The dark variety of chocolate, far from being a health peril, is actually a nourishing and wholesome food for the body. According to the latest medical research studies, the health benefits of dark chocolate may truly boost human health and provide a variety of valuable health benefits.
Dark chocolate is enriched with many healthy compounds, medically known as flavonoids, that act as traditional curative remedies for treating various body ailments and offering various health benefits from dark chocolate. Some of the many health benefits of dark chocolate are as follows: -Blood Pressure: Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper. These minerals aid in regulating normal blood pressure and subsequently maintaining proper heartbeat levels. -Stress: Eating a delicious piece of chocolate can possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphins that may give rise to a happy feeling. In addition, the dark chocolate variety contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are major stimulants. -Blood Circulation: Eating dark chocolate not only relaxes the body, but also makes the blood vessels more flexible. It also boosts the functioning of the endothelial cells that line the blood cells. It also decreases the risk of developing innumerable cardiovascular diseases. -Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Dark chocolate has been medically proven to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the human body significantly, up to 10-12%.
-Boosting Immunity: The two kinds of flavonoids present in chocolates are mainly Catechins and Epicatechins. Dark chocolate has a high level of Catechins, which boosts the human body’s immune system and possibly prevents major chronic ailments. -Good for Anemia: The flavonoid compounds are useful in treating anemic patients as well as those having poor dietary habits. -Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant. Reports from the National Institute of Food & Nutrition Research in Italy suggests that these antioxidants actually neutralize free radicals and other dangerous molecules that may be potential health hazards, causing diseases like cancer, premature aging, and heart disease. -Cures Depression: The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants. -Antioxidants: The antioxidants present in dark chocolate helps in fighting against premature aging. The antioxidants also help in fighting against heart diseases. -Endorphins: One of the most exciting health benefits of dark chocolate is that it helps in enhancing the production of endorphins, which result in the generation of feelings of pleasure in human beings.
Sluggish blood circulation is caused by a variety of things ranging from lifestyle, nutrition and even genetics.There are many ways to increase blood circulation such taking a brisk walk, getting a massage or else, but nothing improves your poor blood circulation better than having a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods bursting with flavor of well-being.
Listed below foods help maintain superior health and longer live span by providing essential nutrients, lowering bad cholesterol and maintaining blood vessels in great shape. -Cayenne pepper is a great way to increase blood circulation, metabolic rate and it will also help strengthen arteries and blood vessels, prevent poor circulation in feet and toe numbness. Cayenne pepper is the most effective taken raw in salads or juiced; adjust the heat level according to your preference. -Ginger simulates the blood flow to all organs; it also boosts sluggish immune system and clears congestion. -Garlic is fantastic for increasing blood circulation in feet, hands, and will also clear up clogged arteries if eaten raw daily in moderation. -Gingko Biloba herb is believed to be used to increase blood circulation by Chinese doctors. It improves poor circulation in hands and feet, used to treat varicose veins and increases blood flow to the brain. -Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of vitamin E, which is proven to keep blood flowing freely and preventing blood clots.
If your arms and legs are constantly cold, cramped or numb, it may be a sign that you have poor blood circulation. When the blood doesn’t flow well through your body, it invites a host of health problems including heart attack, angina and stroke. There are many ways to increase blood flow — exercise, diet, medication and surgery — but before you try to help your heart do its job, it’s important to talk to your doctor to plan the best way for you. Consider your lifestyle. You may have an increased risk of poor circulation if you smoke, if you have a family history of heart problems, if you have a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle, or if your diet is high in things like saturated fat and cholesterol. See your doctor. If you believe you have poor circulation, your doctor can diagnose it by performing a basic physical exam, running blood tests or conducting an angiography. This is a test where the doctor injects dye into your blood vessels, then uses X-ray imaging to track your blood flow. Follow the doctor’s orders. There are many causes of poor blood flow, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood clots. Your doctor may write you a prescription depending on the cause, or recommend surgery. If you have a blocked blood vessel, your doctor may eliminate it with a tiny balloon (angioplasty) or create a detour around it using a blood vessel from another part of your body (bypass surgery).
