Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The biological process of eating dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. Studies also show that regular consumption of this sweet treat can reduce the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease. Some studies also suggest that eating dark chocolate can protect against sun damage by increasing skin hydration and density. Another benefit of eating dark chocolate is its protective qualities against cancer. Flavonols, a chemical compound found in fruits, can reduce the effects of the sun on your skin. The weight loss clinic in Houston suggests that they can also boost your immune system by fighting off free radicals and inflammation.

Dark Chocolate Can Decrease Blood Pressure

Some studies have shown that dark chocolate can decrease blood pressure. It reduces an enzyme that raises blood pressure and can prevent a stroke. However, many people are concerned about the dangers of using dark chocolate during pregnancy. Women should check with their ob/gyn to see if it is safe for them to consume this sweet treat. But regardless of whether or not dark chocolate is safe for pregnant women, it will improve their skin’s health.

Can Reduce The Development of Cavities

Some studies have indicated that eating a piece of dark chocolate daily can reduce the risk of developing cavities. It can also make dentist visits more enjoyable. This is because of the natural chemicals in dark chocolate, which stimulate the production of serotonin, which helps the brain to feel better. In addition, these chemicals are also believed to suppress the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which is secreted in high amounts when the body is in ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Fewer Depressive Symptoms of Pregnant Women

Researchers have discovered that eating chocolate while pregnant has many health benefits. It has been shown that women who ate chocolate during pregnancy may experience fewer symptoms of depression and an improved temperament. Additionally, it has been shown that the consumption of chocolate during pregnancy improves the growth and development of the fetus. This study is encouraging, as it suggests that dark chocolate during pregnancy can boost the mother’s immunity and improve the baby’s overall health.

Research has also found that eating dark chocolate has many benefits for women. It helps lower blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke, and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also helps improve the health of the skin, as the flavonoids in it to protect the skin against sun damage and increase the density of the skin. This compound has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Some of the other flavanols present in dark chocolate may also aid in the protection of the brain against the damaging effects of the sun.

Lowers Down Cholesterol

The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. They also improve the levels of HDL, the good cholesterol. As an added bonus, it can help prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re looking for health benefits of dark chocolate, you should consider eating more of it. You’ll find that the more you eat, the better. So, get your fill and stay healthy!

The antioxidants in dark chocolate are a key component of its health benefits. These compounds can prevent cardiovascular disease and increase the flexibility of blood vessels, which is beneficial for the heart. In addition to these, dark chocolate can also help you lower your blood pressure, which can help reduce your risk of developing a heart attack. This type of effect can be seen in a number of other ways, including through increased mental alertness.

Improves Blood Flow

The antioxidants found in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure. By relaxing the arteries, it improves blood flow. This is one of the health benefits of dark chocolate. The flavanols in dark chocolate also protect against cancer. These flavonoids help lower cholesterol. These substances also reduce the risk of heart disease. Moreover, consuming a small amount of dark-chocolate regularly has been associated with reduced levels of stress.

Researchers have reported that dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure. It also improves cognitive functions by lowering fasting glucose levels. The cocoa content in dark chocolate may help improve the function of HDL cholesterol in the brain. The antioxidants in dark chocolate are known to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. These compounds also improve your mood and are beneficial for the heart. Therefore, a piece of dark chocolate may have multiple health benefits. This article summarizes the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Categorized as Health

Weight Loss Tips: 10 Foods That You Should Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

When you are counting calories, we know that every bite counts.

The Houston weight loss clinic listed out for you, some of the most common culprits that mess up with your weight loss pursuit without your knowledge.

1. Soft Drinks

Your favourite, go-to drink with almost all your ‘diet’ food is also the BIGGEST hurdle in shedding those kilos. Yes, you read that correctly. So drop your soda cans right where they belong, in the dustbin. (Apparently, they are pretty good at cleaning your toilets.)

