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Stressed Out? Eat Dark Chocolate, Researchers Suggest

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Join the conversation. What is your favorite way to consume dark chocolate or cacao? Talk to us.
In recent years, one study after another has shown that dark chocolate can be healthy for you.
Cacao beansNow, new Swiss scientists have discoverd that it can be helpful to eat 50 milligrams of dark chocolate two hours before a stressful event.
In short, dark chocolate can soothe your stress!
Pretty cool, eh?
Specifically, the new study, which was published in the Journal of the American Colllege of Cardiology, reveals that dark chocolate blunted increases in cortisol and epinephrine.
Cortisol, as you may already know, is often called the stress hormone, and epinephrine — which is better known as adrenaline — is a hormone released by the adrenal glands and its major action, together with noradrenaline, is to prepare you for your infamous fight or flight response.
Of course, that fight-or-flight reaction helps us humans, as well as animals, to mobilize our energy rapidly so we can deal with threats to our survival.
Meanwhile, as resarchers have been finding for years, dark chocolate — but not sugar-laden milk chocolate or white chocolate — is healthy in at least 9 other ways, too.
For example:
Dark chocolate is nutritious, containing such goodies as fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese, as AuthorityNutrition.com points out.
It can lessen cravings for sweet, salty or fatty foods. That’s certainly good news for sugar addicts.
Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. One study even called cacao a “super fruit” and found that it contains more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits tested, which included blueberries and Acai berries.
Dark chocolate may lower your risk for cardiovascular disease;
And it may improve your brain function.
It can even boost enhance your coronary circulation.
It also raises HDL (the good stuff) and lowers LDL
Plus, dark chocolate has achieved recognition as an anti-depressant and mood leveler.
Dark chocolate may protect your skin aginst the sun.
Cacao-powderNow, please bear in mind that I’m not urging you to rush out and get sugar-filled chocolate!
Ideally, you want to eat dark chocolate hat has a high cacao content, is high in fat (yes!), and low in sugar.
To get some guidance on what to get, check out Mark’s Daily Apple’s wonderful review of the 5 best dark chocolate bars.
Now, if you’re really into being sugar-free, I highly recommend that you nibble on unprocessed cacao beans (it goes great with nuts).
Or you can use cacao powder to make a healthy smoothie.
In fact, every morning I add 2 or 3 tablespoons of organic cacao powder from either Navitas Naturals or Sun Foods in my sugar-free, super-healthy Cacao-Chia-Protein Smoothie. (Stay tuned, because I’ll post a recipe sometime.)
Anyhow, it’s exciting to discover that cacao also can help you deal with stress.
Join the conversation. What is your favorite way to consume dark chocolate or cacao? Talk to us.

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Connie’s Super Cacao-Chia-Moringa Shake to Begin the Day

