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November 16, 2016 by Joseph Fermin 5 Comments

The Health Benefits Of Raw Cacao 5 (3)

The Benefits Of Raw Cacao

Today’s media is full of reports about so-called “superfoods.” While most of these reports are based on some level of fact, misrepresentation or poor interpretation of medical and scientific findings often leads to misinformation and sensational yet misleading headlines. A prime example of this is raw cacao. The health benefits of raw cacao are astounding; however, this, unfortunately, does not necessarily mean that eating a bar of milk chocolate each day will have the same effects. Read on to learn more about the ways in which raw cacao can improve your health and how to take full advantage.

What is Raw Cacao?

Cacao-based products are made from cacao beans and include cacao powder, nibs, paste, and butter. raw cacao

When purchasing raw cacao products such as powder, it is important to understand the differences between raw cacao powder and the more common cocoa powder. Raw cacao powder is very pure. It is made from raw, unroasted cocoa beans via a process known as cold pressing, which removes the fat in the form of cacao butter; much of the bean and nutrients remain intact.

Cacao is one of the best sources of flavonoids (which are potent antioxidants) available, which means that it has huge health benefits. It is also rich in protein, cholesterol-free and monounsaturated fats, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and minerals (including zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and calcium).

Cocoa powder is produced in a similar way to cacao powder, except that it undergoes high-temperature processing during production. Although it retains significant health benefits, the high temperatures used to destroy some of the nutritional value. As cocoa undergoes further processing to make reduced-strength dark chocolate and milk chocolate, increasing amounts of the nutrients are removed. Therefore, raw cacao powder, cocoa powder, or very strong dark chocolate are recommended for optimal health benefits.

what-is-raw-cacao

Cardiovascular benefits

Many people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events as they age. The good news is that the consumption of certain foods can help reduce this risk. Cocoa-based products can have significant beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system by reducing cardiovascular risk and atherosclerosis, improving circulation, lowering the levels of LDL (bad) and increasing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Many of these effects are caused by the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the flavonoids.

  • Cacao- and cocoa-based products can reduce hypertension. For example, the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study was performed in 90 elderly individuals who received cocoa-based drinks with high, medium, or low flavonoid content. Blood pressure was reduced significantly in patients that received high- or medium-content cocoa compared with those that received low flavonoid cocoa [1]. The subjects also exhibited improved insulin resistance and reduced lipid peroxidation.
  • Cardiovascular function. A recent study assessed vascular stiffness in healthy younger (<35) and older (50–80) men who drank cocoa or a control drink twice a day for two weeks. The subjects who drank cocoa exhibited significantly improved cardiovascular function, as measured by improved endothelial function, blood pressure, and vascular stiffness [2]. A second similar study confirmed these effects and also indicated that the consumption of high-flavonoid chocolate improved platelet aggregation (an indicator of the ability of the blood to form clots) compared with low flavonoid chocolate [3].
  • Cholesterol. Several studies have investigated the ability of cocoa and cacao to improve cholesterol. For example, consuming 400 g cocoa powder with 500 ml skimmed milk per day increased HDL and lowered LDL cholesterol levels in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease [4]. Similar observations were made in young healthy and hypercholesterolemic subjects [5] and in elderly healthy individuals [6].

cacao

Cognitive function

The available data suggest that cocoa and cacao could help protect against cognitive decline in aging individuals.

  • In the same CoCoA study described above, subjects that received cocoa with a high or medium flavonoid content had significant improvements in two different measures of cognitive function: a trail making test and a verbal fluency test. The improvements were greatest in the high flavonoid vs. the intermediate flavonoid group. However, there were no improvements in the mini-mental state evaluation among groups [1].
  • Cocoa and cacao might also protect against dementia and related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease [7].

Metabolic Effects

The risk of metabolic diseases often increases as we age, and conditions such as diabetes and obesity are associated with reduced mortality. Luckily, cocoa could help reduce the risk of these conditions and their symptoms. Possibly the most important metabolic effect of cocoa is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. In one study, subjects received dark or white chocolate (with high and zero flavonoid content, respectively), and insulin sensitivity was assessed using glucose tolerance tests and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index. Dark, but not white, chocolate significantly improved both measures of insulin sensitivity and reduced blood pressure [8].

Hormonal Changes

The symptoms of many aging-related diseases have been linked to reduced hormone levels over time. Therefore, improving natural hormone production can reduce the symptoms of many aging-related diseases. Cocoa can have beneficial effects on the production of several hormones.

  • Testosterone Injections. Cocoa and cacao contain high concentrations of zinc, which has been shown to increase testosterone production [9].
  • Stress hormones. We all know that nice, relaxed feeling that occurs when we eat a delicious, rich piece of dark chocolate. It turns out that there is a physiological reason for this! Cocoa can potently inhibit the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Healthy men aged 20–50 who consumed a single piece of dark chocolate had a significantly reduced response to a psychosocial stressor. These effects were caused by inhibiting the release of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine from the adrenal gland [10].

