CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU!

CHOCOLATE CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU, AT THE RIGHT DOSE!

chocolate

By Dr. Joseph Mercola 

There have been quite a few interesting scientific studies emerging about chocolate over the past few years. There’s also a lot of confusion about chocolate—what type to eat and how much, types to avoid, etc., so I hope to dispel some of the myths on this subject. Chocolate can be used therapeutically, but only if it’s the right kind.

Chocolate is like anything else: garbage in, garbage out. Consuming poor quality chocolate, such as chocolate loaded with sugar and chemicals, is no more beneficial to your body than drinking a soda.

 

Chocolate Terminology

It’s first helpful to understand the distinction between cacao, cocoa and chocolate. Here are some definitions:

  • Cacao: Refers to the plant, a small evergreen tree of the species Theobroma cacao, cultivated for its seeds, also known as cacao beans or cocoa beans
  • Cocoa: Refers to the powder made from roasted, husked and ground cacao seeds, from which most of the fat has been removed
  • Cocoa butter: The fat component of the cacao seed
  • Chocolate: The solid food or candy made from a preparation of cacao seeds (roasted); if the cacao seeds are not roasted, then you have “raw chocolate,” which is also typically sweetened.

 

Is Chocolate YOUR Favorite Vegetable?

The number of health benefits now associated with the cocoa bean are really quite impressive, including benefits to your heart and blood vessels, brain and nervous system, improved insulin sensitivity, and even possibly slowing down the rate at which you age. Cacao’s benefits are related to compounds naturally occurring in the bean, including epicatechin and resveratrol, both powerful antioxidants.

Epicatechin is thought to help shield your nerve cells from damage. Norman Hollenberg, a professor of medicine at Harvard who has spent years studying the Kuna people of Panama who consume up to 40 cups of cocoa a week, believes epicatechin is so important it should be considered a vitamin. The Kuna have less than a 10 percent risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes, which are the most prevalent diseases ravaging the Western world.

Besides epicatechin, cacao is also high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.

One 2012 meta-analysis found that eating chocolate could slash your risk of cardiovascular disease by 37 percent and your stroke risk by 29 percent. Another 2012 meta-analysis, this one in the UK1, found that cocoa/chocolate lowered insulin resistance, reduced blood pressure, increased blood vessel elasticity, and slightly reduced LDL. 

Dr. Golomb explains how the health benefits of cocoa require a relatively narrow dose range. There is a “Goldilocks curve”—too little or too much means no significant benefit occurs.

 

Positive health benefits science suggests are conferred by the cocoa bean:

cocoa beans

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-diabetic and anti-obesity
  • Neuroprotective
  • Slows progression of periodontitis
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Improves gastrointestinal flora
  • Improves exercise endurance
  • Anti-thrombotic
  • Cardioprotective
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • May help extend lifespan
  • Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
  • Improved liver function
  • Reduces symptoms of glaucoma and cataracts
  • Protects against preeclampsia in pregnant women

What to Look for When Selecting Chocolate

The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimize its nutritional punch by looking for higher cacao and lower sugar content. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. However, cacao is fairly bitter, and the higher the percentage cacao, the more bitter it is. The flavanols are what make the chocolate bitter, so manufacturers often remove them. But, it’s those flavanols that are responsible for many of chocolate’s health benefits.

To counteract the bitterness, most chocolate is sweetened, so it’s a matter of balancing nutritional benefit with palatability. Although raw cacao is the most nutritious form, most of the health studies to date involve consumption of cocoa or chocolate, not raw cacao. But the results are STILL significantly positive. This fact suggests a good portion of the nutritional benefit of chocolate is retained after processing.

Your goal then is to find a chocolate that’s as minimally processed as possible, but still palatable. You don’t want to eliminate too many of the health benefits by eating a product that contains a lot of sugar and chemicals. Choose chocolate with a cocoa/cacao percentage of about 70 or higher. If you can tolerate the flavor of raw cacao, then that’s the absolute best option. Milk chocolate is not a good choice as it contains pasteurized milk, which is not good for you, and large quantities of sugar. White chocolate is also high in sugar and contains none of the phytonutrients, so is not a good choice either. Dark chocolate is your best option.

