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Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

December 28, 2013

dark chocolate 4In study after study research is showing that dark chocolate has a whole host of health benefits. For example, you’ve undoubtedly  heard how dark chocolate can give you energy, and improve your mood.

Here are five health benefits of dark chocolate that just might surprise you.

Dark chocolate:

1. Makes you slim

Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favor weight loss rather than fat synthesis. Researchers have discovered that adults who consumed chocolate frequently had a lower BMI than those who didn’t. And, the number of calories decreases as the percentage of raw cacao in the dark chocolate increases.

2.  Makes you smarter

Dark chocolate is rich in chemical compounds called flavonoids, which has been found to boost brain activity. Cognitive skills are enhanced when flavonoids create new sets of neurons in the brain. These new neurons assist in the formation of new memories, as well as improving blood flow to the brain.

3. Prevents wrinkles

Topical creams, lotions, and even cosmetic treatments by physicians, can only go so far in making your skin appear younger.  For real sustainable results you need to look to your diet.

Free radicals in our environment are some of the most extreme reasons why wrinkles appear in the skin. To fight free radicals, your diet should contain many sources of antioxidants.

While fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, dark chocolate has actually been found to contain higher percentages of antioxidants than even “superfoods” such as blueberries.

4. Slows down muscle aging

Recent studies are showing that the plant compound, epicatechin, found in dark chocolate, stimulates the same muscle response as does vigorous exercise.  A type of antioxidant compound, epicatechin can help slow down muscle aging as well as improve lean muscle mass.

5. Helps you live longer

There is antidotal evidence that dark chocolate can help you live longer. The oldest verified human being to have lived to 122 years old, Jeanne Calment, gave her daily consumption of dark chocolate credit for her longevitiy.

And now scientists are finding that the high percentage of antioxidants in raw cacao may very well be the key that does help you live longer.

This power-pack of antioxidants helps fight disease as well as cuts your risk for heart disease.

For the health benefits of chocolate be sure you eat dark chocolate which is listed as 70% or higher. The percentage indicates the amount of raw cacao in the product, which is what contains the compounds that give you these wonderful health benefits.

Photo Credit: livestrong.com


Healthy Eating – 8 Superfoods of Fall

December 21, 2013

fall-foods-superfruit-400x400As autumn brings a sharp chill to the air while the countryside warms with the golds and crimsons of coloring leaves, the joys of healthy eating combine with the peak of harvest.

Fall brings an abundance of superfoods into the grocery stores and farmers markets. Here are eight of the top superfoods of fall:

1. Apples

Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin—it contains hearty-healthy flavonoids.

Health benefits include:
• Full of antioxidants
• 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving

2. Pears

The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking brings out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached.

Health benefits include:
• Good source of vitamin C and copper
• 4 grams of fiber per serving

3. Cauliflower

The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for winter side dishes. It’s wonderful steamed, but it can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup.

Health benefits include:
• Compounds that may help to prevent cancer
• Phytonutrients may lower cholesterol

4. Winter Squash

Unlike summer squash (such as zucchini), winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, etc.) has a fine texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. It tastes best with other fall flavorings, like cinnamon and ginger.

Health benefits include:
• Contains omega-3 fatty acids
• Excellent source of vitamin A

5. Pumpkin

Technically a fruit, but also considered a type of winter squash, pumpkin can be used for much more than jack-o’-lanterns. Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, pudding, and especially hearty soup.

Health benefits include:
• Rich in potassium
• More than 20% of your DRI of fiber
• Good source of B vitamins

6. Sweet potatoes

These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles. More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, try roasting them—they’ll taste delicious, and you may maintain more vitamins than boiling.

Health benefits include:
• Excellent source of vitamin A
• Good source of iron
• Anti-inflammatory benefits

7. Pomegranates

This fruit has gotten a lot of press as an antioxidant powerhouse. The juice provides a tangy base for marinades, and the seeds can be tossed into salads to amp up the flavor.

Health benefits include:
• A UCLA study showed pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than red wine
• Good source of vitamin C and folate

8. Dates

This Middle Eastern favorite is a sweet fruit that is much more versatile than you might think. Besides chopping it up in desserts, try it braised in stews,  or stuffed with cream cheese or almonds.

Health benefits include:
• Low in fat
• Good source of fiber
• Good source of potassium


9. Cacao

Cacao is a superfood for all seasons. In a two-part series beginning next month we’ll be looking at all the reasons raw cacao is so good for a healthy eating plan and a healthy lifestyle.


Source: health.com



March is National Nutrition Month – Drink Healthy Chocolate Mayesa!

December 20, 2012

March is National Nutrition Month, and healthy chocolate Mayesa drinks fit right in!

Mayesa is packed with great nutrition, starting with organic cacao – the purest form of chocolate. This is blended together with such things as pea protein and rice, along  with special spices, for an unusually indulgent nutritional source.

And that’s just the beginning of the amazing nutrition of Mayesa.

Here’s more: Mayesa contains no cholesterol and no trans fats.

