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Could Cocoa And Chocolate Curb Your Cravings?

Cocoa chocolate has long been a favorite cure for a sweet tooth.

If you’re looking to satisfy a craving for sweets then chocolate is a good choice.

Cocoa Chocolate

Cocoa Chocolate

 

Cocoa, which is used to make chocolate is bitter and is not sweet by itself but is better for you.

Dark chocolate is used in recipes for cakes and brownies and other decadent deserts.

Try and stay away from deserts that use milk chocolate in its’ recipes, the milk fat in it will cause excessive weight gain.

Our love affair with chocolate dates back centuries.

And has led to the creation of an infinite number of chocolatey treats we just can’t seem to resist.

The problem with all the sweet treats we love, such as candy.

Is NOT the cocoa or chocolate in them but everything else they contain.

For instance, milk chocolate is laden with dairy, fat and sugar.

Plain cocoa such as Hershey’s on the other hand, or dark chocolate, such as 70% and above.

Is either pure, or has only small amounts of the more caloric items.

That put chocolate on the forbidden foods list when you are dieting.

 

Cocoa – a nutrition powerhouse

One recent study showed that native tribes in South America.

Will often drink 5 cups of plain cocoa a day, no sweetener.

They have been found to have a long life span.

And none of the common killers found in the Western world, such as heart disease and cancer.

You don’t have to drink that much to get the same effects.

Chocolate is filling, full of fiber, and packed with nutrition.

It contains an amazing range of minerals, including:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Selenium

 

Flavonoids

Chocolate also contains phytochemicals called flavonoids that have been linked to lower blood pressure.

Less hardening of the arteries, and less risk of heart attack and stroke.

Chocolate also lowers cholesterol naturally when consumed in its raw form.

Another benefit of flavonoids is that they stimulate the immune system.

This increases our chances of fighting off viruses.

It can also help prevent the development or growth of various cancers.

Note that adding milk to chocolate counteracts the flavonoids, so dark chocolate is best, the darker the better.

Cocoa Chocolate

Cocoa Chocolate

 

Other Phytochemicals

Chocolate is also good for our mental health because it contains phenylethylamine.

A chemical that acts on the brain to produce feelings similar to those we experience when we fall in love.

Chocolate also causes the body to release endorphins.

Which are present naturally in our bodies.

And promote feelings of happiness and well-being, and can even relieve pain.

Knowing all this, it is possible that there are actually a lot of good health reasons why we crave chocolate.

And give boxes of it as gifts to those we love.

If you’re in need of a quick boost of energy, try a taste of dark chocolate and see if it curbs your cravings.

 


Alzheimer’s Dementia And The Effects It Has On Men

Alzheimer’s dementia is definitely more common among women when compared to men.

According to one study, 16 percent of women aged 70 and older suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Dementia

Alzheimer’s Dementia

 

While only 11 percent of men who are of the same age carry this diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disease that causes plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

Leading to deficits in memory and behavioral changes that ultimately lead to death.

Overall, there are more women with the disease in the US because they tend to live longer lives when compared to men.

Even though there are more women with the disease, a great many men are sufferers as well.

When men have Alzheimer’s disease, they often experience poor memory.

An inability to think clearly, behavioral changes, and an inability to perform activities of daily living.

While there are other causes of dementia besides Alzheimer’s disease, it is considered the leading cause of dementia in the elderly.

Statistically, about 5.2 million Americans, both men and women, were diagnosed with the disease each year.

The vast majority are older than 65 years.

 

Signs and Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Dementia

When a person gets Alzheimer’s disease, their memory, and thinking are affected.

The synapses, which are the connection points for nerve cells, begin to deteriorate and the brain cells die off.

Plaques form in the brain and the brain develops neurofibrillary tangles that interfere with the normal signaling processes of the brain.

Exactly how these structures form in the brain and their purpose has yet to be discovered.

