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Lorena Casillas

6 health benefits of dark chocolate

By | Discovering New Foods Wednesday, Eating Healthy, Uncategorized | No Comments

Chocolate comes from cacao, one of the most important gifts from Mexico to the world. Cacao is originally from Mesoamerica. Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs were the first civilizations who used cacao to prepare drinks. Cacao beans were very important for these cultures. It was used as currency to buy and sell products.

The origin of the word chocolate comes from “Xocolatl” (Nahuatl language, native of the Aztec civilization before the Spanish conquest). Aztecs used to prepare a traditional drink made with cacao beans, water, and spices. It was very different of what we consume nowadays because natives didn’t add sugar or milk.

6 health benefits of dark chocolate:

  1. Flavonoids: Chemical substances that are beneficial for our health. Flavonoids protect the heart and can prevent some types of cancer, are potent antioxidants, and analgesics.
  2. Percentage of cacao: The higher the better. Enjoy chocolate with 70% of more of cacao and avoid the sugary ones. Eat small portions (1-2 squares no more than 3 times a week).
  3. Stress control: Small amounts of dark chocolate can decrease stress levels in women.
  4.  Diabetes prevention: 1 ounce of dark chocolate for 15 days could decrease insulin resistance by 50%.
  5. Natural sunburn protection: Polyphenols are substances we can find in dark chocolate. Polyphenols facilitate blood to flow closer to the skin, protecting the contact with ultraviolet rays.
  6. Theobromine: Natural antitussive. Theobromine can block the activity of the vagus nerve and thus stop coughing.

Now that you know Shahzad Memon don’t forget to include small portions of dark chocolate in your regular diet to enjoy an amazing flavor and obtain the benefits.

5 documentaries that will make you think about what you eat

By | Childhood Obesity, Health Documentaries, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nutrition, food, healthy, organic, non-GMO, light, fat-free, sugar-free, vegan, etc, are words we hear everywhere on a regular basis. One of the goals of nutritional education is to promote the truth behind the myths. That’s why I will talk about 5 documentaries that will make you think about the kind of power we have today regarding what we eat.

1. Hungry for change
If you’re a fan of diet products, shakes to lose weight, you follow different types of diets, or even if you wonder why you don’t lose weight if you eat super healthy? I recommend you to watch Hungry for Change.  It will help you to reflect about the food you eat. It will also motivate you to improve your habits.

2. Food Inc.
Food Inc. reflects and analyzes about the quality of the food we eat.  It also critiques the current production systems and the reasons why this negatively affects our health.

3. Forks Over Knives
What are the negative effects of food in our health? Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc reduce our life quality. Forks over Knives explains the relationship between our food and these diseases.

4. Fed Up
Inadequate food availability is related to poor public policies that sooner or later will need to be modified to bear the consequences caused by obesity, and to make it clear we FedUp.

5. Meat the Truth
The consequences malnutrition in health are obvious, but have you thought about the environmental consequences? Meat The Truth opens our eyes from a very different perspective, which certainly will make you think next time you use your fork.

Detox diets, the good, the bad and what you should know

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

What you should know:
What is a detox diet?
It is a type of diet consisting in the consumption of shakes and smoothies made of fruits, vegetables, and herbs used for a certain time with the belief that you can get health benefits.

Before this trend started the word detox was related to medical practices to refer cases of alcoholism, drug addiction and poisoning that put lives at risk.
Nowadays the term detox is used to refer home methods that claim can eliminate swelling, headaches, joint pain, weight loss, reduce fatigue and even depression. None of the products require a prescription.

 

The bad
The popularity of detox diets has grown exponentially recently, however, there is little evidence that detox diets remove toxins from the body. Our kidneys and liver are responsible for filtering out most toxins.

People usually express that they lose weight by following these diets and this occurs because they consume fewer calories than their bodies need. Unfortunately there is no institution that regulates the term detox.
Detox diets should not be followed for long periods of time because they do not provide enough amounts of protein, and can cause vitamin deficiency, minerals and essential fatty acids.

