Dark Chocolate Can Improve Your Vision
Forget the carrots dark chocolate can improve your vision, according to a new study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior. The researchers found that the participants who consumed dark chocolate, or 720 mg of cocoa flavanols to experience more of the visual performance, such as motion-detection and reading of low contrast letters are likely to be due to an elevated flow of blood to the retina and the brain.
Foods That Shrink The Prostate Gland
Benign prostatic hyperplasia becomes a common ailment as we age. It is an enlargement of the prostate gland and causes various urinary symptoms.
BPH is not cancer, but sometimes the prostate gland grows too much, and doctors decide to practice surgery. But if you have a slightly increased gland, you may need non-invasive treatment instead.
The normal prostate is made up of a given number of cells. In a prostate with BPH, the number of cells increases.
The exact cause is unknown, but aging and hormones are both critical factors. It is the primary cause of urinary symptoms in men, especially urinary retention and frequent urination.
Urination becomes frequent and sometimes difficult and wakes them up at night. Some patients may also have erectile dysfunction, but this symptom is usually due to other health conditions.
The majority of these problems can be solved by reducing the size of the prostate gland. But is it possible? How can you shrink the prostate gland with foods?
Superfoods For A Healthy Prostate
A balanced diet may reduce your risk for prostate problems.
The prostate, which is part of the male reproductive system, is a gland that surrounds the bladder and urethra. It is about the size of a walnut and grows throughout a mans life. As you age, its important to maintain a healthy prostate. The gland can become enlarged, and prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men.
Theres no definitive evidence that good nutrition can prevent prostate problems, but eating a healthy balanced diet may reduce your risk. Building a meal and snack around veggies and fruit is a smart idea for health in general, and particularly a healthy prostate, says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, nutrition expert for New York Times bestseller LL Cool Js Platinum Workout and advisory board member for Mens Fitness magazine.
Here are six foods you can eat to boost your prostate health.
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A Study With Surprising Results
Another study on coffee consumption says that four or more cups of coffee a day could lead to a reduced risk of the recurrence of prostate cancer and the progression of the disease.
This study was published in the Journal of Cancer Causes and Control. 1,001 prostate cancer patients were analyzed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. All of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, ages 35 to 74 years old.
The patients completed a food frequency questionnaire two years before diagnosis. They were required to give information regarding their diet and beverage consumption.
The researchers ran a follow-up analysis five years after the participants first diagnosis to find out whether the prostate cancer had recurred and/or progressed.
Of the original 1,001 participants, 630 then answered questions about their coffee intake and were included in the final results.
The data analysis manifested that 12% of the patients consumed four or more cups of coffee daily and showed a 59% decreased risk of recurrence of the disease compared to patients who consumed one cup or less of coffee each week.
Exercise And Lose Weight
Exercising and losing weight are some of the best things you can do to promote prostate health. Many studies show that moderate or vigorous exercise reduces risk of BPH and urinary tract symptoms and helps with prostatitis as well. Exercise also benefits your cardiovascular health and can help prevent other health and sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction.
If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the most important natural changes you can make in improving your prostate health, whether your concerns are cancer, BPH or prostatitis. A study published in the Journal of Urology found that overweight men, especially men with a high amount of abdominal fat, have an increased risk of BPH. If you are looking to shrink the prostate, losing weight can help you reduce your prostate size and help relieve annoying and frustrating urinary symptoms. On top of that, weight loss can reduce your risk for prostate cancer and help relieve prostatitis, too.
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Worst Foods For Prostate Health And Foods You Need To Add To Your
The prostate is a small gland that is instrumental in reproductive functioning in men. When healthy, it is doughnut shaped and wrapped around the urethra, the tube through which men urinate.
There are three primary ways in which men suffer poor prostate health.
- Non-cancerous enlargement (enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia or BHP
And there is no doubt that diet plays a crucial role in both prostate health and minimization of symptoms in those with prostate disease. In this article, we take a look at some of the foods to avoid and some new ones with which to replace them.
