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Brain Enhancing* Benefits of The Irresistible Cocoa

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Ok, there are a few, but they’re far and few between. Ha-ha…. I am the first to admit…. I am a chocolate lover. I’m not going to lie- this is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. So, if this is your favorite subject as well, all you have to do is keep on reading and discover more information on cocoa benefits.

As you will see, when it comes to the benefits of cocoa, there are quite a number of interesting facts to discover – for example, did you know that cocoa is rich in antioxidants and thus can enhance* the functioning of the brain? Cocoa brain benefits are plenty, as you will be able to read below.

So what is it that draws us to chocolate, well for many of us, it’s telling us that our body is lacking essential nutrients such as magnesium. That’s why at meal times, it’s recommended that we consume unprocessed, whole foods (recommended), including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.

Let’s not forget, the key component to finding the right chocolate is one that is in its purist form, called raw cacao, also known as “cacao, the food of the gods” in the Greek language. It has a surplus of health benefits that may contribute to weight loss* due to its natural ability to suppress* the appetite. Another important factor is that chocolate has antioxidants along with essential vitamins and minerals, that boost* the metabolism, and therefore, the calories are more in balance.

And to think, I’m now convinced I need to add more chocolate into my daily diet. Then researchers come up with even better news… that chocolate can keep us thin. Yes, they have my attention and here’s what I found out!Scientists from the University of California of San Diego studied nearly 1,000 individuals and found out that those who regularly eat chocolate are thinner than those who just sparingly eat cacao. Of course, they are not saying that eating a few bars a day will help you drop lbs., but due to the antioxidants and ingredients in cacao, can boost* weight loss* and they show lower BMIs.

Chocolate Diet

Then to find out there was such a thing as “The Chocolate Diet”. I thought I had gone to heaven. So what’s behind the so-called “Chocolate Diet, well by allowing yourself just a few chocolate bites per day – can actually make you feel more satisfied and therefore, lead to less chances of binging on those unhealthy treat* options. This leads to reduced* snacking that can aid in weight loss* benefits. According to a small study by the University of Copenhagen, dark chocolate may even reduce* cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

The essential minerals include calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. They contain polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties that can offer skin protection against UV damage, along with the following vitamins- B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E. It also carries essential heart-healthy fat called oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, along with protein and fiber.

Raw chocolate has many amazing nutrients that most of us had no idea that our sweet tooth led to creating an abundance of the following healthy attributes Just, remember, there are many benefits of cocoa to discover. The most important ones that you need to keep in mind are the cocoa brain benefits – as cocoa is rich in amazing ingredients, it should come as no surprise that it can stimulate brain health and the overall cognitive function.

1. It can promote cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries along with lower risk of heart disease. This is reflected by the benefits of dark chocolate being so heart-healthy and inflammation fighting perks.

2. It may fight diabetes. According to a 2005 Italian study, they found regularly eating chocolate increases* insulin sensitivity and therefore; reducing* the risk for diabetes.

3.It can reduce* blood pressure and enhance* circulation by aiding in the strength of dilation and health of blood vessels.

4. It supports digestion while the cacao moves the production of digestive enzymes in the body.

5. It can balance the free radicals from sun exposure, or pollution by protecting the body through the high level of antioxidants in cacao.

6. It enhances* mental and physical well-being by improving* mood, lowering stress and reducing* depression.

7. It reduces* stroke risk.

Raw Cocao Info

So, How Does Chocolate Boost* Our Brain?

1. It can make you smarter- According to a British study, the cocoa’s flavanols increase* the brain’s blood flow, which seems to make people feel alert and more awake and therefore; perform more efficient on counting tasks and improve* thinking skills. “From laboratory studies, we know that flavanols smooth the way for brain cell connections and survival, and protect brain cells from toxins or the negative effects of inflammation,” says Dr. Miguel Alonso-Alonso, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

2. It improves* vision due to the improvement in the blood flow caused by the benefit of chocolate, may increase* blood flow to the retina and therefore; improving* vision.

3. It can quiet a cough, due to the theobromine, an ingredient in chocolate that seems to lower activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that provokes hard to shake off coughing.

4. It can prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage, due to the flavanols in chocolate.

Chocolate Boost* Our Brain

Of course, keep in mind chocolate is high in calories, so according to news out of England, the middle aged to older adults can eat up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate per day to aid in lowering heart disease rates than those who turn down chocolate. Really, who turns down chocolate? The 3.5 ounces are actually more than 2 standard Hershey bars….. According to the European Food Safety Authority, it is suggested that 200 mg of cocoa flavonoids per day is a good target for the general population.The higher the cocoa content of the bar, the more health benefits it will provide, usually bars with 70% cocoa or more.

In summary, knowing the many health benefits that chocolate offers to aid in our goal of being healthier, it’s a win-win. But as I always say, all in moderation. As always, consult your health professional before starting any diet to ensure you are on the right track. When it comes to cocoa benefits, think about its rich content in antioxidants and how this can help your brain to work more efficiently.

Discuss with your family physician about the benefits of cocoa and how you can incorporate it into your daily meals and/or snacks. Ask about the cocoa brain benefits and he/she will certainly confirm these as well.

I hope this article finds you in good health.