Alzheimer’s disease is divided up into three different stages:

• Stage I – This is mild dementia in which the patient has a loss of memory but can still function in most familiar settings
• Stage 2 – This is moderate dementia in which the patient has more severe symptoms and needs help in many aspects of daily living
• Stage 3 – This is severe dementia in which the patient needs total care and does not recognize relatives nor do they know where they are most of the time

 

Stage 1 Alzheimer’s dementia

In stage 1 disease, the patient suffers from occasional memory loss and behavioral changes such as mood swings.

Their energy level is depleted and they have a slower reaction time.

Confusion can be part of this stage of dementia and there is difficulty in doing simple, everyday tasks.

These people can become lost and cannot find their way home.

They have problems paying their bills and often cannot manage their finances.

They repeat stories or questions they have said before, even in the context of the same conversation.

These people do not have good judgment and have difficulty finding things they have set down because they put them in unusual places.

Behavioral changes include frequent anger outbursts, feelings of frustration, and feelings of being withdrawn from others.

People in mild dementia tend to have this stage for up to four years.

Alzheimer’s Dementia

Alzheimer’s Dementia

 

Stage 2 Alzheimer’s dementia

The person with stage 2 disease can still participate in some activities of daily living but need help if the activity is too complex.

Short term and long-term memory begin to decline so that there is more disorientation and disconnection from what is real.

Past memories get confused with present memories and they may have difficulty-recognizing people they should know.

This stage tends to last about 2-10 years.

 

Stage 3 Alzheimer’s Dementia

In this stage, the individual loses the ability to speak clearly and cannot feed himself or herself.

They rarely recognize people they should know, even close family members.

Memory is completely lost and they need total care, usually in a nursing facility. This stage lasts about 1-3 years.

 

The Diagnosis Of Alzheimer ’S Disease

When Alzheimer’s disease is suspected, you should see a doctor for evaluation.

The doctor will take a thorough medical history and will decide if there is another health problem that is contributing to the symptoms.

A family member may be able to give a history of the patient’s behaviors and changes in personality.

Neuropsychological testing can then be done to evaluate the patient’s abilities.

CT scanning and MRI scanning can sometimes reveal changes in the brain consistent with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Dementia

Alzheimer’s Dementia

 

Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s dementia has no cure but there are medications available on the market.

That can slow the progression of the disease, especially when given early.

These medications are not terribly successful, however, because they only improve symptoms by about 6-12 months.

Half of the people who try these medications will show no improvement.

The best treatment is to have capable nursing staff, social workers, and doctors who can help you.

And the family with caring for the patient with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease

There seems to be ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from happening.

Doing things that also prevent heart disease also seem to have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease.

This includes lowering cholesterol, decreasing high blood pressure, reducing obesity, and increasing mental and physical activity.

A low fat diet rich in vegetables and fruit can help reduce the risk of dementia.

Activities that stimulate the mind have been known to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.


Osteoporosis: What Are The Causes?

Osteoporosis is the name of a condition which causes weakening of the bones.

But as this ‘condition’ is becoming more common today.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

 

People are beginning to ask, ‘what causes osteoporosis in the first place?’

Bones are not solid, they are porous and any reduction in bone density means less bone and more ‘pores’.

Testing for osteoporosis is a measure of the density of our bones.

When a person’s bone density drops below a specified level, the subject is diagnosed as having osteoporosis.

There are many reasons why people suffer from osteoporosis.

One of these is the imbalance that occurs between new bone production made by osteoblasts and bone reabsorption from osteoclasts.

When the rate of bone reabsorption is higher than the rate of bone tissue creation, demineralization and bone thinning will start to occur.

Here are the causes and predisposing factors of bone thinning or osteoporosis:

 

1. Gender

Studies show that women are at a much greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men.

Large hormonal changes which women undergo have great effects on their bone density.

A rapid decrease in their estrogen levels, such as occurs during menopause, directly results in a decrease in bone density.

Furthermore, the effects of pregnancy and lactation make large demands on the minerals and vitamins.

Essential to bone health and strength, particularly calcium and magnesium.

In men, testosterone aids in keeping bones healthy and the risk of osteoporosis increases if testosterone level decreases.

 

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins needed for calcium absorption.

In the intestines to promote the normal growth of bones.

