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Nowadays, there are hundreds of effective medicines and supplements created to boost our sexual desire and improve our sexual life. However, herbal medicine offers much safer and healthier natural solutions for everyone who is looking for some new approaches to sexual satisfaction. Aphrodisiac herbs and plants such as Ginseng, Damiana, Tongkat Ali, Goat Weed and many more, have been used for centuries in folk medicines of many cultures throughout the world. But, actually, you do not need to seek exotic stuffs, expensive supplements or imported natural products of arguable quality. Let’s take a look at our garden and see, what we have there to assist us in boosting our sexual activity:
- Spinach. It is a very powerful antioxidant which can help both men and women to reach new heights in their sexual life. Spinach contains lots of useful elements and vitamins, it speeds up protein digestion and improves fat metabolism. This way, spinach stimulates weight loss.
- Garlic. Garlic is one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs which was widely used by our ancestors in Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Aphrodite and her maidens believed that eating several cloves of garlic (washed out first in water and then in olive oil) can help women fall in love and enhance sexual power of men.
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). This is one more natural aphrodisiac known so well by our ancient ancestors. Fennel was an ingredient of the most powerful love portions, as well as many modern time’s stimulants (like absinthe). Moreover, in some cultures there’s a belief that a glass of beer mixed with cut fennel is a matchless drink for those men who want to impress their lovers.
- Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia or Armoracia rusticana). This plant is a known spice, a relative of mustard and wasabi. It is among the best natural stimulants which can speed up blood circulation and stimulate the function of nerve system. In order to receive good effects, you can eat a vegetable salad with some cut horseradish root before leaving for a promising date.
- Celery. This natural remedy has very strong properties to stimulate our sexual desire and restore our sexual vitality. These properties of celery were used in Ancient Rome. Celery root was a part of wedding ceremony in the Empire, and green leaves of celery plant were used as an element of marital bed decoration for a newly married couple.
- Carrot. Recuperative properties of carrot were discussed centuries ago in the writings of Avicenna. In our folk medicine, carrots were used to improve blood circulation of the women who lost their sexual desire. Carrot juice was the best treatment both for women and men to be stronger in bed.
- Onions. Onions were used as a stimulant in Ancient Egypt. Pliny the Eldest, a philosopher from Ancient Rome, praised therapeutic and stimulant properties of red onions (the Tropea red), and in the Renaissance period it was prohibited to eat onions in monasteries and religious houses. Therefore, onions should be the most favorite foods of modern sex-bombs. Besides, onions have excellent rejuvenating and anti-cancerous properties.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.
The medicinal uses of ginger is almost endless. If you can stomach the spiciness, it does wonders in treating many disorders.
Anticoagulant: Add ginger in most of your cooking or add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice in your beverages to enjoy the anticoagulant properties of ginger. It helps make blood platelets less sticky which in turn reduces your risk of atherosclerosis.
Aphrodisiac effect: A natural aphrodisiac, this might be the better substitute to viagra! Drink hot ginger tea (by mixing ginger juice, hot water and honey) after a not-too-heavy meal and see it work!
Cold: Cut up a small piece of ginger and boil it with a small cup of pure drinking water. Add some green tea leaves if you wish. Strain and drink when hot. Effective if you also have fever resulting from the cold. You may also drink this concoction if you feel a cold coming.
Cough: Drink ginger juice with honey three to four times a day for a bad throat. It is soothing and helps clear up phlegm.
Digestive disorder: Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with one teaspoonful each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice with some honey to taste in a glass of water. Drink to relieve heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Especially helpful after a big meaty meal.
Fatigue: Slice a piece of ginger into disks and boil it with a big glass of water. Add a piece of cinnamon bark, bring to boil and then cover it for about half an hour till it turns to golden color. Drink it to relieve fatigue when recovering from fever. It also relieves muscle pain and soreness.
Flatulence/wind: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste. Drink it twice a day to let off the wind trapped in the intestinal tract.
Impotency: Believe it or not! Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to a half-boiled egg and a teaspoonful of honey. Take this concoction on an empty stomach, every night for a month. It is supposed to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and increase sperm count. (Not proven but worth trying!)
Inflammations: The anti-inflammatory (gingerols) and anti-oxidant properties in ginger help relieve various inflammatory disorders like gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It provides substantial relief in pain caused by inflammation and help decrease swelling and morning stiffness.
Menstruation disorders: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste. Drink it hot two or three times a day for a month. The pain-relieving and anti-cramping compounds in ginger effectively help relieve painful menstruation cramps (dysmenorrhoea). In the absence of menstruation in women in the reproductive age (amenorrhoea), this concoction can also help induce menstruation.
Morning sickness: A teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with some honey will also help alleviate morning sickness, sea or motion sickness, dizziness and even nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.
Pain killer: Ginger juice makes an excellent pain killer, even when applied externally. In headache, apply ginger juice to the forehead. With toothache, apply it to the external area either on the cheek or jaw area.
A clue to ginger’s success in eliminating gastrointestinal distress is offered by recent double-blind studies, which have demonstrated that ginger is very effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.
Safe and Effective Relief of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
Ginger’s anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, even the most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum, a condition which usually requires hospitalization. In a double-blind trial, ginger root brought about a significant reduction in both the severity of nausea and number of attacks of vomiting in 19 of 27 women in early pregnancy (less than 20 weeks). Unlike antivomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
Arthritis-related problems with your aging knees? Regularly spicing up your meals with fresh ginger may help, suggests a study published in a recent issue of Osteoarthritis Cartilage. In this twelve month study, 29 patients with painful arthritis in the knee (6 men and 23 women ranging in age from 42-85 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Patients switched from placebo to ginger or visa versa after 3 months. After six months, the double-blind code was broken and twenty of the patients who wished to continue were followed for an additional six months.
By the end of the first six month period, those given ginger were experiencing significantly less pain on movement and handicap than those given placebo. Pain on movement decreased from a score of 76.14 at baseline to 41.00, while handicap decreased from 73.47 to 46.08. In contrast, those who were switched from ginger to placebo experienced an increase in pain of movement (up to 82.10) and handicap (up to 80.80) from baseline. In the final phase of the study when all patients were getting ginger, pain remained low in those already taking ginger in phase 2, and decreased again in the group that had been on placebo.
Not only did participants’ subjective experiences of pain lessen, but swelling in their knees, an objective measurement of lessened inflammation, dropped significantly in those treated with ginger. The mean target knee circumference in those taking ginger dropped from 43.25cm when the study began to 39.36cm by the 12th week. When this group was switched to placebo in the second phase of the study, their knee circumferences increased, while those who had been on placebo but were now switched to ginger experienced a decrease in knee circumference. In the final phase, when both groups were given ginger, mean knee circumference continued to drop, reaching lows of 38.78 and 36.38 in the two groups.
