Health Benifits of Dark Chocolate


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Enjoy a Little Bit Of Dark Chocolate

Everybody has a sweet tooth, and chocolate is a no-fail satisfier. Dark high quality chocolate in particular (not your typical Snickers) has several health benefits that make it a bit more justifiable to snack on!

For many years, chocolate has been viewed as the ultimate comfort food and it has become one of the most popular foods in the world. However, due to the over consumption of this silky, dark, sweet food many health practitioners warn against it. They say that it’s calorie-laden and does little in the way of ‘real’ nutrition.

The question is, though: are there any health benefits to consuming dark chocolate?

Obviously, over-consumption of any food can have a detrimental effect on general health. Recent studies, however, have shown that consumption (in moderation of course) of dark chocolate has many health benefits. So eating about an ounce of dark chocolate every day is actually a good thing!

The first question that many may ask is: why dark chocolate, not milk chocolate?

The reason is that when you compare dark chocolate with milk chocolate, dark chocolate comes out trumps when it comes to nutritional benefit. Dark chocolate has more fiber and nutrients, but less sugars and cholesterol.

It has to be said that, when talking about dark chocolate, we are talking about chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70% and more.

chocolate1The Main Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

  • Lowers cholesterol. In studies, dark chocolate has proven to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). As we know, too much bad cholesterol is not good for us. These studies showed that dark chocolate actually provided health benefits when it comes to cholesterol.
  • It’s good for the heart. Perhaps the most well-known reason, dark chocolate is good for the heart. Dark chocolate contains nutrients that are known to help lower blood sugar and increase blood flow. In addition, anything that lowers cholesterol is good for the heart. Some observational studies have showed that dark chocolate can reduce cardiovascular death in men by up to 50%. These aren’t scientific studies, but given that dark chocolate lowers cholesterol and can lower blood pressure, then these findings are significant.
  • It improves your skin. Dark chocolate contains lots of flavanols, which protect the skin against sun damage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can do without sun cream! However, it does mean that the flavanols will reduce the damage on the skin due to the sun. Therefore, if you are planning a summer vacation, then you could start increasing your intake of dark chocolate a few weeks before your holiday. In general, dark chocolate has a positive effect on the skin.
  • Can prevent diabetes. Insulin is a word associated with diabetes. Many studies have shown that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity. This means that dark chocolate can improve blood sugar levels. Because of its properties it can actually be incorporated in a diabetic diet
  • It’s nutritious. There are many good aspects to chocolate. Of course, chocolate contains calories – up to 242 per 100 grams. This means that it should be eaten in moderation. However, dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium. It is also a good source of fiber, containing about 11 grams.
  • Good source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate also contains a vast amount of antioxidants, which are great for promoting heart health, decreasing risk of infection, and fighting free radicals in the body. The cocoa tree is one of the best source of antioxidants on the planet. This means that its fruits – the cocoa pods also have antioxidant properties. Many studies have shown dark chocolate to have a higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries or Acai berries.

Although dark chocolate has a higher calorie, fat and saturated fat content than milk chocolate, its health benefits are much higher than milk chocolate. If you consider that dark chocolate has 22% more iron, four times more fiber and 242 grams more theobromine (the alkaloid which reduces blood pressure) per half bar than milk chocolate, then the picture becomes clearer that dark chocolate has many health benefits.

It is also worth considering that dark chocolate has less carbs and half the sugar of milk chocolate and it’s easy to see why dark chocolate has many health benefits.

Dark chocolate is definitely the preferred flavor of chocolate when it comes to those midnight snacks or holiday treats. Just make sure you don’t over indulge!

 

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10 ways that exercise can boost your self confidence

thumbs_PPL_001All of us want to feel good about ourselves. When we are confident, we feel better emotionally and mentally and this reflects in a very positive way in our behaviors, and improves our quality of life, everything from personal relationships to our professional endeavors.

Therefore, anything, which can help boost our self-confidence, is good for us. One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence is by exercising regularly. This not only good for self-assurance but has great health benefits.

