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The Ease of Chocolate

Timeless Nutrition Tip

How many of us associate chocolate cravings to times of stress?

The Ease of Chocolate

The cause for this is the fact that the hormone cortisol levels increase. The production of cortisol is the way our bodies tell us it needs additional glucose in the bloodstream. Candy, mainly chocolate, satisfies the need for that sugar quickly.

However, as with most good things there is a down side. Cortisol-induced fat is the "deep belly" fat that increases health risks. Fat produced under stress settles in the midsection where it puts more strain on our hearts than fat on the arms and/or thighs.

The ultimate solution to this problem is to reduce stress. This will aid your body in reducing the amount of cortisol production and consequently, will decrease your desire for sweets.

Exercise, yoga and meditation are all great stress busters. Also certain foods help stabilize your blood sugar levels when they rise due to stress. These foods include apples, carrots, celery, cheese, and crackers.

If you really crave that sweet, take a small serving and indulge - then relax.

Chocolate and Cirrhosis

Dark Chocolate

There are also potential benefits for liver disease patients.

Spanish scientists found that eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure in the liver and reduces damage to the blood vessels of patients with cirrhosis.

A study presented at the International Liver Congress divided 21 cirrhotic patients with end stage liver disease into two groups.

The first group received liquid meal containing dark chocolate, while the participants in the second group were getting liquid meal with white chocolate devoid of antioxidant properties.

Results: The patients who received the dark chocolate experienced a noticeable reduction of post prandial increase in blood pressure in the liver. Studies continue.

Chocolate for a Cough

Remember the old saying, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"? That includes dark chocolate, which may contain as much Theobromine as most over the counter cough medicines. Theobromine suppresses the nerves that trigger the cough reflex. When this nerve is calmed by dark chocolate you can ease a hacking cough.

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