The Treat May Improve Cognition Prevent Memory Loss And Boost Your Mood
No, its not your imagination studies show consuming high concentrations of dark chocolate may benefit your brain. Joy DuBost, PhD, RD, a nutrition spokesperson and owner of Dubost Food & Nutrition Solutions, says research has shown chocolate stimulates neural activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, which in turn decreases stress and improves your mood.
Out of eight studies on chocolate and mood, five showed improvements in mood, and three showed clear evidence of cognitive enhancement, according to a systematic review published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. Further research presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting found that eating 48 grams of organic chocolate with 70 percent cacao increased neuroplasticity in the brain, which could have positive effects on memory, cognition, and mood.
Improvements in brain health may be due to the high levels of flavonoids in dark chocolate, which research, like a study published in April 2018 in The FASEB Journal, has found to have accumulated in regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
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What Are Chocolates Health Benefits
Though more research on the health benefits of chocolate is definitely needed, numerous studies over the years have found chocolate to have a variety of positive effects on the body. Particularly the heart seems to benefit from a daily dose of chocolates flavanols, as research has shown regular consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa powder to reduce blood pressure2, increase blood flow3, and reduce the risk of stroke after being fermented by gut microbes into anti-inflammatory compounds.4 Dark chocolate may also be a delicious alternative to a midday cup of coffee, as its stimulant effects have been shown to increase alertness and improve attention.5 Flavanols may even help keep your memory sharp as you age
So, again, if you want to reap these potential health benefits with some dark chocolate, aim for a bar with the highest percentage of cacao that still tastes good to you. Weve selected some bars to help you work up to 90%, some of which with additional healthy ingredients to keep things interesting.
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The Best Chocolate For Cancer Patients
You guessed it dark chocolate is the one, offering many benefits to both healthy individuals and those who are battling cancer.
Before we discuss how and why dark chocolate is good for you, please keep in mind that we are only talking about dark chocolate here. Do not begin shoving Hersheys milk chocolate kisses in your face and telling everyone, New Hope Unlimited said I should eat more chocolate. No, New Hope Unlimited is sharing the health benefits of dark chocolate, and we recommend consulting your doctor before reintroducing this indulgent treat to your body.
How Dark Chocolate Benefits Cancer Patients
Here are the proven health benefits of dark chocolate or cocoa:
Phytochemicals are bioactive nutrient plant chemicals found in fruits, veggies, grains, and other edible plants that may provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Cocoa is a rich source of phytochemicals, which, according to a recent study, may help prevent tumor growth and decrease the production of cancer-related hormones.
In simpler terms, free radicals can damage our DNA, leading to mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer and other diseases.
Foods To Avoid: Red Meat
A juicy steak, a Sunday roast or some Italian meatballs are just a few popular dinner choices that make use of red meat however, if these are some of your favourites then I have some bad news – they won’t help the health of your prostate!
The problem with red meat is that it elevates levels of arachidonic acid in your body and this, in turn, increases inflammation – the very thing your enlarged prostate does not need! The more inflammation present in your body generally, the more likely you are to have inflammation in the prostate. Therefore, avoiding or limiting your intake of foods which trigger an inflammatory response is a good place to start when dealing with the problem.
The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to red meat that won’t cause such issues including fish. Why not swap that Sunday roast for a tasty fish stew?
If this doesn’t take your fancy though, simply have a look at our Recipe Hub for some cooking inspiration. Our Healthy Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas is extremely popular, as is our Trout with Creamy Potato Salad.
When cooking from scratch, beans also make a good alternative to meat, plus they happen to be high in protein and fibre.
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Chocolate: Food As Medicine
Numerous research reviews support that dark chocolate intake may positively influence oxidative stress, inflammation, vessel function, immunity, detoxification, and nitric oxide production and may exert protective effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, lipid profile and platelet activation
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May Aid Weight Control In Many Surprising Ways
Somewhat paradoxically, cocoa intake, even in the form of chocolate, may help you control your weight.
