Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chocolate's Potential Benefits...

"Most of chocolate's healthfulness comes from antioxidants that reduce the everyday oxidative stress on our bodies," write David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, co-authors of The Science of Good Food (Robert Rose.) They write that health-promoting antioxidants in chocolate are called polyphenols. According to Joachim and Schloss, dark chocolate helps to ease emotional stress. The reason has to do with two ingredients both found in chocolate: Theobromine and Anandamide.

Dark chocolate protects against high blood pressure, too. From the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007, dark chocolate may actually help to lower blood pressure. According to several other studies the Flavonoids found in cocoa solids, protect the heart. In one study 22% of 34,000 post-menopausal women who consumed flavonoid-rich food, had a lower risk of developing heart disease.

And as for your teeth, Baylor College of Dentistry’s Dr. Linda Niessen, identified the tannins present in chocolate to be beneficial to dental health explaining that the tannins stop the action of bacteria on the teeth, thus stopping cavities.

But do keep in mind that healthy chocolate, with a higher amount of antioxidants, is going to taste bitter, the more bitter tasting the chocolate, the more antioxidants. Also, the higher the cacao content, the lower the sugar content in the chocolate.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mints and chewing gum are good for you!

For those people who chew gum, there is some good news! Saliva is a natural cleansing agent for teeth, and as people age, they do not make as much saliva. Additionally, many people, take medications that cause dry mouth, encouraging the growth of bacteria. But one simple way to inhibit bacterial growth and to fight dental caries is popping in a breath mint, or chewing gum, with a natural sugar called Xylitol. This "tooth friendly" compound helps in caries prevention. A recent study done in Finland revealed that there was a 70% reduction in cavities in children when they chewed gum. Also, chewing gum stimulates saliva and that facilities nature's process of cleaning your teeth.