2. Sugar-Free Products

Did you know that artificial sweeteners do more harm than good by increasing your hunger? While these products are low in calorie, they are not doing you any favour either because artificially sweetened products can cause more craving for sweet products, so the whole idea behind being free of sugar goes for a toss.

3. Alcohol

There is a reason that there is a thing called ‘beer belly’. Your weekend beer and chill session is the reason that your tummy pooch is not going anywhere. Most of all, the calories in alcohol are all ‘empty calories’ with no nutritional value at all and contains 7 calories in a gram.

4. White Bread

Lately, you must have observed the ‘brown bread’ revolution taking place everywhere, replacing your beloved soft, white bread. Well, we are here to tell you why. A single piece of white bread is made up of highly-processed, simple carbohydrate, which causes a spike in blood sugar. In this process, when the blood sugar drops again, you will crave for food pretty soon.

Now if that doesn’t convince you to skip the white bread for good, we don’t know what will.

5. Fruit Juice

Quite against the popular notion, fruit juices should not be your go-to drink either. Stripped off of all the fibers, fruit juices available in the supermarket are loaded with sugar.

We will suggest that you rather indulge yourself with the whole fruit itself.

6. Simple Salads

If you are binging on leafy green salads throughout the day in an attempt to shed a Kilo or two, it is more often than not a futile attempt. If you are not incorporating something more filling in your salad like brown rice and sweet potato, your stomach is going to start growling for something to eat, in no time. It just defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?

7. High-Fiber Snack Bars

Munching on snack bars and avoiding meals is often seen as one of the first steps leading to dieting. Even if these bars contain fiber, the intake is not consistent. This simply means that consuming a whole snack bar at a time provides a huge dose of fiber while our body needs it in small doses throughout the day to avoid feeling hungry.

8. Whole Milk

This one is a no-brainer. All those watching their diet should opt for the skimmed variety, avoiding the extra ‘malai’ and the cholesterol present in the whole milk.

9. Flavoured-Water

These fancy looking bottles containing fruit-flavoured water look pretty sitting on your workstation and are obviously a healthier alternative to soft drinks. But, if you are on a mission to lose weight, plain drinking water is your best bet. Remember sugar equals to calories.

10. Low-Fat Food

These ‘low-fat foods’ are the reason behind your binge eating habits as these diet food are said to have added sweeteners which are often far worse than fat itself. If you are ready to lose weight, you should check out these weight loss tips that guarantee you will lose weight.

Does a Ripe Banana Have More Calories Than an Unripe Banana?

A ripe banana and an unripe banana give you the same calories…or do they?

There are 95 calories in a banana. That is assuming the banana is medium sized and after peeling weighs 100g.

A ripe banana contains exactly the same number of calories as an unripe one – even though it is a lot sweeter. However, because of the way our bodies digest food, the ripe banana may deliver around 10 extra calories to us. Houston weight loss doctor will explain…

The Effect of the Thermic Effect of Food

An unripe banana, just slightly green.

Fewer of the calories in the unripe banana make it through digestion to be used by the body as fuel because of the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Our bodies use energy (calories) in processing and digesting all the food we eat. On average it is about 10% of the food’s calorific value.

Eating, chewing, swallowing, digesting, carrying around the extra weight of the food and so on all uses energy, and most of this energy is used in the digestive process. The energy loss incurred by processing what we eat and drink is known as the thermic effect of food.

However, it gets a little more complicated than the 10% average. Some types of foods take much more energy for our bodies to process, and some much less. Simple sugars and fats are easy work for our tums, and only 3% of their calories are used up in digestion.

Proteins are much harder – around 30%. And complex carbohydrates lose about 20% in digestion – that’s double the 10% average.

Basic Nutrition of a Banana

Now let’s go back to our 100g banana which has 95 calories – ripe or unripe.