How does ginger work its anti-inflammatory magic? Two other recent studies provide possible reasons.
A study published in the November 2003 issue of Life Sciences suggests that at least one reason for ginger’s beneficial effects is the free radical protection afforded by one of its active phenolic constituents, 6-gingerol. In this in vitro (test tube) study, 6-gingerol was shown to significantly inhibit the production of nitric oxide, a highly reactive nitrogen molecule that quickly forms a very damaging free radical called peroxynitrite. Another study appearing in the November 2003 issue of Radiation Research found that in mice, five days treatment with ginger (10 mg per kilogram of body weight) prior to exposure to radiation not only prevented an increase in free radical damage to lipids (fats found in numerous bodily components from cell membranes to cholesterol), but also greatly lessened depletion of the animals’ stores of glutathione, one of the body’s most important internally produced antioxidants.
Protection against Colorectal Cancer
Gingerols, the main active components in ginger and the ones responsible for its distinctive flavor, may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, suggests research presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, a major meeting of cancer experts that took place in Phoenix, AZ, October 26-30, 2003.
In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute fed mice specially bred to lack an immune system a half milligram of -gingerol three times a week before and after injecting human colorectal cancer cells into their flanks. Control mice received no -gingerol.
Tumors first appeared 15 days after the mice were injected, but only 4 tumors were found in the group of -gingerol-treated mice compared to 13 in the control mice, plus the tumors in the -gingerol group were smaller on average. Even by day 38, one mouse in the -gingerol group still had no measurable tumors. By day 49, all the control mice had been euthanized since their tumors had grown to one cubic centimeter (0.06 cubic inch), while tumors in 12 of the -gingerol treated mice still averaged 0.5 cubic centimeter-half the maximum tumor size allowed before euthanization.
Research associate professor Ann Bode noted, “These results strongly suggest that ginger compounds may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal carcinomas.”
In this first round of experiments, mice were fed ginger before and after tumor cells were injected. In the next round, researchers will feed the mice ginger only after their tumors have grown to a certain size. This will enable them to look at the question of whether a patient could eat ginger to slow the metastasis of a nonoperable tumor. Are they optimistic? The actions of the University of Minnesota strongly suggest they are. The University has already applied for a patent on the use of -gingerol as an anti-cancer agent and has licensed the technology to Pediatric Pharmaceuticals (Iselin, N.J.).
Ginger Induces Cell Death in Ovarian Cancer Cells
Lab experiments presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer, by Dr Rebecca Lui and her colleagues from the University of Michigan, showed that gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).
Ginger extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. To investigate the latter, Dr Liu examined the effect of a whole ginger extract containing 5% gingerol on a number of different ovarian cancer cell lines.
Exposure to the ginger extract caused cell death in all the ovarian cancer lines studied.
A pro-inflammatory state is thought to be an important contributing factor in the development of ovarian cancer. In the presence of ginger, a number of key indicators of inflammation (vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8 and prostaglandin E2) were also decreased in the ovarian cancer cells.
Conventional chemotherapeutic agents also suppress these inflammatory markers, but may cause cancer cells to become resistant to the action of the drugs. Liu and her colleagues believe that ginger may be of special benefit for ovarian cancer patients because cancer cells exposed to ginger do not become resistant to its cancer-destroying effects. In the case of ovarian cancer, an ounce of prevention-in the delicious form of liberal use of ginger-is an especially good idea. Ovarian cancer is often deadly since symptoms typically do not appear until late in the disease process, so by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it has spread beyond the ovaries. More than 50% of women who develop ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease.
Immune Boosting Action
Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.
Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.
Aromatic, erect, branched and hairy herb, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate, 5 to 11 cm long, with coarse and doubly-toothed margins, a blunt or pointed tip. Flowers are pinkish-purple, crowded and borne in hairy, terminal, axillary spikes, 2 to 8 cm long, 1 cm in diameter, with a corolla 9mm long with obtuse lobes.
Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves yield a volatile oil, 6-10% – Patchouli alcohol, cadinene, coerulein, benzaldehyde and eugenol.
Diuretic, carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue.
The oil may have antibactericidal activity and pogostone may have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Components eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde have insecticidal activity.
Important components of the essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
Study on the chemical constituents of an essential oil of PC yielded 22 compounds, 18 sesquiterpenes and three oxygenated sesquiterpenes; among these, patchouli alcohol was the major component, followed by germacrene.
Parts used and preparation
Leaves, flowering spikes, roots.
Arthritis and rheumatism: Crush leaves and apply on affected part.
Infusion of fresh leaves for painful menses.
Infusion of leaves, dried tops or roots used for scanty urination.
In Malaysia and Japan, has been used as antidote for venomous snake and insect bites.
In traditional Chinese medicine, used for colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Essential oil of patchouli used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Also called: Huo xiang, Putcha-Pat.
Oil also used as ingredient in foods and beverages.
An ingredient of East Asian incense.
Had a surge in the commerce of oil and incense during the free love and hippie decades of the 60s and 70s.
Leaves and tops used as insecticide repellant for cockroaches, moths, ants, etc.
Leaves used with gogo for washing hair.
In some countries, used as ingredient in tobacco smoking.
Juice of leaves used to repel leeches in climbing mountains.
Used as hair conditioner for dreadlocks.
• ROS-scavenger: Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells: Study suggests the beneficial effects of PC on ROS-induced neuroglial cell injury possibly as a ROS-scavenger.
• Antimutagenic: Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin: Study of methanol extraxct of P cablin showed suppressive effects against furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1. Test isolated suppressive compounds (7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol among others) plus three flavonoids, mobuine, pachypodol and kumatekenin.
• Mosquito Repellent Activity: Study of the mosquito repellent activity of 38 essential oils from plants against Aedes aegypti on human subjects showed the undiluted oil of patchouli, together with citronella, clove and makaen, to be effected in providing 2 hr of complete repellency.
• H Influenza Adhesion Inhibition: Study has shown inhibition of H Influenza on oropharyngeal cells to be inhibited by aqueous extracts of P cablin and A rugosa; a mixture also effective in preventing otitis media and sore throat.
• Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study isolated a-bulnesene, a sesquiterpened from the water extract of P cablin. It showed a potent and concentration-dependent effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) and arachidonic acid (AA) induced rabbit platelet aggregation; a first study demonstrating a-blnesene as a PAF-receptor antagonist and anti-platelet aggregation agent.
Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil
The health benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, anti phlogistic, anti septic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic.
