Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Introduction

Who’s a big chocolate fan?? I know I am. And when I mean chocolate, I mean dark chocolate. Like at least 40% Cacao. Anything underneath that isn’t really classified as proper chocolate to me. Those usually contain a high amount of sugar and dairy and don’t really have the full health benefit that Cacao does. So today, let’s dive into the 4 benefits of consuming chocolate.

 

Benefits of eating chocolate

  • Cocao is super nutritious. Just as perspective 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 11grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for your digestive system. Allowing stools to pass through with ease. It also covers many other daily nutrients as well and a good portion of recommended daily intake such as 67% of iron, 58% of magnesium, 89% of copper, and a lot of other stuff. But please don’t eat 100g of dark chocolate as they are also very calorie-dense.
  • Cacao has the ability to improve blood flow. Inside our arteries, there is a lining called the endothelium. The function of the endothelium is to act as a filter and regulate blood flow by relaxing the arteries. This process is done by producing Nitric Oxide. Research has shown that cacao stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the arteries thus allowing a better flow of blood in the arteries.
  • Cacao can lower LDL while raising HDL. In a study, cocoa powder showed that it can reduce oxidated LDL. LDL itself is bad because it can clog the artery making it harder for blood to pass through. Oxidated LDL is even worse as once it reacts with oxygen it is capable of damaging surrounding tissue like arteries in your heart. HDL is the good cholesterol and helps maintain the levels of LDL. So eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts is good for heart health.
  • Finally, consuming moderate amounts of chocolate can improve brain function. This is because chocolate can improve blood flow. This includes blood flow into the brain. Thus the brain will get more nutrients and oxygen, allowing it to grow and function at its best. A study also showed that it can significantly improve cognitive function and verbal fluency, especially in the older population. This is due to the fact that cacao has a stimulant similar to coffee, resulting in short term improvement in brain function.

 

Conclusion

Chocolate is a super delicious and affordable treat. A couple of benefits are nutritional values, improve blood flow, cholesterol maintenance, and improvement in brain function. It’s a lovely treat for your body but remember to have it in moderation. Too much chocolate will result in diabetes and other health issues due to too much sugar consumption.

 

Dark chocolate has many health benefits such as brain health and immunity!!!

 

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Diabetes – Intro

BRIEFING:

 

Food is now in abundance for many of us. In fact, we have so much food that many of the unnecessary products are becoming staples. I’m sure there is one person that you know of replaces water with soda, fruits with sugary sweets, whole foods with processed foods and fresh meat with processed meat. These foods will surely lead to health complications later on in life. One of them would highly likely be diabetes.

What is diabetes? Diabetes is when there is too much sugar in your blood. This can be due to two reasons; congenital and lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes is due to congenital issues. This is an autoimmune issue that occurs when your insulin-producing cells are attacked by your immune system. Insulin is an important hormone that regulates blood sugar and without it our blood sugar levels will rise. So if there is a lack of insulin to begin with, there will be nothing that keeps it under control. Type 2 is due to consuming food with too much sugar. This causes one of two problems. Firstly, it may cause the body to not produce enough insulin. This is because the demand is too high and the body cannot make enough supplies. Secondly, it can cause the insulin to become more resistant. This just means that your body isn’t able to process the sugar as well as it should. Insulin is used to the amount of sugar and is feeling lazy so it will no longer be as sensitive as it once was.

cont.

 

So let’s talk about some early signs and symptoms of diabetes. Some early signs of diabetes can include frequent urination, increased thirst, and an increase in appetite. However, sometimes there may be no symptoms at all! So we must constantly monitor our blood to check for sugar levels and other problems. In severe cases of diabetes, slow healing of cuts and wounds, loss of sensation, blurry vision, and patchy skin. The one that I would definitely be careful of would be the slow healing of wounds. This is because it increases the likelihood of infection occurring.

 

So now we know what diabetes is, what is the reasoning behind it, and what the symptoms are, next time we’ll discuss some risk factors (hint: most likely from diet). Also, we’ll tell you some ways to prevent yourself from getting diabetes too!