A breakdown of its food types reveals:

  • 0.3% fat
  • 2.6% fibre
  • 1.0% protein
  • 22.1% carbohydrates

All fat contains 9 calories per gram, all protein contains 4 calories per gram and all carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. Fibre does not contain digestable calories.

We can now break down where the calories in the banana are coming from:

  • 0.3% fat x 100g x 9 calories per gram = 2.7 calories
  • 1% protein x 100g x 4 calories per gram = 4 calories
  • 22.1% carbohydrates x 100g x 4 calories per gram = 88.4 calories
  • Total 95 calories

As you can see, nearly all the calories in our 100g banana come from carbohydrates.

A Closer Look at The Banana’s Carbs

A fairly ripe banana.

In an unripe (green) banana most of those carbohydrates will be starch, and in a ripe banana most will have turned to sugar. In fact, in a fully ripe banana 91% of the carbohydrates will have become simple sugars.

As for an unripe banana – we must assume it is still edible, otherwise the comparison is meaningless. So let’s say the banana isn’t fully green, but has ripened so that it is just about palatable to eat. I would estimate around 25% of the carbohydrates will have turned into a simple sugar at this point.

So the two comparables are the unripe banana with 25% of its carbohydrates being simple sugars, and the fully ripe banana with 91% of its carbohydrates turned into simple sugars.

Nutrition of unripe banana:

  • 0.3% fat
  • 2.6% fibre
  • 1.0% protein
  • 22.1% carbohydrates (25% sugars)

Of which:

  • 16.6% complex carbohydrates
  • 5.5% simple carbohydrates (sugar)

Nutrition of ripe banana:

  • 0.3% fat
  • 2.6% fibre
  • 1.0% protein
  • 22.1% carbohydrates (91% sugars)

Of which:

  • 2% complex carbohydrates
  • 20.1% simple carbohydrates (sugars)

Applying TEF to Bananas

Now we can apply the thermic effect of food to both the ripe and unripe banana nutrition breakdown to see how many calories make it through digestion:

Thermic effect of food on an unripe banana:

  • 0.3% fat x 100g x 9 calories per gram x 97% TEF (thermic effect of food) = 2.6 calories
  • 1.0% protein x 100g x 4 calories per gram x 70% TEF = 2.8 calories
  • 16.6% complex carbohydrates  x 100g x 4 calories per gram x 80% TEF = 53.1 calories
  • 5.5% simple carbohydrates (sugar) x100g x 4 calories per gram x 97% TEF = 21.3 calories
  • Total 100g unripe banana calories after thermic effect of food = 79.8 calories

Thermic effect of food on a ripe banana:

  • 0.3% fat x 100g x 9 calories per gram x 97% TEF (thermic effect of food) = 2.6 calories
  • 1.0% protein  x 100g x 4 calories per gram x 70% TEF = 2.8 calories
  • 2% complex carbohydrates x 100g x 4 calories per gram x 80% TEF = 6.4 calories
  • 20.1% simple carbohydrates (sugars) x 100g x 4 calories per gram x 97% TEF = 78 calories
  • Total 100g ripe banana calories after thermic effect of food = 89.8 calories

It’s Bananas But it’s True!

Yes, whilst the ripe and the unripe banana contain exactly the same amount of calories, because of the way we process food, our bodies receive more calories from the ripe banana.

In the case of the medium 100g banana in this example 10 extra calories are received by our bodies after digestion from the ripe banana.

This example contains an extreme, and some estimates. The extreme is the fully ripe banana in the example. This would be very mushy and completely brown on the outside (not like my photo). In reality your ripe banana may actually have more like 75% sugars, rather than the fully ripe 91%.

The thermic effect of food is still being studied, so note that the percentages given for different food types are estimates – especially where the complex carbohydrates are concerned.

However, the principle still applies. In everyday living The Houston weight loss center estimates that your body receives an average between 5 and 10% more calories from a ripe banana than from an unripe one – even though they both contain the same amount of calories in their pre-eaten state.

Categorized as Nutrition