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.
Triglycerides are an important measure of heart health. Here’s why triglycerides matter — and what to do if your triglycerides are too high.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, there’s something else you might need to monitor: your triglycerides. Having a high level of triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood, can increase your risk of heart disease. However, the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help lower your triglycerides, too. What are triglycerides? Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).
What’s considered normal?
A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range. -Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) -Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L) -High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L) -Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)
Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test (sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile). You’ll have to fast for nine to 12 hours before blood can be drawn for an accurate triglyceride measurement.
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).
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.
Most of the time this is the biggest cause. When it gets cold, our body’s natural method for protecting our vital organs is to direct most of our blood to those organs. Because we can survive without our hands, but not our heart, these along with our feet are the first things to be sacrificed.
Smoking: A huge cause of poor circulation to the extremities, cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, which inhibits our body’s ability to carry oxygen. Diabetes: A common side effect of diabetes is a breakdown in the circulatory system in the hands and feet. This can often have dire consequences if left untreated. Arteriosclerosis: caused by fatty plaques, which cause the arteries to effectively become narrower, thus inhibiting blood flow. These can build up anywhere in the body, but as the arteries become smaller, such as in the hands, they can become more noticeable and have a lot more symptoms. High Blood Pressure: Often linked with the causes above and below, high blood pressure can eventually lead to your circulatory system becoming strained and less able to carry vital nutrients to the hands. High Cholesterol: This is linked as a cause of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Caffeine & Alcohol: both of these substances can constrict the blood vessels all over the body, but often it is felt acutely in the hands. Heart Disease: There will likely be other symptoms rather than just those associated with poor circulation in hands, but various forms of heart disease can lead to circulatory problems in the hands. Inactivity: When sitting still for an extended period of time or when your hands and arms aren’t moving or working, circulation in the hands is likely to decrease. See why here Obesity: A leading cause of circulation problems in general, obesity leads to a harder working heart and more micro circulation systems that the heart needs to supply. Injury: You will likely know if this is the cause. Injuries to the arms or hands can disrupt circulation to the extremities.
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.
As you get older, erections may take longer to develop and may not be as firm. You may need more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection. This isn’t a direct consequence of getting older. Usually it’s a result of underlying health problems or taking medications, which is more common as men age.
A variety of risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction. They include: -Medical conditions, particularly diabetes or heart problems. -Using tobacco, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries. Over time tobacco use can cause chronic health problems that lead to erectile dysfunction. -Being overweight, especially if you’re very overweight (obese). -Certain medical treatments, such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer. -Injuries, particularly if they damage the nerves that control erections. -Medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate cancer. -Psychological conditions, such as stress, anxiety or depression. -Drug and alcohol use, especially if you’re a long-term drug user or heavy drinker. -Prolonged bicycling, which may compress nerves and affect blood flow to the penis, can lead to temporary erectile dysfunction.
Autonomic nerve disorders (dysautonomia) refer to disorders of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. Dysautonomia is a general term used to describe a breakdown or abnormal function of the ANS. The autonomic nervous system controls much of your involuntary functions. Symptoms are wide-ranging and can include problems with the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, perspiration, and bowel and bladder functions. Other symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness, feeling faint or passing out (syncope), weakness, and cognitive impairment.
Orthostatic intolerance refers to impairment in the body’s ability to handle gravity. When a person stands, blood pools in the abdomen and legs. Normally, the autonomic nervous system will compensate by constricting blood vessels and pushing the blood to the brain. When autonomic pathways are damaged, these reflexes, termed baroreflexes, do not function adequately. As a result, the person becomes dizzy, light-headed, and may faint. In addition, digestion is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. When the ANS malfunctions, the “victim” commonly develops gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms include nausea, bloating, vomiting, severe constipation, and abdominal pain.
Having an increase in blood flow and circulation to areas of your body helps promote cell growth and organ function. Your skin also benefits from an increase in blood circulation. Healthy skin is better able to fight off bacteria and infection that it may come in contact with. When your heart pumps at full force, your heart rate lowers, heart muscles relax and your blood pressure flows evenly and smoothly. Diabetes and Blood Circulation. If you have diabetes, you need to pay special attention to your health, including your blood circulation, by making frequent visits to your doctor. Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation throughout your body, but specifically in your legs and feet, explains the American Diabetes Association. Getting adequate exercise will help improve blood flow to your extremities and help reduce the risk for diabetic health complications.
Having increased blood circulation throughout your body will help you look and feel healthy. Your skin will have a healthy color and you will feel warm to the touch. Good blood circulation helps improve brain function and helps keep your mind sharp and focused. You will also be more equipped to handle stressful situations.
You probably learned in school that the circulatory system pushes blood through the body. It consists of a network of arteries and veins that work with the heart to provide oxygen and other nutrients. To keep that network functioning at its best, here are five tips to promoting better circulation. 1. Quit Smoking.
If you smoke, you’re damaging your body. The top cause of poor circulation is the nicotine found in tobacco products. Quitting can be difficult, so it is best to create a plan and consult with a physician about which smoking-cessation option would work best for you. 2. Stay Hydrated.
Dehydration can be a serious medical problem for several reasons, and poor circulation is one of them. Plasma, which makes up more than half of total blood volume, is about 93 percent water. We recommend that you drink at least eight glasses of water daily, although this can increase depending on your level of physical activity or the weather. Keep in mind that alcohol and caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on your body. 3. Get Plenty of Exercise.
When you perform aerobic exercise, you are doing more than burning fat and building muscles. Aerobic exercises, such as running, rowing, cycling and brisk walking, will increase your heart rate and give your circulatory system a boost. With at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, you can improve your body’s ability to move blood.