~ Be Inspired ~ Be Empowered ~ Be Authentic ~ PAULA OWENS Paula Owens Nutritionist, Fitness and Weight Loss Coach, Author I Love Quotes "If you find yourself in a negative situation with someone in your life, take a few minutes each day to feel love within your heart for that person, and then send it out into the Universe. Just doing this one thing helps to remove any resentment, anger, or negativity towards that person. Remember that feeling resentment, anger, or any negative emotion attracts it back to you. Feeling love attracts love back to you. What you are feeling for another, you are bringing to you.  ~ The Secret Daily Teachings          The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate From the moment chocolate was discovered it was considered                                      valuable, divine and decadent. The first chocolate candies                                                     (as we know them today) were invented in the 1860s by Cadbury,                                       who was also the first to market them in a heart-shaped box for                                 Valentine's Day that same decade. Consuming as little as a square of dark chocolate per day provides numerous health benefits. Dark chocolate contains saturated fats (stearic acid & palmitic acid) and flavanols which are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. Flavonoids act as antioxidants which help the body's cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes such as breathing and from environmental contaminants like smog. Decreased risk of hypertention According to a study in the European Heart Journal, dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease. Researcher Dr. Brian Buijsse of the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal said, “Chocolate consumption appears to have a pronounced effect on blood pressure, therefore lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks. In the study, those who ate the most chocolate had a 39% lower risk than those with the lowest chocolate intakes.” Increased Insulin Sensitivity “Flavanols appear to be the substances in cocoa that are responsible for improving the bioavailability of nitric oxide from the cells that line the inner wall of blood vessels,” explained Dr Buijsse. “Nitric oxide is a gas that causes the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen; this may contribute to lower blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity. Nitric oxide also improves platelet function, making the blood less sticky, and makes the vascular endothelium less attractive for white blood cells to attach and stick around.” Lowers LDL and Increases HDL Cholesterol Basic science has demonstrated that dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% reduces oxidative stress and improves vascular and platelet function. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a report that cacao polyphenols elevate HDL cholesterol and decrease levels of LDL cholesterol in the liver and intestine, thereby helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Reduces Stress and Releases “Feel Good” Endorphins Dark chocolate may actually reduce your stress levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research, eating half an ounce of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones, cortisol and catecholamines, in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed and partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances. Other studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can stimulate the production of endorphins (the "feel-good" hormones) and the release of serotonin (a natural anti-depressant), which have both been linked with reducing stress levels. Another plus is that, because it can increase serotonin levels in the brain, it may also increase serotonin production in the gut, boosting your immune system. Additionally, dark chocolate has a touch of caffeine that can provide a burst of energy and a mood boost in times of stress. British scientists observed couples while they ate squares of dark chocolate and while they kissed passionately. Women's heart rates rose 20% more and their bodies released 4x the endorphins when they ate dark chocolate. Chocolate is high in magnesium which is considered the “anti-stress” mineral. Stress depletes zinc and magnesium from our bodies. Many chocolate addicts crave chocolate simply because they’re deficient in magnesium. According to a survey conducted by Rodale, Theo Jane Goodall Organic                              Dark Chocolate (70%) was ranked number one overall in the dark chocolate                      category. Testers detected complex flavors and reported impressions like                           "berry burst," "bitter, but a good dark," "bold, dark, subtle bitterness," and                      "complex fruit flavors, nice and smooth." Before you rush to add dark chocolate to your diet, it doesn’t mean you should                      eat a pound of chocolate a day. Chocolate is still a high calorie food. Be aware                      that 100g of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories. If you overeat                      chocolate you may experience migraines, kidney stones, weight gain,                            digestive problems (such as diarrhea), and heartburn.   Remember, the health benefits of chocolate apply to dark chocolate with a high                  cocoa content of at least 70% cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the healthier it is.           Milk chocolate, white chocolate, candy bars and chocolate cake are not included as they       don’t contain the healthy flavonols. As with everything, practice moderation. ABC Listing of my Blog Posts A great reference source. Please contact me if you would like an alphabetical listing of my Blog Posts. Over 30 informative and educational articles. Here are just a few: In this Issue * I Love Quotes * Dark Chocolate * FYI Blog Posts Subscribe to Paula's mailing list.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To unsubscribe, reply with ‘remove’ in the subject line. Paula’s Blog Check out my blog for the latest in health, fitness, diet and nutrition. Did you know that I post tons of FREE FYI Health Tips on: Supplement of the Month Vitamin D ~ BioD Mulsion Forte               Only $19 Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Fitness Expert Your Expert Source for Health,  Vitality, Longevity and Fat Loss
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