Sunday, April 14, 2024

Is Dark Chocolate Good For Arthritis

Foods That Help Reduce Inflammation

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It may seem as if all of your favorite foods are on the do not eat list as it relates to joint and muscle pain. However, there are actually a variety of nutritious and delicious foods that can help reduce inflammation. A Mediterranean diet offers an excellent guideline, including these foods:

  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and yams
  • High-fat fruits such as avocados and olives
  • Olive oil and coconut oil and other healthy fats
  • Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and other fatty fish
  • Almonds and other nuts
  • Bell peppers and chili peppers
  • Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts and chickpeas
  • Spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon

Sticking to a diet consisting of these foods will not only help combat inflammation and pain but also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk for many diseases. For more information on foods that can help with inflammation, read 10 Foods That Help Reduce Joint Pain.

Is Dark Chocolate Bad For Arthritis

Dark chocolate has a high concentration of compounds that may help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Dark chocolate has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. Dark chocolate and cocoa candy. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Dark chocolate consumption can raise blood caffeine levels, increase heart rate, nausea, dehydration, and cause insomnia. Dark chocolate, in addition to being high in protein and fat, has very few calories and saturated fat. Dark chocolate consumption should be limited to one ounce per day to avoid weight gain. A feeling of alertness and elation, as well as lethargy and depression, could also occur if you consume chocolate on a regular basis.

Dark chocolate contains a high concentration of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus, among other minerals. If you consume healthy fats, you may notice an improvement in your joint health and lubrication. Salmon, trout, mackerel, avocados, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

Weight loss

A little bit of dark chocolate can reduce cravings and suppress your appetite. So, grab a square when youre hit with a snack attack. Keep in mind that all chocolateeven dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa has calories, fat, and sugar. So stick to a one small square a day.

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Keeps your heart healthy

Dark chocolate can improve your circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. This is thanks to flavanols, a chemical compound also found in fruits and vegetables that have been found to improve blood flow at the cellular level, leading to lower blood pressure. But remember, just a square or two a day.

Prevents inflammation

70% cocoa dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which have some major anti-inflammatory effects. Flavanols help to reduce inflammation and keep the cells that line the arteries healthy.Antioxidants fight inflammation and free radicals, which can help your immunity and reduce your risk of disease.

Improves brain function

Studying for a big test? Or feeling a bit down in the dumps? Antioxidants and flavanols enhance neurological function that promote healthy cognitive benefits. Studies show that dark chocolate can boost memory, cognitive skills, and mood.

Makes your skin glow

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Whats your favorite way to way to have dark chocolate? Tell us on wed love to hear from you.

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How Much Dark Chocolate Is Healthy To Eat

Theres no magic quantity of dark chocolate you need to eat to get those flavonoids the dosage used in studies varies. But experts agree that you should treat it like you would any other piece of candy and consume it in moderation.Its best reserved as a treat, says Young. Yes, it does contain antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, but lets not call it a health foodit still contains plenty of sugar and fat. In other words, aim for 1/4 of a full-size bar.

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by Andrea | Nutrition

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The Dark Side Of Chocolate: Preliminary Research Suggests It May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Arthritis

Dark chocolate has the ability to reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms by reducing inflammation. Although the findings are preliminary, if they continue to hold up in further studies, they may result in new treatments and prevention strategies for this condition. Arthritis is a term used to describe a wide range of conditions that cause joint inflammation and pain. People suffering from arthritis can have their symptoms reduced by following a healthy lifestyle, which includes sufficient exercise and eating a diet that is high in fiber. For some people, medication may be required. Dark chocolate may be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis as a supplement to existing treatments. Despite the fact that this research is still in its early stages, it may lead to new ways to improve joint health for a large number of people.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy

When compared with other kinds of chocolate, dark chocolate stands tall. Dark chocolate has lower added sugar and fat than milk or white chocolate, says Peart, while noting it also boasts an abundance of beneficial antioxidants called flavonoids.

At their core, milk chocolate and dark chocolate have similar ingredients, including cocoa butter, sugar and cocoa solids. The two kinds of chocolate differ in their percentage of cocoa solids, however.

