Slow your ageing 5 key Tips

Slow your Ageing process With these 5 Key Tips

Ageing is inevitable. No matter how hard you try, it will catch up with you eventuality, but that does not mean that you have to sit back and let it prematurely take your youth away.

No, there are things you can do starting right now to slow down your ageing process, and maintain your youthful looks and vigour well into an age nobody will be able to guess!

These tips are extremely simple- there’s no magic pill here. Read on to find out the five keys tips you should be doing:

Sleep More

Sleeping is one of life’s simple pleasures, and something that should come naturally to everyone. However, more than half of the adult population is chronically sleep deprived, in the sense that they get less than the recommended 8-9 hours nightly, for many days running.

Sleep is the one thing that everyone has going for them.

Sleep is the hit reset button for your body.

During sleep, repair ensues, so that proteins in skin are fixed, hormone production is ramped up, and the process of rebuilding in general. Chronic sleep deficiency inhibits the ability of the body to fix structural defects, including those already programmed in our DNA, which can accelerate greying of hair, wrinkling of skin and deterioration of organs

Get Your Veggies

Eat lots of vegetables. It doesn’t really matter which, but include a variety of different ones, as each bring something different to the table. Most vegetables are extremely low calories, making them perfect for bulk at mealtimes, as you can eat a lot, and not get a lot of calories. In addition, vegetables are full of fibre, which keep intestinal and colon health on point, as well as tons of anti-oxidants, vitamin and minerals, which fend off free radicals and compounds that damage DNA and promote ageing.

Let go of your Bad Recreational Hobbies

Sure, watching TV late into the night is a bad hobby, and it is damaging, but it is not bad in the sense we are referring to.

The ways we are talking about, relate to drinking, smoking and eating junk food. Excessive alcohol consumption places undue stress on your liver whose primary job is to remove toxins from your body. Undue stress on your liver, in some cases, results in your Liver being unable to do its job. The end result is that this accumulation of toxins in your body is bad for your health, and kick starts and accelerates your ageing process.

Smoking, on the other hand is worse in many aspects. With negative effects ranging from your lungs, to blood vessels and more, smoking can age you 25 years in just 5 years.

Smoking stops nutrients from being delivered to your body and your skin suffers. Smoking encourages ageing and wrinkles at a much younger age far than it should, and it goes without saying here that you increase your risk of dying from complications of the lung.

Stay Happy

We don’t expect you to be euphoric all day long, but being happy has proven benefits over being sad, or pouty. This can be explained by endorphins, which are feel good chemicals produced in the brain that boost mood, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce stress levels as well.

Practicing mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to develop your appreciation of the little things in life, and improve your happiness and outlook. Frowning just speeds up development of wrinkles and fine lines! So practice being happy!

Weight Train

A little jogging or cycling is good during any point of life, for cardio vascular health  but in order to diminish the effects of ageing, weight training is a must. Not only does muscle help you fill out your clothing, but it can also help prevent skin from sagging, wrinkling, or your posture from stooping.

Nothing screams old like a hunched back and sagging skin, but luckily, weight lifting can delay this for years to come, not only that, but your overall mobility will be kept in check, your bone density will stabilise and you will look great, so do some weight bearing exercises!

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How to make the most of your acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture can often produce results faster than common medications, depending upon your condition.

However, it’s still important to try to get the most out of your treatment and commit to healing.

Here are some tips for ensuring that you receive the maximum benefits from your sessions.

 

BEFORE YOUR TREATMENT

  • Keep an open mind. Positive energy speeds up any healing process
    Refrain from alcohol and drugs (unless prescribed) for at least 12 hours before your session.
  • Eat a light meal or snack, you don’t want to be starving but you also do not want to be overly full. Avoid greasy, heavy foods that could upset your stomach.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes for comfort. Make sure the clothing can be rolled up so that the practitioner can reach all of the necessary acupuncture points, ankles, knees, belly and arms.

