Posted by: alisalliance | April 8, 2015

Meet David Cowan

DJC M_C PromoPic2011David Cowan was born in upstate New York. His service in the United States Marine Corps, with two meritorious promotions shows he is a natural leader, managing through complex challenges and guiding others to do the same. Gaining a BA degree from the University of Colorado, he has established and operated diverse businesses, and a non-profit. David is a perpetual risk-taker who commits to endeavors which resonate with passion and serve a greater good.

For more than 10 years David has operated a videography and photography company in which he markets and sells products and services for web- and cloud-based videos, and for TV broadcasts. As an avid scuba diver, scuba instructor and champion of the ocean, his products include underwater ocean videos used in restaurants, assisted care facilities, for those with autism, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, and more.

After becoming the primary caregiver to his wife, Alison Arnesen Cowan, until her passing, David now leads a non-profit, Ali’s Alliance, her namesake. This organization provides free, online support and resources for cancer patients and their caregivers. He developed the concept for this non-profit, leads its Board, and has been instrumental in its growth, management and fundraising efforts. Volunteers, staff and the Board are inspired and encouraged by David’s leadership and enthusiasm.

Posted by: alisalliance | April 8, 2015

Three simple things shown to help heal cancer

shutterstock_104697023With all of the funds raised from various charitable events geared towards snuffing out cancer, and the industry using this money to try desperately to find that “elusive” cancer cure, it may seem counter-intuitive that there are simple solutions to heal cancer.

In fact, while the cancer industry looks for that special plant and patent so they can charge ludicrous sums of money for your “cure”, you could be sitting at home doing a combination of these three things for dollars a day. Combined with the right diet, it just may be the simple answer you have been looking for.

Juice fasting

The purpose of juice fasting is to give our digestive system a rest so that extra energy can be used to rid ourselves of diseased tissues, excess nutrients, and accumulated wastes and toxins. It also creates an environment for the body to heal and regenerate different areas of the body, including the immune system.

One particular study conducted on the effects of fasting patients showed that those who included fasting in their therapy had fewer side effects from chemotherapy, and it slowed down the growth of tumors and even eliminated the threat of cancer in some patients. As noted by Research Professor Valter Longo, University of Southern California:

“What we are seeing is that the cancer cell tries to compensate the lack of all these things missing in the blood after fasting. It may be trying to replace them, but it can’t. The cell is, in fact, committing cellular suicide.”

These researchers also noted that fasting essentially “flips a regenerative switch,” which prompts stem cells to create new white blood cells, which in turn begins to regenerate the entire immune system. They also found that prolonged fasting reduces the enzyme PKA, which is linked to a hormone which increases cancer and tumor growth.

Maybe it’s time to dust off the juicer and get those green veggies, herbs, and low sugar fruits in liquid form.

Cannabis oil

Ever since the mid 70’s, medical scientists have been aware of the beneficial effects of cannabinoid compounds on cancerous cells. Thanks to modern science we can now get a glimpse into how it works, even though it is being largely suppressed by mainstream media and the cancer industry.

Laboratory tests conducted in 2008 by a team of scientists and later published in The Journal Of Clinical Investigation showed that the active ingredient in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, can be used as a cure for brain cancer by inducing human glioma cell death through stimulation of autophagy. The study also concluded that by the same biochemical process THC could destroy multiple types of cancers. Other studies have also shown that cannabinoids may do their work by various mechanisms including inhibiting cell growth, inducing cell death, and slowing tumor metastasis.

The best part is that the cannabinoids are incredibly efficient, targeting and destroying only cancerous cells, while not affecting healthy, normal cells. They also help with pain-modulation and are very anti-inflammatory. This makes chemotherapy and other cancer drugs look archaic and barbaric, considering their well-known side effects.

Coffee enema

The Gerson Therapy explains that caffeine and palmitates work together to stimulate and cleanse the liver and the blood. This caffeine exposure causes the liver’s portal vein and bile ducts to expand which increases the release of diluted toxic bile. The enema fluid triggers peristaltic action and the effective removal of wastes from the body.

