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The Nutrition In Chocolate

People tend to talk about chocolate and its nutritional facets and in the end, people tend to conclude that because of its many ingredients that are not considered healthy, chocolate then is also not nutritious. However, this popular notion may not be entirely true.

Chocolate, according to some, contains certain nutrients. These nutrients are good for the body provided that they are eaten in small amounts only. After all, anything taken excessively is not always ideal. Excessive amounts of chocolate in your system can be harmful to your health and can even cause the build up of cholesterol and fats and this, as we all know, cause weight gain. Bear in mind, that if you must eat large amounts of chocolate, you have to “balance it out” with other food.

Chocolate contains stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that is commonly found in cocoa butter. Of course, saturated fat is not healthy. However, compared to other types of fat, stearic acid does not increase your blood cholesterol as rapidly. In fact, stearic acid may even help your heart.

The protein in chocolate is another reason as to why this sweet stuff can be healthy for a person. Generally, chocolate bars contain three to four grams of protein and we know that protein is helpful to the human body.

The antioxidants found in chocolates (flavanoids) are also found to prevent cancer as well as thwart age-related diseases. Flavanoids can also accordingly lower blood cholesterol levels and help keep the blood levels at normal rates.

Did you know chocolates also have copper, calcium and magnesium? Most, if not all, people probably do not know that chocolate has these ingredients!

One has to familiarize him or herself with the various types of chocolates, to know what’s good and what’s not. Compared to other types of chocolate that have too much saturated fat, dark chocolate is popularly known to contain the “ideal ingredients”.

Given these facts, people’s outlook on chocolates has changed. Instead of labeling it as purely junk food, chocolate may now be considered as health food. This is because of the ingredients of chocolate that actually carry good results for the human body. These ingredients can help with heart problems, blood pressure and other health-related concerns.

Hence, to partake of chocolates is not bad after all! Health junkies need not stay away from them and people with that sweet tooth need not give them up. Chocolates can be healthy. Just remember to eat them in moderation.

The Role Of Diet In Health, Nutrition And Fitness

During pregnancy the mother must increase energy intake. During lactation, energy intake is also increased. A steady balanced diet is essential, in the right quantities, throughout life, to maintain healthy growth and development. The first part of this two part article looks at the background to nutrition and the digestive process. Part two will conclude with the role of diet from pre-conception to old age.

Even before pregnancy, diet plays an essential role in preparing the female body for a normal and healthy birth. Vitamin D deficiency could cause pelvic deformation, where normal delivery of child would be difficult. Vitamin B12 deficiency could cause infertility and a history of dieting would deplete any nutrient reserves in the body, giving rise to infertility and reduction of nutrients for the foetus.
A diet consists of nutrients. Nutrients are classed as macro, required in large quantities and micro, required in small quantities. Macro nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats). Micro nutrients include vitamins and minerals. Another product essential for a diet is water. Water is required in large quantities to aid metabolism, which occurs in an aqueous environment.
Bread, cereals and potatoes contain carbohydrates, non-starch polysaccharides (nsp), water, vitamins and minerals.

It is important to have an appropriate amount in the diet for the following reasons:
Carbohydrates provide energy, which is essential for all metabolic processes within the body, including mechanical movement, respiration, growth, repair, cell metabolism, DNA replication, vision, transport within the body and maintaining homeostasis (constant internal body equilibrium such as constant blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate).
Glucose (broken down from carbohydrates) is also required for brain cells and the central nervous system.

NSP’s (fibre) are particularly important in a diet because they act as roughage or bulk. The nsp’s are not digestible and therefore pass straight through the digestive system. However, because of the increase in the bulk of food, it passes through the system more quickly than if nsp’s were not digested. NSP’s ensure food is not left in contact with the gut lining for prolonged periods of time, which could have serious health effects, including cancer.
Meat, fish, pulses contain protein, water, minerals and vitamins, nsp’s (in pulses) and lipids.