 

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Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Stomach, reflux, heartburn, indigestion Remedies

Reflux, heartburn, indigestion, these are all names for that discomfort and sometimes burning feeling that comes after meals. At Revolution Chiropractic we like to address the cause of issues rather than focus on symptomatic relief. Reflux is often caused by a reduced ability for your body to digest and break down food so it makes sense to focus on optimising digestion rather than just suppressing the feeling of heartburn.

Start to implement the following things into your daily life and remember that it can take time to get your body back on track, this isn’t an overnight fix! (although it might be for some of you.

Eat easily digestible foods

The first and most obvious step is to improve your diet. If you are eating foods that your body is struggling to digest then this is probably the biggest cause of your symptoms. Food sources like dairy and gluten are fairly inflammatory to most people so you should cut these out for 3-6 months and see how your body responds. Replace carbohydrate sources like bread and pasta for more tolerable plant-sourced foods like:

– Rice

– Potatoes

– Kumara (sweet potato)

– Pumpkin

Other things that stir up inflammation and disrupt the digestive process are smoking, alcohol, coffee, chocolate and spicy foods. So cutting down on those will definitely improve your reflux, heartburn or indigestion.

Prepare the stomach for digestion

Contrary to what it may seem at first your reflux may be due to too little stomach acid. Low levels of acid in stomach will mean you can’t digest food properly. Ten minutes before each meal put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a small glass of water and drink it. The acid and enzymes will assist your stomach’s digestion.

Make the first few mouthfuls of your meal the protein source (meat, fish, chicken, tofu). This will prompt your body to produce pepsin and increase the acidity of the stomach for digestion.

You may be eating too much at once

Cramming too much food into your belly in one sitting will make it much harder for your body to break it down! Pay attention to your portion sizes, you may need to have 4-5 smaller meals through the day for a few months to let your stomach recover.

Slow down!

If you are eating too fast then you may not be adequately chewing your food. Remember that digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach! Your teeth are perfectly designed to break down the food and saliva starts the digestive processes The more you chew, the more the food is broken down before it hits the stomach.

 

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This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness

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Meal Prep 101

Life happens. And one of the best ways to make it through successfully is to make sure you’re prepared.

Meal prepping saves you time, energy and serves as your friend on the days when you get home late and every fibre of your being is against you making food. In turn, you end up spending less on eating out and having more energy by eating home-cooked, delicious meals.

Whether you’re keto, paleo, low-carb, or standard NZ diet, this simple guide will serve you well to have a fridge full of healthy meals for the week.

 

Prep steps:

 

  1. PLAN: Meal prepping starts on the weekend. Look at the week ahead of you and figure out the busy days for which you’ll need meal-prepped meals. Even if you don’t want to meal prep for the entire week, make sure that you schedule some time the day before to prepare a meal.
  2. THINK: Open notes or find a pad and pen to write some healthy meal ideas. Nothing fancy, keep it simple. For example, you could have some one-pot recipes on hand that can make huge batches like chilli, grilled chicken, roast veggies, and stir fry.
  3. SHOP: From that simple menu, create an ingredient list and go out to buy your meal prep ingredients. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant, be sure to bring a note pad with you or have your list on your phone notes to tick off as you go.
  4. COOK: Schedule one or however many days out of the week to cook. This could be every Sunday that you plug your headphones in with a good podcast and go hard at your meal prep for an hour and a half. Be sure to cook all the things that take lots of time to cook like your chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Prepping in bulk is best because it saves you heaps of time. Slicing a few carrots is as fast as slicing one, so make sure to prep everything you can in that set time.
  5. STORE: Finally, store your meal-prepped food in containers and make them accessible in the fridge. Be sure to also put the appropriate items in the freezer if you know you won’t be eating it before it goes bad.

And most IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget to make meal prepping fun and a regularly weekly ritual of yours. Throw on some music, watch a show or just chat if it’s a team effort.

Apply these meal prep principles and your future self will thank you immensely.

This blog is sponsored by Priorityfitness.

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What You Need To Know About Sugar

Is sugar bad?

 

Should you avoid it? This is possibly one of the most controversial topics in diet and health, but today, we’re going to tackle it with hard-core science and unveil the facts you need to know.

