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I Never Knew Chocolate Makes My Teeth Healthy Until I Read This

I Never Knew Chocolate Makes My Teeth Healthy Until I Read This

Good news for all you chocolate lovers out there: When eaten in moderation, chocolate may actually be good for you! Though hidden under the guise of an unhealthy, sugary snack, chocolate has so many health benefits it’s almost too sweet to be true. From improving heart health to improving your overall mood, you may want to think twice before refusing your next piece of chocolate.

Because I love top 5 lists, here’s a concise summary of the more gripping effects chocolate has on the body:

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1. Chocolate Contains Antioxidants Galore!

One of the greatest things about chocolate is that it’s chock-full of antioxidants, which, if you didn’t know, help protect your body against the skin-damaging effects of free radicals. Because dark chocolate contains a higher level of natural cocoa, it’s by far the most beneficial type of chocolate. Throughout history, the cocoa bean has been cherished for its amazing and unique composition. More recent studies have shown that the various health benefits of cocoa beans are nothing short of amazing. In fact, cocoa beans contain more antioxidants than any other food. Period. To break this down even further I’ll give you a comparison: A serving of blueberries, a widely-known source of antioxidants, contains about 32 antioxidants; cocoa beans contain around 621!

While milk and white chocolate may taste good, the added ingredients that make them sweeter negate the potential health benefits the cocoa bean provides. Every beneficial aspect chocolate has stems from the cocoa bean. Therefore, the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is.

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2. Chocolate Lowers Your Risk of Diabetes

Number two on our chocolate-loving list is the correlation between dark chocolate and diabetes. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can be a powerful companion in combating diabetes. Sounds crazy, right? Contrary to what you’ve been told, eating dark chocolate has been found to lower one’s risk for diabetes by lowering blood pressure and significantly increasing sensitivity to insulin. When buying chocolate with your heart’s health in mind be sure to buy the kind that is extremely dark, as this means there are less fillers and more cocoa to be had. On its own, cocoa is extremely bitter, so it’s up to you to find some common ground between balancing sweetness and bitterness. It’s a give-and-take relationship, but over time your taste buds may become more accustomed to darker chocolate.

3. Chocolate Helps Your Heart

Another surprising benefit of eating dark chocolate is that it can actually improve your heart’s health. Eating dark chocolate regularly has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as cocoa contains compounds known as flavonoids, which are widely known to help stabilize blood pressure by aiding in the formation of nitric oxide. Not only that, chocolate can also help lower your cholesterol level too! Because dark chocolate is so jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it actually plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. By regularly consuming dark chocolate, you’re not only helping your heart, you’re helping your waistband.

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    4. Chocolate Protects Your Skin and Smile

    Because of the enormous presence of flavonoids in dark chocolate, eating it has been known to help protect your skin from sun damage. Dark chocolate helps encourage blood flow and has been known to slow the aging process. Dark chocolate also contains a mineral known as theobromine, which is wonderful at strengthening tooth enamel. Just think of it, eating sweets to help keep your teeth healthy! In addition, dark chocolate contains an incredible amount of other vitamins and minerals, making it a veritable superfood.

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    5. Chocolate Gives You Good Vibrations

    Last, but certainly not least, chocolate is a natural mood booster. Studies have shown that people who regularly consume dark chocolate are more likely to feel relaxed and happy. Eating chocolate can actually improve overall cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. As well as containing low levels of caffeine, chocolate releases endorphins into the brain—stimulating your mood, waking you up and helping you feel good.
    Though there are other more in-depth studies that further highlight the benefits of chocolate, I think these five are enough to convert any non-believer! It is important to note that there is no set amount as to how much chocolate should be consumed each day in order to truly reap the rewards, so be sure to eat it sparingly. And remember: though it boasts a ton of healthy benefits, it’s still chocolate in the end!

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    Last Updated on September 10, 2019

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

    1. Gratitude

    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

      write down goals

        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

        6. Rise Earlier

        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

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        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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