Is chocolate good for you?

Is chocolate really good for your health?

As you see this chocolate image your mouth is probably watering! You love the delicious and stimulating taste of chocolates. At the same time you are worried about the harmful effects of eating too much chocolates. But you must know that recent studies have proven that chocolates high in cocoa solids provide potential health benefits. So toss up good health and nutrition by treating yourself with chocolates!

Scientists are beginning to disapprove some of the myths related to the dangerous effects of eating too much chocolate. It is not true that too much intake of chocolate will rot your healthy teeth. Neither it triggers migraine headaches nor does it cause acne or makes it worse.

Present researches have proved that chocolates are helpful to you in many ways. Chocolates release endorphins in the brain that acts as a pain reliever. It will boost your appetite without causing weight gain. It reduces the risk of heart disease and many types of cancer. It will make you live longer. Besides sugar in chocolate reduces stress and enable you to have a calm and pain relieving effect. So choco-holics it’s time to feel less guilty about your chocolate addiction!

Chocolates that are rich in flavanol have a large amount of nitric oxide. Nitric oxides are very important for human health. They resist cardiovascular diseases and help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Also flavanol rich chocolates act similar to low dose aspirin. They promote a healthy blood flow. They even reduce the risk of heart attack and blood’s ability to clot in the arteries and veins.

Chocolate which is rich in cocoa solids are now regarded as having the qualities that are beneficial to health. Cocoa is an excellent source of Polyphenols of the flavanol group. Polyphenols are very good antioxidants that destroys free radicals in a body. Free radicals are dangerous to a human body and can cause some serious diseases like cancer and heart diseases.

Chocolate contains some essential trace elements and nutrients that are good for health. Chocolate made from cocoa is the richest source of magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for you, as deficiency in magnesium may lead to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and also pre menstrual tension. Chocolates are also rich in iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E.

Before you grab a chocolate bar you must know what chocolate is good for your health! When cocoa is processed into chocolate products it undergoes several processes to reduce its pungent taste. The pungent taste is due to the presence of flavanols. The more chocolate is processed more flavanols are lost. Dark chocolate is reported to have highest level of polyphenols. So it is better to choose dark chocolates over milk chocolates.

Always choose the chocolates that are from reputed brands. Cheap chocolates are usually low in chocolate solids and high in sugar content and saturated fats. These chocolates can be definitely be harmful to your health.

Therefore all you chocolate lovers can leave all your worries behind and boost your health by grabbing your favorite chocolate bar right away! Just make sure it’s at least 70% cacao!

Why Women Are the Biggest Emerging Market

What’s the biggest emerging market of them all? I’ll give you a hint: The answer isn’t geographic but demographic. The answer is…women.

Women leaders are the new power behind the global economy, proclaims Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s announcement of its second annual webcast (which I moderated) celebrating International Women’s Day. In developing nations, women’s earned income is growing at 8.1 percent, compared to 5.8 percent for men. Globally, women control nearly $12 trillion of the $18 trillion total overall consumer spending, a figure predicted to rise to $15 trillion by 2014. More significant, the majority of tertiary degrees are now being awarded to women. Highly qualified, well-educated and ambitious, these women are taking over the talent pool from Delhi to Dubai and bringing new urgency to the issue of managing diversity.

In a speech at the Hidden Brain Drain Summit held in New York last November, the Right Honorable Paul Boateng, the U.K.’s first black cabinet minister and most recently the British High Commissioner to South Africa, urged representatives of the 57 member organizations to overcome the obstacles placed in the path of emerging talents. “If you’re serious about growth, if you’re serious about innovation, if you’re serious about getting a global reach, then the evidence tells you that you’ve got to overcome those obstacles,” he said. “The imperative is to move from sentiment to strategy, to make the leap from survival to success.”

Here’s how two smart companies are making that leap:

  • Goldman Sachs’ ReturnshipSM program is a novel way of recruiting candidates who, after an extended, voluntary absence from the workforce, are seeking to re-start their careers. A returnship serves as a preparatory program, providing “returnees” with an opportunity to re-learn, sharpen and demonstrate the skills essential for success in a work environment that may have changed significantly since their most recent work experience. The eight-week U.S. 2008 pilot program comprised 11 women. The 2009 program lasted nine weeks and included 16 returnees chosen from more than 300 applicants. Acknowledging the importance of Asian markets, the program was expanded to Hong Kong in the fall of 2009, with an inaugural class of 37 returnees.
  • Google’s India Women in Engineering Award Program was launched in 2008 to celebrate young women in college and graduate school who are pursuing careers in engineering and computer science. That year, 16 women won the $2,000 award for academic excellence and demonstrated leadership skills; 9 won in 2009, selected from among more than 250 high-caliber applicants. Google senior management and engineers serve as judges. 2009 winner Anjali Sardana, a Ph.D. candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology, says that the award has inspired her to keep pursuing her dreams: “Not only did the award encourage me to stay in my field, it has made me confident and given me the spark to mentor other younger women engineers.”

By investing in women in emerging markets, companies are betting on a brighter future — for a workforce just waiting to blossom, for economies whose development depends on this new crop of talent, and, of course, for themselves.