 

Ingredients to Steer Clear Of:

Read your labels carefully and evaluate each product for the following:

  • Type of sweetener: Not only should you choose chocolate with low sugar content, but you should also look at what form of sugar it contains. Honey is sometimes used to sweeten raw chocolate products, which is a good choice (in moderation). If you can find chocolate sweetened with stevia or lo han (a natural sweetener derived from the Chinese Monk Fruit), that would be preferable to cane sugar, fructose or high fructose corn syrup. Strictly avoid any product containing artificial sweeteners.
  • Genetically engineered cocoa beans: Select chocolate products that are certified organic so that you can be sure they aren’t genetically engineered (GE). Most chocolate today (even dark chocolate) is GE, unfortunately. Also opt for fair-trade products.
  • Type of fat: Fat in chocolate, as long as it’s the right kind, is a good thing. It slows down the absorption of sugar, lessening the insulin spike. Ideally, the type of fat in your chocolate bar should be what is contained in the natural plant—cocoa butter. The primary fatty acid in cocoa butter is stearic acid, which is the only saturated fat that favorably affects HDL, without adversely affecting LDL, according to Dr. Golomb.

Coconut oil would be the next best fat in chocolate. Make sure you avoid soybean oil (and any other form of soy), and other vegetable oils and trans fats.

 

How Much Chocolate Should You Eat and How Often?

In general, it seems preferable to consume smaller amounts of chocolate at more frequent intervals, much like the principle of split dosing for supplements, in order to ensure a steadier stream of nutrients in your bloodstream. According to Dr. Golomb, studies show people eating chocolate more than five times per week have a lower body mass index.

That said, if you eat chocolate 20 times a day, you’re going to have a problem due to the sheer quantity you’re consuming! Daily consumption in divided doses (two to three times per day) is probably beneficial, as long as you aren’t going overboard in quantity, and as long as you’re eating high quality chocolate.

According to Ori Hofmekler, in order to fully benefit from chocolate, you’d have to consume about 3.5 to 7 ounces per day. He states:

“The problem is that even the healthiest dark chocolate brands today are not designed for such a large consumption.Yes, a moderate serving of three to four ounces of dark chocolate per day may be sufficient enough to affect your blood sugar and waist size.”

Try this delicious and healthy Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Source Link: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/no-sugar-chocolates.aspx

10 Facts about COCONUT OIL and the reasons why you should be using it.

10 FACTS ABOUT COCONUT OIL AND THE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING IT.

coconut-oil

BY

Michele Chevalley Hedge

Here’s 10 reasons to pick up some coconut oil today. From beating sugar cravings to aiding weight loss, there are more benefits of coconut oil than most of us may realise.

1. All fats are not created equal

Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately coverting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.

2. Controls weight

One 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women’s consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.

3 .Eases digestion

If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.

4. Manage type 2 diabetes

A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.

5. Supports immunity

Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.

6. Boost metabolism

A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body’s immune system and keep weight off.

7. Slows fine lines

Coconut is not just for your cooking – it’s a wonderfully hydrating treat for skin too. It keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on your face and body for a healthy glow. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.

8. Cooks in high temperatures

Because coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.

9. Stops sugar cravings

Instead of reaching for the lollie jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings. This is because good quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar you will feel less ‘ravenous’. Most of us do not realize but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly.  With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly, and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.

10. Coconut oil is simple to cook with

Try this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat. Read More

THE WONDER “DRUG” OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY – Apple Cider Vingar

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – THE WONDER “DRUG” OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY.

think24hrfitness-AppleCiderVinegar

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine that are vital for a healthy body. 

Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing fresh, organically grown apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. This boosts the natural fermentation qualities of the crushed apples, which differs from the refined and distilled vinegars found in supermarkets. When the vinegar is mature, it contains a dark, cloudy, web-like bacterial foam called mother, which becomes visible when the rich brownish liquid is held to the light. The mother can be used to add to other vinegar to hasten maturity for making more Apple Cider Vinegar.

Natural vinegars that contain the mother have enzymes and minerals that other vinegars in grocery stores may not have due to over-processing, over-heating, and filtration. For this reason, it is recommended that you purchase only unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar, with an ideal acidity (pH) level of 5 to 7, this health drink is a natural probiotic.

