Tag >> rawfood

 

image credit: Evert Jan 

A Booming (and Growing) Industry 

Do you have a special place in your heart for chocolate? If so, you are in very good company. Chocolate is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and as the health benefits of dark chocolate (think antioxidants and heart-healthy flavonols) get more mainstream attention, consumer demand is growing at an unprecedented rate. By year 2017, the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service expects that global sales will reach $143 billion. While most people consume chocolate without thinking twice about the industry that they are supporting, that innocent looking bar of chocolate may in fact have a (very) dirty little secret….

Starting from the Beginning: Theobroma Cacao


The month of November is Vegan Awareness Month, and we couldn't let this moment pass without shedding some light on a few of the profound benefits of plant based eating. While a surge of high profile celebrity personalities vocalizing their vegan ways has certainly helped get the message out to the masses, the focus seems to primarily revolve around weight loss, detox, and outward appearances. While reaching an ideal, healthy body weight (whether its gaining or losing weight) is definitely feasible (and possibly more effortless and more sustainable) with the help of a vegan diet, there are other tremendous benefits that happen to be a little less obvious to the naked eye, and may even question what many of us grow up believing about diet, nutrition, and the pressing issues we face in the world today.

 

1. Plants Are Great For The Bones 

The fact of the matter is that dairy products do contain calcium, however, dairy is acidic in pH when it's digested by the human body. To buffer this acidity, the body draws alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, directly from where they are most plentiful - our bones. Because of this, the calcium found within animal products is not the ideal why to get your dose. Broccoli, bok choy, chinese cabbage, collards, kale, sea vegetables, chickpeas, black strap molasses, sesame seeds , and chia seeds all offer high levels of calcium in an alkalinizing form; they build calcium stores in the body without simultaneously taking it away.* 

 

2. Plants Build Strong Muscles 

While there is no doubt in anyone's mind that meat is a source of concentrated protein, the body's ability to absorb said protein is dependent on a lot of factors, most notably its ability to actually break it down fully into simpler amino acids, assimilate it, and utilize it to build and regenerate human tissue. Due to its complex protein structure, animal protein takes a lot of energy to digest. Plant proteins are easier for our bodies to break down, and contrary to popular knowledge, many sources even contain all 9 essential amino acids (the ones that our bodies can't synthesize on their own). Here are a few great examples of complete protein sources: chia seeds, hemp seeds , chlorella, spirulina, golden berries, goji berries, fermented soy products, buckwheat and quinoa. Consuming complete proteins with each meal isn't necessary, rather eating a variety of different protein sources, in adequate levels to meet your own unique protein requirements, is the key to ensuring your body gets the amino acids it needs.




In an effort to make snack time as nutritious as possible, trail mix, with its unsuspicious combination of nuts, dried fruits, and maybe a few chocolate chips, might seem like one of the friendliest options available. Unfortunately, this might not be the truth. Sugar, hydrogenated soy and cottonseed oils, excess sodium, "natural" or artificial flavors, and even sulfur dioxide (a preservative and color enhancer) can ALL be lurking in that innocent looking package of fruits and nuts. However, trail mix lovers, DO NOT DESPAIR.

Our RawGuru trail mix is hand crafted by loving hands here in the Windy City Organics superfood facility. The ingredients include a simple but delicious combination of fresh, raw, and organic nuts and seeds, nutrient-rich super fruits such a goji berries, Incan berries, and mulberries, and every trail mix lovers favorite part - chocolate, and not just any chocolate: stone ground, raw, organic chocolate HEARTS. Find our RawGuru Trail Mixes HERE .

Happy, healthy snacking! 

