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Archive for March, 2014

The Benefits and Rules for Eating Chocolate

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Recent studies are giving Chocolate a good reputation for health benefits.  New research has found that a particular group of flavonoids present in fruit and vegetables (which cocoa is a member of) promotes health and delays the onset of various diseases.  One benefit found was the ability to decrease blood pressure in healthy individuals.  Another benefit was chocolate can increase insulin sensitivity thereby helping to prevent diabetes.  Chocolate apparently can also prevent heart disease.  Research shows that dark chocolate restores the flexibility of arteries while preventing white blood cells from sticking to the artery walls.  Chocolate in another study helped individuals with liver cirrhosis.  Lastly, chocolate is considered a good source of antioxidants.  Before everyone gets excited and eats copious amounts of chocolate one needs to know the rules.

1. The chocolate in all the research is DARK CHOCOLATE.  White chocolate, milk chocolate and chocolate milk will not work.

2 Chocolate should not be consumed at night.  Chocolate will relax the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) above your stomach.  This can lead to Gastric Reflux.  It also may contain caffeine that will keep you awake at night.

3. Do not eat chocolate with dairy products and count that as your calcium intake.  Chocolate will prohibit the absorption of calcium.

Now how do you make these changes to get the benefits but not the problems with chocolate?  Here are a few ideas.  Breakfast- prepare turkey sausage, eggs, and a bowl of berries.  Drink any juice or coffee.  This is a good time to eat your chocolate.  Lunch- make this your dairy/calcium time.  Example: eat cheeses, yogurt, salmon, and nuts.  Eat an orange with your dairy.  Abscorbic acid from citrus  aids in the absorption of calcium.  If you still need a chocolate fix later, do it in the early afternoon.  Dinner- mostly lean meats, vegetables and fruits.  Heavy carbohydrates are bad at night.  If you need a dessert try a fruit based one, or perhaps sliced apple with cheese.  Apples (raw) are the BEST item to have at night, especially to prevent Gastric Reflex.  Just a few organizational changes in your diet can be very beneficial.