Dark chocolate has between 50% and 90% cocoa solids, says Peart. And milk chocolate has between 10% and 50%.

Unsurprisingly, the percentage of cocoa solids can affect the magnitude of dark chocolates benefits. The higher percentage of cocoa solids, the more flavonoids and the lower sugar, Peart explains. If youre doing 75% or 80% dark chocolate, therell be less added sugar than if you were at 50% dark chocolate.In addition to being lower in sugar, here are other dark chocolate benefits:

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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the bodys own immune system. Normally, the immune system can protect itself against bacteria and viruses, but when youre living with RA, the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. This then creates inflammation around the tissue, which in turn thickens inside the joints and causes extreme pain and swelling. And RA is a chronic condition with no known cure, meaning sufferers often live with these aches and pains for a lifetime.

Fortunately, there are treatment options available to stop inflammation, relieve symptoms and prevent joint and organ damage. Most RA sufferers turn to treatments like over-the-counter pain medication, prescription medications, and injection treatments to find relief.

But medication isnt the only way you can achieve RA relief. Maintaining a healthy diet also plays an important role in keeping symptoms at bay. And part of that healthy diet can and perhaps should include chocolate. Studies have suggested that chocolate is beneficial for RA sufferers.

Not so sure? Here are some reasons thatll change your mind.

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Caffeine Can Help Asthma Too

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Caffeine is metabolized in the liver to produce small amounts of theophylline and theobromine. So, another way to get the benefits of theobromine is to consume products that contain caffeine, which include coffee, tea, cola drinks, and cocoa.4,5 So, this gives you an excuse to consume those chocolate-flavored coffee drinks that you love. It gives you an excuse to finally eat the chocolate Easter bunny that you are hiding, waiting for that perfect moment to consume.

Interestingly, the University of Michigan even list dark chocolate as one of the essential foods as a part of their Healing Foods Pyramid. Along with increasing mental acuity and the other benefits of xanthines, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants and flavonoids6, which, as I explain in my post, Can Your Diet Improve Asthma, may help you obtain ideal asthma control.

In fact, they recommend 7 ounces of dark chocolate every week, or an average of 1 ounce per day.

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The Best Foods For Healthy Joints

Want to know how to keep your joints healthy? One key step may be changing up your diet to include foods that cure and prevent joint pain. The foods you put in your body impact your wellbeing, so it is essential to make a habit of healthy eating. Choosing foods that prevent inflammation, strengthen connective tissue, and build greater bone density can preserve joints, prevent injuries, and offer naturalrelief for joint pain.

If you want to reduce joint inflammation and improve overall joint health, food remedies may be the answer. Heres a closer look at some of the top anti-inflammatory nutrients for healthy joints, as well as a few inflammatory foods to avoid.

Why I Quit Chocolate

by Andrea | Nutrition

I used to be a serious chocolate addict. Just like I once couldnt fathom my life without bread, for many years I thought I could never live without chocolate. Now I know there are many things I can live without, including chocolate.

Sometime last fall, I started feeling a sharp pain in my left shoulder. I thought Id torn a muscle doing pull ups. I got some acupuncture and a couple of days later, the pain was gone. I quickly forgot the incident.

About a month later, I experienced a similar pain, this time in my right shoulder. I had taken several yoga classes in the same week so I figured I had overdone the yoga and that perhaps I was getting old and needed to be more careful about how much exercise I got. This time I had to bend my shoulder awkwardly just so I could move my arm. It hurt badly! I got acupuncture three days in a row and took Epsom Salt baths every night.

On the fourth day I woke up to a fading pain in the shoulder, but now my left wrist was on fire. Thats when I understood this had nothing to do with exercise.

I tried taking Advil, but that didnt help much, so I moved onto Aleve in order to function for a few hours. I welcomed the New Year unable to unscrew bottles or open windows, looking for elevators wherever I went, as I was limping about 50% of the time and taking the stairs was hard. I was scared.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. Whatever this migratory joint pain was, I had no doubt it was of an autoimmune nature.

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Are There Downsides To Dark Chocolate

At higher percentages, dark chocolate has a bitter taste and contains more caffeine.