DURING YOUR TREATMENT

  • If you are asked any questions , answer them honestly and completely. Don’t short change yourself by using answers you think the acupuncturist wants to hear or omitting bad habits. Some questions may seem irrelevant to your current condition, but keep in mind acupuncture is a holistic practice and deals with all aspects of your body, mind, and spirit. The most effective personalized treatment plan will come from honest answers and a comprehensive health history.
  • Be sure to alert the acupuncturist about any other treatment you are currently receiving and any medications you are taking.  Ask pertinent questions so that you feel confident and well-informed
  • Once the needles are set, take the time to truly relax. A quick body scan starting at your feet and moving up to your shoulders and head will give you an opportunity to make sure your body is completely relaxed.

AFTER YOUR TREATMENT

  • For the rest of the day after your acupuncture treatment I recommend that you avoid alcohol, stressful situations, caffeine, strenuous exercise and heavy or spicy meals,
  • It’s fine to go to work, school, or other activities following treatment, but avoid overexerting yourself.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and caffeine within a few hours of your treatment.
  • You may feel tired after your session, so take it easy drink plenty of water and stay at a comfortable temperature
  • Be realistic : There is no such thing as an instant cure it may take several sessions and some lifestyle changes
  • After your first treatment allow yourself time to reflect, take notes on how you feel, bring them to your practitioner so any necessary adjustments can be made, at your next treatment.
  • If you are extremely drowsy you must rest

If you have any questions that have not been answered here

please feel free to call me on 086 8381017

 

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My Vision Board Story

Oprah says that Vision Boards have changed her life.

Well, Oprah and I have something in common. A Vision Board changed my life, too.

No, it doesn’t mean I got my own TV show and magazine! But that’s not what Vision Boards are all about. They’re about creating your own authentic outcomes in your own ideal life.

For instance, when I made my first Vision Board... I felt it was a nice exercise in day dreaming and childlike in cutting and pasting but as I got into it I began to build an image of what I wanted to do in/with my life.

In fact when I found myself redundant, it was a Vision Board that allowed me to re-invent myself, knowing what I wanted was a huge help in getting me over a very bad time, a time when I felt I had no idea where I was going, My Vision Board helped me to get clear on what ‘I’ wanted for the first time in my life.

At the time I didn’t believe anything on my board was going to happen but even with my scepticism it all manifested even down to a sneaky vision I pasted on for someone special in my life, I’ll tell you about that at the workshop  (they got what they wanted too!!)

In 2011 I facilitated a Vision Board workshop as part of a “Explore Holistic Practices” series of wokshops and a few months ago I got this comment from one of the participants

“I am moving to my new home and I found my vision board in the back of the wardrobe, and guess what ?, everything on it has manifested except for one thing and I’m working on that! I rang my friend who was with me on the course and she checked hers and said the same thing, her Vision Board had all manifested too”

So what about you? Would you like to see how a Vision Board will change your life? (Especially when you give it the true clarity you deserve?)

Check out the dates of my next  CREATE YOUR LIFE VISION-BOARD WORKSHOP. It’s a full-day immersion for you to focus on your authentic life, core clarity and ideal outcomes.

Due to the deep nature of the work, there are only 10 spaces available. Would you like to create your dream life?

Let’s do this.

Email me at info@maryfletcherburke.com and I’ll send you all the information!

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How well do you maintain balance in your life?

A little bit of fun to see how you are looking after yourself 

overwhelmed, anxiety,sleep,
overwhelmed, anxiety,sleep,

If trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus.

Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling your personal needs and wants.

 

 

Circle either True or False

T          F          1.  I  successfully manage my life and take care of myself physically and emotionally.

T          F          2. I Nurture myself to enlarge my capacity to help others.

T          F          3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.

T          F          4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.

T          F          5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift.

T          F          6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.

T          F          7. I set aside creative time to nurture me.  I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit.

T          F          8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends.

T          F          9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful.

T          F          10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment.

T          F          11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with over activity, so I stop and take care of myself.

T          F          12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time.

T
F          13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup.

T          F          14. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me.

T          F          15. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do.

T          F          16. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy.

If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate some changes in your life.

Ebook_Women_Stronger_name

Download my Ebook here and see if any of the 7 Steps Women can Recover from Burnout and restore balance in your life, can help.

 

Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further.

 

 

 

 

Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications

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Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

memory loss, forgetting thingsWays to Keep Your Memory Sharp

 If you find you are becoming forgetful it can often mean that your mind is elsewhere, most likely stressing about things that just might not happen

Your memory is important at any age. You can start minding your mind by incorporating these healthy habits into your life. It is never too early to cultivate a strong memory that will stay with you for years to come.