First, let’s define exactly what we mean by sugar. Is it the white stuff you scoop into your coffee? Well it can be, but that’s only one type of sugar, called sucrose. Sugar is actually a group of molecules that share a similar structure, so it’s actually more appropriate if we refer to them as sugars. Sugars are a type of carbohydrate known as “simple carbohydrates”, which means they digest more quickly.

You have taste receptors on your tongue for sugars that tell you “this is delicious” because naturally, sweet foods like fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and energy. Nowadays, there are some not-so-nutritious foods that are packed with sugar. The tricky part about this is that everyone reacts to sugar differently. Genetically, some of us want it more, some of us like it in small doses and some of us like it so much that the more we eat, the more we want.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to weight gain?

 

Well no single thing – including sugar – causes weight gain. A study was conducted comparing the low-carb diet to the low-fat diet when the calories were kept the same and the researchers concluded that there was no advantage to either diet over the long term.

One thing that definitely contributes to weight gain is an increased caloric intake. So if you’re one of those people that loves sugar so much that it always leaves you wanting more; then it’s a good idea to restrict yourself from sugar because eating it will most likely make you eat more of it and that will increase your overall caloric intake, which can lead to weight gain. It’s all about experimenting with your body and finding what works.

 

What does the data say about sugar’s link to diabetes?

 

 The short answer for this one is that managing sugar intake is just one piece of the diabetes-prevention puzzle. The biggest change you can make to prevent or reverse diabetes is to limit your fat intake that comes from all the animal products you eat such as red meat, pork, cheese, dairy milk and eggs. Research has shown that these types of fats are actually the biggest culprit driving diabetes. For more info watch the documentary ‘What The Health’ on Netflix.

This doesn’t give you permission to have fizzy drinks with your meals (bad idea). What it does is give you more insight on what you SHOULD focus on when looking to prevent diabetes, which is weight and body fat management. This is backed up by a LOT of research.

 

So… How much should I eat?

 

The point of this article is not to remove your guilt of eating sugar.  It’s not a health food and it doesn’t even add a whole lot of nutrient value like protein or omega-3 fatty acid does. But you can’t blame one thing for all your health problems. Being aware of your sugar intake is probably a good idea. As a guideline, limit sugar to 10% of your intake. But ensuring that you’re eating real whole foods for proper nutrients and finding a way to move and exercise more often has far greater benefits. Focus on the big rocks before the pebbles, and you’ll find navigating health a whole lot easier.

 

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How Poor Posture Is Destroying Your Health & 2 Posture Tests To Try At Home

Why is proper posture so important? Is it for the way you look? Sure, people definitely look better when they fix their posture. But regardless of esthetics, your posture is actually key to how your body functions in more ways than one.

Take muscles for example: when you’re sitting with your head forward, your posterior (back) neck muscle are working way too hard to support your head, while your anterior (front) neck muscles switch off. This leads to muscle imbalances and over time may very well develop into neck pain which can be stemming from degeneration, disc disease, muscle strains and so on.

Now your organs: when your body gets used to a slouching position and makes it a long term problem your intestines get compressed and digestion can become difficult. Poor posture also reduces lung capacity by up to 30%. As you can imagine it can compress the heart and reduce the flow of blood to vital organs thereby making them work less efficient and create disease within them.

Not only does posture affect you physically, it can also be detrimental psychologically. Studies have linked poor posture to increased depression, stress and fatigue.

The overall effect can become global and when those issues persist long term they can take away from your quality of life and even longevity.

 

“How do I know if I have a possible posture problem?”

 

Luckily there are 2 tests that you can try at home to see if you have any possible posture problems. All you need is a wall and/or a floor!

 

The Wall Test

 

Stand with the back of your head against the wall with your heels 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall.

If you can slide more than 3 fingers behind your neck or the small of your back then it indicates poor posture.

 

The Floor Angel

 

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Lower your rib cage so it’s in contact with the floor and your arms are out and bent at the elbow by 90 degree like so:

If your hips, rib cage, head or wrists and arms can’t maintain contact with the floor then this may indicate possible postural issues.

Try these out and see what your posture is like! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your structural chiropractor.

 

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5 pieces of Fruit and/or vegetables a day!