Essential Oil of Patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of leaves of Patchouli, whose botanical name is Pogostemon Cablin or Pogostemon Patchouli. The basic components of Patchouli Essential Oil are Alpha Patchoulene, Beta Patchoulene, Alpha Guaiene, Alpha Bulnesene, Caryophyllene, Norpatchoulenol, Patchouli Alcohol, Seychellene and Pogostol. The insecticidal and insect repellant properties of this oil were known from a long time ago and were particularly used in protecting clothes from insects. Then later on, its other benefits were discovered.
Its medicinal properties include;
- Anti Depressant: This oil works great on people suffering from depression. It helps them to get over from the feeling and fills them with new hopes. That is why it is very much in use in aromatherapy. It uplifts mood, drives away disappointment and relaxes tension.
- Anti Phlogistic: It soothes inflammation, particularly those resulting from fever and gives relief.
- Anti Septic: Protects the wounds and ulcers from infections and from being septic.
- Aphrodisiac: Patchouli Oil is also good for treating sexual problems such as impotency, loss of libido and interest in sex, erectile problems, frigidity etc. and acts as an aphrodisiac.
- Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening hold of gums on teeth, preventing shagging of skin, hair fall and loosening of muscles. This astringency of Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
- Cicatrisant: It helps heal cuts and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. This is equally effective in vanishing marks left by boils, acne, pox, measles etc.
- Cytophylactic: This property of the Essential Oil of Patchouli promotes growth by helping generation of new body cells. This helps in production of red blood cells too. It was seen mainly helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy, young and vibrant.
- Deodorant: The strong sweet, spicy and musky aroma of this essential oil keeps away body odor. But it should be used in dilution as sometimes the aroma of Patchouli Oil might feel too strong to bear.
- Diuretic: It increases the tendency of urinating as well as the frequency of urination and quantity of urine. This helps loose weight, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, lower cholesterol and removal of toxins from the body.
- Febrifuge: Reduces body temperature in case of fever by fighting the infections causing the fever. Being an Anti Phlogistic, it gives relief from the inflammations caused by fever and this way too helps bringing down the fever, since fever can be reduced to some extent if the pain and inflammation associated with fever are taken care of.
- Fungicide: Patchouli Essential Oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
- Insecticide: As said earlier, the insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, beg bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
- Sedative: It calms down inflammations and sedates convulsions, coughs and epileptic attacks resulting from hype sensitivity or hyper reactivity of nerves. It can also stop eruption of allergies by sedating the hyper sensitivity of body towards certain elements.
- Tonic: This property of Patchouli Oil tones up the whole body. It makes right the metabolic functions like decomposition of food and absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier; takes care of proper excretion; regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active, and finally, boosts the immune system, protecting you from infections.
- Other Benefits: Helps treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. Gives relief from constipation. Can be used as an antidote against insect bites temporarily.
Few Words of Caution: The long lasting aroma of Patchouli Essential Oil, though sweet, may not be welcome for a few.
Blending: Patchouli Essential Oil blends well with essential oils of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender and Myrrh.
This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee
Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money. Montezuma, the famous Aztec emperor, had his vaults filled not with gold but with about 960,000,000 raw cacao beans.
In 1753 Carl von Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish scientist, thought that cacao was so important that he named the genus and species of this tree Theobroma cacao, which literally means “cacao, the food of the gods.”
Cacao beans contain no sugar and between 12% and 50% fat depending on variety and growth conditions. There is no evidence to implicate cacao bean consumption with obesity.
Sulfur and Magnesium
Cacao is remarkably rich in sulfur and magnesium.
It seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the menstrual period.
Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium.
Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails, hair, beautiful, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning. Anecdotal reports indicate that cacao detoxifies mercury because it is so high sulfur.
Stimulant or Superfood?
Cacao contains subtle amounts of caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw than cooked.
Consider the following: Experimental provings of chocolate by Homeopaths indicate its stimulating effect when cooked. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee, an excited state of circulation, and an accelerated pulse. Interestingly, when the same decoction was made with raw, unroasted beans neither effect was noticeable, leading the provers to conclude that the physiological changes were caused by aromatic substances released during roasting.
Cacao seems to diminish appetite, probably due to its monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) – these are different from digestiveenzyme inhibitors found in most nuts and seeds. These rare MAO inhibitors actually produce favorable results when consumed by allowing more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain. MAO inhibitors facilitate youthening and rejuvenation.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is found in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-relatedchemical that is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.
Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical)
A neurotransmitter called anandamide, has been isolated in cacao. Anandamide is also produced naturally in the brain. Anandamide is known as “The Bliss Chemical” because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that natural anandamide and/or cacaoanandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good longer, when we eat cacao.
According to research cited in The New York Times, fresh cacao beans are super-rich in antioxidant flavonols. Cacao beans contain 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) per 100 grams of flavonol antioxidants. This is a whopping 10% antioxidant concentration level! This makes cacao one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food. Compare the cacao bean to processed cocoa powder (defatted, roasted cacao treated with potassium carbonate) and chocolates which range in flavonol content from the more common concentration of 500 milligrams per 100 grams in normal chocolate bars to 5,000 milligrams in Mars Corporation’s special Cocoapro cocoa powder. Research has demonstrated that the antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to human metabolism. Cornell University food scientists found that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times what is found in green tea. Their findings were published in an article entitled “Cocoa has more Phenolic Phytochemicals and a higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine,” found in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication. Scientists have known that cocoa contains significant antioxidants, but no one knew just how rich they were compared with those in red wine and green tea. The Cornell researchers, led by Chang Y. Lee, chairman of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., say the reason that cocoa leads the other drinks is its high content of antioxidant compounds called phenolic phytochemicals, or flavonoids. They discovered 611 milligrams of the phenolic compound gallic acid equivalents (GAE) and 564 milligrams of the flavonoid epicatechin equivalents (ECE) in a single serving of cocoa. Examining a glass of red wine, the researchers found 340 milligrams of GAE and 163 milligrams of ECE. In a cup of green tea, they found 165 milligrams of GAE and 47 milligrams of ECE. Antioxidant ORAC levels per 100 grams:
broccoli – 890
alfalfa sprouts – 930
plums – 949
brussel sprouts – 980
raspberries – 1220
spinach – 1260
strawberries – 1540
kale – 1,770
blackberries – 2036
blueberries – 2,400
raisins – 2,830
prunes – 5,770
dark chocolate – 13,120
The ORAC test examines the antioxidant levels of various foods. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food. Source: US Department of Agriculture / Journal of the American Chemical Society
Cacao and dark chocolate boost antioxidants; however, the addition of dairy products/milk cancels out the effects of antioxidants. Studies indicate that dairy products specifically block the absorption of all the great antioxidants in chocolate.
Other facts on Raw Cacao beans
- Raw Cacao is the latest Raw Super Food available on the market today.