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Lately, Facebook friends and other fans have been intrigued when I said I start my day with a Super Cacao-Chia-Moringa Shake.
For the past week or so, I’ve been creating and revising this tasty concoction, adding or subtracting ingredients. Now, people have been repeatedly nudging me to share my recipe.
First a bit of background. Recently, I’ve been recovering from adrenal fatigue (worked too hard and didn’t play enough!), and I’m now doing all I can to boost my energy, concentrate better, improve my stamina, be in my best shape ever, and write a fabulous book (my next book, The Sugar Shock Diet) to help many.
To that end, I’m now on Day 24 of detoxing, thanks to the program outlined in Dr. Jeffrey Morrison’s exciting new book, Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind. (He recently appeared on my Gab with the Gurus Show. I’ll be reposting as soon as I hit Day 30.)
6-24-11 283Anyhow, these days, my goal is to cram lots of superfoods and healthy ingredients into my first meal of the day.
My breakfast helps me remember that we eat to live and to thrive, remember?
So here’s the healthy way I now start the day. Usually, I’ll work out right afterwards, too, and it’s easy to prepare this Super Cacao-Chia-Moringa Shake.
It fills you up, too, and doesn’t send your blood sugar bouncing all over the place.
Here are the items that go into my breakfast shake:
— 2 T. The Ultimate Life, Ultimate Meal. What’s really wonderful about this powder is that it contains no gluten, no soy protein or fiber, no whey, no nuts, no MSG, no corn, no yeast, no dairy, no maltodextrin, sugar, honey or fructose, no colors, no preservatives, no fillers, and no animal products. (This is very hard to find in protein and health powders.)
– 2 T. organic cacao nibs. Adding these gives your shake a chocolate burst–plus you get the superfood benefits. Love these nibs!
– 1 tsp. Ribose (Just started to add this today to use before an intense workout – the one I use is Ribose from Jarrow. (As the description indicates, “Ribose is one of the necessary building blocks for the formation of ATP; the `universal’ energy molecule in the body.* Physical stress can deplete ATP stores in cardiac and skeletal muscles.* As the rate-limiting substrate in the synthesis of nucleotides; including ATP; ribose plays a vital role in replenishing ATP; thus; enhancing energy production; improving muscle recovery;and thus Muscle Edge.
I also add to the shake:
– 1 tsp. Psyllium Husks Powder (I’m using this because I’m now detoxing. I use the one from Yerba Prima)
– 1 T. ground Nutiva organic chia seeds (or whatever brand you can find.)
– 1 T. ground plain organic flax seeds (I like the Spectrum that you can find at Whole Foods.)
1 tsp. Glutamine Plus from Daily Benefit
1 tsp. It’s Moringa powder (*The Moringa plant has been called “The Miracle Tree.” I just started taking this today and am noticing a difference. Believe it or not, but I started adding this today, because my intuition told me to include this superfood, which I learned about months ago. See info below to learn more about this amazing product of nature.)
A big dash of Simply Organic cinnamon
Some clove powder if I’m in the mood for that
About 10 frozen organic strawberries from my friends at Vital Choice. (Or, I may use a combo of strawberries and blueberries that I’ve bought fresh and frozen.)
Sometimes I’ll add a tiny pinch of green powdered stevia from Navitas Natural . (Sometimes no sweetener at all. I never use the white powder though. It always has to be naturally sweet.)
About 8 ounces Water (after my Brita water filter has purified it)
Coconut milk (about 1/3 cup/Soy Free/Dairy Free/Unsweetened from SoDelicious. (I may also or instead of the milk take a tiny taste, about 1/4 tsp., of refrigerated Organic Coconut oil.)
(At the beginning of the day, I also take two or more Ogganic Royal Maca but do NOT put this in the shake because I don’t want it to ruin the taste.)
Blend until all ingredients are ground up and your shake is thick and creamy. Then enjoy!
FYI, I also save about a third of it in the fridge to finish when I get back from working out.
Let me know what you think of this recipe. What other great super ingredients would you add?
Moringa-Oleifera Now, let here’s more info about Moringa oleifera, which has been hailed as the most nutritious leafy green in the planet today.
As I mentioned, I began adding it to my shake today. It did not make it taste extra green-y, which was nice.
* Please bear in mind that these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
According to my new friend, Jude Ken-Kwofie, founder of It’s Moringa, “just one scoop of our moringa dried leaf powder in your favorite meal or beverage helps you achieve your recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of vegetables.”
Moringa can be used by people in average or poor health, Jude says. Some reported health benefits of Moringa include:
Increases and sustains energy naturally
Gives a feeling of general wellness
Nourishes that body’s immune system
Promotes healthy circulatory system
Increases the natural defenses of the body
Heightens mental clarity
Provides nourishment to the eyes and the brain
Promotes metabolism with bio-available ingredients
Promotes natural serum cholesterol
Known to enhance weight loss
Promotes healthy digestion
Acts as an antioxidant
High alkalinity helps balance your body’s pH level
Has natural anti-aging benefits
Anti-inflammatory support
Supports the normal sugar levels of the body
Jude tells me that It’s Moringa products contain a high concentration of chlorophyll, which is also known as the “blood of the plant” and gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll, which is rich in magnesium, is also known to fight infection, cleanse the body of unwanted toxins, promote the healing of wounds, improve the body’s circulatory, immune, digestive, and detoxification systems. Due to its similarity to hemoglobin, chlorophyll is easily absorbed into human blood, which transports nutrients effectively and efficiently to every cell of the body. Incorporating chlorophyll into one’s diet, Jude says, is equivalent to consuming the energy of life. It’s Moringa products reportedly contain 4 times (4X) the chlorophyll content of wheatgrass.
What appeals to me about It’s Moringa and why I chose to become an affiliate even though other companies also sell this superfood is that this particular company donates 10 percent of its sales to support malnutrition around the world. In fact, did you now that one third of all childhood deaths are caused by under-nutrition? Sad to think about that given our country’s obesity problem.
Anyhow, to fight malnutrition, It’s Moringa has partnered with Vitamin Angels or www.vitaminangels.org and Nourish America or www.nourishamerica.org..
So, what do you think of my Super Cacao-Chia-Moringa Shake? Let me know know what you think aftter you try it out.
Is there anything else I should add?

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David Wolfe: Listen to the Superfoods Expert Share Fascinating Information

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Did you catch superfoods expert David Wolfe on my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show today?
Listen now to this superfoods superstar share fascinating information about cacao, goji berries, maca, chia seeds, medicinal mushrooms, marine phytoplankton, wild bee pollen, hemp seed, spirulina, blue green algae and more.
You will be blown away by the fascinating information!
Catch the show now at http://tinyurl.com/david-wolfe-gab-with-gurus
Check back here for more information about my next book, The White-Out Diet, so that you can help me help you!