The Link Between Chocolate and Heart Health

Of course everyone loves to eat chocolate because it is delicious, but did you know that is has many health benefits as well? It can increase your energy and libido level and has also helped cases of diarrhea, syphilis, migraines, and even cancer.

Consider this, the catechins found in dark chocolate are antioxidants that were found to reduce lung cancer rates and rectal cancer. Studies have shown that people who consume cocoa up to three times a month were about 10% less likely to develop AFib, which is the medical term for irregular heart beat.

Research has shown a reduced risk of AFib for women who ate just one serving of chocolate each week, while men should aim for two to six servings. Consuming cocoa and foods containing it can help your heart healthy because of its potent antioxidants, inflammation-fighting characteristics, and blood vessel-relaxing flavanols.

Flavanols are a type of polyphenols that are found in tea, red grapes, wine, and chocolate, which are all powerful antioxidants. Previous studies have shown that dark chocolate, specifically, contains the most flavanols to give health advantages, including the reduction of inflammation. Flavanols can also prevent dangerous blood clots from forming.

Because of this, eating dark chocolate on a regular basis is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack, cardiovascular failure, cognitive impairment, and early death. But are scientists convinced that it is actually the chocolate that prevents atrial fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation: Studies, Symptoms and Risks

Over 2.5 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, and 33 million suffer from it worldwide. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clots, which can result in strokes, cognitive impairment, and heart failure

Studies show that about 25% of adults are projected to have atrial fibrillation in their lifetime. Studies provided information that showed the dietary habits of adults between 1993 and 1997. This data was then linked to national health registries to see who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Findings showed that 3,346 of the cases occurred over this period of time.

Based on their diets, people who ate about 1 ounce of chocolate each week were 17% less likely to develop atrial fibrillation by the close of the study than those who reported consuming chocolate less than once a month.

Factors to Consider

In previous studies, researchers did not consider factors such as sleep apnea or kidney disease, which can also influence atrial fibrillation. They also did not note if their subject ate dark or milk chocolate. As a result, the amount of flavanols connected to the chocolate they ate is variable.

The data does suggest that people who consumed more chocolate also ate more calories, but had a lower BMI than those who ate the least amount of chocolate.

Because of this, a double-blind randomized controlled trial should be performed to evaluate the real efficacy of chocolate for preventing atrial fibrillation. This would require using quantified doses of cocoa.

Does the Type of Chocolate Matter?

Some types of chocolate are more healthy to consume than others. It?s true that chocolate often contains large amounts of sugar and fats that can contribute to chronic disease.

However, dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids. So while milk and white chocolates may be more harmful than helpful, chocolate with more cocoa can be more beneficial to your health.

This doesn’t mean that people can eat as much chocolate as they want. It only suggests that chocolate lovers stick to eating a 1-ounce piece of chocolate each day. Even though there is a substantial link between consuming chocolate and a lowering one’s risk of AFib, eating too much chocolate is not recommended due to the high-calorie content from sugar and fat which can lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems.

What to Look for in Chocolate

Make sure your chocolate doesn?t have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that can cause serious chronic neurological disorders. Also make sure that the chocolate you are eating contains flavonoids.

Make sure to read the labels to determine the amount of grams of carbohydrates, subtracting the dietary fiber, and sugar alcohol to find the net carbs.

Moderate intake of chocolate that has a high cocoa content can be a healthy choice, which has led scientists to wonder if creating a chocolate pill would be beneficial to people’s heart health.

The best way to get the health benefits from chocolate is to eat raw cacao butter or raw cacao nibs.

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How to Avoid Burnout

While people often begin their promising careers with high hopes and dreams, the truth is that burnout is a problem that will eventually arise. In fact, over 50% of doctors experience both emotional and physical exhaustion, lose their perspective, experience depression, and a lose the connection they once had to their work.