Palmitates in the coffee stimulate and increase the production of the liver enzymes glutathione-S-transferase (GST), which help remove free radicals and cancer cells from the bloodstream and help detoxify the liver. As a result, the liver becomes less congested with debris, which allows it to do a more effective job in filtering out other bodily toxins.

Of course, the positive effects of these therapies will be partly determined by your ability to consume a clean, nutritious, and anti-cancer diet and maintain a healthy and upbeat demeanor as well. You can do that by using these Top 8 Foods and Herbs For Healing Cancer , and by learning how to Naturally Avoid and Eliminate Cancer. And see these Foods, Vitamins, and Herbs That Kill Cancer.

Posted by: alisalliance | April 8, 2015

New role uncovered for ‘oldest’ tumor suppressor gene

shutterstock_178384271The retinoblastoma gene is so called because mutations to it cause a rare children’s eye cancer of the same name, and is known to play a central role in stopping healthy cells from dividing uncontrollably.

Now the new study — jointly led by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and UCL (University College London) — has found that the gene also has another important function, in helping to ‘glue’ severed strands of DNA back together.

The research suggests that existing drugs that exploit the weaknesses of some cancers in repairing their DNA could be effective against tumors with mutations to the retinoblastoma gene.

The study, published in the journal Cell Reports, was funded by a range of organizations including Cancer Research UK, Worldwide Cancer Research, the Wellcome Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) itself.

Researchers found that mutations to the retinoblastoma gene or RB1 — which are found in many cancers — prevent the effective fixing of broken DNA strands. This results in chromosome abnormalities which can lead to the development of tumors and drive cancers to evolve into more aggressive forms.

Numerous common cancer types have RB1 mutations, including hard-to-treat cancers such as triple-negative breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma, and aggressive types of prostate cancer.

Researchers deleted the RB1 gene from lab-grown human and mouse cancer cells, and looked at a variety of measures that indicate defective DNA repair. They found substantially more double-stranded DNA breaks and chromosome abnormalities in cells that lacked RB1 than those where the gene was functional.

In another experiment, the researchers demonstrated that the RB1 protein attaches to two other protein called XRCC5 and XRCC6, forming a cluster of molecules that mend broken strands of DNA.

RB1 was first discovered in the 1980s and has long been known to have an important role in controlling cell division. It was discovered through studies of the rare eye cancer retinoblastoma, which in around half of cases is caused by inherited mutations to the RB1 gene.

Dr Paul Huang, Team Leader in Cancer Biology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“The retinoblastoma gene was one of the first cancer genes to be discovered and is one of the best known of all, so it’s very exciting to have been able to identify a completely new function for it. The retinoblastoma gene is famous for helping control cell division, but we found that it has another important job in gluing broken strands of DNA back together. Our research could have real implications for cancer patients, because drugs that exploit weaknesses in DNA repair already exist, and there is now a rationale for testing them against cancers with retinoblastoma gene mutations.”

Professor Sibylle Mittnacht, Leader of the Cancer Cell Signalling team and Professor of Cancer Biology at the UCL Cancer Institute, said:

“We are very excited about this new discovery. The retinoblastoma gene is mutated in many important cancers such as lung and breast. Our work demonstrates that these mutations cause the cancers’ DNA to become defective. Because of this these cancers may evolve to more aggressive and therapy resistant forms. At the same time this discovery points to new and more effective ways in which these cancers can be treated.”

Dr Kat Arney, science communications manager at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Faulty DNA repair pathways are the Achilles’ heel of cancer, and drugs that target alternative DNA repair ‘toolkits’ such as RB1 could be powerful potential treatments for people with cancer. Cancer Research UK scientists are at the forefront of developing these types of treatments, and we hope to see this new discovery translated into benefits for patients in the future.”

Dr Helen Rippon, Head of Research at Worldwide Cancer Research, said:

“Just like it would be impossible for a mechanic to fix a car without knowing how it worked; scientists can’t find new treatments for cancer without understanding the broken genes. Researching the nuts and bolts of cancer biology is crucial if we are to bring a brighter future for people diagnosed with the disease, and we are delighted to have helped fund this important study.”

shutterstock_257609458Across the country, tasty, versatile and good-for-you berries are ripe for the picking. Here are 5 good reasons to stock up

1. Fight disease
Berries are some of nature’s best sources of antioxidants, which guard against heart disease, cancer and age-related blindness. Of the berries commonly seen on produce shelves, blueberries contain the most. For even more antioxidant power, seek out elderberries, black currants and chokeberries.

