We know that Yoga reduces stress and improves
overall circulation, but did you know that chocolate has
a few of these same health benefits?
Yoga helps to ease tension in your body,
and calms the mind. A Yoga class can help you feel more
centered and increase strength and flexibility. The deep
breathing and gentle meditation in a class helps the body
to relax, restore and you will begin to feel rejuvenated
from doing a regular practice.
Just ask any of the students that come to classes regularly
at New Town Fitness Center. When I think about chocolate
I think of a mouth watering delicious treat. Actually it
is the number one food craving that people report, enjoying
a chocolate treat usually creates a sense of guilt, chocolate
has never really been considered a health food.
The good news is that chocolate, in MODERATION can be considered
part of a balanced diet with some positive side effects.
Flavonoids are found in chocolate, a biological component
of plant foods that can help reduce risk of heart disease.
Various flavonoids have been show to prevent oxidation,
chelate (bind) metals, stimulate the immune system and also
reduce an allergic response, prevent formation of carcinogens,
impede cancer cell growth, and protect against bacteria
and viruses according to Agricultural Research magazine
from the USDA. Chocolate contains the flavonoids Catechins
also found in tea (regular black tea, not herbal teas) and
this flavonoid in the diet offers some protection to the
heart from disease.
Researchers found eating 100g of dark chocolate each day
for 15 days lowered blood pressure. In another study consumption
of cocoa in healthy volunteers, aged 18 to 77 resulted in
significantly improved vascular responsiveness. (The measure
the researchers used looked at the “stiffness”
of blood vessels. In patients whose blood vessels are “stiff,”
hypertension is common.) The beneficial effect was most
pronounced in patients over 50 years of age.
Another study reported in Hypertension, Italian investigators
showed that feeding 100 grams of dark chocolate daily to
hypertensive patients improved their systolic and diastolic
blood pressures-and lowered their LDL cholesterol levels.
(Unfortunately a control group was feed white chocolate
and had no beneficial effects.) Dark Chocolate has more
flavonoids than lighter chocolate, just a side note when
they added milk to the chocolate this inhibits the absorption
of flavonoids. So any benefit gained by eating chocolate
may be limited to dark chocolate.
After reading this, maybe your having a
bit of a craving for chocolate, well you’re in luck.
New Town Fitness Center is having Health Fair May 5th, I
will have a table there and would love to see you, so come
by my booth to get a free piece of Dark (Healthy) Chocolate.
I can also let you know more about the health
benefits of Yoga.
Along with a piece of Chocolate you can pick up the current
schedule of Yoga classes offered three times a week at the
New Town Fitness Center.