- It is a true super food unlike anything that has come before.
- As already previously discussed, it is the highest known source of anti-oxidants by a factor of almost 5.
- It has nearly 20 times the antioxidant levels of red wine and up to 30 times what is found in green tea.
- In nature, the primary source of Magnesium is cacao (raw chocolate beans).
Raw chocolate is known to have the following properties:
- Diminishes appetite and aids in weight loss.
- · Increases sensuality and beauty.
- · Helps to heal and open the heart.
- · Nourishes the intellect and attracts prosperity.
The flavor of Raw Cacao is similar to dark, bitter chocolate one would normally buy at a store. It is great just eaten plain, with honey, or in your favorite smoothi. (or blend Cacao Beans with Coconut Oil, Almond Butter and Honey – totally divine).
One of the main differences between raw cacao and the chocolate typically available on the open market (cocoa—a processed substance) is that raw cacao has all the original healthy cacao butter, containing all the original essential fatty acids and amazing taste originally found in the bean. Raw cacao or chocolate should not be confused with other substances such as coco (coconut), kola (a nut whose flavor is used in soft drinks), or coca (the leaf of the plant from which cocaine is derived). Cocoa and cocoa butter are cooked, processed substances derived from raw cacao nibs (orbeans/nuts). All chocolate starts out as raw cacao beans (or nuts —they are actually the seed of the cacao fruit which grows on a tropical tree). Processing, cooking and roasting corrupt the delicate, complex flavor of the cacao nib (bean without the skin). Raw cacao is one of the most, if not the most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to man.
By Gary T
Erectile dysfunction, impotency, erection problems, whichever way you wish to look at it, it affects men of all ages, for many reasons all over the world. It has been reported than more than half of men over the age of forty have suffered from impotency or a weak erection, whether it be a temporary thing, or whether it be a permanent problem.
It can be a very embarrassing thing to suffer from Erectile dysfunction as this ailment can make your confidence levels decrease rapidly, cause stress and depression and make you feel less of a man. What are the causes of erection problems? There are many factors, including stress and depression, drinking too many alcoholic beverages, smoking, fatigue and overall ill health. But don’t fret because there is now a safe and non-prescription solution for you – herbal erection enhancers.
Why herbal erection enhancers and how do they work?
Unlike other synthetic treatments, these herbal erection pills are one hundred percent natural meaning that there is a massively reduced risk of nasty side effects. The herbs and natural elements used in these treatments have been tried and tested and passed down through centuries of experience making them more trustworthy components of erection enhancers than any other.
They have been proven to boost your libido, give you harder and stronger erections for longer, increase your sperm production and reduce the chances of premature ejaculation. Obviously, different men will experience different effects when they consume a herbal erection enhancer over differing time frames, but overall, they do work for sure.
5 of the most powerful components of these herbal erection enhancers are Muira Pauma, Saw Palmetto, Horny Goat Weed, Asian Red Ginseng and Gingko Biloba. These all have different qualities, but the majority of them are great at daily supplements as they improve other parts of the body as well as being great with the genital area.
Here’s how these 5 powerful herbs work :-
1. Muira Pauma is renowned for being one of the most powerful herbs in the world, being a great aphrodisiac as well as improving motivation and heightened testosterone levels. Not only that, but it also helps to improve your body strength and give you more energy.
2.The same can be said of Saw Palmetto. Not only is it a powerful aphrodisiac, but it helps improve the areas such as urinary tract and prostrate in men.
3. Herbal erection enhancers very often contain Horny Goat Weed, and as the name may suggest, it increases libido in both men and women and also can be used as an aphrodisiac. Energy levels will be boosted and problems related to the kidneys can be helped also.
4. Asian Red Ginseng has been proven effective as an alternative for treating male erectile dysfunction. This was confirmed by double-blind studies done by the Department of Urology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
5. Gingko Biloba improves blood flow in the body, thereby enhancing erection strength. It is another common component in erection enhancers for men.
If you wish that your erection was bigger or better, than your first port of call should be herbal erection pills or enhancers. Proven to work over many, many years, and more friendly to your body than chemicals and other synthetic methods, it is more likely to work and less likely to damage your body in any way or leave you with nasty side effects.
Having said that, you must take care when ordering these pills because not all brands will contain high quality ingredients like those mentioned above. So it is important that you do your own research into these herbal erection enhancers before spend a dime on them.
You can boost your fat burning metabolism by eating foods that contain L-carnitine. Avocado is a rich source of L-carnitine. As an added bonus, it is also an aphrodisiac.
L-carnitine is an amino acid found in your body in the liver. It helps to facilitate fat metabolism, and promotes fat loss. Additionally, it is known to increase energy production in muscle cells and increases blood circulation in the brain.
L-carnitine also helps to reduce triglycerides and increases good cholesterol, which helps to protect the heart. By preventing fat oxidation in the brain, it shows some promise in preventing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Isn’t L-carnitine sold as a supplement?
Yes, in fact L-carnitine is sold as a weight loss supplement. However, locally grown organic foods are always recommended before supplements. The advantages of eating whole foods is because whole foods offer a variety of health benefits.
What about the high fat content in avocados?
Although avocados are one of the few fruits high in fat, most of the fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat; it lowers cholesterol, a hormone that stores abdominal fat, which means it may even shrink belly fat. They are also the fruit richest in beta carotene, vitamin E, and protein.
How does the potassium in avocados reduce belly fat?
In addition to boosting metabolism, avocados are known for reducing anxiety because it is loaded with relaxing magnesium and potassium. Potassium is known for helping to reduce belly fat and it prevents fluid retention. (See link below for foods that help to reduce belly fat).
It also has pantothenic acid, which is a B vitamin, can rev up stress-reducing hormones and can lower your risk of depression. Stress is one of the causes of belly fat.
Other than slicing and eating, how else can it be easily included in the diet?
Avocado is now being suggested as an alternative to mayonnaise – on a sandwich for example. It has 4 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which lowers cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per ounce making it a more filling substitue for the mayo.
Locally grown foods are recommended. Where are avocados grown?
These fruits have been cultivated for over 7,000 years; three of the original types were West Indian, Mexican, and Guatemalan. They are now grown in in the USA in California and Florida, (and also in Africa and Australia). Many people grow them in their backyards.
We have been eating avocado as an aprhrodisiac and didn’t know it? Explain!
It is said that the Aztecs made a sexually potent spread from mashed avocados, chiles, onions, and tomatoes and it was called ‘ahuaca-mulli.’ We know this same spread as guacamole. (Say ‘ahuaca-mulli’ fast and it sounds like guacamole – less emphasis on the ‘a’)
How do you select and store avocados?