Written by Anna Speaks - RawGuru Resident Blogger





Chocolate will never cease to be a fantastic option not only for lovers but also for people in
pursuit of long-term health benefits in late years of their lives. In reference to a research that was presented at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), raw chocolate from cacao powders contain plenty of antioxidants , including epicatechin and catechin, coupled with small amounts of fiber. Also, the gut bacteria are capable of breaking down and fermenting components in raw chocolate to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that are essential for your health. Here are the best 9 health benefits of raw chocolate:

1. Healthy Brain Function

Researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered that consumption of chocolate can help in sharpening the mind and improving cognitive skills. Professor Ian Macdonald, the study author, said that chocolate is rich in flavanols, which promote the flow of blood in critical areas of the brain that determine performance and attention over a short period. Macdonald also said that consumption of flavanol-rich chocolate was associated with increased grey matter flow for up to three hours.

2. It Promotes Cardiovascular Functions

Studies have shown that moderate consumption of dark or raw chocolate can lower blood pressure while reducing bad cholesterol levels by nearly 10%. This is because raw chocolate contains antioxidants like flavanoids commonly found in green tea and red wine. Also, raw chocolate is an excellent source of potassium and copper, two minerals that are essential in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. However, chocolate is high in calories, and excessive consumption should be avoided.

3. Colon Cancer Prevention

About Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, a new animal study suggests that raw chocolate consumption may help in colon cancer prevention. Individual ingredients (flavanoids) in raw chocolate help in elimination of unhealthy cells from your body through a process called apoptosis. Through this process, flavanoids can help in destruction and removal of cancerous cells along the digestive tract, especially the large intestines.

4. Reducing Cholesterol

According to researcher Mee Young Hong, PhD, associate professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University, eating raw chocolate can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. In Hong’s study that involved 31 men and women, she found that participants who took dark chocolate lowered their bad cholesterol by nearly 20% and increased good cholesterol by about 20% compared to those who ate white chocolate.

5. Decrease Menopause and PMS Symptoms

Most women crave for chocolate before and during their menstrual periods. About Dr. David Wolf, this is mainly because of the much needed magnesium contained in chocolate. Dr. Wolf says that women experience a decline in magnesium levels in the body during menstruation which contributes to increased premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms . Raw chocolate helps to supplement magnesium deficiencies during the menses cycle, lowering the effects of PMS for therapeutic results. Plus chocolate regulates hormonal imbalances to reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms.

6. It Improves Digestion

There are healthy bacteria that live in your large intestines that ferment both the antioxidants and fiber found in raw chocolate. Chocolate delivers high amounts of these helpful microbes that improve digestion. According to Andrew Marten, co-founder of Ohso, a company based in Britain that manufactures cocoa brands, the friendly bacteria help in positively influencing gastrointestinal functions to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. In fact chocolate delivers higher amounts of healthy bacteria than yoghurt and milk drinks, he added.

7. It supports Weight Loss

A new study shows that eating chocolate can help you to stay slim. According to the U.S. study, regular consumers of chocolate tend to have less body fat than those who don’t. Researchers suggested that calories contained in raw chocolate increase metabolism, which prevents storage of fat. According to Dr. Beatrice Golomb, study leader from the University of California at San Diego, the composition of calories in chocolate determines the ultimate impact on weight. Chocolate also reduces appetite and lowers food cravings.

8. Increases Energy, Alertness

Apart from being packed with calories for energy production, chocolate is also loaded with anti- inflammatory compounds and magnesium, which can make you feel less pain when working out. It boosts your energy levels and alertness to make exercising more enjoyable. Caffeine in raw chocolate has stimulating effects that can make that extra mile seem like a short jaunt.

9. It Promotes Healthy Blood Flow

About a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, chocolate may help improve vascular health by increasing the flow of blood. Patients above 70 years suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) who took dark chocolate managed to walk longer distances (11%) than their counterparts who didn’t. According to study author Lorenzo Loffredo from the Sapienza University of Rome, they noted significantly improved blood flow in participants who ate chocolate.

Conclusion

The health benefits of raw chocolate may be numerous than what has already been discovered. Many studies have shown how chocolate bars and candies can improve the quality of life at present and in the future. However, chocolate should be consumed in moderation as there is nothing right in too much of anything.