Proteins exist in two states, fibrous and globular.
Fibrous proteins have a structural role, eg tendons, ligaments, hair, growth and structure. Globular proteins function as enzymes which allows cell metabolism to occur, help in our immune system by producing antibodies to fight diseases and aid transport, both intra and extra cellular. They also work as hormones, and for growth and repair of body tissues and in blood clotting. Too much protein in our diet is removed as waste material; too little protein in our diet could result in muscle wasting and such diseases as marasmus and kwashiorkor.
Protein constitutes 12-18% of the body’s mass.

Milk and dairy products contain protein, lipids, water, vitamins and minerals.
Fat and sugar contain carbohydrates, water, lipids, minerals and vitamins.
Lipids are broken down into glycerol (a further source of glucose) and fatty acid, including essential fatty acids.

The essential fatty acids are components of the body’s cells, especially in the formation of cell membranes. Lack of fatty acids can affect blood pressure, blood clotting and homeostasis. Excess fat, however, can be stored in the body in adipose tissues and possibly result in obesity and related health problems. Although, much obesity is the result of certain gene deficiency, which will be discussed in more detail in a further article.

Healthy Low Carbohydrate Foods To Start Your Weight Loss Success

Eating a low carbohydrate diet can be great for weight loss but make sure you are also eating smart for your health. You need to think about weight loss for short term and long term success. The tips below have helped many of my clients lose weight and keep it off and if they do not work, then you simply are not overeating carbohydrates and need to take a different approach.

To make these tips more useful I would suggest writing down everything you ate yesterday so that you can make notes as you read through the suggestions.

The first carbohydrate to assess is the sweets. This includes any desserts and also beverages with added sugar. Do not count diet or sugar free foods or beverages. Circle or highlight all of those sweets you had yesterday. Then try to reduce that intake down to one serving daily. Examples of a serving could be one small to medium cake or brownie, 2 cookies, 1 regular 12oz soda, or 1 regular size candy bar.

Carbohydrate cravings are a common problem, especially chocolate cravings. Try planning one serving into your day instead of cutting them out completely and you will tend to feel less deprived. If you find you are eating large amounts of sweets try gradually cutting down the amount more gradually. For example if you are eating 10 servings daily try first reducing to 6 servings and gradually work your way down.

Next, look at your starch intake. Sweets and refined starch carbohydrates are generally low in nutrients and fiber, and often do not satisfy our hunger for long. Check to see if any of your starch foods are whole grain. Look at some of the starch foods in your kitchen such as the breads, pasta, crackers, and cereals. Check the ingredients list below the Nutrition Facts label for whole grains. The word whole needs to be in the first few ingredients. Examples would be whole wheat, whole oats, or whole grain.

Why is whole grain important? Whole grains still have all 3 parts of the grain (bran, endosperm, and germ) after milling. This keeps all the natural nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants intact rather than being lost in processing. Now – practice substituting whole grains for your refined starches over the next several weeks and try to make at least half of your starches/grains whole grains.

Don’t cut your fruit intake. In fact, you really want to increase your intake of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables because you will get more fiber and nutrients for very little calories – and they help satisfy hunger and often that sweet craving.

You can also continue drinking milk even though it has natural carbohydrate. It is still a calcium source – just keep the portion to about 8 ounces.

Make sure your overall carbohydrate intake is not too restrictive. If you are feeling weak with no energy for exercise then you have cut back too much. Some fad diets will suggest you completely eliminate carbohydrates for a while but this is not necessary and definitely not a healthy long term solution.

One last tip – try to also spread out your carbohydrate intake over the day and not load up at any one meal. Small snacks are often necessary for hunger control. These tips should help you jump start your weight loss and I wish you well on your healthy carb-controlled eating

Sports Nutrition And Carbohydrates

Athletes from all areas of sports want to get the right nutrition because this can give you the winning edge. When your body gets what it needs it can deliver the performance that you need. You can make the most of your sports talent by getting the most out of your sports nutrition. What sports nutrition you will require will depend on our age, size, physical condition and what sports you are involved with.

There are however basics to sports nutrition that everyone can follow.