Its thought that cocoa may help by regulating the use of energy, reducing appetite and inflammation and increasing fat oxidation and feelings of fullness .
A population study found that people who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than people who ate it less often, despite the former group also eating more calories and fat .
Additionally, a weight loss study using low-carbohydrate diets found that a group given 42 grams or about 1.5 ounces of 81% cocoa chocolate per day lost weight faster than the regular diet group .
However, other studies have found that chocolate consumption increases weight. Yet, many of them did not differentiate between the type of chocolate consumed white and milk chocolate do not have the same benefits as dark .
Overall, it appears that cocoa and cocoa-rich products may be helpful in achieving weight loss or maintaining weight, but further studies are needed.
Summary Cocoa products are associated with a lower weight, and the addition of cocoa to your diet may help achieve faster weight loss. However, more research is needed on this topic to determine exactly what type and how much cocoa is ideal.
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What The Research Says
A recent study has also evaluated a possible connection. The authors explored the link between prostate enlargement and vitamin D. They did it through the hormone testosterone. Their results show that higher vitamin D levels in the blood reduce the PSA levels. They also hypothesize that testosterone levels and function depend on vitamin D status. If thats the case, low vitamin D levels would also have a hormonal consequence that explains BPH and BPH symptoms .
Other studies explored a more direct association between the prostate tissue and vitamin D. Interestingly the prostate epithelial cells can activate vitamin D. Moreover, these cells have a vitamin D receptor, even prostate cancer cells. Upon binding, vitamin D sends signals to control the proliferation of cells.
Choose Your Daily Dose Wisely
The darker the chocolate, the better. The reason dark chocolate gets all the accolades is that it contains lower added sugar and fats than milk or white chocolate. In addition, its higher in beneficial flavonoids.
Those with the highest proportion of cacao are better, even when it comes to powder for hot cocoa.
Choose a bar with a minimum 70% cacao, and just remember even the darkest of the dark chocolates must be consumed in moderation.
There you have it. Science says a daily dose of dark chocolate can be good for your health. No need to wait for a special celebration. Enjoy some today.
Want to learn more scientific tips and tricks about eating right and aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!
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What’s The Difference Between Milk And Dark Chocolate
At this point in his presentation, we were “forced” to do a blind sampling and were given 4 individual chocolate squares. Next, we rated our taste choices and were asked to guess what percentage of chocolate we were eating.
For most of us, the flavor of milk chocolate was the most familiar and most-liked due to the high sugar content. At the other end of the taste scale was a sample of 90% cocoa. Apart from one person, we all thought it was too bitter. By the end of the presentation, the group tended to favor the 70% content — not as sweet as the milk chocolate, definitely not the bitter flavor of the 90%, but certainly a healthier choice.
It Also Lowers The Blood Pressure
According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, if you will, a slight increase in blood pressure, and a bite of dark chocolate a day can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Cocoa polyphenols have helped to reduce the incidence of hypertension can be from 86 to 68% of the participants , at the age of 56 to 73 years, who consumed as much as 6 grams of dark chocolate containing 30 mg of polyphenols per day, over the course of 18 weeks.
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For An Antioxidant Boost Break Off A Square Of Dark Chocolate
If youve dreamt of eating chocolate every day, now you have an excuse or eight.
Dark chocolate contains phytonutrients called flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that act as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention, heart health, and weight loss, noted an article published in December 2016 in the Journal of Nutritional Science. The cacao plant that chocolate is derived from also contains a compound called theobromine, which Toby Amidor, RD, a cookbook author and nutrition expert for the Food Network, says can help reduce inflammation and potentially lower blood pressure.
Cacao is packed with numerous antioxidants actually more than green tea or red wine, she says. The darker you go, the more antioxidants youll get, but there needs to be a balance between eating palatable dark chocolate and getting the health benefits.