Strength training is very beneficial for Women

While most women know that aerobic activity is an important part of overall good health, many mistakenly think that the purpose of strength training is solely to build large muscles. As a result, they think that only men should do it. The truth is that strength training is just as important for women as it is for men. Listed below are a few of the health benefits strength training can provide for women.

Relief from Arthritis Pain

Many people with arthritis avoid strength training because they are worried it will aggravate their symptoms and result in more pain. Strength training can actually help improve muscle strength and function in people with arthritis. It can also help with pain management.

Helps with Weight Management

Strength training can play an important role in weight management and in promoting a healthy metabolism. As you build muscle through strength training, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories, even while you are at rest. This is a very important component of any weight loss or long-term weight control program.

Improves Cardiac Health

Strength training also helps promote cardiac health, since your risk of developing heart disease is lower when your body is leaner. The American Heart Association recommends people do strength training as a way to reduce their risk of heart disease and as a form of therapy for cardiac rehabilitation patients.

Lowers Your Risk of Injury

Building muscle helps protect your joints and ligaments from injury when you are performing aerobic forms of exercise or normal daily activities, such as lifting and bending over. Strength training can also increase your flexibility and balance, which can help reduce the likelihood of falls.

Strengthens Your Bones

Strength training helps increase bone density and lowers your risk of developing osteoporosis. According to a study conducted at Tufts University, strength training can increase a woman’s bone density and reduces the risk of fractures for women who are between 50 and 70 years of age. This is particularly important since post-menopausal women can lose from 1 to 2% of their bone mass annually.

Strength training can provide women with a number of positive health benefits, such as strengthening your bones and providing relief from arthritis. If you have been avoiding strength training, there is no time like the present to get started. Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Women in Los Angeles are less and less healthy…

Women in Los Angeles County are becoming less healthy, and their well-being is expected to decline further because of the slumping economy and other factors that deter access to better food and exercise, according to a sweeping study released Wednesday.

The survey of more than 3,500 women, conducted by the county Department of Public Health, studied physical, mental and emotional aspects of health care and found troubling trends that raise questions about the effectiveness of social services.

An estimated 40 percent of adult women are at risk for heart disease, the study found, although that number soars to more than 52 percent for black women. And about 53 percent of white women say they exercise regularly, compared with 49 percent for women overall.

“There are terrible discrepancies,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, who heads the department. “Women often make the health care decisions for their families and are the primary caregivers when a family member falls ill. Therefore, the health of women affects not only the individual, but her family and her community.”

Estrogens in the Environment

Environmental estrogens are a variety of synthetic chemicals and natural plant compounds that are thought to mimic the female hormone estrogen. They may act like estrogens or may block the natural hormone.

The body’s estrogen controls the growth of cells by attaching to proteins called estrogen receptors throughout the body. Many environmental estrogens can attach to these same proteins, fooling the body or tissues by giving them an inappropriate “estrogen” signal. These compounds are found all around us. We eat them, drink them, breathe them and use them at work, at home and in the garden. They include pesticides such as the now-banned DDT, kepone, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), natural plant products in our diet and the drug DES, which was widely used for more than 20 years beginning in the 1940s to prevent spontaneous abortions in women. In 1971, researchers showed that daughters of women who took DES had a high rate of a rare form of cervicovaginal cancer. DES’ common use as a growth promoter in cattle also was banned by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s.

NIEHS is supporting and conducting studies of environmental estrogen exposures, including a testing of the blood and urine of a representative group of Americans to determine how much of these chemicals are accumulating in the body. There is a possibility they might play a role in diseases such as cancers of the breast, uterus and ovaries, as well as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. There is also a possibility that some of these estrogen-like substances, such as the ones occurring naturally in vegetables, may be beneficial.

Women’s Health and the Environment

Women have a particular stake in environmental health research. Not only do they share many of the same diseases as men and children – in which the environment, along with genetic susceptibility, has an important role – but women also have particular environmental diseases related to their gender. Some, such as osteoporosis, involve aging as well, and women on average live longer than men.

Other diseases involve women’s role in reproduction and in the bearing and nursing of children. Women tend to carry more fat, in which substances introduced lower in the food chain may accumulate.

Women also greatly influence the health of their children. Studies indicate they can pass along substances – lead stored in their bone, for example – to their fetuses. Taking drugs, including prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs as common as aspirin, may affect a pregnancy. Smoking is linked to lower birth weight, douching to reduced fertility.

Here are some additional conditions in which an environmental factor is being studied as a possible cause, trigger or influence:

Breast Cancer

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) scientists co-discovered the first breast cancer gene, BRCA1, and played a role in the multi-national discovery of BRCA2. Together, these genes may account for much familial breast cancer, the kind that clusters in some families. The genes may be involved in 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancer and a higher percentage of early breast cancers (affecting women under 45). A test has been devised to identify women carrying the defective BRCA1 gene.

In another attack on this multi-faceted disease, NIEHS is studying a growth factor called transforming growth factor alpha that responds to the female hormone estrogen and may play a role in normal breast development and could lead to new ways to detect breast cancer.

Grantees are studying the possible role of pesticides that may mimic some of the activity of estrogen. Institute scientists also collaborated on a study that showed that late first pregnancy and late menopause were associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, while women with four or more pregnancies had a significantly lower risk.