Good blood flow is essential for proper brain function and oxygen transport to vital organs in the body. Because your heart is the pump that keeps your blood circulating, it’s important to maintain a strong heart. Eating a diet rich in heart-healthy foods is one way to help ensure that your body experiences efficient blood flow. Foods Containing L-Arginine L-arginine is an amino acid that your body converts to nitric oxide, a substance that helps relax and maintain the elasticity of blood vessels and arteries. Nitric oxide is also a signaling molecule that instructs arteries to dilate, or widen, which allows blood to flow more freely, helping reduce blood pressure and promoting cardiovascular health. Good food sources of L-arginine include chicken, fish, soy nuts, beans, dairy and red meat. If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before taking L-arginine supplements to ensure proper dosage for your condition. Vitamin E-Rich Foods
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays an important role in efficient blood flow because it dilates blood vessels. Eating foods rich in vitamin E is a good way to keep your blood moving. Good food sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, whole grains and leafy green vegetables. If you’re taking blood thinners, talk with your doctor before taking vitamin E supplements because they may increase the risk of bleeding Foods Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids keep your blood flowing. People with blood-circulation problems such as varicose veins, for example, benefit by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids because these unsaturated fatty acids stimulate blood flow and help break down fibrin, or blood clots. Good food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include nuts, olive oil, canola oil, flax seeds and oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and herring.
Claudication is pain caused by too little blood flow during exercise. Sometimes called intermittent claudication, this condition generally affects the blood vessels in the legs, but claudication can affect the arms, too.
At first, you’ll probably notice the pain only when you’re exercising, but as claudication worsens, the pain may affect you even when you’re at rest. Although it’s sometimes considered a disease, claudication is technically a symptom of a disease. Most often, claudication is a symptom of peripheral artery disease, a potentially serious, but treatable circulation problem. Fortunately, with treatment, you may be able to maintain an active lifestyle without pain. Claudication symptoms include: -Pain when exercising. You may feel pain or discomfort in your feet, calves, thighs, hips or buttocks depending on where you might have artery narrowing or damage. Claudication can also occur in your arms. -Intermittent pain. Your pain may come and go as you do less-strenuous activities. -Pain when at rest. As your condition progresses, you may feel pain in your legs even when you’re sitting or lying down. -Discolored skin or ulcerations. If blood flow is severely reduced, your toes or fingers may look bluish or feel cold to the touch. You may also develop sores on your lower legs, feet, toes, arms or fingers.
Other possible symptoms include:
–An aching or burning feeling
Do you often find yourself a victim of chest pain, shortness of breath, or headaches? Are you perhaps considered at high risk for a heart attack? Follow these tips to improve your blood circulation throughout your body and lower your risk of a heart attack. -Walk regularly. Going for walks after meals can help increase circulation and aid your digestive system in doing its job. Walking at least 30 minutes each day is recommended. -Eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (found in fish oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds). Stay away from overly processed foods, foods with excessive sugar or salt, and foods with unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) -Drink right. Drink enough water during the day so that your organs don’t have to fight to produce energy and perform their daily functions. You don’t have to drink liters upon liters a day, but you should drink water when you’re thirsty. Try drinking some warm water, as cold water is known to close up your veins. Cut out the caffeine. If you can’t live without it, at least minimize your intake. For instance, if you usually have two cups of coffee in the morning, have one instead. Or if you buy your coffee from a cafe somewhere, try switching to decaf or taking your coffee down one size. Cut out alcohol and other sugary drinks from your diet. Sodas and overly sweet drinks do not improve your circulation, and have especially deleterious health effects. -Try taking a hot bath or doing other heat treatments. Draw up a nice warm bath (with or without Epsom salts, which are healing mineral salts) and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. Fill up hot water bottles, cover if necessary to avoid burns, and place on extremities to boost blood flow. -Find healthy outlets for your stress. Over time, stress can have negative effects on the body’s circulation. Find manageable, healthy ways to relieve stress, such as regular exercise, meditation techniques, and psychotherapy, among others. -Know if it’s bad. Be able to spot when your body is having trouble pumping its blood. Signs that your circulation is less than ideal include: Tingling in the feet and hands Cold extremities (fingers and toes) Bluish-tinted skin Slow healing times for wounds
Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers, toes, the tip of your nose and your ears — to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas. Women are more likely to have Raynaud’s disease. It’s also more common in people who live in colder climates.