Introduction

We always hear that we should be consuming at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day. Have you guys ever stopped and wondered why? They are vital in keeping a balanced diet. Studies have shown that consuming 400g of either fruits or vegetables can have significant benefits for one’s health.

 

Here are 5 top reasons why you should be eating at least 5 pieces a day.

1) Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all contain high fiber.

Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy guts can prevent constipation and many digestive problems. Consuming a high fiber diet can also reduce the chances of bowel cancer. AWESOME!

 

2) Fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight.

They can help fill up your stomach quick. But, because they are low in fat and calories it can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy

 

3) Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits has shown a decrease in blood pressure.

They contain many important vitamins and minerals. One important mineral that directly affects blood pressure is potassium. Potassium has shown to negate the effects of salt which has a direct correlation to high blood pressure.

 

4) Fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E.

These all help to ward off degenerative problems in the eye. Foods such as kale, spinach and oranges can help prevent eye disorders that arise from degenerative processes.

 

5) For pregnant women 5 a day is just as important.

Folate, which is a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables such as; broccoli, beetroot, citrus fruits and bananas have shown to decrease birth defects in newborns

 

Conclusion

There are so many other benefits that come from consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits. Different fruits and vegetables contain different sources of vitamins and minerals. To get the most out of 5 a day, you should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables

 

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Celery Juice Health Benefits

Introduction

The juice of fresh raw celery is loaded with a variety of nutrients. It contains almost all essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and stocked up energy, which help in regulating the natural as well as optimal functions of our body collectively. Please keep in mind that I highly recommend using organic/spray free celery as regular celery can have high amounts of pesticides.

 

Celery juice

 

Here is a list of health benefits of celery juice:

 

1. Prevents Cancer:

Keep cancer at bay by drinking celery juice every day. There are 8 types of anti-cancer substances present in the juice that can heal cancer in a number of ways. The acetylenic content of the juice prevents the tumor cells from growing, the phonolic acid content makes the hormone-like prostaglandins (accelerates the growth of cancerous cells) inactive, the phyto nutrient content stops free radicals from destroying the DNA of our cells, and so on.

 

2. Lowers Cholesterol:

Celery juice is an excellent natural remedy for lowering the cholesterol levels in our body. It contains a chemical compound named 3-n-butylphthalide that has positive effects on reducing the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) in our bloodstream. It also boosts the secretion of bile or steroid acids which is helpful in lowering cholesterol too. The juice extracted only from 2 stalks of celery can decrease our cholesterol levels up to 7 points.

 

3. Controls Blood Pressure:

If you drink 1 glass of celery juice each day, you will be able to keep your blood pressure levels under control. It is again the effects of 3-n-butylphthalide, which diminishes the secretion of stress hormones and relaxes the muscles present around our blood vessels so that they get dilated and blood can flow through them smoothly without causing much pressure onto their inner walls.

 

4. Prevents Digestive Disorders:

Celery juice has great potential to cure various digestive disorders. It contains lots of fibers which turn the plant into a laxative one. Fibers discharge certain nutrients during the preparation of juice and prevent constipation by making the bowel movement smoother.

 

5. Prevents Calcification:

Fresh celery juice is also useful in averting calcification inside our gall bladder, urinary bladder and kidneys. As it can remove waste as well as toxic materials from these organs, the stones present within these get broken down and eliminated easily.

 

6. Maintains Acid-Base Balance:

Studies have shown that very few foods are as powerful as celery juice in maintaining the acid-base balance in our body. It reduces the acidity and makes our body alkaline to some extent so that the pH levels remain good.

 

7. Anti- Inflammatory Action:

Celery juice is highly anti-inflammatory. It holds an organic compound named polyacetylene, which inhibits acute inflammation in bone diseases like osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. and respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, etc.

 

8. Diuretic:

Being a good diuretic, celery juice facilitates the production of urine and helps us stay healthy. Basically, the two essential minerals – sodium and potassium – present in the juice act as the regulators of our body fluid, thereby promoting urination.

 

9. Aids In Weight Loss:

Shedding extra weight also becomes easy and hassle-free with the regular intake of celery juice. It is extremely low in calories and very filling at the same time. Therefore, it keeps our appetite under check and helps us lose weight successfully.