1. Don’t forget about physical exercise

Believe it or not, when you’re exercising your body, you’re exercising your mind as well. Aerobic exercise gets your blood pumping, which increases the oxygen going to your brain and lowers your risk of disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can lead to memory loss. If you can, start with some exercise in the morning. This can clear your head right off the bat to stay focused and alert during the day. Exercises that require coordination are especially helpful for keeping the mind active such as simply throwing a ball back and forth.

2. Make sure you’re sleeping

Sleep is one of the best ways to make sure your brain and memory are in tip-top shape on a daily basis. To get the most out of your sleep, aim for 7.5-9 hours every night. Make sure to shut off the electronics at least an hour before bed to help the mind shut off as well. Try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake earlier in the day. Both can result in a shallow sleep. For more help on sleeping go Here

3. Keep your brain stimulated

Research has shown that keeping mental stimulation as we age is very important for lowering the risk of dementia. Stay social, interact with others, learn new skills, play mind-exercise games like crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Interacting with others and continuing to learn is vital for keeping the brain healthy at any age.

4. Be aware of your stress

Chronic stress can not only make someone miserable, but also cause serious long term effects. Stress over time has been shown to destroy brain cells and damage the area of the brain that creates new memories and recalls past ones. To avoid memory loss, minimize your stress. Don’t take on too many tasks if they overwhelm you, sometimes it is ok to say no. Make sure you have outlets to relieve stress whether it is physical exercise or talking with someone about your frustrations.

5. Don’t forget about your superfoods

Certain superfoods have shown to be significant in preventing memory loss. Make sure to get your fruit and vegetable servings in, many are filled with antioxidants that help protect your brain cells. Eat more foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and foods cooked with olive oil. Green tea is another option that has powerful antioxidants to protect from brain damage.

Your memory is important at any age. Its never too soon to start incorporating healthy habits and keep a strong memory for years to come.

Sources
http://bit.ly/1SzWG6s     http://bit.ly/20BNwg4

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6 Healthy foods for your heart

6 Healthy Foods for the Heart

Changing the way you eat is one of the best ways to improve your heart health. By making an active choice to improve your lifestyle, you can see your heart health improve greatly as well. Below are superfoods to incorporate into your diet.

Foods for a Healthy Heart

Salmon

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help decrease the risk of an irregular heartbeat, lower plaque build-up in the arteries and decrease triglycerides, the main type of fat in our bodies. The American Heart Association recommends we eat salmon or other fatty fish at least twice a week.

Potatoes

Believe it or not, potatoes can be very beneficial for heart health. Potatoes are packed with potassium and fibre, which can help lower blood pressure and risk for heart disease. As long as they are not fried, potatoes can be a great food option.

Nuts

You can’t go wrong with nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts are rich with fiber and vitamin E, which helps lower cholesterol. Don’t be skeptical by the high fat content of nuts, those who eat nuts regularly have been shown to be leaner than those who don’t. Walnuts among other nuts also contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Green Vegetables

There are many benefits to vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale. These vegetables can especially help your heart because of the high amounts of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids, which act as an antioxidant. Including green vegetables into your diet every day not only can improve overall health but give the heart a boost.

Avocado

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats that can help lower the risk of heart disease and help control cholesterol levels. This fruit is also rich in antioxidants and potassium, making it a superfood that can be easily incorporated into meals.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is not only practical and affordable, but high in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Choose oatmeal or plain oats with no added sugar. Make sure to be especially careful with instant oatmeal, which a lot of times contains added ingredients.
Sources:     http://bit.ly/1MQ6plW

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Your Healthy Heart

Your Heart According to Traditional Chinese Medicine –  Acupuncture & Stress

 

Heart Health and acupuncture

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, your heart can be considered the most important organ in your body. All other organs connect to your heart and help your heart function as best it can.

According to TCM, (TradItional Chinese Medicine) good blood circulation depends on your heart’s energy flow, or Qi. When your heart does not have enough Qi, it is deficient in Yang, this can result in poor blood circulation, weak pulse, palpitations and chest pain.

A Heart Yang deficiency is associated with coldness. When Yang is not in balance, your circulation slows, resulting in extreme coldness and a pale face.