What Mayesa does contain is:

1.  Antioxidants – Cacao contains a higher
concentration by weight of antioxidants than acai, blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries, or even red wine

2. Magnesium – supports the heart, brain, and digestive system

3. Iron – 314% of RDA of Iron per ounce serving.

4. Theobromine – dilates the cardiovascular system, making the heart’s job easier

5. Anandamide – An endorphin known as the “Bliss Chemical” that is released naturally by the body after exercise and is found in Cacao

Nutritional Bonus! Mayesa is dairy-free, gluten-free,soy-free, and VEGAN!

Isn’t it great to have a way of making sure you get great nutrition on a daily basis, and indulge in healthy chocolate at the same time? Can’t beat it!

About National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to promote nutrition awareness and education. It originated in 1973 as “National Nutrition Week” and expanded to the month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.

The theme changes each year, but it always focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Eat Right with Color,” provides an easy way to focus on improving eating habits — simply include plenty of color on your plate. And the rich brown of healthy organic cacao is a great color to add to your nutritional palette!

Great Changes in School Lunches for Healthy Kids

December 19, 2012

Michelle Obama is seen here joining students at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, VA, for a healthy lunch of turkey tacos, black bean and corn salad, and fresh fruit, prepared by celebrity chef Rachael Ray

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2012 was signed by President Obama as a major step forward in America’s effort to provide all children with healthy foods in their schools.

Since then USDA guidelines are implementing  important provisions of the legislation, which includes significant improvements that will help provide children with healthier and more nutritious food options, educate children about making healthy food choices, and teach children healthy habits that can last a lifetime, says a White House statement.


New Year Resolution – Eat More (Healthy) Chocolate!

December 17, 2012

It’s that time of year again – New Year Resolutions. And most of us have at least one resolution that has to do with becoming healthier, be it with exercise, stress-reduction – or better nutrition.

This year you can keep that resolution – because it will be fun, delicious, and maybe even decadent! Who wouldn’t want to stick to a resolution like that?

From the Ochanomizu University in Tokyo to the University of Cambridge in England, and dozens of universities and research labs across the United States, scientifically-designed medical studies are showing that there is a positive correlation between healthy organic cacao and a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.

The flavanols contained in cacao have been found to act as “cardioprotective”  agents. Although the mechanisms behind this effect are still under investigation, cacao is thought to possibly exert its benefits on cardiovascular health by activation of nitric oxide and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

The flavanols have chemical structures favoring antioxidant actions such as free radical scavenging and chelation of metals. In addition, it appears that the antioxidants in cacao can prevent the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol relating to the mechanism of protection in heart disease.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, results showed 47% improvement in “endothelium function,” which measures how much the arteries dilated. There was also indication that there was an increase in cells that are produced in the bone marrow and that can develop into the structural cells that line and repair the arteries and veins.

It’s important to note that it is raw cacao that is indicated as an element that helps reduce heart disease. The more sugars and fats that are added to chocolate as it is refined and used to manufacture chocolate products used in hot chocolate beverages, chocolate milk, candy and other chocolate sweets, the further away you get from the health benefits of raw cacao.

Drinking delicious, healthy chocolate Mayesa – in its Original Cacao flavor and its Cacao Mint flavor – can both satisfy your chocolate cravings, and offer possible health benefits as well!



Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party – Where We Party with Healthy Chocolate!

December 12, 2012

Let’s Party! Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. We’re joining the party with a giveaway for you! Just follow the instructions below to enter to win a 12-pack of Mayesa healthy chocolate drinks!

Mayesa is all about indulging in chocolate – healthy chocolate! Made from

What does a delicious Mayesa drink do for you? Besides allowing you to pamper yourself with decadent chocolate, you’ll also find that it energizes you, it replenishes you, it increases clarity, and it suppresses hunger.

A healthy chocolate Mayesa drink is great for breakfast, a mid-morning pick-me-up, as a way over the mid-afternoon slump, and is perfect for dessert in the evening. You’ll love giving it to your kids, too – knowing that they can now have a chocolate drink that is actually good for them.

Mayesa comes in two delicious flavors – Original Cacao, and Cacao Mint. (And here’s a secret – keep watch for the introduction of three new flavors this summer!)

It’s so great to have you here to visit. Please feel free to browse around and learn more about healthy cacao.

Here’s how to enter our Party giveaway:
Browse our web site at mayesa.com to learn about Mayesa and organic cacao, then  leave a comment on our blog below mentioning something you learned about healthy chocolate Mayesa that you think other mommy bloggers – and daddy bloggers, too! – would like to know.

Want extra entries into the contest? Do the following..!

  • Follow us on Twitter and leave us a message on  @drinkmayesa telling us your favorite thing about Mayesa and/or
  • “Like” us on Facebook and post on our wall what your favorite thing about Mayesa is.

Make sure we have a way to reach you, by leaving your email in the comment. One winner will be chosen at random by using random.org. The contest ends April 20th at 11:59 EDT. We will announce the winner Monday April 23rd.

And, don’t forget to head over to the Ultimate Blog Party (#UBP12)! It’s a chance to win another 12-pack of delicious healthy chocolate Mayesa drinks! You’ll also discover many other great blog sites, and there’s prizes galore!

This is our first year participating in the Ultimate Blog Party, so, welcome! And thanks for learning more about Mayesa – the healthy chocolate drink!