So how can exercise boost self-confidence?

Here Are 10 Ways How Exercising Boosts Your Confidence  Continue reading “10 ways that exercise can boost your self confidence”

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3 ways to help Overcome Depression

Overcoming Depression

One of the most common frustrations for those suffering from depression is the lack of motivation to do regular daily activities, an inability to find enjoyment and an overwhelming amount of negative thoughts. Depression cannot be simply cured by “mind over matter”, but that does not mean it can’t be treated and improved significantly. Depression is not an illness that one should have to suffer through alone, treatment and therapy can be crucial to the healing process back to better health.

Along with treatment options you may be considering, small additions to your daily routine can prove to have significant effects on lowering depression symptoms over time.

headachePut yourself and your mental health first

It is easy to put your health on the backburner when life gets busy and stressful. Maybe you are hating the office job you have, or you’re fighting with a spouse. When life gets tough, it is easy to neglect our bodies physically and mentally. Look at life in the larger terms and understand how you take care of your health now, will affect you for years down the road. If you are suffering from depression, seeking treatment is the first step back to better quality of life and can truly make all the difference.

 

Get a routine going

It may be hard to keep and be motivated about a routine. However, by setting goals and habits on a daily or weekly basis, you are continuing to improve your condition. Just stick with it. Try to set goals for exercise, if you can go on a jog just three days a week, you’ll be boosting your serotonin, your mood and your physical health. Take time to go outside in nature and get some fresh air. Depression is hard, but getting out of your normal environment can help you get out of your head for a bit. Practicing mindfulness is something everyone should do on a daily basis. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and not the past or future. By doing so, we let go of anxieties we feel about the future or negative thoughts we have about the past, eliminating feelings of worry.

Reach out

Don’t go through this alone. Chances are there are people in your life that love and care about you very much. Although it may seem hard to reach out or socialise, being around people can help you feel more connected. It is easy to isolate yourself when depression is consuming your mind and thoughts, but talking to friends and family can have profound benefits on beginning the process to better health.

Depression is not easy, but also doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Contact a medical professional about the best treatment options for you and consider alternative treatments such as acupuncture.

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Aromatherapy Corner

Just a Little Blissfull Oil

According to Buddist belief,

“bathing removes seven ills and bestows seven blessings”

Take it one step forward by adding just a few drops of an Aromatherapy oil blend –

and bestow a little bliss in your life.

Here are a few everyday oils you can use :

  • Rosemary oil – If you have a touaromatherapy productsgh day ahead or you are preparing for exams  this is great for your concentration and clarity.
  • Eucalyptus oil – for Blocked nose or sinus problems it will unblock conjestion.
  • Lavender oil – this oil is also known as the Florence Nightengale oil a great antiseptic but the all time favourite when you need to unwind at bedtime.

No time for a bath? or simply don’t have one, here’s an easy solution you can use your aromatherpy bled, pat a little aromatherapy oil on your décolletage before you get into the shower. The oils will evaporate in the heat and create a wonderful aroma so you will still get the benefits. Use it as your new perfume tap in on your wrists and behind your ears the therapuetic effects of your Aromatherapy Blend will stay with you all day.

I make Aromatherapy oil Blends that are based on your individualised requirements. Call me for details.

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Aromatherapy for Headaches

Helpful Aromatherapy for Headaches and Migraines

Fill a small glass, 1oz. jar or bottle approximately 2/3 full with Sweet Almond Oil.

Add: • 6 drops Lavender Oil

• 6 drops Clary Sage Oil

• 6 drops Chamomile Oil

• 12 drops Peppermint Oil

• Cover and shake.

Check the fragrance of the oil. • Fill any remaining space in the bottle with Sweet Almond Oil. To use: Apply to temples and areas of pain. Massage lightly. You can also put some on the back of your hand, on the Large Intestine 4 point.