What are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful natural cure for a number of ailments which usually require antibiotics and other medications that have a number of side effects. In particular, Apple Cider Vinegar has been known to:

Fitness- GravensteinVinegar

  • Reduce sinus infections and sore throats
  • Balance high cholesterol
  • Cure skin conditions such as acne
  • Protect against food poisoning
  • Fight allergies in both humans and animals
  • Prevent muscle fatigue after exercise
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase stamina
  • Increase metabolism which promotes weight loss
  • Improve digestion and cure constipation
  • Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout
  • Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections

Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar:

General Health Problems:

Weight Loss

The use of apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for weight loss is centuries old. D.C. Jarvis, M.D maintained that an overweight person could lose weight gradually by taking 2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water before meals.

Bad Breath

Due to its antiseptic properties, Apple Cider Vinegar makes a wonderful remedy for bad breath or halitosis. Simply add 2 teaspoons of ACV into a cup of water and gargle the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds at a time and spit the solution out. Repeat until the cup is empty.

Body Odour

Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective body odour remedy, since it can help adjust the skin’s pH level which helps to eliminate odour-causing bacteria. For armpit odour, simply wipe them once each morning with undiluted apple cider vinegar (using a cotton ball). For foot odour, fill a pan with warm water and add 1/3 cup of ACV, then let your feet soak in this mixture for 15 minutes once per week.

Skin Problems and Infections:

Acne

Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural cure for acne. Apply a solution of apple cider vinegar and water (2 tablespoons to 1 eight ounce glass of water) with a cotton ball several times a day. This will help reduce infection and dry out inflammation.

Age Spots

Apple Cider Vinegar contains sulfur that fights the effects of aging, which makes it suitable for treating age spots. Apply daily, to these darkened areas of the skin, a solution containing 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of onion juice. According to this home remedy, the spots should begin to fade within 2 weeks.

Cellulite

Many women have found that Apple Cider Vinegar can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Yeast Infection

Apple Cider Vinegar has been found to be an effective treatment for yeast infections.

Stomach Problems:

Heartburn

This usually occurs after eating, sometimes up to two hours later. This very unpleasant feeling can be alleviated by taking 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 OZ of water, taken three times a day before meals.

Constipation

Apple Cider Vinegar is frequently used as a natural cure for constipation.

Diarrhoea

There are various causes for diarrhoea, and although it should not be left untreated, it is often a natural way for the body to rid itself of harmful compounds and ingested materials. Apple Cider Vinegar is a fantastic natural remedy for diarrhoea since the high pectin concentration acts as a protective coating which soothes the irritated lining of the colon. A suggestion is to add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a large glass of water, and drink this 3 times daily while the symptoms persist.

Major Illnesses:

Diabetes

Apple Cider Vinegar may help to control high blood sugar levels, which is why it is often used as a natural treatment for Diabetes.

How to take it?

For daily maintenance, weight loss and pH balancing:

  • 2 teaspoons in 8 oz of water 3x a day (taken before your meals)

For treating an acute condition like acid reflux, cough, bronchitis, or sore throat:

  • 2 Tablespoons in 8 oz of water 3x a day (taken before your meals) .

To help with the taste you can always add a teaspoon of raw honey.

Source: www.homeremediesweb.com/apple_cider_vinegar…

COCONUT TREATS

coconut balls-health

Try this simple recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat.

  • 1 teaspoon of Niugini Organics Coconut Oil (available from health food stores)
  • 1 cup of almonds or walnuts
  • 1 cup of organic dates
  • 3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
  • Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.

Enjoy!

PROTEIN PAN CAKES

Recipe for Protein Pan Cakes.

Protein-pancakes-healthy-snack

Try this healthy and tasty high protein snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 4 Eggs
  • Chocolate Protein (1-2 scoops)
  • Shredded Coconut (4 heaped tablespoons)
  • Optional Walnuts

Method:

1) Mash the banana in a large bowl until its soft and paste like.
2) Then add the 4 eggs but only 1 yoke.
3) Next you add your chocolate protein powder 1 or 2 scoops (use a protein powder which is high protein low carb/no carb ratio). The brand “TSN Chocolate Fast Pro” works well.
4) The last ingredient is shredded coconut, add 4 heaped tablespoons.
5) Once all the ingredient are in the bowl use a folk to whisk all the ingredients together until they are one colour and consistency. Refer picture above (bottom left).
6) Now your are ready to cook.  Once your pan is heated pour the desired amount out and cook like you would a normal pancake mix.