You become Yin deficiency when you are overworked and as this doesn’t give your body and mind opportunities to slow down, fatigue and anxiety are symptoms of a Yin imbalance.

Imbalances in the heart can result in many other issues as well. When you are  stressed, a domino effect happens in your body. Your  liver’s function decreases when your body is in high stress, therefore your liver can’t support your heart.

According to TCM, your heart is also the source of consciousness and thinking. Your heart houses your mind.

When your blood circulation is in balance, your thought processes and mental activities function well.

If your heart’s energy is deficient, you can experience anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.

Your acupuncture treatment will reduce stress and return your heart Qi to health. When you are consistently stressed, there is an increased level in adrenaline and cortisol due to a raised blood pressure. When these stress hormones increase in your body, you are more susceptible to blood clots and a risk of heart attack.

Acupuncture works by lowering your body’s blood pressure and heart rate, which then can lower cortisol and adrenaline levels. Specific acupuncture points are used to relax your mind and address problems like hypertension and symptoms of heart disease.

Acupuncture works by addressing your body as a whole. When there is an imbalance in your heart, acupuncture points are chosen to return your body back to its normal energy flow, which in turn improves the function of your organs.

see also foods for a healthy heart.

Sources:

http://bit.ly/1RnEtMK http://bit.ly/1n1eJdO http://bit.ly/1mC5ssk

 

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6 ways to look keep your youthful skin

 

youthful skin
youthful skin

We all want to preserve and keep our skin looking young and clear. There are always natural ways that we can use and incorporate into our daily routines to increase our collagen, improve pigmentation and protect our skin against UV rays.

I’ve even included a recipe for you.

Here are just 6 small changes you can add to your skin care routine

Vitamin C – Topical vitamin C applied to the face has been shown to increase collagen production and protect against UV rays. When L – ascorbic acid, a type of vitamin C, is used, research showed the vitamin can improve pigmentation as well as inflammatory skin issues.

 

Green Tea for your skin
Green Tea for your skin

Green tea – Green tea is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help sooth and reduce redness in the skin. Some experts believe green tea can help reduce collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles. Try starting with even just one cup of green tea a day so increase your antioxidant intake.

 

 

Reduce stress –Stress is not only felt mentally, but physically as well. Stress can cause breakouts due to an increase in hormones, making the skin oilier and lessening the body’s defense against bacteria. Make sure to get adequate sleep and give yourself time off for relaxation to calm the mind and reduce stress.

Monitor sun exposure – It is common knowledge that high amounts of sun exposure over the years damages your skin and causes wrinkles. Make sure to always wear sunscreen on your face to protect against harmful UV rays. Even if it is overcast outside, you are still exposed to UV rays. It is important to wear a high SPF sunscreen on your face year round to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids is not only good for overall health, but can also help reduce wrinkles and keep the skin looking youthful. These fatty acids can be found in salmon, nuts, seeds, and fish oil supplements.

skin care
Facial rejuevenation

Acupuncture – Facial acupuncture has become increasingly popular in the past ten years in rejuvenating the skin. Reports have found facial acupuncture can reduces lines on the face and leave skin smoother and glowing. Acupuncture is a natural and non-invasive treatment that does not have side effects. Treatment can also leave one feeling overall more relaxed and at ease.

 

 And here is your Recipe for Healthy Skin

Zucchini Chickpea Burgers
This vegan and gluten-free recipe is filled with healthy ingredients to boost the skin and overall health!

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion

1.5 cups of zucchini squeezed dry

½ cup of toasted sunflower seeds

¾ teaspoons of sea salt

1.5 cups of canned chickpeas

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill

½ teaspoon paprika

Sauté onion and garlic in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When tender, add zucchini and sauté until cooked. Season to preference with salt and pepper.

Grind sunflower seeds, sea salt, pepper until ingredients are coarse crumbs. Add quinoa, chickpeas, Dijon mustard, lemon, dill and paprika to mixture. Mix until ingredients are broken up with some texture remaining.

Add zucchini, onion, and garlic to mixture.

Shape into 6 patties and cook on medium heat with olive oil in a pan into golden brown.