2. Boost vitamins
One cup of strawberries contains an entire day’s worth of heart-healthy vitamin C. Studies also show that people who eat one serving of strawberries per day tend to have higher blood levels of the B vitamin folate, which helps keep arteries clear.

3. Reduce cancer risk
A U.S. study found that pterostilbene, abundant in blueberries, may help protect against colon cancer, the second most common cancer in women. Both blackberries and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical that helps prevent cancer. Cooking doesn’t seem to destroy it, so even jams, pies and crisps may confer this health benefit.

4. Provide fibre
A half-cup of blueberries contains almost two grams of fibre—about the same amount as a slice of whole-wheat bread. Also high in soluble fibres that help lower cholesterol are blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.

5. Add potassium
Black, red and white currants are all excellent sources of potassium, a mineral that helps lower blood pressure. Gooseberries are also a good source. Look for new varieties that are more palatable for eating raw.

Today (10th March, 2015) is National Blueberry Popover Day!

Talk about a light and airy pastry. Popovers are hollow! These flaky rolls are typically made in muffin tins, and presumably got their name for the way they pop-over the top of each cup during baking. While they can be sweet or savory, National Blueberry Popover Day celebrates the recipe with the subtle sweet taste of delicious blueberries! Use the recipe below and enjoy the health benefits of Blueberries!

Recipe at a glance
Ready in: 30-60 minutes
Serves/makes: 6

Ingredients:
1 cup non-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sifted white flour
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups blueberries or other berries

Directions:

Mix milk, extract, butter, salt, and nutmeg plus 3 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Stir in flour, add eggs until just combined; let this batter stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl; set aside.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F and place oven rack to middle position.

Place berries in a buttered 9-inch pie pan. Pour batter over the berries; sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over the batter.

Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F; bake until popover is firm and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Cut popover into wedges and serve immediately or cool and store in a tightly sealed container for a couple of days.

Posted by: alisalliance | March 9, 2015

10 new antibodies to battle against cancer found: Research

10 new antibodies to battle against cancer found: ResearchLondon, Jan 22:
Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark are reported to have developed 10 new antibodies that can be used in the battle against cancer.

These antibodies work by inhibiting the body’s blood vessel formation close to the tumor, which is, thereby, cut off from oxygen and nutrient supply.

In lab tests over mice, the team has succeeded in using these antibodies to stop the development of malignant tumors.

‘The antibodies we have found prevent a cancer tumor from growing. They appear to work perfectly in the laboratory,’ said associate professor Peter Kristensen.

The new antibodies are easier to extract and they also appear to be more effective because they hit other – and possibly stronger – signal molecules from the cancer cells.

‘We have got a large library of antibodies that can supplement the body’s own fight against disease. The major engineering challenge is identifying the ones that are relevant regarding the specific purpose,’ Kristensen explained.

The antibodies neutralize the effects of signal substances released by carcinoma cells to get blood vessels to replicate, thus cutting off the blood supply to the tumor.

A cancer tumor deprived of oxygen and nutrients becomes dormant and is, thereby, made harmless.

The researchers will now work on gaining a more in-depth understanding of the 10 antibodies.

Posted by: alisalliance | March 9, 2015

Cancer prevention: 7 tips to reduce your risk

Cancer PreventionYou’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes the specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study or news report is advised against in another.

In many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.

So if you’re concerned about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Consider these seven cancer prevention tips.

1. Don’t use tobacco

Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. And chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is one of the most important health decisions you can make. It’s also an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk.
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.

3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

4. Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

• Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
• Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat help, too.
• Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loose fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
• Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
• Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

5. Get immunized

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:

Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.

6. Avoid risky behaviors

Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.

Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.

7. Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

Posted by: alisalliance | February 9, 2015

Introducing Sherry Shive: Board Member at Ali’s Alliance

Sherry Shive

Sherry Shive: Board Member at Ali’s Alliance

Who would have thought that a young South-Central Pennsylvania woman, who excelled in seeing the light-hearted side in everything and filling the room with laughter, would start a credit card processing company. That particular woman is Sherry Shive and she is the mastermind behind BottomLine Pros LLC.

In 2004, Sherry began her mission to help businesses make the right choice. She envisioned the need that businesses and non-profit organizations give all their customers an easy payment choice. “When I shop, I go for the entire experience – that makes me want to return to that establishment,” says Sherry. BottomLine Pros fills the need to helping with all major credit and debit card transactions. They need wireless, portable, cellular, and counter-top programs for the fast-paced purchases done in and outside store sites. “Why stop there, let’s also help with international accounts,” says Sherry. Customers shop around the world, and the trust factor is definitely desired during those transactions. BottomLine Pros custom designs payment solutions for your business. It can be an integrated or a stand alone, branded with your logo.

BottomLine Pros have no monthly minimums. Companies are provided with next day funding on all cards.

The clients of BottomLine Pros brag about our friendly and outstanding help desk and technical support. We assign a person account manager to help you with your account.

Sherry’s business belief is to help businesses have effective and profitable solutions. In her quest to service businesses, she will reach out to her other businesses to provide additional services, products and support for their own clients. In one such case, she developed a payment URL that will collect the customer data for a new account that did not have their own website to collect the payments or data to grow their business. Sherry’s realization of providing this specific product was that if one business needed it – there may be more that would benefit from it. She provided the product to the client at a for less cost than the cost of development, knowing she would have an opportunity to help more businesses in the future and make a profit later rather than now.

Sherry has always had a passion to help businesses be successful and prosperous. She saves businesses money and time and gives back to the community in charity work or financial support.

When Sherry is not establishing a new customer account, she recharges by helping baby turtles make it safely to the water after hatching on the South Florida shore. Indoors, Sherry is doing her part to conquer cancer, as she turns ‘straw into gold’ by sewing colorful squares of fun fabric into take home pillowcases for kids in hospitals undergoing cancer treatments through the organization ConKerrCancer.org.

Sherry is presently on the board of Ali’s Alliance, a national searchable database for cancer services. We are the one-stop address to obtain financial, medical and emotional help for families experiencing the tragedy of cancer.

Posted by: alisalliance | February 9, 2015

Give a Valentine’s Day Gift that Matters

In men, one third of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are found on the back, which is difficult to see on your own body. Men are also much less likely to examine their own skin, and studies have shown that when their skin cancers are found at an early stage, they were most often detected by a spouse or partner.

Studies have also shown that couples who check one another for skin cancers tend to do so more scrupulously than people who do skin self-exams alone. Having a partner to help with the exam can make it easier both to remember to check the skin regularly and to examine areas such as the scalp and back.

“Conducting a skin exam with a partner can dramatically reduce the risk for having an advanced skin cancer and could possibly mean the difference between life and death,” said Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. While a monthly self-exam shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, it offers the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the three most common skin cancers.

Know the Warning Signs 

Be careful to take note of the following:

  1. A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
  1. A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:changes color
  • increases in size or thickness
  • changes in texture
  • is irregular in outline
  • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser
  • appears after age 21
  1. A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed.
  1. An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.

Look for any of the warning signs when you perform a self-exam. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.

Posted by: alisalliance | February 9, 2015

Winter Recipes to Reduce Cancer Risk

Nutrition is indeed a vital component of cancer treatment and prevention. Some foods can help protect against breast cancer and other chronic conditions. Here are recipes starring these foods.

