are a couple of tips about these special uses: antiseptic tincture pigment problems Plus here’s an article about Spa Trends and pomegranate spa treatments: Spa Trends. This article offers a look at several new pomegranate beauty products, from skin creams to soap: www.thecancerblog.com And here’s a jaw dropping discovery regarding the healing properties of pomegranate seed oil: www.ats.org Any way you squeeze it, the pomegranate — from the seeds to the juice to the skin — is abundant with health and healing powers. Don’t miss this...

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Healthy Coffees with Antioxidants, Low Acidity and SuperFoods
Jul28

Healthy Coffees with Antioxidants, Low Acidity and SuperFoods

The coffee business is just too lucrative to let a thing like “increased awareness on health” take a bite out of it. So coffee makers have turned their resources to making healthier beans and enriching the coffee experience at the same time. The trend toward health-enhancing coffees is on the rise. Here are some of the early entries… Move Over Green Tea, Antioxidant-Rich Coffee is Here In a patented process that involves extracting the antioxidants from coffee beans before roasting, then adding them back in after roasting, Cafe Sanora has managed to substantially increase the amount of antioxidants in their coffee. According to their laboratory tests, their coffee has more antioxidants than most green tea. Only the highest quality green and white tea can match it. Although they don’t publish the ORAC values of their coffees (the official numeric indicator of antioxidants in foods and beverages), they do make direct comparisons and direct claims about their enhanced products. The most important part is that you’re getting good, rich, Arabic coffee without any guilt at all, so drink as much as you like. You can find Cafe Sanora at many health food chains across the country (search for a store near you at their site) or purchase online at worldpantry.com. Where Do You Hide Your Mushrooms? Coffee with Ganoderma Lucidum The health effects of Ganoderma Lucidum, a red mushroom used for thousands of years in Asia, are not in dispute. Many studies show the benefits of mushrooms like Cordyceps, Rishi, and Ganoderma to the immune system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and more (one article on Ganoderma can be found here). The trick is how they put this amazing substance into coffee! Well, it turns out that coffee laced with this particular mushroom powder tastes like…well, coffee. The slightly bitter and earthy taste of the mushroom is almost completely disguised by the coffee taste and makes a perfect combination. Now, when you sip a cup of Gano Cafe, you’re getting more than coffee. You’re getting one of the healthiest botanical substances known in alternative health circles. You can find Gano Cafe online at healthy 4 life. Soft on the Stomach, Low Acid Coffee If you’re one of those who can’t drink too much coffee due to its high acidity levels, you’re in for some good news. Researchers at the U.C. Davis have discovered a way to lower the acid levels of coffee, thus making the drink more alkaline and, consequently, more healthy. Most of us need to increase our pH levels, as blood levels that are more alkaline are also more resistent to disease, including cancer. Besides coffee, foods like meat,...

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Three “Bad” Foods that are Actually Good for You (in moderation)

There is so much manipulation of the press and scientific community these days around health and wellness. Big corporate interests want you to believe what supports their corporate agenda and they’ll manipulate the facts surrounding your foods. Certain foods end up getting a bad reputation for being “bad for you” when they are really good for you if eaten in “normal” quantities. Here are three good foods that have suffered from bad press: Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition, containing protein, vitamins, minerals and high amounts of beta carotene. They also contain natural lecithin. Eating fresh, organic, free-range eggs (not those hormone-laced factory farmed eggs) a couple times per week is a great way to add healthy nutrition to your diet. Coffee: Yes, coffee contains caffeine, which can be bad in excess. But normal amounts of coffee can provide you with high levels of antioxidants and minerals and caffeine in moderation can be helpful to your circulation, skin condition, and helps reduce inflammation. How much is too much? Two small cups or one larger sized cup per day is probably healthy for most people. Oh, and drink the good stuff, grind it yourself, avoid milk products, and use a natural filter (not a bleached one). No decaf and go easy on the sugar. Animal Fat: Getting moderate levels of fat from animal sources (if you’re not a vegetarian for moral reasons, of course) is one of the best things you can do for your health. This includes moderate amounts of butterfat, and meats. Just make sure you’re getting quality, organically raised, hormone-free products…and don’t over-cook it. Again, eating animal fats a 2-3 times per week is a healthy choice. Avoid dairy fats (milk, cream, cheese) unless you can find a trustworthy source of raw, unpasteurized, fresh milk products. Even then, keep your consumption of these to a...

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Green Drink Price Comparison Chart

UPDATED January 4, 2009 Click to Enlarge Graph NOTES: This chart uses the manufacturer’s published price of a 30-day supply (or equivalent) whenever possible. Most manufacturers offer discounts on quantity purchases, so be sure to check for any specials that might be available. See our Coupons page for...

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