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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

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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