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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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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Snacking for Better Health
Aug13

Snacking for Better Health

by Christopher Van Buren Are you a snac-aholic? Well, you’re not alone. Snacking is where most Americans get all the worst things in their diets…like too much sugar, processed foods, fats and chemicals. Snack foods are known for being the worst foods health-wise…and our weakness for snacks is making us sick! So instead of fighting the snacking impulse, try going with it…but substitute healthy snacks for the unhealthy ones. Here are some tips: Nix the Chips If your preference is for salt-and-fat, then you probably have a weakness for things like potato chips and french fries. Ahhhh, that’s it, isn’t it! Can’t resist those hot, salty morsels. Well, try substituting some healthy ones instead. One idea is to use popcorn. Pop some corn in a little bit of olive oil or use a hot-air popper. Now, instead of loading the popcorn with butter, try using a healthy topping. There are several ideas, including sprinkling seaweed on top…but there is also a company that makes a healthy popcorn topping, called SuperFood Seasoning. You can find it at Pot of Gold Products. Stop the Sweet Tooth Not the salt-and-fat type? You’re probably more into sugar then. Am I right? Gotta have that brownie or chocolate bar for a snack every day? Well, you’re like a lot of people. So here are some ideas: First, make sure you have tons of fruit around at all times. Now, it’s true that a lot of fruit has fructose in it and that’s fattening…but it’s a lot better than eating a bag of cookies. The fiber and nutrients in the fruit will help your body and give you more energy and health. Another idea is to use dark chocolate with low sugar content. Get yourself some good dark chocolate and use it to make other snacks. Pure cocoa or high-percentage chocolate products are also very good for you and, while not eliminating sugar, they help you reduce it. The idea is not to try to go cold turkey…but to reduce the amount of sugar you get, while still satisfying your craving. Don’t Feed Them…It Just Encourages Them Ok…now to the hard part. If you have overwhelming cravings for your snack foods, be they sweet or savory cravings — it’s possible you need a cleanse. If you have not cleansed your body (colon and digestive tract mostly), then the craving you feel could very well be those vermin inside your body telling you they’re hungry for more. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let them get the best of you. Get a good cleanse and make it work for you…then reduce the snacking or even eliminate...

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Geotherapy: Using the Earth for Beauty (SuperFood Clay Mask)

Geotherapy is the use of clay for therapeutic treatment. It’s not new. For centuries people have used clay for beauty and even prevention against health problems. And who hasn’t heard about the use of therapeutic clay bathes often found in hot springs and famous in the Mediterranean region? The cosmetic benefits of clay is amazing, cleansing the skin and promoting circulation. Rich in minerals such as Manganese, Aluminum, Magnesium, Copper, Titanium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Litium, Selenium, Sodium, Iron, Silicium, Zinc, among others, clay absorbs excess oils and heals acne and deep skin blemishes. A well formulated clay mask, regulates skin production and detoxifies at the same time. It stimulates micro circulation inside the skin cells, promotes micro exfoliation, and rejuvenates the fiber of collagen. Normally the clay masks are wet, but I want to tell you about one that comes dry and includes green superfoods along with geotherapy of clay to provide extra nutrition for the skin. SuperFood Facial Mask by Arido Skincare has all the ingredients in powder, giving long shelf-life to the product, plus your choice of the kind of liquid you’d like to use to moisten it. My favorite? Rose Water. Need I say more? Arido SuperFood Facial Mask has two differents types of clay: the Bentonite (light green), from volcanic areas contains 60% Silicium. The pH is more alkaline, has anti-acne and absorbent properties. And the other one is Kaolim (white) clay, rich in amino acids and minerals that regulates the skin’s pH. It’s rich in oligoelements, has lightening, hydrating, firming, soothing and rejuvenating properties. Now for the superfoods it contains: Kelp: kelp contains more than 50 minerals and 20 amino acids It has firming, mineralizing, and hydrating properties. Organic Whole Stevia Leaf: has healing properties, preventing the skin from scarring. Flaxseed Meal: prevents the skin from loosing water, maintaining hydration. Slippery Elm Bark: heals inflamed, itchy and irritated skin. Maitake: This adaptogenic superfood feeds your cells with nutrients and healing properties, aids circulation and collagen production. Using Arido SuperFood Facial Mask is easy, just 1 level teaspoon in a non-aluminum bowl, add 10 sprays of rose water or until it’s wet and muddy. Apply and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off. Apply the nutritive crème of your choice. The mask can be used once a week. You can order yours directly from Arido at this exclusive...