Avocados will not ripen until after they are picked; avocado tree leaves produce a hormone that inhibits the fruit-ripening chemical ethylene. To tell if it is ripe, squeeze it gently to see if it gives. If you buy it ripe it can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If it is not ripe you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag. I always have success with this ripening method. It may take a few days.
Asparagus has so many health benefits, it should be added to the healthy diet. Asparagus is great as a detox vegetable, an anti-aging vegetable, and no surprise – an aphrodisiac, and much more.
The asparagus is a member of the lily family. It grows easily in the home garden right in the flower bed – it is a perennial and can yield a harvest for decades. Asparagus can be planted as seeds or roots any time of the year.
Here is a list of some of the health benefits of asparagus followed by a list further explaining those health benefits.
1 – can detoxify our system
2 – has anti-aging functions
3 – is considered an aphrodisiac
4 – can protect against cancer
5 – reduces pain and inflammation
6 – can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
7 – reduces the risk of heart disease
8 – can help prevent birth defects
While there is every kind of supplement on the market to address these health issues, too often Americans turn to pills as a main source of nutrition. Pills should only be used as a supplement and not in the place of whole foods. For example: folic acid is highly recommended in today’s diet especially for women who may become pregnant. However, folic acid is the supplemental form of folate. Folate is naturally found in asparagus. In the interest of good health, whole foods are always recommended before supplements.
The Reasons Asparagus Keeps Us Healthy:
1 – As a detox – asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per cup. Potassium is known for reducing belly fat (see belly fat link below). It also contains 3 grams of fiber which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so no bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and one cup has only 40 calories. According to a clinical dietician at UCLA Medical Center, asparagus in the ultimate in detox vegetables.
2 – For anti-aging purposes – asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. It is also very high in glutathione – an amino acid compound with protent antioxidant properties; a must as an anti-aging deterrent. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.
3 – As an aphrodisiac – the asparagus is considered a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac because of its shape. It is said to trigger the mind to have a physiological response. The French word for asparagus is asperge; asperge is a slang word for penis.
4 – Against cancer – asparagus in high in folate which is now known to be an important protection against cancer. Note: Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits. While folic acid is said to be the same as folate, folic acid is the supplemental form. It is always recommeded that you get health benefits from eating healthy whole foods.
5 – Reducing pain and inflammation – it is the folate that helps reduce inflammation.
6 – Preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis – asparagus has vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K.
7 – Reducing the risk of heart disease – it is the folate that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
8 – Preventing birth defects – getting enough folate (doctors often recommend the folic acid supplement) is especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a folate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births.
Additionally, studies have shown that the nutritional benefits of asparagus can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Overall, asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, glutathione, and vitamin K. It is high in fiber, has no sodium, is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat.
You may notice some asparagus spears are thick and some are thin. The thick ones are best for roasting or steaming. I find steaming the best and also very quick. The thin spears are ideal for the grill or if you are planning to sautee.
For optimum health benefits it is suggested that asparagus be eaten raw.
Before eating, the woody stem should be removed from both the thick spears and the thin. Peel only the thick spears before cooking.
There is a wide range of benefits of ginger such as nausea, digestive problems, circulation and arthritis. Nausea caused during pregnancy or by travelling is one of the benefits of ginger root. Ginger is also known to have the ability to calm an upset stomach and to promote the flow of bile. Stomach cramps can be eased and circulation can also be improved. Ginger supports a healthy cardiovascular system by making platelets less sticky which in turn reduces circulatory problems.
Ginger oil used for massage can help relieve painful arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is often included in many herbal decongestants and can help to minimise the symptoms of respiratory conditions, colds and allergies.
With all the benefits of ginger and continuing research, the ginger root is fast becoming a very popular medicinal herb.
Other useful and detailed source on ginger:
- Stomach: Ginger root and ginger oil is often used for stomach upsets. It is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence and other stomach and bowel related problems. Ginger or ginger oil is often added in numerous food preparations, especially in India, as it helps in improving digestion. Ginger tea is also used for relieving stomach problems. Further, it increases the appetite of a person.
- Food poisoning: Ginger is antiseptic and carminative. As a result, it can be used for treating food poisoning. It is also used for treating intestinal infections and bacterial dysentery.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Research has proved that ginger root and its oil is also effective against nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Usage of ginger may result in reduction in pregnancy related vomiting as well in women.
- Heart: It is strongly believed in China that ginger boosts and strengthens your heart. Many people use ginger oil as a measure to prevent as well as cure heart diseases. Preliminary research has indicated that ginger may be helpful in reduction of cholesterol levels and prevention of blood clotting. With reduced cholesterol levels and blood clotting the chances of blockage of blood vessels decrease thereby reducing incidences of heart strokes.
- Respiratory: Since ginger root and ginger oil is a good expectorant, it is effective in various respiratory problems such as cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis and breathlessness. Ginger is very effective in removing mucus from the throats and lungs and hence it is often added with tea in India. The health benefit of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems is well known.
- Inflammation and Pain: Extract of ginger is often used in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation. Research has now proved that its anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to the presence of the substance named Zingibain. It is analgesic in nature and reduces pain caused by muscle aches, arthritis, rheumatisms, headache, migraine, etc. Ginger oil or paste of ginger is often massaged on aching muscles to remove muscle strain. It is further believed that regular use of ginger leads to reduction of prostaglandins which are the compounds associated with pain. Hence ginger helps in pain relief. Recently a few Chinese researchers have reported that ginger is effective for treating inflammation of the testicles.
- Menstrual Problems: Irregular and painful menstrual discharges can be treated with ginger.
- Malaria: Ginger root and ginger oil is also effective against yellow fever and malaria.
- Stress: Ginger oil, being an essential oil is stimulating and therefore relives depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness and anxiety.
- Impotency: Ginger is helpful for men’s health as well. Since ginger root and its oil are aphrodisiac in nature, it is effective in removing impotency and treating premature ejaculation.
- Kidney: It is also believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones.
- Hair: Ginger is useful for hair care as well. Usage of the juice of ginger is useful in controlling dandruff.
- Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, preliminary research on animals has shown that ginger may be useful in treating cancer through chemotherapy.
It should be noted that ginger oil is very strong and therefore it should be used carefully.
You may be surprised to learn that cocoa is actually a FRUIT – and even more surprised to learn that it is actually one of the most healthy fruits commonly eaten by man!
Recent research studies have shown a link between cocoa and cardiovascular health, with reduced risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
Cornell University food scientists discovered that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea.
Raw cocoa has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world!
