By Jena Pincott
Katharine Hepburn reportedly said of herself, “What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” Inspired, we broke that down into hours, weeks, months and years. Here’s what a fix can do….
Within 90 minutes…your neurons are humming.
One way in which scientists test for alertness and mental stamina is by asking their subjects to do math in their head — counting down by 3s and 7s, for instance — tasks so tedious they’re prescribed for insomnia. But 90 minutes after people drank cocoa, they rattled off correct numbers, found a study at the U.K.’s Northumbria University. Credit goes to flavanol, a plant antioxidant that has been found to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain. How much flavanol you get depends on origin, harvesting and processing, says one of the study’s authors, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, PhD. The most flavanol-rich options are usually the darkest and bitterest, like cocoa powder and baking chocolate. To match the study’s cognitive sweet spot, she says, we’d need roughly 7 grams of special, enriched high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar with at least 70-percent-cocoa content. (The cocoa powder in the study was CocoaPro; it’s in CocoaVia and Dove Dark Chocolate products.) (more…)
This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a graduate student in public health nutrition, content manager at ChrisKresser.com, and soon-to-be Registered Dietitian. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her blog or visiting her on Facebook.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious and common condition that can lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, heart or kidney failure, and more. While 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, this condition only affects 3% or less of hunter-gatherer populations that are following a traditional diet and lifestyle. (1, 2) This would suggest that hypertension is a disease of poor lifestyle choices, and one that can be effectively treated using simple diet and behavior changes, as well as strategic use of herbal remedies. (more…)
Supplementation with cinnamon has been found to lower blood pressure in pre-diabetic and diabetic people. Cinnamon combined with magnesium, diet and lifestyle changes may lead to overall reductions in blood pressure up to 25mm Hg, a reduction lower than any hypertension medication can achieve without side effects.
Data from 22 trials with magnesium supplements revealed that the mineral may reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, researchers from the University of Hertfordshire report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (more…)
One of the most traditional cures for almost anything is apple cider vinegar. Over the centuries, the ancient folk remedy is touted to relieve just about any ailment you can think of including diabetes, obesity and even cancer. Here’s what science has found.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) became well known in the U.S. in the late 1950s, when it was promoted in the best-selling book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by D. C. Jarvis. During the alternative medicine boom of recent years, apple cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar pills have become a popular dietary supplement. (more…)
A recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake and the take-home message is that salt, in the quantities consumed by most Americans, is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day. What was absent about the report was is the difference between healthy mineral salts and iodized table salt.
It may be that we’re better off with more salt than less, up to 2 or even 3 tsp per day. How did it happen that such standard medical advice drifted astray, then went un-corrected for so long? (more…)
April McCarthy, Prevent Disease
Results presented at the 2013 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting shows that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can cause behavioural reactions similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine
These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Guelph, suggest food addiction could explain, at least partly, the current global obesity epidemic partly caused by these ingredients. (more…)