Caffeine can exacerbate reflux, or heartburn, says Peart. If you have a sensitivity to caffeine or dont want to have caffeine because its a stimulant, you should stay away from dark chocolate.

The amount of caffeine in dark chocolate is far less than the amount youll find in coffee, though. Even if you had two ounces of 70% dark chocolate, there would be around 50 to 60 milligrams of caffeine, Peart says. In an eight-ounce cup of coffee, which is much smaller than most people drink, theres 100 to 200 milligrams.

Dark chocolate also contains a moderate amount of saturated fat, Peart adds, which is the kind associated with high cholesterol. But the heart-protective benefits of flavanols are thought to outweigh the downside of the saturated fat in dark chocolate.

Cocoa Helps In Weight Loss

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The catechins present in cocoa have another important use. They lead to a significant reduction in body weight. They basically decrease fat from the body.

Cocoa prevents obesity by lowering the number of lipid or fat molecules.

It does so by regulating and increasing the lipid metabolism .

Along with this, it does not allow the body to synthesize the lipid molecules after a certain amount and it also prevents the transfer and storage of fats in the body.

Cocoa burns a high amount of fat which is stored in the tissues. All these mechanisms are controlled through the expression of genes and lead to a reduction in body weight.

What does this Mean? Cocoa causes a decrease in the body weight. Lower body weight decreases the stress on the joints, reducing the inflammation and pain.

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Sugar And Certain Sugar Alternatives

Foods that contain refined sugarincluding pastries, chocolate, candy, soda, and even fruit juicestrigger the release of proteins in the body called cytokines, which cause inflammation. Sugar is labeled many ways in food items in addition to sugar, watch out for corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, or maltose in ingredient lists.

Cutting back on regular sugar may lead people to seek out foods made with sugar alternatives, such as aspartame and sucralose, when a sweet tooth hits. However, some people are sensitive to these substances, which can cause an inflammatory response from the body. Sugar alternatives are often found in diet sodas, gum, sugar-free candy, and low-fat yogurt and pudding.

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Whats The Recommended Dark Chocolate Serving Size

Peart says a recommended dark chocolate serving size is between one and two ounces, which is about 30 to 60 grams. Thats a bigger amount of chocolate than you might think. For example, one ounce is the equivalent of three thin squares of chocolate broken off from a bigger bar. Dark chocolate is also best savored slowly a little goes a long way.

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Green Tea And Other Beverages

Many teas contain bioactive polyphenolic compounds that contribute significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit people with arthritis. A 2016 study of people with arthritis found that green tea supplementation improved disease activity. Another 2018 study found that green tea extract might control pain and improve knee joint physical function in adults with osteoarthritis.

Instead of sipping on soda, drink green or oolong teas, which are both made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Additionally, if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you do choose to have an alcoholic drink, opt for red wine, which may have anti-inflammatory effects.

Beverages to Include
Red wine

Milk Substitutes Recommended For Someone With Arthritis

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There are calcium-enriched foods other than milk. These items include chickpeas, almonds, collard greens, kale, and non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, hemp, rice, and cashew milk just to name a few. It is importantto consume a balanced diet with the essential vitamins and nutrients that will help your overall health.

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Reduce Chronic Inflammation With Food

What is inflammation, and why is it so bad for your health?

Inflammation is the bodys natural response to fighting infection, injury, and toxins. But, widespread chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This can cause fatigue, fever, mouth sores, rashes, abdominal pain, and chest pain. Over time, the bodys inflammatory response can contribute to life-threatening conditions, including cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and Alzheimers disease.

Powerful Source Of Antioxidants

ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Its a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.

Basically, researchers set a bunch of free radicals against a sample of a food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can disarm the free radicals.

Based on these studies, chocolate is considered rich in antioxidants. But the biological relevance of ORAC values is questioned, as its measured in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body.

Research in humans does not always show the same range of antioxidant effects for chocolate. But experts say there isnt enough evidence yet to say for certain .

Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, among others. According to research, the polyphenols in dark chocolate may help lower some forms of LDL cholesterol when combined with other foods like almonds and cocoa .

One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity, polyphenols, and flavanols than any other fruits tested, which included blueberries and acai berries .

Summary

Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants. In fact, they have way more than most other foods.

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