The ORAC score per 100 grams of unprocessed raw cacao is 28,000, compared to 18,500 for Acai Berries, 1,540 for Strawberries, and only 1,260 for raw Spinach. The ORAC score for a typical manufactured Dark Chocolate is an impressive 13,120 – although one unique, organic, and non-roasted brand of Dark Chocolate has a much higher ORAC score. But for Milk Chocolate the ORAC score is much lower at 6,740.
Cocoa also appears to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. And cocoa is a good source of the minerals magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese; plus some of the B Vitamins.
When heart problems occur, magnesium is the most likely mineral to be missing in the person’s diet.
Cocoa has a high content of the “beauty” mineral, sulfur. Sulfur helps build strong nails and hair, promotes healthy and beautiful skin, helps detoxify the liver, and supports healthy functioning of the pancreas.
Fresh cocoa beans are super-rich in the type of bioflavonoid called flavanols which are strong antioxidants that help maintain healthy blood flow and blood pressure. The heart-healthy flavanols in cocoa, especially the epicatechins, prevent fatty substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and then clogging the arteries.
Flavanols help make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes – without the negative side effects associated with the use of aspirin (ASA) and other pharmaceutical blood-thinners.
Cocoa beans contain 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) of flavanol antioxidants per 100 grams – or an amazing 10% antioxidant concentration level! When it comes to supplying your body with effective antioxidants, no other natural food can even come close. No exotic super-fruit like Acai berries, no high-antioxidant fruits like prunes or blueberries, and no vegetables. The antioxidants in cocoa are easily absorbed by the human body, and are more stable and long-lasting than those in any other foods.
Cocoa also contains the amino acid Tryptophan which makes the neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which promotes positive feelings and helps keep us from feeling depressed. Cocoa contains the neurotransmitters dopamine, and phenylethylamine (PEA), and contains anandamide and MAO Inhibitors – which make this heart-healthy food a healthy food for the brain too.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) helps promote mental alertness and the ability to concentrate. The PEA in healthy chocolate can be of help to students taking tests, and to senior citizens who want to retain the mental capacity of a younger person and postpone the onset of dementia.
Studies have indicated that consuming dark chocolate produced an increased sensitivity to insulin (which indicates a protective effect against diabetes).
While you may have believed that cocoa and chocolate were “bad for you”, the truth is that THE RIGHT KIND OF CHOCOLATE provides many health benefits that make it not only “good for you” but better for your body than most of the fruits and vegetables your mother made you eat when you were a child.
Eating a healthy dark chocolate provides a sweet, sensual, sin-free pleasure, as well as some significant health benefits. A heart-felt gift of healthy dark chocolate to a loved one offers a heart-warming, delightfully delicious treat, as well as a super heart-healthy food that promotes a longer and healthier life.
If the pharmaceutical industry managed to produce a patented product that offered all the health benefits of cocoa, they would likely proclaim it a “miracle drug”! But since cocoa is widely available, is relatively inexpensive, and does not require you to pay for a doctor’s prescription nor pay fees to a dispensing pharmacy, you are not likely to hear many members of the medical establishment recommending chocolate for its many health benefits.
You may also be surprised to learn that dark chocolate can help you lose weight! Because it has appetite-suppressant properties, cocoa is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger.
While you may have been told that chocolate is “fattening”, the truth is that the fats found in cocoa butter are actually healthy fats! Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil and is believed to raise the level of the “good cholesterol” known as HDL cholesterol (the acronym HDL stands for “High Density Lipid”).
Healthy chocolate can be of great benefit to tobacco smokers – but not just because they need lots of the antioxidants which neutralize the free radicals generated by the toxic compounds in tobacco smoke. A recent study in Switzerland indicated that dark chocolate may help prevent hardening of the arteries.
A 2006 clinical study by Swiss researchers found that within minutes of consuming dark chocolate, their test group of 20 smokers experienced a significant improvement in the function of the endothelial cells which line the artery walls. Smoking tobacco has long been linked to hardening of the arteries and an increase in the production of clot-forming platelets in the blood.
Raw cocoa beans contain over 300 chemically identifiable compounds. This makes cocoa one of the most complex food substances on Earth!
List of Healthy Substances Found in Raw Chocolate (Theobroma Cacao)
Many of the natural chemical compounds in raw cocoa or cacao beans and in organic dark chocolate have been discussed in scientific literature as being pharmacologically significant to health. Here is a partial list of these active substances in natural organic chocolate (and more are discussed below).
- Anandamide (a neurotransmitter known as “the bliss chemical”)
- Arginine (nature’s aphrodisiac)
- Dopamine (a neurotransmitter)
- Epicatechins (antioxidants)
- Magnesium (for healthy heart function)
- Serotonin (anti-stress neurotransmitter)
- Tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid)
- Phenylethylamine (PEA) (controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert)
- Polyphenols (antioxidants)
Magnesium – the Mineral Your Heart Needs
Is dark chocolate good for your heart? Research by Dr. Bernard Jensen indicates that the heart muscle requires these two minerals more than any other minerals: Magnesium and Potassium. In the heart muscle Magnesium is concentrated eighteen times greater than in the bloodstream. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and the heartbeat.
The overall strength and vigor of the heart muscle and its ability to pump effectively is enhanced by the presence of Magnesium, and this important mineral also decreases blood coagulation and thus can lower blood pressure.
Magnesium also balances brain chemistry, and helps build strong bones.
When heart problems occur, Magnesium is the most likely mineral to be missing in the person’s diet.
Eighty percent of Americans are deficient in Magnesium. This deficiency is linked to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, and PMT.
Cocoa beans and organic dark chocolate are the #1 best food sources of this heart-supporting mineral, Magnesium. Can you see how a guilt-free daily dose of Magnesium-rich healthy chocolate could actually help lower your risk of heart disease?
Anti-Depressant Properties of Cocoa and Healthy Dark Chocolate
Cocoa is a potent source of serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. These are three well-studied neurotransmitters which help alleviate depression and are associated with feelings of well-being.
Cocoa contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO Inhibitors) which help improve our mood because they allow serotonin and dopamine to remain in the bloodstream longer without being broken down.
Cocoa also contains anandamide which stimulates blissful feelings. Cocoa also contains B vitamins, which are associated with brain health.
Vascular Health Promoting Properties of Cocoa and Healthy Dark Chocolate
Nitric Oxide (NO)
One research study discovered that a substance in cocoa helps the body process nitric oxide (a chemical compound designated as NO, where N = 1 Nitrogen atom, and O = 1 Oxygen atom). Nitric oxide or NO is a critical component in healthy blood flow and blood pressure control.
Vascular diseases, including Erectile Dysfunction (ED) which is common in men over age 40, are connected to the inability of an artery to make the simple but fundamental chemical called nitric oxide (NO). It appears that flavanols help reverse that problem. Thus eating healthy chocolate might help men over 40 to enjoy a more active sex life without having to rely on expensive drugs like Viagra™ or Celebrex™ or those many herbal concoctions which are touted in millions of unwanted emails.