Treatment of Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and whether you have any other health conditions. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is more a nuisance than a disability. Raynaud’s disease is more than simply having cold hands and cold feet, and it’s not the same as frostbite. Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the blood vessel spasms that underlie the disorder. Raynaud’s disease symptoms include: -Cold fingers and toes
-Sequence of color changes in your skin in response to cold or stress -Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress During an attack of Raynaud’s, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first. Then, the affected areas often turn blue, feel cold and numb, and your sense of touch is dulled. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of color isn’t the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors. Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes. Attacks don’t necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud’s most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition can also affect other areas of your body, such as your nose, lips, ears and even nipples. An attack may last less than a minute to several hours. People who have Raynaud’s accompanied by another disease will likely also have signs and symptoms related to their basic underlying condition.
The benefits of exercise for your blood vessels last only as long as you keep exercising on a regular basis. Experts recommend that men who want to prevent impotence make a long-term commitment to exercise. Here are some tips to remember: -Choose activities you enjoy. Your exercise program doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, studies have shown that just walking briskly every day for at least three months significantly improves the health of your blood vessels. Aim to be active most days of the week. If you prefer basketball, that’s fine — just keep up the full-court press. -Spice it up with weight training. Aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, and jogging, is good for your blood vessels, but resistance training has been shown to improve endothelial function as well. A mix of both can help improve your overall health and keep you interested in your workout routine. -Don’t let your age stop you. Erectile dysfunction is more common as men get older, but at the same time, habitual exercise has been shown to fight the effects of age on blood vessels. -Check in with your doctor if you haven’t been physically active in a while. It’s a good idea to get your doctor’s approval — and maybe some additional exercise tips — if you’re starting an exercise program from scratch.
Cayenne stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. (Stomach acid tends to decline with age, and some cases of poor digestion are related to a lack of this acid.) Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Because it stimulates digestion and circulation, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body.
Have you ever gone after the chips and salsa with gusto and then felt flushed and drippy in the nose? Cayenne warms the body and stimulates the release of mucus from the respiratory passages. Anyone who has eaten cayenne knows that hot peppers can clear the sinuses and cause sweating.
Cayenne actually can raise the body temperature a bit, as it stimulates circulation and blood flow to the skin. An herb such as cayenne or ginger that promotes fever and sweating is considered to have a diaphoretic (sweat-inducing) action. This action can help reduce fevers and relieve such the congestion of colds and sinusitis. Cayenne has become a popular home treatment for mild high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Cayenne preparations prevent platelets from clumping together and accumulating in the blood, allowing the blood to flow more easily. Since it is thought to help improve circulation, it’s often used by those who have cold hands and feet.
Circulatory disorders are quite common in middle-aged and elderly folk. Hypertension is one of them. It is caused by cholesterol plaque deposits along the walls of the arteries, making them harden and constrict.
Because the arteries are constricted, the blood exerts great force against the walls of the blood vessels, causing the blood pressure to rise. The vessels lose their elasticity and springiness. So if the body needs more energy such as walking up stairs or exercising, it can be difficult to get it. Hardening of the arteries is another consequence because the arteries narrow due to these same fatty deposits. Buergers disease, common to those who smoke, is a chronic inflammation of the veins and arteries in the lower extremities. Raynauds disease is marked by constriction and spasm of the blood vessels in the extremities.
This very often includes the fingers, toes and tip of the nose. This disease if left untreated can lead to gangrene. Varicose Veins. Poor circulation in legs can result from varicose veins. These develop because of a loss of elasticity in the walls of the veins. The resultant reduced blood circulation then compounds the problem and makes the varicose veins gradually worse. These circulatory problems are quite common due to genetics or bad food or insufficient exercise or higher stress levels etc. This problem can be quite common in a single leg but more often in both legs.