Other aromatherapy oils for headaches: • Lavender • Peppermint • Bay • Melissa • Jasmine •

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Acupuncture and Tinnitus

tinnitisTinnitus is a condition characterized by ringing within the ear when there’s no actual source of sound present. The strength of the associated ringing can vary from a subtle ring to a loud, headache-inducing noise that’s difficult to shake. There may be hope for people with tinnitus with healing methods like acupuncture, that has been proven to relieve symptoms.

It’s estimated that upwards of 10-15 percent of the entire U.S. population suffers from tinnitus. The good news is that most people tolerate it well, with the condition having only a slight affect on their normal daily life. However, about 1-2 percent of the population experience severe cases of tinnitus, affecting their mood, sleep patterns and even their general health.

Medical experts continue to debate over what exactly causes tinnitus. There’s some belief that ototoxic drugs can damage the inner ear, increasing the risk of tinnitus, while others believe its caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain. The general consensus is that long-term exposure to loud noise can lead to this condition, which is why workers are often required to wear earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones when operating heavy machinery.

People who work in the following industries have a higher risk of developing tinnitus:

  •  Construction
  • Air travel
  • Road work/repair crews
  • Musicians

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Clinic of Tinnitus of the Department of Otorlarynology Head and Neck Surgery found acupuncture to offer relief of tinnitus symptoms. Researchers treated 76 patients with either acupuncture or the placebo called sham acupuncture. While both groups experienced an improvement in their symptoms, the group that received acupuncture had a greater improvement in their symptoms, attesting to the effectiveness of acupuncture.

“We conclude that there was significant reduction of the counting of the moments pre and post needling in both the groups, and in the group study the reduction is greater that in the group control,” wrote the study’s researchers.

What you can do to help yourself.

Meditation: Often tinnitis can be brought on by too  much or excess of Yang energy , Because Yang is hot in nature, heat rises and can cause the sensation of pounding in your ears. You can set some time aside for Smiling Inside Healing Meditation which you can find Here THis mediation will bring your Yang energy down and relieve your Tinnitis.

How can acupuncture stop ringing within the ears?  When your body’s natural energies are not flowing correctly, it can lead to a number of diseases and illnesses, including tinnitus. Licensed acupuncturists are trained in correcting these blockages by targeting various acupuncture points within the body’s meridians. When these blockages are fixed, your body can return to its natural balance.

Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16951850

 

 

 

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Skin Brushing to Detox

Skin Brushing
skin brushing
There are many daily practices you can incorporate into your lifes to help improve your health. Helping your body to detoxify is an important part of any wellness regime. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and caring for your skin is one way you can stimulate your body’s natural mechanisms to detoxify.

This is a very useful technique if you are suffering from headaches that have been brought on by overindulgence.

 

Where to Begin

Starting from the feet, brush the soles as well as the upper side using a long-handled natural brush. Using long, sweeping strokes, brush up the legs, covering all of the skin’s surface area, concentrating on the thighs and buttocks.

Put one arm up in the air, allowing gravity to help drain the lymph to the armpit, and sweep down the arm with gentle strokes, drawing towards the armpit.

Brush the torso by brushing towards the heart, and when doing the lower abdomen, brush up the right-hand side, just on the inside of the hip bone, across the transverse colon beneath the ribs and down the left-hand side, then gently across the pelvic area to complete the circle. Repeat.

When working near the breast area, brush over the top of the breast, always aiming for the armpit – and remember, be gentle over sensitive areas and broken skin .

Skin brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning or before a bath or shower and on a dry and naked body.

After brushing your body, rinse off in the shower while alternating temperatures from hot and cold. Alternating temperatures will bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin and stimulate blood circulation, further invigorating the skin, and increasing Qi energy.

 

 

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Headaches – How Acupuncture Helps

headacheIf you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience some form of a severe headache at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief.

Many seek relief by reaching for drugs and other medications. This may work temporarily and can help you get out of pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause(s), and when used over long periods of time can cause unwanted side effects.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain without causing harmful side effects. These healing modalities provide a comprehensive diagnostic protocol that can help your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s) of your headaches.