Low levels of vitamin D impair the body’s normal absorption of calcium and accelerate osteoporosis.

 

3. Parathyroid Hormone

Parathyroid Hormone is an important regulator of calcium in the blood.

When there is a deficiency of calcium.

The body secretes the parathyroid hormone to increase the levels of calcium in the blood.

Calcium is taken from the stored calcium in the bones.

If the parathyroid glands are overactive and the hormone is released in excessive levels.

A continual leaching effect will occur, which in turn makes the bones brittle and prone to osteoporosis.

 

4. Bone Formation And Bone Resorption Imbalance

The most common cause of osteoporosis, especially as a person ages.

Is the imbalance between bone formation and bone resorption.

Usually, the body compensates for bone loss by forming new bone matter, in a natural cycle.

However, as the person ages this balance between bone formation and bone resorption tends to skew.

Aging affects the body by failing to readily form new bone or increasingly absorbing too much old bone.

 

5. Diet

Diet is a contributing factor in the development and cause of osteoporosis.

To prevent osteoporosis, it is important to acquire and absorb.

The necessary vitamins and minerals that promote healthy bone growth.

The macro component that most people are aware of is the need for calcium.

Calcium is a vital mineral needed for the proper functioning of organs.

Calcium is stored in the bones.

However, whenever blood levels of calcium are depleted.

The body reabsorbs calcium from the bones, hopefully only temporarily.

Many people are less aware that magnesium is essential for calcium absorption by the body.

If magnesium is not present calcium cannot be absorbed and will simply be excreted.

Nutrition must also include vitamin D since it also helps the body to absorb calcium efficiently.

Without enough vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium from the diet no matter how much calcium is available.

Other vitamins which promote bone growth are vitamin K and vitamin B.

In addition, it is important to limit the intake of substances that hinder bone growth.

Such as caffeine and excessive protein.

These can cause the body to excrete calcium and reduce the body’s capacity to absorb available calcium.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

 

6. Sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle can cause or hasten osteoporosis.

For bones to repair and replace themselves requires weight-bearing.

Or else there is no impetus for the body to increase bone density.

Standing for at least half an hour a day is important for strong, healthy bones.

Two hours is even better.

Simply standing can be quite boring.

A daily walk can provide the needed weight-bearing requirement plus provide added cardio benefits.

 

No Single Cure

There are many factors that cause a reduction in bone density.

And contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Such as age, gender, physiological factors, predisposing conditions, lifestyle and diet.

Some of these are obviously pre-determined and beyond your control.

However, variables such as diet and exercise and medication.

Are very much up to you and should be the focus of your efforts in controlling osteoporosis.

Can Gluten Intolerance Lead to Weight Gain?

With all the news about gluten and gluten-free diets.

You may be wondering can gluten intolerance lead to weight gain?

In fact, if your body can’t process gluten you can have many problems including weight gain.

However, weight gain isn’t as common as weight loss.

With gluten intolerance, your body has trouble absorbing the protein gluten that’s found in wheat, barley, and rye.

As you continue to eat these foods you may have a wide array of digestive problems – weight gain being one of them.

Gluten intolerance can cause gas, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

The symptoms you experience will be individual.

One of the best ways to discover whether or not you’re tolerant to gluten is.

To eliminate gluten from your diet and see if symptoms subside.

Many people find that a gluten-free diet can promote weight loss and better digestive health.

A lot of that is because foods that are high in gluten also tend to be high in refined sugars, fats, and artificial ingredients.

But if you continue to eat gluten and you have an intolerance.

You could actually end up having problems with too much weight loss.

This isn’t the kind that helps you shape up for summer – it’s the kind that sends you to the hospital and makes you very ill.

Gluten intolerance can make it impossible for your body to absorb the nutrients from your food.

Vitamin deficiencies can arise if your body isn’t able to absorb them from the food you eat.

You might also develop inflammation in your gut and elsewhere in your body leading to problems with autoimmune disease.

Gluten intolerance can exacerbate problems such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis.

And other auto-immune disorders because it causes inflammation in your body.

It can even cause a severe allergic reaction called celiac disease.