Water is the most important factor in sports nutrition. Your body is around 60% water and requires water for almost every bodily function. Water cannot be stored or made by your body therefore it must constantly be replaced. While training it is especially important to keep water levels topped up and you should try to match the amount you drink with the amount you sweat.

Getting sports nutrition right means getting your fuel intake right. Good sports nutrition requires that all the food groups be consumed in the right quantities for you.

When it comes to sports nutrition carbohydrates are the most important fuel source. Fruit, vegetables, pasta, bread, cereals and rice all contain carbohydrates. The carbohydrates contain sugar and starches which you body converts to glucose, an available instant energy burst. The glucose can be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen that will give you endurance and power for high-intensity, short bursts of activity.

Your performance level will drop when your body runs out of carbohydrate fuel and has to turn to protein and fat for energy. This is because your body has to work harder to get the fuel out of protein and fat.

Having a carbohydrate strategy as part of your sports nutrition can enable you to control the level of your performance as can ensuring that you have the correct vitamins and minerals built up in adequate level before competition.

Take advice from you doctor and coach as to when to boost your carbohydrate intake prior to competing as they are useful resources when it comes to finding out about sports nutrition.

General sports nutrition can be based on a well balance diet. The added incentive of achieving a good performance can sway you against the temptation of crisps, chocolate, alcohol and fried foods such as chips. Sports nutrition from an early age can start a health eating regime for the rest of your life, keeping you fit and healthy.

Protect Your Health Through Good Nutrition And Diet

Garlic fights many different ailments, such as cancer. It also contains natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can aid your organs. You can also add garlic right into your meals.

Pregnant women must focus on nutrition. Pregnant women must get enough protein. However, they may not want to eat at times. Try blending egg whties into your smoothies for more protein. Eggs are a great source of protein for the pregnant woman, because they have 3 grams of needed protein in each egg white, no fat and just 15 calories. Pasteurized eggs must be used to reduce the risk of contracting salmonella.

When thinking about a nutritional diet, include a minimum of eight ounces of daily lean meats. That works to give you the protein and iron you need. Some candidates include bison, venison, or other lean cuts.

A great tip for good nutrition at Thanksgiving is to eat a little snack before dinner. Going to dinner with an empty belly can lead you to overeating. If you eat a bite of food before you go, it is easier to feel full faster and eat less.

Foods high in calcium should be a regular part of your diet. Calcium comes from a whole panoply of foods, such as dairy products or certain seafood. Other calcium sources are vegetarian-friendly, such as nuts, dark-green leafy veggies, and beans, including soy-derived products. Calcium helps your body maintain good bone health. Being deficient in calcium can give rise to osteoporosis, a disorder of brittle bones. Osteoporosis is an extremely painful process that slowly causes your bones to be soft and brittle.

Be sure to eat your broccoli. A single stalk of broccolo contains an entire day’s worth of Vitamin K. Moreover, it also contains almost two days’ worth of vitamin C. These vitamins are essential for bone health and may have a protective effect against certain cancers. In order to get the best nutritional value, cook broccoli in a steamer as opposed to boiling or microwaving.

You should encourage drinking good amount of water over the course of the day. Serve juice or milk on 1 or 2 meals and try not to offer it constantly. If they have juice or milk all day, they are less likely to be hungry at mealtime.

To maintain good nutrition, you must eat in a balanced way. The body needs several essential nutrients in order to function properly: vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. You can find these in over the counter supplements, but the body can get them easier from foods.

If you have diabetes, you face some needs that are unusually challenging. It is possible to tackle them by eating with regularity in order to maintain proper blood sugar levels. They require lots of vegetables and fresh fruit, products with whole grain and products from dairy with reduced fat. Try to eat them close to the same time each day.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you should have the information you need to make healthy changes that are long overdue. Use the information learned to begin treating your body better. If you follow these suggestions, you will feel a lot better very soon. For far more thorough information health sites, diet plans for women, healthy meal plans

Nutrition Can Help Your Arthritis

Here is a brief look at the ongoing research of arthritis and nutrition. There has been a lot of research that identifies the relationship between arthritis and nutrition. I just realized I have a whole lot to say about arthritis and nutrition, so here you go: There two main kinds of arthritis, osteo- and rheumatoid, but both are inextricably linked with nutrition. Although progress in the field of arthritis and nutrition is slow, we fully expect to see further justification of these theories as medical science progresses.