Some stricter followers even recommend the use of enemas (colon cleansing) but repeated use of these can cause an electrolyte imbalance.
Due to the increasing popularity of this term, many companies admit that they have changed the names of products we already know for “detox” or “cleansing” to increase sales.

 

The good
Detox diets basically eliminate the consumption of highly processed foods which are high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, additives, and preservatives. The use of many of these ingredients is widely debated due to health problems resulting therefrom, such as obesity, diabetes and much more.
Detox diets also encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Most people do not consume even half of the daily recommendation of 5 servings a day (3 vegetables and 2 fruits).

Only one shake or smoothie can provide those 5 portions easily and if is not strained it can also provide a good amount of fiber.

 

Conclusion
The consumption of smoothies and shakes can be part of a healthy life if you follow a personalized diet and exercise regularly.

Before starting a program of this inquiry ask your dietician or healthcare provider.

9 healthy habits to have a great week

By | Eating Healthy, Get Healthy With us, Healthy Diet Tips, Healthy Eating Facts, Uncategorized | No Comments

We spend long hours in traffic, at least 40 hours a week at work, many others taking charge of others. After leaving work we run to the grocery store and most of the time finding time for ourselves is practically impossible.
If it was a possibility to find time for yourself every day and at the same time strengthen healthy habits will you try?
To make your life easier we prepared this list of 9 healthy habits to have a great week:
1. Explore different ways to drink water throughout the day
Fill a bottle with water and add slices of the fruits you like, our favorites are strawberries, grapefruit, and cucumber. If you do it in the morning you will enjoy a light fruity flavor during the day will keep you hydrated. You will save money by not having to buy bottled water and avoid temptations to drink sugary drinks that are bad for your health.
2. Choose your snacks wisely
It is OK to have a couple of small snacks during the day, unfortunately, refreshments offered in schools and offices are usually high in sugar, refined flour, and saturated fats. Make smart choices instead choose a handful of nuts, a cheese stick or a piece of fruits that is easy to eat like an apple or banana.
3. Find local options
Look for farmer markets around you, they offer fresh choices, and you will a wide variety of options at reasonable prices. Fresh fruits, nuts, a small cup of freshly squeezed juice and many other options. Do not forget to practice moderation!
4. Use the stairs every day
Always use the stairs! If you think the benefit that you can provide is very small remember this the greatest benefit is obtained by the sum of all the small changes you make every day.
5. Exercise a bit during your downtime
If you are in line at the grocery store try to stand on your toes, squeeze your buttocks and hold the position for a second, repeat the exercise until your turn comes. If you’re stuck in traffic make circular motions with your wrists, stretch your neck muscles and align your spine.
6. Follow the rule not healthy, healthy
It is very simple, if you had a heavy lunch eat a very healthy dinner, if you ate sweet at breakfast balance your next meal. Each meal is a new beginning and if for some reason your lunch was a disaster there is always a new opportunity to eat healthy at the next meal.
7. Try something new
If haven’t try yoga take a class, if you feel that your coordination is poor go to Zumba. Try different activities, perhaps a painting class can help you reduce stress. Taking a walk to the park can boost your energy levels.
8. Watch the amount of sugar you eat
Limit your sugar intake, if you crave something sweet during the afternoon is probably because your body needs exercise. Set a realistic goal and improve it over time. If you can’t avoid eating something sweet eat a small portion and combine it with something healthy like a piece of fruit, a handful of almonds or a glass of skim milk.

9. Sleep better
Try to sleep at least seven hours a day. If you have trouble falling asleep drink a cup of herbal tea (free of caffeine and sugar) before going to bed. Scents like lavender oil can help too. Finally, AVOID USING YOUR SMARTPHONE 30 minutes before bedtime, this practice will help you relax.