This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 16 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.
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Eat More Chocolate...
Did you know that September 4th was world chocolate day? As a huge chocoholic, I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know this until a few weeks ago. It was written on the side of a cereal box, so I make no claims to its validity, but I can't see why they would make it up. And really, why question an excuse to eat chocolate?
Research gives us an even better excuse to eat chocolate. It could actually be called healthfood. Woohoo!
Here are some of the benefits that chocolate may have:
Not bad for a food that's been ostracized as an unhealthy snack for years...
- Reduced atherosclerosis
- Lower LDL(bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
- Higher HDL (good) cholesterol
- Better glucose control
- Decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
Seriously, several studies involving hundreds of thousands of people showed that those who ate chocolate at least once a week had a 37% lower risk of heart disease, a 29% lower risk of stroke, and a 31% lower risk of diabetes. That's significant.
The reason is likely that chocolate is absolutely packed with antioxidants.
Quiz: Which drink do you think has the most antioxidants? Red wine, green tea or cocoa? You're guessing green tea, right? Wrong. It's cocoa! It has twice as much antioxidants as red wine and three times as much as green tea.
If you don't know why antioxidants are so important, go to antioxidants-make-you-healthy.com and get excited about these guys.
The antioxidants in chocolate seem to be particularly good for vascular health because they do an especially good job of preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), blood clotting, inflammation and help lower blood pressure.
Just grabbing a chocolate bar from the gas station is probably not the best choice though. Aside from the huge amount of calories, sugar and saturated fat, milk chocolate has pretty much the lowest amount of antioxidants. It's the cocoa that contains all the antioxidants, so the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you.
Having a cup of homemade cocoa, made with actual cocoa and skim milk would be the ideal choice. Regular cocoa is fine, but if you can find raw cocoa that hasn't been processed with high heat, you'll get even more antioxidants (3 times) than the regular, store-bought kind.
But even lowly milk chocolate in moderation is beneficial. The studies I quoted above didn't differentiate between types of chocolate and included milk chocolate. Regular consumption (once or twice a week) seemed to be the key. Isn't that awesome that it's actually worse for you to limit yourself? Have I made your day or what?
So in honor of world chocolate day, here's what I did: Started the day with cafe mocha, had a truffle (or two) mid-afternoon, and had s'mores for dessert (we were camping). Okay, not the best for moderation, but I won't do that everyday- it was just my tribute to chocolate!
And from now on, I will be sure to have some chocolate at least once a week. A sacrifice I'm willing to make for my health...
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
Chocolate, the 5th food group:
- Chocolate is a vegetable: Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Beans = vegetable.
- Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
- To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food.
Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
The problem: how to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: eat it in the parking lot.
Diet tip: eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite, and you'll eat less.
If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?
Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.
Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.
A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn't that handy?
If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can't let that happen, can you?
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Antioxidant Discussion Forums
Create your very own webpage on my site! (Don't worry- you don't need to know anything about how to do it. If you can type, done!) If you have an interesting story to share or have a comment or question about a topic on the site, you can post it right onto the website. Read about how others have been affected by antioxidants, make a comment on someone else's submission or post your own.
It's fun. It's free. And you don't have to register for anything.
Click here to post your own story, comment or question.
Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...
Foods Rich In Protein, Dairy Products Help Dieters Preserve Muscle And Lose Belly Fat
Probiotic Bacteria May Lessen Anxiety And Depression
Undernutrition In Childhood, Adolescence Or Young Adulthood Increases Risk Of Heart Disease Later
Too Much Salt In Diet And Too Little Exercise Increases Risk Of Cognitive Decline In Seniors
Study Identifies Fish Oil's Impact On Cognition And Brain Structure
Research Identifies How Vitamin D Combats MS
Antioxidant Spices Reduce Negative Effects Of High-Fat Meal
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!
See you next month...
Good Health to You,
Kristy Russ, BScPharm
Pharmacist and Health Consultant
P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.