Tex-Mex Spinach Omelet: The zeaxanthin compounds found in the yellow corn are responsible for the omelet’s potential to boost immune function. Serve this spinach and red pepper omelet as a satisfying entree for brunch or an easy weeknight supper. View Tex-Mex Spinach Omelet recipe

Apple Butter-Banana Bread: Apple butter, bananas, and cinnamon flavor this family-favorite quick bread. Steep a pot of green tea to serve with the bread and take advantage of its potent disease-fighting antioxidants such as catechins and flavonoids. View Apple Butter-Banana Bread recipe

Grains and Berries Cereal Blend: Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, this cereal guards against disease and helps control blood sugars. Serve the crunchy-fruit-studded blend with your favorite yogurt for a great start to your day. View Grains and Berries Cereal Blend recipe

Flaxseed Rolls: Added flaxseed to an easily prepared hot roll mix creates tasty dinner rolls with a mild, nutty flavor. Rich in nutrients, flaxseed boosts the immune system and helps to head off cancer. View Flaxseed Rolls recipe

Vegetable Tempura with Honey-Mustard Sauce: The wide variety of vegetables in this tempura provides vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting plant compounds. The mustard in the dipping sauce contains curcumin, a compound that makes mustard yellow and exhibits anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Autumn Succotash Salad: Beans are the unsung heroes of a disease-fighting diet. Rich in fiber, beans also boast powerful phytochemicals such as saponins and phytic acid. View Autumn Succotash Salad recipe

Curried Sweet Potato Chowder: Sweet potatoes should be at the top of your list for cancer-fighting antioxidants. They contain generous amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E — great for helping prevent cancer. View Curried Sweet Potato Chowder recipe

Cider Pork Stew: Slightly sweet, hearty root vegetables — carrots and potatoes — complement tender chunks of pork in this stew. Lean pork provides nutrients for energy production.

Couscous with Seven Vegetables: The beautiful vegetable combination in this cumin-and-mint-seasoned dish assists in the fight against cancer. Choose whole wheat couscous — it cooks in minutes and offers energy-boosting complex carbohydrates. View Couscous with Seven Vegetables recipe

Vegetable Polenta Lasagna: Polenta, a cornmeal mush commonly eaten in northern Italy, is a hearty alternative to noodles in this vegetable-loaded lasagna. For the most fiber, vitamins, and minerals, purchase cornmeal labeled “water-ground” or “stone-ground.”

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce: The antioxidant lycopene is the disease-fighting agent in this tomato-rich dish. Cooking the tomatoes helps release the lycopene so the benefit to your body is maximized.

Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Orange Compote: Potassium-loaded pomegranate teams with vitamin C-rich oranges to help lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, promote immunity, and augment energy. View Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Orange Compote recipe

Green Tea and Tangerine Sorbet: Citrus flavors mingle with hints of green tea in this refreshing sorbet. Vitamin C from the tangerine juice fights cancer and increases immunity. Phenolic compounds from the green tea help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.

Pineapple-Pear Crisp: Fruit crisps are delicious ways to boost your fruit intake. Diets rich in fruits (and vegetables) may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. View Pineapple-Pear Crisp recipe

Creamy Mocha Custards: Sophisticated mocha flavor makes this low-fat dessert perfect for company or as a mid afternoon treat. The cocoa powder provides phenolic compounds, which function as antioxidants. View Creamy Mocha Custards recipe

Apple Cranberry Crisp: Rolled oats, apples, and cranberries star in this dessert, packing a good measure of fiber, vitamin C, and iron without extra fat, so you can enjoy it often.

Posted by: alisalliance | February 9, 2015

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?

Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables as part of your anti-aging diet. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

In fact, cocoa and chocolate products have been used as medicine in many cultures for centuries.

Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

• Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
• Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:

• it tastes good
• it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
• it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
• it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

Doesn’t Chocolate Have a lot of Fat?:

Here is some more good news — some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid:

Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.

Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research is shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol.

Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk.
That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you.

Chocolate Tip 1 – Balance the Calories:

This information doesn’t mean that you should eat a pound of chocolate a day. Chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits.

One bar of dark chocolate has around 400 calories. If you eat half a bar of chocolate a day, you must balance those 200 calories by eating less of something else. Cut out other sweets or snacks and replace them with chocolate to keep your total calories the same.

Chocolate Tip 2 – Taste the Chocolate:

Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 compounds and chemicals in each bite. To really enjoy and appreciate chocolate, take the time to taste it. Professional chocolate tasters have developed a system for tasting chocolate that include assessing the appearance, smell, feel and taste of each piece.

Chocolate Tip 3 – Go for Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Chocolate Tip 4 – Skip the Nougat:

You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

Chocolate Tip 5 – Avoid Milk:

It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.

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