 

Sources: http://dailym.ai/1md99Vp, http://bit.ly/1NetFxO, http://bit.ly/1NPJuYL, http://bit.ly/21VFuQX

 

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How to Reduce your junk food intake


Slide2Get Healthy: How To Remove Junk From Your Diet

Just as the name suggests junk food is junk. Junk food is full of calories that do absolutely nothing for your body. These are called empty calories because they have very little or no nutritional value. The truth is, that most of these calories come from sugar and fats and they do nothing but increase your weight and body fat.

Junk food can also cause you to retain water which will make you feel bloated and sluggish. This causes you to feel tired instead of having the energy to get up and move around. The long term effects of eating junk food can be extreme, with anything from causing you to be overweight to clogging your arteries and leading to heart attack.

Why do people love junk food? The truth is that our brains have very positive reactions to fatty and sugary foods. It induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that actually mimic the effects of powerful addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is no wonder that we crave them.

How many people have cravings for spinach?

But, cravings for ice cream, chips, soda and cookies is a whole other matter. In order to overcome these perilous food addictions, you must retrain your body, change old habits and change tastes. It takes time and effort, but, it can be done.

NoJunkFood

Not everyone eats junk food.

Removing junk food from your diet is the easiest way to become proactive when it comes to your health.

How To Remove Junk Food From Your Diet

It starts with some common sense.

Many people say that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy food. Or they use the excuse that they just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.

First you will have to reprogram your taste buds to get used to eating healthy foods. You have been eating junk food all of your life, this is what your body is used to and what it will crave but it is up to you to retrain your body and your mind to crave healthy foods.

It is not cheaper to eat junk food!

Let’s forget about the fact that you will save thousands on medical bills by eating healthy and let’s look at what you are spending right now.

Slide1Potato Chips Versus Oranges

A bag of potato chips or crisps is eaten in minutes.

Now let’s look at a bag of oranges.  When you buy a bag of oranges you will get 8-10 oranges. This can make as many as 16 snacks which can last up to four days for a family of four.

Now you have to look at which you would rather your family or yourself eat.

Potato chips are loaded with fat, salt and a lot of calories. 1 ounce of Lays plain chips has 160 calories, 1 grams of fat and 170 grams of sodium (7% of daily allowance).

An orange has 0 fat, 0 salt and only 45 calories. Plus, it’s loaded with essential nutrients, like vitamin C (a whopping 85% of the daily recommended allowance), plus potassium and fiber.

When eating a bag of potato chips you may be watching television, letting all of that fat attach itself to your body, but, when you eat that orange, your body has a completely diffferent effect to it, you are energized simply by the smell of it.

And, this is just one example of how junk food compares to healthier options. Next time you go to the
do some comparison shopping and you will see that the prices of healthy food are not so different from junk food.

There are also plenty of healthier snack options available that can fill kid’s lunch boxes with healthier alternatives.

Planning

It may take some planning when you are removing junk food from your diet, but, it is possible to eat healthy on the same budget you have right now.

CherriesHealthier Substitutions For Junk food

When you remove junk food from your diet you mayl find that you suffer from cravings. Here are a few substitutions you can use to get past the cravings.

  • A square of dark chocolate instead of a chocolate candy bar
  • Unsalted pretzels or no butter popcorn instead of chips or crisps. (You can read about the benefits of Dark Chocolate here  )
  • Baked vegetable strips instead of chips or crisps
  • Raw nuts instead of chips or crisps for a crunchy snack
  • Plain yogurt with fruit, honey, or nuts instead of ice cream
  • Flavored sparkling water instead of soft drinks
  • Fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies or biscuits
  • Raisins instead of candy or sweets
  • Cherries instead of candy or sweets

Substituting In Recipes

There are also ways that you can alter your favorite recipes to create a healthier version. For example instead of using butter in your cakes and cookies you can create a healthier version by substituting the butter with apple sauce.

You can also use non-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise. If you are a real lover of mayonnaise than try replacing it with avocado on your sandwiches. It has the same texture and you never miss the empty calories of the mayonnaise.

Bottom Line

These are just a few things that you can do to remove the junk food from your diet. There are so many other options that you can go for and remember it is possible to remove junk food from your diet and replace it with much healthier alternatives, if you think before you buy. This  will ensure your good health and the health of your family.

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Health Benifits of Dark Chocolate


chocolate2
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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