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint or joints. Arthritis is usually caused by what people eat and drink and is becoming very common in people of all ages which will probably affect 90% of people by the age of 60. Arthritis is a poorly understood condition but some scientists believe that rheumatoid arthritis is the result of a micro-organism or other foreign substance in the body. Arthritis is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases and becomes more prevalent as we age. Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions today, affecting as many as 100 million people worldwide. Can the foods you eat cause or affect your arthritis? Diet is a major role player in the onset of arthritis. There are some scientific reasons to think that the foods you eat could affect certain kinds of arthritis.

Studies have shown that excessive weight and your diet are definitely factors in certain types of arthritis. Research has shown several connections between food, nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids) and certain forms of arthritis or related conditions, such as gout, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, and reactive arthritis. Healthcare professionals strongly recommend that people with arthritis follow a diet based on variety, balance and moderation. The treatment for arthritis usually focuses on medications that reduce inflammation, which decreases pain and increases mobility.

Nutritional advancements have shown to be extremely effective in both preventing and managing many forms of arthritis by all natural nutritional supplements. Nutrition and exercise are beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers in additional to medical therapy. A person has to eat and drink the necessary foods required for proper nutrition. It is almost impossible to get a daily balanced diet so the logical answer is to allocate a portion of your food budget to include a nutritional supplement product that supplies the recommended daily minimums. It is best for overall health when that can be attained through improved nutrition instead of toxic drugs. But then again, a lack of evidence doesn’t rule out the power of good nutrition–researchers could find no explicit link between red meat and RA either. But if nothing else, an emphasis on good nutrition is especially meaningful in the sense of choice and control it can give to those with arthritis. While conventional medicine often helps to ease the symptoms, nutritional supplements can also have powerful effect in assisting keeping this debilitating condition in check.

It seems like we hear conflicting news about what we should and shouldn’t eat at every turn, but experts have pinpointed specific foods and supplements that can actually decrease the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis when combined with regular exercise. Other supplements that have been in the news a lot lately – glucosamine and chondriton – help the body repair damaged tissue, slow down joint degeneration and improve joint function and mobility. Give some of our suggestions a try: Exercise at least 3 times a week and watch your weight. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and adhere to a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet. Moderate your sugar intake, consider using sugar substitutes if you drink alcoholic beverages, drink in moderation and avoid tobacco use. Take recommended supplements with your doctor’s approval. This well known set of facts exists, drink eight glasses of water per day and get 8 hours of sleep each night.In addition, changes to diet and the use of certain nutritional supplements may also help to relieve symptoms. Liquid dietary supplements have several advantages over tablets and capsules. Liquid vitamins and mineral supplements have a greater absorption rate than any other form of supplementation. The effective use of nutritional supplements and natural diet saves money, pain and lives.

The first step is to insure you get the basic nutrition through proper diet and exercise. Just as it is for people without arthritis, maintaining a balance in the foods you choose is important. While exercise is important for overall health, for people with stiff joints and decreased mobility, it can really help offset the consequences of this condition. Joint pain may discourage you from beginning an exercise program, but the important thing to remember is to start slow. Too much exercise, especially jogging, or anything that is hard on the joints, is not helpful and can cause traumatic arthritis. However, some mild daily exercise such as walking is generally best and does not stress the joints as does any vigorous exercise.

Studies have shown a connection between foods, vitamin supplementation, and fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) can only help certain types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, walnuts, freshly ground flaxseed or a good omega-3 supplement may help reduce the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Research also suggests that a diet rich in Omega 3 EPA may help reduce the pain of inflammation associated with some forms of joint pain. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids from plant foods such as flaxseed and oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, olive and canola oils (just to name a few) is renown for preventing and even reversing osteoarthritis.