Sources:

  • Sweet dreams: eating chocolate prevents heart disease www.health.harvard.edu
  • Cocoa: a sweet treat* for the brain www.health.harvard.edu
  • 2017 Integrative Nutrition, Inc. Learning Library under Dietary Theories
Image CreditsFeatured Image: Shutterstock

In-Post Images: Shutterstock & onegreenplanet.org

Q&A With Inver Grove Heights Lifestyle Health Mentor Connie Stoltz-McDonald Submitted by EatIGH.com

I break down the techniques to the most common weight loss struggles and to fight the battle & make it reality in the following article with EatIGH.com:

Q&A With Inver Grove Heights Lifestyle Health Mentor Connie Stoltz-McDonald

I wanted to share my own personal struggle to loose weight- it happens to all of us…. At one point or another- we need support and the right knowledge to change for good and finally make a lifestyle transformation.

“I have to say the most common struggle is losing weight. When I look back on my own experience, I started running to lose weight. I kept increasing the number of miles I ran to the point of 12 miles a day and I couldn’t figure out why the scale wasn’t showing any results. It was beyond frustrating, but I was determined to figure it out.”

Health Coaches are knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. As your Health Coach, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.

Your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.

To decide if health coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a free initial consultation with me. 

Schedule: Complimentary Consultation

 

 

Coach Connie

The 30 Day Social Media Detox Plan

Studies on the effects of social media on mental health reveal varying conclusions. Take a 2012 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, titled “‘Facebook Depression?’ Social Media Site Use and Depression in Older Adolescents,” which found zero link between depression and social media use in older adolescents. In fact, the study concludes by cautioning that, “Counseling patients or parents regarding the risk of ‘Facebook Depression’ may be premature.”

 

Here’s a 30 Day Challenge to all of you! Who’s in with me? Share your comments below:

 

 

LHM Coach Facebook Page

 

https://www.bustle.com/articles/188561-should-you-quit-social-media-why-nixing-facebook-instagram-may-not-be-the-answer

Self-Care Challenge

Even though, we are 8 days in the month, it’s never too late to take action on your health….

Self care can be difficult to get into the habit of doing for ourselves. It is a sad truth. We would rather tackle a laundry list of items for our households, work, and family before we even begin thinking about taking time for ourselves.

What is the deal with that?

It takes more than one special moment or one day to cultivate the real love within you that you may have been neglecting from yourself. This is why I created this 30-day self care challenge. If you are like me then perhaps you need to challenge yourself in order to commit. Don’t worry this will be easier than it sounds and all items in this self-care challenge are designed to help you connect fully with yourself and fill you up with love and happiness.

I wanted to provide different self care choices… So that you will stick with it because you found something that you’ve been wanting to do, but never had the push or time to do it. Now is the time!

So are you ready to begin the best 30-day challenge you will ever do for yourself? Good! Let’s do this!

There is no particular order to this challenge. Do one thing a day and let me know how you do in the comments.

LHM Coach Facebook Page

http://scaleitsimple.com/2017/08/07/30-day-self-care-challenge/

Handling Stress without putting on weight

Recent studies indicate that eating food is an easy way to suppress chronic stress and depression. Unfortunately, eating food to alleviate stress may lead to weight gain and health issues in the long-run. As long as you keep your stress eating under control, it may not affect your body as much. But, if external events such as a big change in your life cause you to experience chronic stress, your formerly benign stress-relief eating strategy could cost you your self-image, your shape, and even your health.

This Is How You Handle Stress Without Putting on Weight:

If you have experienced several big traumas or a series of small traumas, especially during childhood, your brain may have learned to overreact. If that is the case, the smallest perceived threat can produce an intense stress response.

The human brain has not evolved to handle modern society’s sources of stress. It knows survival instincts and the flight or fight response but has forgotten how to release it.

Before I started healing past traumas, I was in freeze mode most of the time. I would numb myself and feel nothing or I would feel extremely intense levels of stress despite the lack of major external stimuli. If you’re experiencing similar erratic surges of stress, I strongly advise you to contact a matrix reimprinting practitioner like myself and use all the techniques I’m going to mention below.

If your stress levels range from medium to low but with a few peaks during the day, you should be able to manage stress eating on your own with just this advice

Here are the simple strategies you can use.

Exercise 30 to 60 minutes three times a week:
Do some cardio-training, something that will make you sweat and move your body quickly. I like to jump on a rebounder or perform some fast-paced exercise. Your goal here should only be to enjoy yourself and relieve stress. Please make sure you’re fully present to what you’re doing and that you’re focusing on every movement you’re making. This will give you faster results and train your brain to concentrate on what it’s doing. This will be most helpful if you tend to have obsessive thoughts.

If you can’t exercise that often, try to practice brisk walking, use the stairs, and do 10-minute workouts daily instead.

Stop eating sugar:
Sugar will increase your anxiety levels by creating highs and lows. I have written a very thorough article on the subject. Read it at How to Stop Eating Sugar

Stop eating or drinking stress-triggering foods and beverages:
The first things that come to mind are coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, and other high-caffeine drinks. You can still use very dark chocolate to stop your cravings—if you’re not addicted to it, of course. I stopped drinking coffee when I stopped smoking. I was convinced that they were helping me get through the day but now, when I look back years later, I know they were only making me a nervous wreck.

There are several easy ways to stop stress eating from ruining your shape. The most obvious one is to keep your stress under control. However, you can go much further than that and find new ways to respond to life’s challenges and keep your weight down.

 

LHM Coach Facebook Page

http://laurahoussain.com/how-to-stop-stress-eating/