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Nature’s Best Nutrition Secret is Raw Cacao

I get many funny looks when I tell my health coaching clients that I whole-heartedly endorse a fully stocked chocolate supply in every household. Afterall, it’s one of the most important food groups!

We’ve all heard about the benefits of dark chocolate, but you can get even more nutrition by eating the beans themselves. Raw, unprocessed cacao is one of nature’s best nutrition secrets.

cacao

It’s super food with super powers:

  • Loaded with tons of magnesium for muscle and nerve function and to stabilize heart rhythms
  • More antioxidants and disease fighting properties than red wine or green tea!
  • Improves focus and pleasure: cacao stimulates the euphoric neurotransmitters in the brain
  • Aids in calcium absorption 
  • Stabilizes mood swings
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Don’t Believe the Hype of Super Food Powders! Dietitian Says They Aren’t Worth It

Lucuma, camu, maqui – their names alone sound like something exotic and wonderful. In fact, they’re some of the more common “super food” powders that many people are adding to their diet for added nutrition.

superfood powders

However, they may not be as beneficial as claimed. Many of these powders aren’t quite what they appear to be. Dr. Mike Roussell discussed some of the reasons to avoid these powders in Shape Magazine.

“The trap that we fall into with many of these super food powders has to do with their exotic origins and the nutritional buzzwords attached to them,” he told the magazine. “There is something alluring about these foods being used by ancient cultures in faraway jungles that causes us to assume that they must be better for us than the ‘regular’ foods we are currently eating.”

That’s really the gimmick of super food powders. Sure, some of them may include nutrients that do wonders for the body, but those nutrients aren’t exclusive to the powders. They can be found in more common foods as well.
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Apple’s Upcoming Health App Predicted to Break Boundaries

With the growing popularity of virtualized health tracking apps, Apple is sure to have something coming down the pipeline soon not only to compete, but to surpass.

9-to-5 Mac  released details on Monday regarding their new project, and is projected to be “a tipping point for mobile healthcare”. They’re calling it Apple Healthbook and it’s designed to track blood sugar (huge factor for those with diabetes!), heart rate, breathing rate, weight, hydration, sleep, nutrition,  physical movements, and health test results, among other stats.

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 8.07.02 AM

How will this app stand out from the rest? One company, for example, offers over 40 health and fitness iPhone apps alone. It is said that virtual health tracker and resource apps can significantly reduce healthcare costs and are predicted to one day be subsidized by healthcare providers to promote their usage.
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Saturated Fats Don’t Cause Heart Disease? New Research Revealed

Are saturated fats inherently bad for you? For years, the idea drilled into our heads has been that the saturated fats found in meat, cheese, and butter are to be largely avoided due to the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. But now we’re not so sure.

sat fat

A new analysis of research was released in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine this week, and reported by the New York Times health blog here, cast doubt upon this guideline.

The new research reviewed over 80 studies that looked at what the participants reportedly ate, plus blood test results that measured fatty acids and cholesterol levels. This analysis did not find increased heart disease in those who ate less saturated fat, nor did it find less disease in those eating more unsaturated fat—the good stuff found in natural foods like olive oil, fish, and avocados. It did, however, notice a benefit in those taking Omega-3 fish-oil supplements in preventing the onset of heart disease.
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Oil Pulling: Is it Legit?

Surely you’ve all heard about oil pulling by now, right? It’s the latest natural health trend that has blown up over the last several weeks. You’ve probably seen the images all over Facebook as so many have been experimenting with this seemingly odd practice of swishing cooking oil in the mouth to improve a myriad of symptoms. The technique is ancient, but does that mean it’s effective?

oil pulling

For starters, oil pulling is a simple procedure. You choose a vegetable based oil, like coconut, sesame, sunflower, or olive oil, you take anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, put it in your mouth and swish it around for up to 20 minutes.

Depending on the source, people claim the art of oil pulling whitens teeth, strengthens gums, improves the pain associated with sensitive teeth, prevents cavities, eases the symptoms of migraines, detoxes the body, clears out the sinuses, improves sleep, improves halitosis, and even aids in the recovery of a hangover. The list could go on and on…

The practice of oil pulling is believed to be about 3,000 to 5,000 years old. The technique falls under the blanket of Ayurvedic medicine, referring to ancient Indian medicine created in India.

Being a granola-head with loads of skepticism, I was anxious to try oil pulling and research the validity of it’s claims at the same time. So, that’s what I did. I swished organic coconut oil around in my mouth for several evenings, while I read articles and reached out to experts.
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