Another research study showed that a type of bioflavonoid called flavanols in cocoa prevent fatty substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and then clogging the arteries. Flavanols also make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots.
Researchers are excited by the potential of flavanols to ward off vascular disease, which can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and even dementia.
Antioxidant Properties of Cocoa and Healthy Dark Chocolate
Scientists have known for years that cocoa/cacao contains significant antioxidants, but no one knew just how rich they were in comparison to those found in two other healthy foods – red wine and green tea.
According to research cited in The New York Times, fresh cocoa beans are super-rich in the type of flavonoid called flavanols (not flavOnols) which are very strong antioxidants. Cocoa/cacao beans contain 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) of flavanol antioxidants per 100 grams – or an amazing 10% antioxidant concentration level!
Recent research has demonstrated that the antioxidants found in cacao beans are highly stable and easily available to the human metabolism. Of all known foods, cacao is also the ONLY food which does NOT lose its Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) over significant periods of time. This makes cocoa both the most POTENT source of antioxidants and a source of the most USABLE antioxidants found in any natural food.
Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and keep them from damaging the DNA and mitochondria of the body’s cells, which is a major cause of many degenerative diseases, cancer tumors, heart disease, and premature aging. Cells with damaged DNA cannot reproduce healthy new cells, but will reproduce damaged or malignant cells.
Cornell University food scientists discovered that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea.
Their findings were published in an article entitled “Cocoa Has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine“, published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication.
The Cornell researchers, led by Chang Y. Lee, chairman of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, state the reason that cocoa leads the other drinks is its high content of antioxidant compounds called phenolic phytochemicals, or flavonoids.
A class of flavonoids known as flavanols or flavan-3-ols includes: catechin, epicatechin, and epigallocatechin. All three are found naturally in the cocoa bean. (Note that flavanols are NOT the same as another very similar-sounding class of flavonoids known as flavonols, which includes: myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol.)
The Cornell researchers discovered 611 milligrams of the phenolic compound gallic acid equivalents (GAE) and 564 milligrams of the flavonoid epicatechin equivalents (ECE) in a single serving of cocoa. Examining a glass of red wine, the researchers found 340 milligrams of GAE and 163 milligrams of ECE. In a cup of green tea, they found 165 milligrams of GAE and 47 milligrams of ECE.
By comparison, 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate delivers as many antioxidants as five ounces of red wine.
That makes cocoa one of the richest sources of antioxidants in any food!
Compare the raw cocoa bean’s 10,000 milligrams of flavanols per 100 grams to other forms of commercial chocolate…
Processed cocoa powder (defatted and roasted cocoa beans treated with potassium carbonate) and chocolate candy range in flavanol content from the more common concentration of 500 milligrams of flavanols per 100 grams of normal chocolate bars, to a concentration of 5,000 milligrams (5 grams) of flavanols per 100 grams of Cocoapro cocoa powder from the Mars Corporation.
Neither comes close to the high concentration of flavanol antioxidants in raw cocoa/cacao beans – 10 grams of flavanols per 100 grams.
ORAC Score – A Measure of Antioxidant Quality
The current standard for testing and measuring the antioxidant properties of various foods is called the ORAC Score. ORAC is an abbreviation for “Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity” – which is a measure of the amount of free radicals that can be neutralized by a certain mass of a food substance (usually cited as “per gram” or “per 100 grams” of the food substance).
The higher the ORAC score, the higher the concentration of antioxidants present in the food. (Source: US Department of Agriculture / Journal of the American Chemical Society.)
Free radicals are molecules that are missing one or more electrons and are therefore chemically imbalanced with a positive electrical charge. They are created in several kinds of chemical reactions which take place in our bodies, such as when we burn energy by working our muscles. To balance their charge, these radical molecules will seek to attract or “steal” electrons from other molecules – including the molecules which make up the DNA in your body’s cells which is the blueprint for producing new cells, and the mitochondria in your cells which create the energy to sustain the cells.
Cells with damaged mitochondria are weak and have lower energy and less resistance to disease. When the DNA of a cell is damaged by the action of free radicals, the result is the creation of imperfect new cells – or even malignant new cells which form tumors and cancers.
Free radicals are the cause of most degenerative diseases, premature aging, and the creation of cancer cells.
Antioxidants are molecules which have one or more extra electrons and are chemically imbalanced with a negative electrical charge, so they can attract and “donate” an electron to a positively-charged free radical molecule, which balances its electrical charge and thus neutralizes it. So that “thieving” radical molecule which is now electrically balanced no longer needs to “steal” electrons from the molecules which form our body’s cells.
Thus the more antioxidant molecules we have in our body, the more free radicals are neutralized, and the less damage is done to our cells. By preventing the damage to our DNA and mitochondria, antioxidants can stop and even reverse the aging process, and help prevent all kinds of degenerative diseases and cancers.
The ORAC value rates the capacity of the substance to prevent oxidation, i.e. its effectiveness as an antioxidant. It might help to compare the oxidation of molecules in our body to the oxidation of iron in an automobile – which we call “rusting”. Oxidized or “rusted” iron becomes brittle and weak, and eventually breaks down into a reddish-brown dust known as iron oxide. You could say that our bodies are “rusting out” from oxidation by free radicals! Ashes to ashes, and rust to dust!
But our bodies can be protected from this rusting by the antioxidants we get from eating natural foods which have a high ORAC value. Many natural foods have been supplying human bodies with those protective antioxidants since we first evolved, but the problem today is that we are not eating many natural foods! We consume far too many processed foods and junk foods which have had the protective antioxidants proocessed out of them! So we suffer more and more from many diseases such as cancer and heart disease, which were relatively rare problems for our ancestors who were eating nothing but whole foods fresh from the farm.
It’s very difficult today to avoid eating processed foods with inferior nutritional value, but we can at least try to eat enough whole foods (like cocoa or high-antioxidant fruits) or health supplements that supply us with enough antioxidants to protect us from degenerative diseases and the ravages of aging. We don’t have to grow old before our time, or suffer painful ailments, or die from horrible diseases that could have been prevented.
While the general public may be aware that they need to eat more raw fruits to get a good supply of antioxidants, the fruits most commonly eaten by North Americans are fairly low on the ORAC scale. Cantaloupe, banana, apple, apricot, peach, pear, and watermelon all have an ORAC score of less than 251 per 100 grams. No wonder the average North American is not getting enough antioxidants in his or her daily diet.