Bon appetit!

Optional:
You can add a hand full of crushed walnuts to your mix before whisking everything together ready to cook. Makes for a nice crunch :)
Feel free to add more shredded coconut (add to taste).

Notes:
Double all the ingredients to double the amount of pancakes.
Remember to stir the mixture before pouring a new pancake on the pan as some of the ingredients may sink.

 think 24hr fitness

 

 

9 DISTURBING SIDE EFFECTS OF SODA

9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda

SODAsodacans

By Emily Main, Rodale

Soda’s Bittersweet Side Effects

If you’ve been reading health magazines and websites for any length of time, you’ve read a litany of reasons why soda is bad for you. It’s nothing but sugar water. It’s devoid of any nutritional value. It leads to obesity and diabetes. But we’ve dug up nine other disturbing facts about what soda does to your body, besides packing on the pounds, that don’t get much attention in broader discussions about soda and its impact on your health.

Weird Fat in Weird Places

In the latest bad news for the soda industry, Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk.

Diet-Soda Belly

It’s not surprising that drinking all the sugar in sodas would cause weight gain, but what is surprising is that even diet soda will pack on the pounds: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion! A separate study the same researchers conducted on mice suggested that it was the aspartame, which raised blood glucose levels, that caused the weight gain; when your liver encounters too much glucose, the excess is converted to body fat.

Diet Soda = Diabetes Soda

sodac

Caramel Cancer-Causers

In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.

Accelerated Aging

Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels–a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.

Water Pollution

The artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas don’t break down in our bodies, nor do wastewater-treatment plants catch them before they enter waterways, researchers have found. In 2009, Swiss scientists tested water samples from wastewater-treatment plants, rivers and lakes in Switzerland and detected levels of acesulfame K, sucralose, and saccharin, all of which are, or have been, used in diet sodas. A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. revealed the presence of sucralose in every one. It’s not clear yet what these low levels are doing to people, but past research has found that sucralose in rivers and lakes interferes with some organisms’ feeding habits.

3701834406_e36efab769Mountain Dew Mind

Dentists have a name for the condition they see in kids who drink too much Mountain Dew. They wind up with a “Mountain Dew Mouth,” full of cavities caused by the drink’s excessive sugar levels. “Mountain Dew Mind” may be the next medical condition that gets named after the stuff. An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time.

Whacked-Out Hormones

It’s not just the soda that’s causing all the problems. Nearly all aluminum soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, and has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and some forms of reproductive cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have pegged soda cans, along with restaurant, school, and fast-food meals, as a major source of exposure to the chemical. And while Pepsi and Coke are currently locked in a battle to see which company can be the first to develop a 100 percent plant-based-plastic bottle–which they’re touting as “BPA free”–neither company is willing to switch to BPA-free aluminum cans.

Dead Birds

Before you switch from cans to bottles, though, take a look at the photographs of Chris Jordan, an environmentalist and photographer who visited the Midway Atoll area in 2009. It’s close to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a mass of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean where things like soda caps (which often aren’t recycled) and plastic fish netting float just beneath the surface of the water. Birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife mistake the debris for food and eat large quantities of the plastic, which they are unable to digest. Ultimately, the plastic causes them to starve to death. It’s estimated that thousands of animals die this way every year.

Unknown Side Effects of GMOs

Take a look at the ingredients list for any soda and chances are most of those ingredients are derived from corn. As much as 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified to resist toxic pesticides or engineered to create pesticides within the plant itself. Thanks to lax government safety regulations, and tight corporate control over who gets to test these proprietary seeds, there are no human studies that can prove or disprove whether these crops are safe. Independent scientists have found that, in animals, genetically modified crops, or GMOs, are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility. By drinking soda, you’re taking part in the biggest science experiment on the planet.

If you enjoyed this article please like, share and tweet us.  Make sure you also check out our other great blogs at www.think24hrfitness.com.au. Thank you for the support.

 

Original article: www.care2.com

JUICING vs BLENDING… which one is better?

Juicing VS Blending…. which one is better?