Causes of Headaches: There are many factors in TCM theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain, and triggers.

A natural path to relief: Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi (pronounced chee), is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. To determine the most effective care, he/she will focus on illuminating the root cause(s) of the problem.

It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, it is suggested to closely follow care recommendations of your acupuncturist to maximize your healing potential.

Below are a few ways that you can make simple lifestyle changes that may help alleviate or even prevent headaches:

Track your triggers – Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms. Certain types of foods and hormonal changes can be possible causes.
Stress relief – Stress can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to handle stress.
Exercise – Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle and is a great antidote for stress.
Healthy habits – Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, stay hydrated and get enough sleep every night.

Skin Brushing to Detox – read about it here.

Download your Self Help Sheet for Headache Pain HERE

Acupuncture care – is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of painful conditions, including headaches and migraines, naturally. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.

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Smiling Inside – Healing Meditation

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I love this meditation because it brings “it all back home” It collects your energy into your centre and gives you an opportunity to tune into you. It is the perfect meditation to do when you here yoursself saying things like  

“I’m all over the Place”,

“scatterred”

“too many demands”

“too much to do”

“too much going on”

Based upon Taoist meditation practices, the Inner Smile Meditation can have profound effects on your body and mind. This simple meditation suggests that you “smile” to all of your internal organs and glands.

It is a way of saying “thank you” to your body for working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Focusing your attention and smiling in this way can calm your autonomic nervous system, revitalize your internal organs, and increase your flow of blood and Qi.

Below is the simplest of versions of the Inner Smile Meditation for your main Meridian Organ Systems. It can be used to boost your fertility if you focus on loving kindness to your womb.

I’m including a link here to a utube video for those of you who like more information, You can skip to 27 minutes in if you want a summary. but don’t cokmplicate it there is enough on this page to get you started  so I’ve put the link to the end of the page.

more information, please refer to Mantak Chia’s book, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality.

Choose a quiet spot and keep warm throughout the meditation. Sit comfortably at the edge of a chair, feet flat on the ground with your back straight. Breathe deeply and relax. Clasp your hands together, left hand on bottom and right hand on top, palms touching, and rest them in your lap.

Close your eyes and feel a connection between the soles of your feet and the ground.
Focus on the midpoint between your eyebrows. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Put a smile on your face and journey down to the wonderfully amazing body that keeps you alive, alert and active.

Heart -See your heart as a vibrant red color. Focus the energy of “joy” into your heart. Feel it pulse with love. Breathe in and exhale with the sound of HAW.

Lungs – Radiate the feeling in your heart to your lungs. Picture your lungs as pure white. Focus on letting go of sadness and grief. Exhale with the sound of SSSSSS.

Liver – Keep the feeling spilling over into your liver, which is just under your ribs on the right side. Picture it as a vibrant grass-green. When exhaling, let go of anger and frustration with the sound of SHHHH.

Spleen – Continue to the left, under the ribs. Shine a vibrant yellow color into this organ. When you exhale, let go of overthinking and worry, and use the sound of WHOO.

Kidney – Focus your attention on your lower back, just below and under your ribs. Imagine a deep blue-purple light. Breathe in courage and exhale fear. When you exhale, use the sound of WOOO.

Once you have traveled through your body, begin to focus your attention on your navel. Smile down to your navel, and focus your attention there.

Mentally move the energy in a spiral at the navel 36 times. Women start the spiral counterclockwise, men start it clockwise. Next, reverse the spiral direction and bring the energy back into the navel, circling 24 times. You can use a finger to guide the spiral motion.

anatomy-254120_1280It is ok if you don’t know the exact locations of your organs. Just bringing awareness to your organs is benefit enough. Your body will love you just the same.

Perform each exercise 9 times, twice a day. These exercises can affect your body and mind, so it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.

Here is your link to more information,

Mantak Chia’s book, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality.

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