References:

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-news/can-chocolate-really-help-for-weight- loss43751.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate

Author Bio:

Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert. She has written various articles on Beauty and
Makeup. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to research about Solvaderm Skin care routine. She is always excited to share her ideas related to Beauty care and Makeup Tips.

Connect with Vaileria on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.




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Winter is the season of gluttony. Why yes, the irresistible (and unhealthy) holiday treats and dipping temperatures are sure to make even the healthiest of us forego our fitness regimen and diet plans. No surprises why the season leaves behind a mark on our waistlines, our moods and even on our skin and hair. As the gloomy winter gives way to blooming spring flowers, replace your unhealthy diet with healthier alternatives that will positively impact your overall health and wellness. A raw food diet is known to work wonders in managing weight, improving mood, increasing stamina and healing ailments like arthritis, cancer, asthma, thyroid and diabetes, among many others. Here is a list of the top 5 raw foods that you must add onto your plate, this season:

1. Berries - All the berry lovers out there, unite! Considered a gourmet favorite by chefs and food lovers across the globe, berries aren’t just delicious but are also extremely beneficial for the human body. The high polyphenol content in organic berries, especially blueberries make them a good source of fiber and an excellent brain boosting food. They are also packed with vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. These immune boosting nutrients help the body fight infections and prevent the formation of free radicals. Blueberries also help regulate blood sugar levels. According to studies , baking blueberries can change its polyphenol content and impact its health benefits, so it is suggested to enjoy the fruit raw than having it in a pie, a cheesecake or a muffin.

2. Leafy Greens – Leafy green vegetables are known far and wide for their dense nutrient content and subsequent health benefits, but did you know they are even more healthful when consumed raw? Vegetables such as cabbages, Brussels sprouts and broccoli contain anticancer compounds such as isothiocyanates and glucosinolates. A research newsletter published by the Oregon State University suggests that boiling cruciferous vegetables for 9-15 minutes can result in 20-60% decrease in their total glucosinolate content. A joint study conducted by University of California and Louisiana State University found that raw vegetables contain higher amounts of antioxidants like folic acid, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin as compared to cooked vegetables. Vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is also known to improve skin health by boosting production of collagen. Folic acid, on the other hand, helps in the formation of red blood-cells and ensures proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

4. Garlic – The idea of munching on a raw garlic clove may seem unappetizing to most of us. But, did you know it produces allicin, a DNA-protecting compound? Cooking can inactivate this enzyme resulting in no absorption of the same. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, consuming raw garlic helps reduce risk of colorectal, prostate, stomach and uterine cancers.

3. Nuts - The next time you indulge in a pack of roasted nuts as an evening snack, ponder over the benefits you’d be missing out on and the calories you’d be piling on. Raw and organic nuts have low sodium content, but packaged nuts often have added salt, which is a bummer for those suffering from high blood pressure. Oil roasted nuts also have higher calories as compared to raw nuts. Raw nuts on the other hand are a source of healthy fats that lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce risk of blood clots, nervous weakness and cardiovascular diseases. Deep roasting nuts (over 170 degrees) raises levels of carcinogenic acrylamides and breaks down the disease-fighting fats into free radicals that increase plaque, thus resulting in heart diseases.

5. Cacao – We often thank the person who brought the delightful chocolate into existence, but always ignore the wonders of the main ingredient, cacao. Raw cacao contains a hoard of essential vitamins and minerals that pump up the feel good neurotransmitters in the body. They are also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that help destroy free radicals in your cells and tissues, preventing diseases like arthritis and cancer. Cacao, cooked and processed to make chocolates loses its nutritional value. The added sugar only increases its calorie count.

If you are considering going on a complete raw food diet, consult your doctor for any precautions. Keep yourself well hydrated and ensure you include a good mix of all food groups so as to avoid depriving your body of essential nutrients. Good luck on your quest to a healthier way of life!


Author Bio : Vineetha Reddy

Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like StyleCraze.com, MindBodyGreen.com and LifeHacker.co.in. I strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions :

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