So, there you have it! Cocoa really is a super-food. It is not only delicious but, when eaten in unprocessed forms, it has significant health benefits.

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References

[1] D. Mastroiacovo, C. Kwik-Uribe, D. Grassi, S. Necozione, A. Raffaele, L. Pistacchio, R. Righetti, R. Locale, M.C. Lechiara, C. Marini, C. Ferri, G. Desideri, Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study–a randomized controlled trial, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 101 (2015) 538-548.

[2] C. Heiss, R. Sansone, H. Karimi, M. Krabbe, D. Schuler, A. Rodriguez-Mateos, T. Kraemer, M.M. Cortese-Krott, G.G. Kuhnle, J.P. Spencer, H. Schroeter, M.W. Marx, M. Kelm, Impact of cocoa flavanol intake on age-dependent vascular stiffness in healthy men: a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial, Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 37 (2015) 9794.

[3] G. Rull, Z.N. Mohd-Zain, J. Shiel, M.H. Lundberg, D.J. Collier, A. Johnston, T.D. Warner, R. Corder, Effects of high flavanol dark chocolate on cardiovascular function and platelet aggregation, Vascular Pharmacology, 71 (2015) 70-78.

[4] N. Khan, M. Monagas, C. Andres-Lacueva, R. Casas, M. Urpi-Sarda, R.M. Lamuela-Raventos, R. Estruch, Regular consumption of cocoa powder with milk increases HDL cholesterol and reduces oxidized LDL levels in subjects at high-risk of cardiovascular disease, Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD, 22 (2012) 1046-1053.

[5] S. Martinez-Lopez, B. Sarria, J.L. Sierra-Cinos, L. Goya, R. Mateos, L. Bravo, Realistic intake of a flavanol-rich soluble cocoa product increases HDL-cholesterol without inducing anthropometric changes in healthy and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects, Food & function, 5 (2014) 364-374.

[6] N. Neufingerl, Y.E. Zebregs, E.A. Schuring, E.A. Trautwein, Effect of cocoa and theobromine consumption on serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations: a randomized controlled trial, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 97 (2013) 1201-1209.

[7] L. Dubner, J. Wang, L. Ho, L. Ward, G.M. Pasinetti, Recommendations for Development of New Standardized Forms of Cocoa Breeds and Cocoa Extract Processing for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease: Role of Cocoa in Promotion of Cognitive Resilience and Healthy Brain Aging, Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD, 48 (2015) 879-889.

[8] D. Grassi, C. Lippi, S. Necozione, G. Desideri, C. Ferri, Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81 (2005) 611-614.

[9] C.D. Hunt, P.E. Johnson, J. Herbel, L.K. Mullen, Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 56 (1992) 148-157.

[10] P.H. Wirtz, R. von Kanel, R.E. Meister, A. Arpagaus, S. Treichler, U. Kuebler, S. Huber, U. Ehlert, Dark chocolate intake buffers stress reactivity in humans, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63 (2014) 2297-2299.

February 7, 2016 by admin 2 Comments

9-Clove Garlic Pesto Recipe 3 (2)

9-Clove Garlic Pesto Recipe

Garlic is amazing. There are actually many incredible health benefits to it. It has been used for centuries as an agent to boost the immune system. If you are capable of carefully swallowing an entire raw clove (at least 5), as you would a capsule, the benefits you’d acquire from doing so are immeasurable. Entire books have been written about its benefits and its many incomparable aiding properties.

garlic posto opening

At a very basic level, garlic:

  • is an anti-viral
  • is an anti-biotic
  • has anti-fungal properties

It even helps to lower blood pressure and is key in helping us to build energy. You should consider mixing and cooking garlicginger and garlic together in delicious foods or as a type of tonic. It’d do wonders for your health, energy and to stimulate better blood circulation. Remember, it is also an excellent blood thinner. In fact, in terms of food, it’s probably one of the very strongest of all. As you can see, garlic is incredible to consider for the fight against heart disease.

Did you know that antibiotics don’t actually kill viruses? In fact, what they do destroy like an atom bomb are bacteria. It destroys the flora and good bacteria in your stomach rendering your immune system non-existent for a few days, or even weeks, after you’ve finished your prescribed round.

On the other hand, garlic absolutely destroys viruses and it’s really not that difficult to come by. It’s in your best interest to obtain organic if you possibly can. The beneficial compounds of organic are about 7 times more potent than those of conventional.

The key element to keep in mind here is that this antiviral property we are talking about, a phytochemical called alliin, is really only present in raw garlic. The more garlic is cooked, the more it looses this very important element. That being said, you really don’t want to add raw garlic to a smoothie. The taste is just too intense and nothing you do will overshadow its very penetrating flavor.