 

10. Treats Insomnia:

Sleep disorder or insomnia can also be treated effectively with celery juice. The magnesium as well as essential oil content of the juice imposes a soothing effect on our nerves and. As a result, we can relax and enjoy a sound sleep.

 

Benefits of Celery Juice for Skin:

Celery juice can contribute to our skin to a great extent. It works as a wonderful alternative to synthetic beauty products available in the market. Explore the skin benefits of celery juice below:

 

11. Hydrates Skin:

The juice extracted from celery is high in water as 95% of the weight of the plant is water. Hence, drinking celery juice in a regular manner can fulfil our daily requirements of water and keeps our skin cells hydrated. As a result, we get soft and supple skin.

 

12. Prevents Skin Damage And Other Disorders:

Water and antioxidant content of the juice is also good for purifying our body and making our skin clearer. Antioxidants are basically ‘free radical scavengers’, which make our body free from toxins and prevent our skin cells from getting damaged. On the other hand, water facilitates the elimination of those toxins as well as other waste materials from our body. Consequently, we can stay away from a number of skin disorders.

 

13. Keeps Skin Young:

Celery juice is loaded with vitamin A, B, C, K, niacin and folate, which are essential for repairing skin damages as well as keeping up the health of our skin. These vitamins also help in producing collagen and nourishing our skin. Therefore, we get smooth, young and wrinkle-free skin.

 

14. Ensures Glowing Skin:

There are numerous minerals present in celery juice. These include calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and so on. Regular intake of these minerals can result into bright and glowing skin.

 

Benefits of Celery Juice for Hair:

Not only health or skin, but celery juice is rewarding for our hair also. Several ways through which this juice can benefit your tresses are given below:

 

15. Over-all Hair Care:

It has been already mentioned that celery juice comprises high amount of water and vitamin A. Both are great for our hair. Water keeps our scalp hydrated and cures dandruff, while vitamin A provides nourishment to the roots of hair strands and makes them healthy. Celery juice is also known to stimulate the growth of our hair and improve its texture. Hence, if you want lush and beautiful hair, consider daily intake of celery juice.

 

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The Health Benefits Of Ginger

What is Ginger?

Ginger is versatile and easy to use. Not only is it used for its many benefits, but it is also nutritious and packed with flavor. With many health benefits, it is one of the greatest “superfoods”. Ginger, also known as Zingiber Officinale is closely related to turmeric. Dating back 5000 years, the Chinese have been using ginger for many of its healing and medicinal properties. However, the healing properties go far beyond remedying colds.

Here I will discuss some of the health benefits and why you should have them every day.

 

Benefits of Ginger
Benefits of ginger

1. Powerful anti-inflammatory properties

The main bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol. This powerful compound is responsible for many of the medicinal properties. One of these properties includes its anti-inflammatory role in the body. As a result, ginger can help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

 

2. Can help inhibit cancer growth

Shogaol is another active compound in ginger. In other words, combined with gingerol, they help fight against many types of cancers with its anti-cancer properties.

 

3. Antioxidant properties

Antioxidants help remove free radicals within our bodies. So what are free radicals? Free radicals are molecules that attack your cells and appear increasingly through age. They cause oxidative stress and can cause DNA damage. Antioxidants can help remove these molecules and they can promote good health. In some cases research has shown it can improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s. In conclusion, consuming powerful anti-oxidants can help inhibit inflammatory responses and help protect against age-related brain diseases.

 

4. Can help with nausea

People who are suffering from nausea, headaches and vomiting may want to try take ginger. Studies have concluded that pregnant woman with morning sickness found a decrease in symptoms.

 

Different Ways to Have Ginger

So how do you take advantage of this powerful superfood? Ginger can come in many different forms and can be used in many ways. Its roots can be juiced and freshly put into beverages, soups, or food. You can also use fresh cut ginger in tea or drink ginger tea (loose leaf and organic is best). An oil form is also available which can be taken internally for a boost in gingerol to fight off against free radicals and inflammation. You can also use powdered ginger in food.

Ginger is a superfood with many health benefits such as helping you fight against certain diseases, fight against cancer, and even helping take care of nausea. Not only it is full of health benefits but it is also full of nutrition. Everyone should have ginger and see all the positive benefits for themselves.

 

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