While weight loss is the more common than weight gain with gluten intolerance.

If you’re overweight and switch to a gluten-free diet you’ll likely lose weight.

You’ll definitely receive relief from digestive problems that are ailing you.

When you remove gluten from your diet.

You’ll likely replace it with healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other whole grains that are gluten-free.

When you do this, you’ll likely lower your caloric intake and naturally have weight loss.

Many people find that a gluten-free diet helps with weight loss and also improves overall health.

If you’ve wondered can a gluten intolerance lead to weight gain.

You may want to try eating gluten-free to get the results you desire.

 

Gourmet Coffee: A Quick Introduction

Gourmet coffee is a beverage that has been offered in low-cost routine and gourmet variations for a long time.

And the consumption rate of coffee amongst people from around the world continues to increase every year.

Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet Coffee

 

Gourmet coffee may have when only been served in the finest dining facilities.

And found being served mostly in the houses of the upper class.

But gourmet coffee is inexpensive and commonly readily available to a range of people.

And is discovered in a variety of settings today.

Gourmet coffee is made from coffee beans.

Which are discovered within the berries that establish.

And ripen on a variety of smaller evergreen bush plant types referred to as the Coffee plant.

After ripening, coffee berries are harvested, and then go through a processing which likewise includes drying them.

It is the coffee beans that remain after the processing and drying of the coffee berries.

The beans are then roasted at a high temperature which cause them to change physically and in the tastes they produce.

Finally, the coffee beans are grounded down into a great consistency that is typically known as coffee premises.

And packaged and delivered to locations around the globe where consumers can brew.

And purchase coffee premises to make coffee in industrial, hospitality, institutional, and domestic settings.

Some people choose to grind their own coffee beans before brewing them for coffee.

Packaged coffee beans that have actually not been ground.

Can be bought in shops and ground utilizing the grinding mills that are made available in most of the stores selling them.

But also with grinding machines in the house.

The 2 most commercially grown types of the coffee plant that produce the coffee beans.

Utilized to make the coffee that the world’s population takes in, are Robusta and Arabica.

Premium coffee is made from the leading tier coffee beans from the arabica coffee plant.

These leading tier arabica coffee plants are generally grown at extremely high elevations (above 3000ft) with perfect soil and climate conditions.

The coffee beans produced have fuller flavors, are more fragrant.

And have less caffeine in them than other ranges of coffee beans such as Robustas.

The coffee beans of arabica coffee plants grown at lower altitudes.

Are still kept in mind among customers as having richer flavors than the flavors produced by Robusta coffee beans.

But it is just the top tier arabica coffee beans that are considered to be Gourmet.

Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet Coffee

 

And thus from which premium coffee is derived.

Coffee bean grounds and coffee beans that have actually not been grinded down have to be stored in air-tight containers.

And kept one’s cool in order to protect them from losing their flavor.

The containers that coffee is typically offered in are not the most perfect for keeping coffee for an extended period of time.

Think about transferring the fresh coffee grounds to suitable storage containers to extend its shelf life.

And complete taste when you show up house after buying coffee grounds at the shop.

Coffee can be brewed in numerous ways such as boiling, pressing, and steeping.

Most of us brew our coffee utilizing automated coffee brewing machines.

And percolators which utilize gravity to pull hot water through coffee grounds.

Where the hot water combined with the oils and essences of the coffee grounds clears into a liquid holding container below.

Filters are utilized to keep coffee granules from being cleared into the carafe.

Or liquid holding container from which the brewed coffee can then be served from.

Since the majority of people do not wish to drink the coffee granules.

Coffee granules can be really bitter once the flavor able oils and essences have actually been eliminated through the brewing process.

Plants and flowers love coffee premises though for anyone who is looking for a greener alternative.

Of what to do with coffee premises after brewing instead of just tossing them in the trash.

Of course, Gourmet coffee beans are just the starting to developing a genuinely premium coffee experience for many premium coffee drinkers.

Huge name coffee chains sell a large variety of gourmet coffee with different yummy additions and tastes to appeal to premium coffee lovers.