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Lecithin: SuperFood, Filler or Fraud?

Lecithin is a food ingredient that has been around for years and appears in all sorts of foods, from ice cream to catchup to green drinks. Its use as a food additive is largely because it’s an inexpensive way to provide bulk and smooth creaminess to foods. You’ll find it in many packaged foods that are creamy or saucy. Lecithin is largely a fat that is produced naturally by the body. In many ways, it’s a kind of “protective” fat that helps our bodies repel other “bad fats.” Many feel that our diets lack the proper nutrition for us to produce enough lecithin naturally; and lecithin’s benefits to health and weight loss have made it a popular additive and supplement in protein shakes, food bars, and other health products. Several of the green drink formulas reviewed on this site contain lecithin…and I have generally considered it a “filler” when evaluating green drink formulation on this site. This is not to ignore lecithin’s health benefits, but mostly because lecithin is an inexpensive bulking ingredient. Lecithin is found naturally in many foods, including meats and vegetables, but the lecithin that is used in food and health products usually comes from one of two sources: soy or egg. Overview of Lecithin’s Health Benefits There are many articles on the health benefits of lecithin, so this will be just a quick overview. Some of the more important health benefits reported from lecithin include: assists in memory assists in cellular health and fortification of cell walls assists in fat blocking helps maintain low cholesterol strengthens the arteries and arterior walls helps repair liver damage Overview of Lecithin’s Health Risks The risks of soy lecithin can be summed up into two possible problems: getting too much lecithin getting the wrong kind (or low-quality) lecithin Too much lecithin can result in nausea, vomiting and digestive problems and, like anything, too much lecithin is not healthy. Just how much is too much? That’s difficult to say and there is not enough science to support a definite number. But the general rule of thumb is to keep an eye on your body’s reaction to your intake of this substance. A small amount (say, around 14 grams) on a daily basis is probably ok as a starting point. Getting the wrong kind of lecithin is another issue that requires some investigation on your part. Lecithin in food products generally comes from soy. Soy in the United States is usually a GM (genetically modified) product. So it’s probable that your lecithin is a GM-derived ingredient if the package does not specifically state that it’s organic or non-GM. So the rule...

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Comparing Green Superfood Products, Making Sense of Green Drinks
Nov27

Comparing Green Superfood Products, Making Sense of Green Drinks

UPDATED November 27, 2010 by Christopher Van Buren The number of green superfood powders that have sprouted up lately is astonishing. Now there are more than 150 brands on the market and they all have different formulas and offer different health benefits. But not only are there numerous products…but the number of herbs, veggie powders, grasses and grains used in these mixtures is nearly endless. So this article is your first stop for making some sense of this chaos. Here, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the green drink market and what you should look for in a product. See the list of related articles at the end to take your investigation to the next level. I’ll make an effort to include as many of the green drinks reviewed on this site in this roundup article, so you can place them into the basic categories I have identified: Simple Formulas, Well Rounded Formulas, and Super Robust Formulas. I’ve also added a new category, called Specialized Formulas for those products that are attempting to accomplish something outside the normal range of green drink nutrition. I will add new products to this comparison as I become aware of them and if they are as good or better than those listed here. Key Ingredients Let’s begin with how these products overlap. That is, what are the basic ingredients that all, or most, green drinks include? Most green superfood drinks all contain some amount of the following ingredients: Land Vegetables (such as beets, spinach, grasses, dandelion, etc.) Sea Vegetables (kelp, purple dulse) Algaes (mainly spirulina and chlorella) Probiotics and Enzymes (the type and source differs) Fibrous Meal (flaxseed meal, brown rice solids, apple pectin, lecithin, and others) The amounts of each of these ingredients may vary substantially from product to product. Some are heavy in the algaes while others favor land veggies. I look for at least 2 grams per serving being comprised of land vegetables, sea vegetables, and/or algaes, with a under 2 grams of fibrous meal, which is used like a natural filler to bulk up the product in most cases (not that lecithin or flax meal is not healthy, but I give more points for the better, more expensive, ingredients). Beyond this basic list, products may feature certain ingredients that add flavor or special qualities, such as energy enhancement or intestinal cleansing. Special Additions There’s nothing that says a green drink formula must have healthy herbs and extracts in addition to the key ingredients listed above. A green drink that has excellent quality, but offers only basic ingredients may be highly recommended, even though it falls into the Simple...

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