Food

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

At some point, you’ve probably heard that a little bit of chocolate each day can be good for you, and maybe you’ve already searched for some answers as to why. There might be one or two things you didn’t figure out. First of all, you should know that a little bit means just that: a little bit. Anything can be bad in excess, even though a lot of the things we like can be good for us in moderation. You can eat one or two ounces of dark chocolate, and that’s enough to reap the rewards.

Second, you need to know what constitutes “dark” chocolate. You’ll want to try to find something with at least seventy percent cocoa in it, and the more the better. The bigger the percentage, the less sweet the chocolate will taste. Some people like the bitter taste of extra dark chocolate, but it isn’t for everyone.

These are a few of the health benefits you can enjoy from a moderate daily helping of dark chocolate!

It contains high quantities of minerals that your body needs. These include: magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc, selenium, and phosphorous. The chocolate does contain caffeine and theobromine, but only in small amounts that won’t affect your sleeping cycles.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the dangers of free radicals wandering around in your body. Essentially, free radicals are atoms that require electrons for pairing. While they look for the electrons they need, they can inhibit your DNA from carrying out coded procedures. Your cells die off as a result. To prevent this from happening, your body uses antioxidants to get in the way of any free radical chain reactions that could lead to a lot of damage to your cellular unction. It turns out that dark chocolate may have an even higher number of antioxidants than other “superfoods” like many different kinds of berries, thereby preventing free radicals from harming you.

Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure, increase HDL (the good kind of cholesterol), and slash your risk of heart disease. In one study of 470 men lasting fifteen years, cardiovascular death was reduced by fifty percent in those who consumed cocoa. Other studies showed that cocoa can likely clean arteries of calcified plaque when consumed several times a week. On top of all this, it can help protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

That reduction in blood pressure and slashed risk of heart disease has another important take away: your brain will get more blood. Because of this, the elderly can expect to experience increased mental function.

Although a lot of the research into dark chocolate consumption over an extended period of time requires more time and complementary studies to ensure accuracy, we do know that there are a number of definitive benefits to eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate several times a week at the least. Just be sure not to overdo it–the high amount of sugar in any kind of chocolate can do a lot of damage if too much is consumed.

3 Foods That Can Make You Happy

Believe it or not, but the foods and beverages that you consume can actually impact your mood and ultimately make you happy. There are a variety of foods that can provide mood-boosting capabilities. Below, we will be going over 3 different foods that can make you happy.

3 Different Foods That Can Make You Happy:

1. Probiotic Rich Foods.

Any food that is rich in probiotics are foods that can make you happy. This is because they contain a lot of good bacteria that can help to improve your gut-brain axis. This is essentially the communication area between the GI tract and the brain.

2. Coffee.

Another common food or beverage that can cause you to become much happier after consumption would be coffee. Research has shown that coffee consumption can actually lead to positive feelings because it provides a lot of energy and sense of pleasure to the drinker. Along with this, when it is sipped leisurely, it can provide a good amount of calmness and tranquility as well. In fact, research has shown that those that consume 2-3 cups per day are actually less likely to develop depression.

3. Dark Chocolate.

This is another common food that can lead to better feelings of happiness. This is because chocolate has a large abundance of antioxidants which can lead to blood vessels relaxing and lower blood pressure. It can also help to improve circulation which can end up not only making you feel better, but healthier as well.

As you can see, there are a variety of different kinds of foods that can make you feel much happier. By getting these different foods into your diet, you should be able to not only feel happier but be happier more often. It doesn’t hurt that all of these foods and beverages happen to be delicious as well!

3 Healthy Foods That Will Lower Stress And Bring You Happiness

Everyone has stress to a degree. In fact, some stress is essential for a healthy and happy life. But, when stress becomes a problem that is when many people seek help for anxiety or depression.

It is no secret that what people eat has a direct link to their mood and stress levels. Here are three foods that will help lower stress and provide essential nutrients.

Dark, Leafy Vegetables

Kale, spinach and Romaine lettuce are some of the best foods for fighting stress. This is because they contain folate. This helps your brain produce mood regulators like dopamine and serotonin. The result is an ability to feel happier and avoid the sadness or anxiety that comes with too much stress. Make sure you buy organic kale from farms located in the United States such as the Salinas Valley in California or from a local farmers market like the famous Dallas Farmer’s Market.

Turkey or Chicken

These lean meats have something called tryptophan in them. It is not a myth that eating a big turkey meal leads to a nap. It is the tryptophan in the turkey that calms the body down. This amino acid is also found in chicken making both lean meats excellent sources of reduced stress in the body.

Yogurt

Yogurt that contains good bacteria helps the digestive tract remain healthy. This is considered a fermented food, and because it regulates that good bacteria it has a direct effect on stress levels and mood in the body.

It is believed that poor bacterial health in the gut not only makes a person more uncomfortable, it also makes them more prone to the negative effects of stress. Eat good bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt to enhance mood and perception of events.

The best yogurts are those that are made naturally from raw milk and do not contain refined sugars. Note that even commercially available yogurts do have the ability to reduce a person’s stress levels.

And when it doubt, just eat some chocolate. No one can argue that chocolate doesn’t make everyone happy!