Power-Juicer-Blender

This is a question that we get asked all the time. Which is better: juicing or blending? Does one offer more health benefits than the other? Juices and smoothies both play an important role in any wellness program. We believe that both juicing and blending are very beneficial, but in different ways.

Here is a short comparison that explains the differences between the two as well as some of the specific benefits of each.

What’s The Difference?

JUICING

Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce  and discards the indigestible fiber.  

Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. In fact, it makes the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole.

This is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system or illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber. The fiber in produce helps slow down the digestive process and provides a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream. Jason Vale calls juicing “A nutrient express!”

Freshly squeezed vegetable juices form part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient rich and nourish and restore the body at a cellular level.

A word of caution: When you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream quickly. If you are only juicing fruits, this would cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar  levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more!

Fiber is also filling and without fiber in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly.

BLENDING

Unlike juices, smoothies consist  of the entire entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables. 

However, the blending process breaks the fibre apart (which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest ) but also helps create a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoids blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fiber, and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day.

By including the fiber in your smoothie, the volume will increase. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie.

Juicing and Blending Rules

1. It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s apple). This can affect how well your digestive enzymes function. 

This doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit due to their high starch content. In his book Food Combining Made Easy, Dr. Herbert Shelton explains that starchy foods have to be eaten alone because starches are digested with enzymes different from those used for any other food group. Combining starchy foods with fruit may cause fermentation and gas. However, Dr. Shelton found that green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything.

2. Try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away. After 15 minutes, light and air will destroy much of the nutrients. If you can’t drink it straight away, transfer to a dark airtight container until you’re ready.

Using The Right Equipment

To get the most benefit from your juices and smoothies, it’s important to use the right equipment. Invest in a good-quality juicer. Cheaper, centrifugal juicers introduce heat and oxygen and destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. While it may cost you a bit more initially, a premium cold-press juicer will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term.

The machines themselves will also generally last longer. In contrast to the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out their juice.

The same goes for a blender. You want a blender that is gentle on your produce and doesn’t heat up the enzymes as it’s pulling apart the fibres. We spend money on gadgets, clothes, restaurants and other luxuries so, if you can afford it, investing in your health by buying a quality juicer or blender is totally worth it.

Source Links:

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2011/08/juicing-versus-blending/.

http://www.drsearswellnessinstitute.org/blog/2012/04/12/juicing-vs-blending/

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BROWNIE

Chocolate Protein Brownie

protein_brownieFeeling peckish? This chocolate protein brownie recipe is delicious, and good for you!

  • 3/4 almond milk
  • 2 servings protein scoop (1 scoop = 1 serving)
  • 1/4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

 

Cook for 30 mins at Fanforced 320•c or conventional oven 160•c
, when the knife comes out clean they are ready!

Protein: 11.1g, total fat: 1.8g, carbs: 16.6g

Sex Drive Foods… kick start your libido.

How to Kick Start Your Sex Drive with Libido Boosting Foods

aphrodisiac-foods

by Ross McClain

If you’re experiencing a decrease in libido, you are not alone. For most people, sex drive is like a roller coaster — one minute it’s up, the next, it’s down. A drop or decrease in sex drive is usually caused by changes in lifestyle or is a side effect of taking certain medication. Experts say that a lack of interest in making love — even with partners we adore in many other ways — is not as unusual as we might think.

So how do you coax your sex drive out of hiding? Below I have highlighted a few foods that are reknowned for helping boost the libido.

Sex-drive boosting libido superfoods:

  • Celery: considered an excellent food to ramp up sexual stimulation. The reason being that it boosts a powerful substance known as androsterone – an odorless hormone released through male perspiration. ‘Yuk’ I hear you. Well, this is one of those kind of sweats that has that strange effect on women…the same effect that I understand a dozen red roses has.
  • Maca: this is a less common food, but is no less potent. Having only recently been introduced to the Western world you will be forgiven for not finding it in your local supermarket. I had not heard of this until very recently when it was hailed as a Natural Viagra . Like anyone else, this claim made me curious. According to some it is believed to improve sexual performance, the frequency with which people desire sex and can be effective in increasing sperm count! Not only that, but guys should expect an increase in testosterone, a helping hand in any fight against erective dysfunctions and impotency and it also makes you feel younger. Quality! Fear not ladies – for women, maca is reknowned for increasing sex-drive and fertility! What a stormer!
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which is important in testosterone production for men and also helps to sustain sexual desire in women. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in the essential fatty acid omega 3, which acts as a precursor of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that play a key role in sexual health. Word on the street is that a diet rich in pumpkin seeds will enhance potency, drive and fertility.
  • Saurkraut: an unlikely inclusion, but a vital key in unlocking your libido according to the Scottish diet guru Gillian McKeith has deemed sauerkraut sexy, citing a U.S. study that reported 90 percent of men were more “active” after eating it. Not as saur or krauty as you though eh?!
  • Bananas: help to boost male libido largely due to the presence of the enzyme ‘bromelain’ . Bananas are also a good source of B vitamins like riboflavin and potassium, which increase the body’s total energy levels. However, they are also very rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are vital for sex-hormone production!
  • Almonds: Almonds are another major source of essential fatty acids. Almonds provide the basis for the healthy production of male hormones that are important in regulating sex-drive (among other things obviously!). The smell of almonds is found to arouse passion in female. Although I am not 100% convinced by the latter!
  • Avocado: The Aztecs called the avocado tree ahuacatl or “testicle tree.” Interesting fact. Avocado helps to increase both male and female libido. As it contains very high levels of folic acid, it assists in metabolising proteins, thus providing you more energy – which is obviously good all round. Avocado also features vitamin B6 (a nutrient which improves male hormone production) and potassium (which helps to regulate a woman’s thyroid gland).
  • Asparagus: it is not only the ever-so-slightly suggestive shape of asparagus that acts as a libido booster – asparagus also happens to be very high in vitamin E, which has long been thought of as ‘the sex vitamin’. The Vegetarian Society suggests “eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect”.
  • Chilies: may heat up your sex life too, due to capsaicin, the substance that gives kick to peppers, curries and other spicy foods. Triggering the release of endorphins, capsaicin is therefore a feel good chemical for your brain! It also stimulates nerve endings and raises your heart rate. IMPORTANT: if you chop the chilies yourself – make sure you wash your hands very very thoroughly – if you don’t you will know why.
  • Basil: basil increases circulation, stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility! It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind. But most curiously of all, its scent is supposed to drive us wild! In fact, basil oil was once employed by Mediterranean prostitutes as a perfume to attract customers! Pesonally, the scent of basil makes me want to drive to the nearest Italian restaurant, but that’s just me.
  • Cardamom: Cardamom is an nicely aromatic spice. In many cultures it is viewed as an intensely powerful aphrodisiac and also beneficial in treating impotence (mix with maca for some ‘interesting results’). It is high in cineole, which can increase blood flow in certain important areas! Try it in a chai tea to incorporate all the Ayurvedic potent spices.
  • Figs: rather crudely, some sources suggest that figs work as an aphrodisiac because of their appearance being similar to certain sex organs, but not I. Figs are very high in amino acids, which are critical to increasing your libido and boosting sexual stamina.
  • Garlic: bad on the breath but good on the sex drive. Maybe this is one for long-term couples who don’t have as much worry over little matters such as garlic-breath (as long as you both munch it, you’ll be OK). Garlic contains high levels of allicin, a compound – that can improve blood flow to the sexual organs. But note – don’t just munch on big cloves of raw garlic! Allicin is only produced once garlic has been chopped as it is produced through an enzyme reaction. As a bonus, allicin is also has great anti-fungal properties.
  • So go forth! Read, eat and enjoy!!!

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE RECIPE

Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe….. YUMMY!

avocado-choc-mousse

Ingredients

2 medium sized ripe avocados

1/3 cup raw cacao powder, or more to taste

5 fresh dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1/4 cup coconut milk, nut milk or filtered water

1tsp natural vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean powder

A pinch of unrefined sea salt

Optional: Dried coconut, grated dark chocolate or berries to serve

 

Method

1. Soak the dates in the milk or water for 10-30 minutes to soften. In a blender, add the avocado flesh, dates, milk, vanilla and salt and cacao powder. Blend until smooth. You may need a little more liquid to facilitate blending and scrape down the sides of the jug a few times.

2. Adjust ingredients to taste, adding more cacao powder if it needs it. Serve and garnish with your choice of toppings.

3. ENJOY!