In a book entitled “Square One,” a former doctor describes some lessons he learned throughout life when it comes to having a healthy balance. The most important thing is to maintain a life of balance by taking your priorities into consideration and fostering them every day.

Having balance requires you to prioritize your social life and your family with your spiritual and physical side. These can be seen in a square with four equal sides.

Square One ? Regaining Balance

Danforth emphasizes that you have not one but four lives to live, and these four entities make up the sides of a square:

  • Physical life
  • Spiritual life
  • Work life
  • Relationship life

Each of these aspects of your life should hold similar weight to prevent burnout in any one area. Exercise is one of the best ways to reverse the symptoms of depression, and it does not need to be done for hours each day. Doing just simple strategies when it comes to exercise can make an enormous difference.

Ketogenic Diet for Brain Health

The ketogenic diet is possible a way to aid in the treatment of brain tumors. While this diet is difficult to do, There are guidelines and explanations that are outlined and needed to help cure brain tumors and other malignant tumors that depend on glucose for their metabolic substrate.

Once your body learns to burn fat as its primary fuel, it is best to do ketosis in cycles, which means you would intermittently increase your net carbs to 200 to 300 percent, but in a sensible fashion so you are still maintaining the metabolic flexibility to burn fat. Ketosis diets are good for various diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases of the brain.

Resilience and Adversity

Many stressors that we experience activate genes that produce positive metabolic factors. Considering all four sides of your square ? the physical, social, professional, and spiritual sides, it is important to have a mindful awareness of each side and the to have the ability to handle adversity and stress.

Everyone experiences stress in all of these aspects of their life at some point. When this happens, you get increased levels of cortisol in your blood. This cortisol kills brain cells, especially the ones that are used for memory.

Stress can also lead to incredible depression. Doctors often think that depression is treatable with the use of antidepressants, but it is important to also consider the physical activity aspect of treating depression. Exercise stimulates the production of important neurotransmitters in the brain that are reduced during depression.

How to Regain Balance

While we can’t escape stress, but it is important to spend time in every different aspect of your life so you can even it out. So, how do you recover from burnout? Daily exercise and a healthy diet optimize the mitochondrial function in your body and limit inflammation, which then increases mindfulness and decreases stress.

Not only do you need exercise, but you need meditation and spirituality. It is important to avoid environmental toxins. If you notice, people who tend to live the longest all have a healthy diet and engage in physical exercise. They also live in places with very few environmental toxins and they are able to control their stress with meditation and a strong sense of family. This all adds up to mindfulness. It helps to keep the body in balance and reduce stress.

Avoiding Toxins

Toxins such as alcohol, air pollution, contaminated water, and food pesticides are also very harmful to our health.

Surprisingly, one of the most dangerous and common toxins is the microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, and cell phone towers. Although these can hardly be avoided, expose to them should be limited.

The main concern with cellphones is not related to brain tumors, instead, it is the damaging microwaves that are generated from the reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrite. Exposure to these will damage your mitochondria and therefore increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

Even if you eat very healthy and exercise on a regular basis, if you’re consistently exposing yourself to excessive levels of invisible radiation from cell phones, you are going to incur mitochondrial exposure and damage which will lead to a premature death. You must take precautions to in order to limit unnecessary exposure.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries have been studied, and one thing they have in common is excessive immune response and inflammation. This can be helped by simple dietary and physical interventions.

Aside from metabolic mitochondrial therapy, there is compelling evidence that near-infrared light can significantly reduce symptoms these diseases, even if they are in a more advanced stage.

In a near-infrared range, light helps mitochondria regain their health. Other important strategies that enhance mitochondrial function include the use of high-dose bioavailable curcumin, resveratrol, animal-based omega-3 fats, L-carnitine, and α-lipoic acid.

If you are experiencing burnout or you are overwhelmed or overcommitted, you need to get your life back in order. It is important to realize that you are responsible for the four areas of your life. While this may seem very simple, you must remember that you have to understand the concept and implement it.

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