The best way to enjoy raw garlic, is to make it in a delicious, healthy 9- clove pesto:Fix heart disease

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January 18, 2016 by admin 0 Comments

Live Long. Live Well. Make Certain You’re Blood Pressure is Normal in 2016. 5 (1)

Blood Pressure An Important New Year message
from your Friends at AAI Rejuvenation Clinic

We here at AAI are committed to keeping our clients in perfected states of good health. Anti-Aging and Longevity start with the very simplest basics, which we often forget, like making certain our blood pressure is normal, to very slightly below normal. Why? Because high blood pressure has no warning signs, you feel normal.

HOWEVER:

  • High blood pressure is a “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs, yet it can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke.
  • 1 out of 3 people has high blood pressure!!
  • The good news is that high blood pressure, or hypertension, can often be prevented or treated. It is imperative to be diagnosed as early as possible.

We live in an age where many folks do not even have a primary doctor. Please let me say that is a very big mistake. Some of us, I included forgetting to take our Blood Pressure medicine or skip days… That is truly playing with fire. The facts speak loudly:

  • Every 3 months our blood pressure is subject to change.

We must stay on top of this health factor, as it is so consequential to a long, healthy fruitful life.

Normal blood flow delivers nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body, including important organs like:

  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Kidneys

Your heart helps to push blood through your massive network of blood vessels, large and small. Your blood vessels, in turn, constantly adjust. They become narrower or wider in response to how much volume of blood is pumped out with each beat of your heart. We call this blood stroke volume.

  • If your arteries are starting to get stiff and a little brittle with middle age it can be because at mid-age we lose some of the all-important and vital elastin in our arteries.
  • We have collagen to make the arteries and veins strong and elastic to make them expand properly.

It’s normal for your blood pressure to go up and down throughout each day. Blood pressure is affected by:

  • Time of day
  • Exercise
  • The foods you eat
  • Stress
  • and other factors such as heredity.

Problems can arise, though, if your blood pressure stays too high for too long.

  • High blood pressure can make your heart work too hard and lose strength.
  • The high force of blood flow can damage your blood vessels, making them weak, stiff, or narrower.
  • Over time, hypertension can harm several important organs, including:
    – heart
    – kidneys
    – brain
    – eyes

Hypertension is a leading risk factor for death and disability worldwide, according to Dr. Paul Whelton, an expert in hypertension and kidney disease at Tulane University. “High blood pressure raises the risk of having a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or kidney disease.”

  • Putting on extra weight or having a family history of high blood pressure also raises your risk for hypertension. You must take meaningful action.
  • The number one thing that you can do is to lose weight and get daily exercise.

Eat fewer fats and simple sugars….you want healthy fats like omega 3 high-density lipids from high-quality fish oil. We can help with that with our lab, which quite literally only has the highest quality nutraceutical supplements.

Because it usually has no symptoms, the only way to know for sure that you have hypertension is to have a blood pressure test at least once a month. This easy, painless test involves placing an inflated cuff with a pressure gauge around your upper arm to squeeze the blood vessels. A healthcare provider may then use a stethoscope to listen to your pulse as air is released from the cuff, or an automatic device may measure the pressure.

Blood pressure is given as 2 numbers.

  • The first number represents the pressure in your blood vessels as the heartbeats (systolic pressure).
  • The second is the pressure as your heart relaxes and fills with blood (diastolic pressure).

Experts generally agree that the safest blood pressure—or “normal” blood pressure—is 120/80 or lower, meaning systolic blood pressure is 120 or less and diastolic pressure is 80 or less. I like to keep mine at 114/70 because that is still very safe and puts much less pressure against the artery walls.

High blood pressure is defined as having an average blood pressure of above 140/90 according to the National Institute of Health’s Dr. Lawrence Fine. He oversees research on the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Since blood pressure can vary widely from day to day, a diagnosis of hypertension is usually based on an average of 2 or more readings taken on 2 or more occasions.

When diet and exercise fail, there are now medications that do not have the terrible side effects that so many people complain about. Remember we talked about the arteries needing elastin at youthful levels in order to have healthy arteries able to stretch without bursting? The prescription Enalapril comes from a group called Ace Inhibitors and scientists have found a very remarkable aspect to Ace Inhibitors.

  • Ace inhibitors can cause the artery walls to make elastin and become more youthful in a healthy ability to stretch and as they are able to stretch out more safely, blood pressure goes down with very few, if any, side effects.
  • Ace inhibitors also make the kidneys, heart, and brain healthier, according to cardiologist Dr. Luis Tami.

So folks, this New Year please make certain your blood pressure is normal and if it’s not please call your doctor right away. If you are one of our patients, call your assigned Wellness Advisor at AAI ASAP.

Testosterone Injections – Curious about testosterone injections Therapy? Read more about what you can expect from this treatment and contact us for more information (866) 224-5698