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If Your Legs Easily Feel Cold And Numb, Science Says You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

If Your Legs Easily Feel Cold And Numb, Science Says You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

The next time you have the urge to reach for that sinful bar of chocolate; don’t stop yourself, especially if it’s dark chocolate you crave. There have been studies and theories about dark chocolate being good stress buster as well giving you an endorphin high for the last decade or so because of it having a high polyphenol content, but the real secret of dark chocolate being healthy, lies in its vascular benefits.

The Vascular Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The very same polyphenols that reduce stress and inflammation in the body also reduce oxidative stress on the arteries since they are anti-oxidants. They also help the body produce more of nitric oxide, which has a dilatory effect on arteries. Nitric oxide basically acts on the receptors located in the walls of the arteries, prompting them to widen.

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A widened artery means a better blood flow, which in turn equates to a better vascular and circulatory system of the body. And having a better blood flow is helpful for everyone, be it at any age – for when the blood flow opens up, the blood pressure goes down to optimum levels.

Do I Need Vascular Benefits?

Everybody benefits from a better vascular system. The cells of the body need a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients, and also need their wastes removed in an effective and timely manner. The heart, blood vessels and blood work together to provide this very essential service to the body. The blood vessels take in oxygenated blood from the lungs and distribute it to all the cells of the body, and then, in turn, collect the carbon dioxide from the cells and give it to the lungs for exhalation.

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Similarly, the blood gathers nutrients from the small intestine and yet again delivers it to all cells, collecting waste and taking it to the larger intestine and the kidneys to then be passed out of the body as feces and urine.

If the vascular system develops any problems, such as a poor blood flow due to narrowing of arteries – this essential service gets disrupted leading to minor problems such as cramps, restless legs syndrome, pains and aches all over the body, numbness and fatigue. If left untreated, poor circulation can ultimately result in PAD, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney and organ failure and much more.

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Can Dark Chocolate Really Help in Better Circulation?

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has shown that eating dark chocolate can help people suffering from PAD (peripheral artery disease, affecting about 20% of adults over 70 all over the world). People with PAD have a constricted blood flow to the limbs which leads to walking problems, cramping and numbness in the extremities and even poor motor control. In a controlled study of 20 participants suffering from PAD – half were given 40gms of dark chocolate with 85% cocoa while the others were given chocolate with only 20% cocoa content. All the participants were made to walk on their own on treadmills to measure the effect and surprisingly; the dark chocolate group walked an average 11% more than the others – showing that dark chocolate improved blood circulation in a good way.

But, I Don’t Have Any Circulatory Problems

That’s awesome news. It means you have kept yourself healthy and follow a balanced lifestyle. However, remember the adage, prevention is better than cure. So eating dark chocolate in effect, is adding a dose of healthiness to your everyday life for it ensure, to an extent that your vascular system remains functioning at its optimum. The recommended “dose” of dark chocolate is 30 to 60gms every day (1 to 2 ounces) – the more the cocoa content, the better.

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Simply put – other than putting you in a happy mood, making you lose some weight and reducing those general aches and pains; dark chocolate can really give your heart and the vascular system a super healthy boost. This is called guilt-free indulgence!

Featured photo credit: Everydayhealth via everydayhealth.com

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Rima Pundir

Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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