Monday, May 16, 2011

Cocao cravings offer health benefits too….

Cocao cravings offer health benefits too…

Crave Cocoa? Now know the health benefits…

Chocolate and Cocoa are referred to as the most craved food known to man. This being so, I decided to investigate their use as ahealth food both traditionally and today.

They are powerful anti-oxidants and are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage by free radicals, which are formed by numerous processes including when the body’s cells utilize oxygen for energy.

Laboratory and human studies have indicated that cocoa flavonoids can inhibit the oxidation of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL-cholesterol) associated with heart disease.

Best of all, cacao beans, cocoa powder and chocolate contains anandamide, a neurotransmitter which is also produced naturally in the brain. It is known as the “Bliss- amide” , responsible for the satisfaction we feel, when eating chocolate. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means after eating chocolate, thenatural anandamide and/or the cocoa infused anandamide stays longer in our body making us feel good for a longer period of time.

Now – that you know this, there is no excuse to “not” adding this amazing food into your diet

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Add cocoa powder to your favorite rubs.
  • Add dark chocolate to homemade mole sauce.
  • Add a touch of cocoa powder to stews, soups or casseroles.
  • Add dark cocoa powder as a garnish on top of desserts.
  • Add cocoa and chocolate to your coffee.
The health benefits of chocolate—particularly dark chocolate, and dark cocoa has been the subject of many health studies of late, and could help draw more consumers to the concept of “healthy indulgence” when it comes time for dessert.

Recently, more and more research has been conducted on the health and nutritional attributes of cocoa and chocolate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fat, chocolate and weightloss

Fat, chocolate and Weightloss

Sugar, Fat, Salt, Chemistry of your Brain  and Weight Loss
Learn how you can lose weight more easily with or without pills.
Simple weight gain results (outside other medical conditions) from an imbalance between food intake and daily physical activity. Understanding how your body works on the foods you intake is the first step to losing weight.

The first steps to ensuring weight loss would be to “cleanse” or “detox” , your system.

Your body works like a bank for the large part. Put in more than you take out and you will have ‘gains’ – only this time the ‘gains’ are quite prominently displayed around your belly, hips , thighs and or arms. Ugh! We all know that we would gladly let go of those gains!

And yet, if you are like me, a food aficionado then – you are more likely to be eager to learn how to keep your appetite and your weight – working amicably together..

Primary focus on weight loss, scientifically speaking is on the 2 particular lifestyle factors:
  • Increased levels of physical activity (increased metabolism)
  • Reductions in the intakes of fat and sugars… (Decreasing fat stores) or helping increasing metabolism.
Simply put metabolism is the process whereby the body converts food into energy (or uses it for bodily repairs) or stores it as fat for future use. Or, if we have a faster metabolism we burn calories more efficiently and store less fat. If we have a slower metabolism we burn calories less efficiently and therefore store more calories as fat.

The fuel that your body, especially your brain runs on is called glucose, a simple chain sugar. Glucose is what gives the ‘energy ‘of life. Your brain cells need two times more energy than the other cells in your body.

Glucose is the only fuel normally used by brain cells. Because neurons cannot store glucose, they depend on the bloodstream to deliver a constant supply of this precious fuel. This is the reason why – the old recommendation – “sit down and “think about it” for a while “is often used before making serious decisions.

Your brain rapidly burns up glucose during high peaks of mental activity and during periods of short periods of stress (physical and emotional).

Therefore, a diet low in fat, but high in carbohydrates, may serve to increase triglyceride levels.
So when you starve yourself, or get into a fitness regimen or are highly stressed that you begin to use more carbohydrates than you need to fuel your body, your brain has an alternate pathway (other than the simple metabolism of carbohydrates as explained above)  to break down fat which can be converted into glucose.

The stored fat is thus converted back into carbohydrate and used as fuel for your body.
Remember too that virtually all naturally occurring fats contain triglycerides (lower in vegetable and higher in animal sources) so a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and fats no matter what the source is will ultimately result in a FAT Gain!

The body breaks down and builds up …. Put Metabolism to work and you will never be fat again!
……..A’isha Bauer.