Saturday, May 22, 2010

Health Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Rich

Chocolate antioxidants are known as flavonoids. Chocolate makers have been experimenting with new ways of processing and manufacturing chocolate that will retain a lot more of the flavonoids. That is good news because it is the flavonoids that give chocolate health benefits that have been found to be helpful regarding heart attacks and strokes.

The flavonols in cocoa help prevent clogging of the arteries by preventing oxidization of cholesterol in the bloodstream. They also help to make the blood platelets less sticky and so less likely to clump together and cause clots.

High antioxidant chocolate is dark chocolate as it is much higher in flavonoids than milk chocolate. So go for the dark every time. Look for chocolate that has at least 65% cocoa in the ingredient list. My favorite has 72%. Dark chocolate has been reported to have about 8 times the antioxidants of strawberries.

Scientists are still doing studies to find out more about how the chemicals in chocolate benefit health. They are now able to isolate some of these chemicals and study them separately. However it is always possible that it is the synergy of all of the components of chocolate that cause it to have the benefits that it seems to have. So why wait for scientists to deconstruct the cacao bean? Enjoy small helpings of dark chocolate as part of your regular balanced diet and reap the benefits of one of nature's delicacies.

Have good health,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chocolate for anti aging and youthful skin

Had to share this Reuters Life article about chocolate. The chocolate makers of the world claim to have developed a chocolate bar to fight wrinkles and slow the aging process. The claim is that eating 20 grams of the chocolate each day may boost elasticity of the skin and improve skin hydration. This could help the prevention of wrinkles.
It is the chocolate antioxidants or flavanols in the cocoa bean that come up with the goodies. The chocolate makers are saying that they now have better ways of keeping more of those flavanols during the process of making the chocolate.
Hurrah for chocolate.

Enjoy your good health


6 Foods that Help Your Skin Stay Young

Yesterday I wrote briefly about some foods that help to increase the collagen in the skin. Today I want to look at some other foods that help to combat the increase of wrinkles.

There are substances in turkey that help prevent wrinkles. It contains the protein carnosine. This protein slows down the process of cross linking. Cross linking is when fibers grow into the collagen making the skin stiff and less elastic. Eating turkey two or three times a week will increase the amount of carnosine in your diet.

Flaxseed contains the essential fatty acid omega 3. Having sufficient of the right oils and fats in the diet make the fatty layer surrounding the skin cells stronger. This in turn plumps out the skin cells, disguising wrinkles.

Olive oil contains oleic acid which also can help to plump up the skin cells. Use extra virgin olive oil and eat olives to help your skin along.

I couldn't leave this one out of the list. I love it when chocolate comes up in the healthy food lists. However it is only dark chocolate that has enough antioxidants to have the desired results. It would seem that a high dose of cocoa increases the blood flow to the skin bringing it higher levels of moisture and nutrients.

Goji Berries
The goji berry is a very nutritionally dense food. It has gained quite a name as an anti aging food. They do contain vitamin C and are high in antioxidants so there is every chance that they would contribute to a stronger, firmer skin.

Blueberries and Prunes
These fruits are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants get rid of free radicals. Free radicals cause skin damage. A diet high in antioxidants is beneficial to general health as well as keeping the skin healthy and firm.

Add these foods to your diet as well as the collagen increasing foods listed in the previous article. Making sure you include several serves of these foods each day will certainly help your overall nutrition as well as your skin tone.

Be in good health


Increase Collagen and Improve Your Skin by the Foods you Eat

As we age our skin has less collagen in it. That is why wrinkles appear. Now I don't suppose the wrinkles can be held at bay for ever but there are some simple, natural things that can be done to help. For our body to be able to make collagen we must give it the necessary building blocks from our food.

Foods To Eat
Green leafy vegetables: These contain the antioxidant lutein amongst other vital nutrients. To help your skin stay hydrated and keep its elasticity try eating kale, spinach, asparagus, cabbage etc. These foods help to provide the building blocks for your body to make and use collagen.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables are also rich in luetin.

Beans: There is an anti aging element known as hyaluronic acid that is found in the body. It is needed for skin repair, amongst many other functions. Beans contain reasonably high levels of hyaluronic acid can help your body to have sufficient of this nutrient thereby increasing your collagen production. Try butter beans, broad beans, kidney beans in fact any kind of bean.
Try this resource for ideas on how to use beans in your diet regularly. The Bean Bible: A Legumaniac's Guide To Lentils, Peas, And Every Edible Bean On The Planet!

Beetroot: Another nutrient that is used in producing collagen is anthocyanins. This is found in the purple pigments of foods like beetroot and purple cabbage. It is also a good antioxidant.

Vitamin C: Whether you use a supplement or choose foods high in vitamin C. This is an essential nutrient for overall health including producing sufficient collagen. Vitamin C rich foods include strawberries, oranges, kiwi fruit, Brussells sprouts.

There are many other foods that are great for our skin. For a start try adding some of these to your diet regularly. It is better to make changes bit by bit rather than try to make huge changes that are unsustainable.

Have great health