Even milk chocolate with its ORAC score of 6,740 provides significantly more antioxidants per gram than most of the commonly consumed fruits and vegetables – and more than even the top scoring fruits like prunes (5,770), pomegranate (3,307), blueberries (2,400) and blackberries (2,036).
The daily diet of the average North American only scores 1,000 to 1,500 on the ORAC scale. Nutrition experts tell us that it should be at least 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC. Some say it should be even more than 5,000.
Eating healthy chocolate, with its super-high ORAC value, can be an efficient and enjoyable way to boost your daily dose of antioxidants and reduce the ravages of free radicals.
Be careful not to assume that ALL organic chocolate or dark chocolate products (or any processed food product) are “healthy” just because they claim to contain ingredients which are known to have a high ORAC score. It does NOT necessarily mean that the finished product you are consuming will have a high ORAC score too.
There are several factors that can affect the actual ORAC score of a finished food product such as dark chocolate:
(1) how it is processed (excessive heat can destroy flavanols and reduce the amount of available antioxidants, which lowers the ORAC value),
(2) how much of the high ORAC ingredients are actually in the product,
(3) how some ingredients affect the ORAC score of other ingredients (e.g. adding milk to cocoa lowers its effective ORAC score to a little more than half because dairy products tend to block the absorption of the antioxidant flavanols in the cocoa).
Only ONE company (which markets a variety of truly healthy chocolate products) actually dares to show you an independent laboratory’s ORAC score per serving of its finished products right on their packaging (see “The Healthiest Chocolate” below) – so “what you see is what you get”.
For the reasons given above, all other chocolate makers seem unwilling to let you know the actual ORAC score of the products they are selling you. One might wonder if their effective ORAC score is too low to really be considered a “healthy” chocolate product?
Table of ORAC Values for Common Foods
Here is a comparison of the ORAC score per 100 grams for some common foods known to have a high antioxidant level, listed in descending order.
- Unprocessed Raw Cacao – ORAC 28,000
- Acai Berries* – ORAC 18,500
- Dark Chocolate – ORAC 13,120
- Milk Chocolate – ORAC 6,740
- Prunes – 5,770
- Wolfberry Juice – 3,472
- Pomegranates – 3,307
- Raisins – 2,830
- Blueberries – 2,400
- Blackberries – 2,036
- Garlic – 1,939
- Kale – 1,770
- Cranberries – 1,750
- Strawberries – 1,540
- Tahitian Noni Juice – 1,506
- Raw Spinach – 1,260
- Raspberries – 1,220
- Brussels Sprouts – 980
- Plums – 949
- Alfalfa Sprouts – 930
- Steamed Spinach – 909
- Broccoli – 890
- Beets – 840
- Avocado – 782
- Oranges – 750
- Red Grapes – 739
- Red Bell Pepper – 710
- Cherries – 670
- Pink Grapefruit – 495
- Kidney Beans – 460
- Onion – 450
- Corn – 400
- Cauliflower – 385
- Frozen Peas – 375
- Potato – 300
- Cabbage – 295
- Banana – 210
- Carrot – 200
- Apple – 207
- Tomato – 195
- Peach – 170
- Lima Beans – 136
- Pear – 110
(*ORAC for Acai as determined by Brunswick Laboratories, USA.)
This will be important new information for millions of children and teenagers who hate the taste of brussel sprouts or broccoli. Now they can advise Mom that dark chocolate is a much healthier alternate source of antioxidants!
When comparing the antixodidant value (ORAC value) of foods you may actually be eating on a regular basis, another consideration is antioxidant value per calorie. What foods provide a healthy source of antioxidants without also providing too many calories from carbs and fats? Dark chocolate, in spite of the sweetener added to overcome the bitterness of raw cocoa, is actually one of the better providers of antioxidants per calorie!
One hundred grams of healthy dark chocolate (more than you would normally eat) provides 13,120 ORAC units of antioxidants and 552 calories of energy – which works out to 24 ORAC units per calorie.
That gives dark chocolate a better ORAC/calorie ratio than brussels sprouts (23), beets (20), plums (17), oranges (16), cauliflower (15), cherries (13), onions (12), cabbage (12), red grapes (10), tomato (9), head lettuce (9), string beans (6), potato (5), frozen peas (5), corn (5), carrot (5), apple (4), tofu (3), baked beans (3), pear (2), banana (2), or lima beans (1). In other words, if you are looking to increase your antioxidant intake from natural fruits and vegetables while consuming the least calories, eating a healthy dark chocolate is actually a lower-calorie source than all the common foods in this list!
And the ORAC per calorie ratio for dark chocolate (24) is about the SAME as two of the top antioxidant fruits – prunes (24) and raspberries (25). So it’s not necessary to worry about getting too many calories when consuming healthy dark chocolate as`a supplemental source of antioxidants, because you don’t need to eat very much dark chocolate`to absorb more antioxidants than you would get from many common fruits`and vegetables!
Can Chocolate Help You Be Happy?
We have all heard how chocolate can be a “comfort food” to help us cope with stress and depression and general unhappiness. There might actually be some connection between chocolate and happiness, when we look at certain chemicals which are found naturally in the cocoa/cacao bean and which can affect parts of the brain.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) in Cocoa
PEA is a chemical found in cocoa/cacao beans which increases the activity of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in certain areas of the brain which control the ability to focus attention and stay alert. Elevated PEA levels occur naturally when we are captivated by a movie or good book, or are wholly focused on a project or task – when we lose track of time and are not consciously unaware of what is happening around us.
PEA is found in higher levels in the brains of happy people. Cocoa or dark chocolate has been found to contain up to 2.2 percent PEA (phenylethylamine).
Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical) in Cocoa
Anandamide (or n-arachidonoylethanolamine) is a neurotransmitter which has been isolated in cocoa in quantities which are significant enough to affect the brain. Anandamide is a cannabinoid naturally found in the human brain. Anandamide is a lipid (a fat) known as “the bliss chemical” because it is released when we are feeling good. (Anandamide is the English spelling; anandamine is the French spelling.)
It is true that anandamide has a similar effect to the compound THC in cannabis (marijuana), but it acts in a different way; acts only on certain groups of brain cells and not the whole brain; and thus creates blissful feelings with much less intensity.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO Inhibitors) in Cocoa/Cacao
These rare MAO inhibitors actually produce favorable results when consumed, by allowing more serotonin and other neurotransmitters such as anandamide, dopamine and others to circulate in the brain. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MAO inhibitors facilitate anti-aging and rejuvenation.
MAO inhibitors make one feel younger when they allow more neurotransmitters to remain in the bloodstream. A primary phenomenon that differentiates children from adults is the level of neurotransmitters in the blood and bodies of children. In general, as one lives longer and longer the level of neurotransmitters decreases. This leads to less creativity, less joy, more physical rigidity – and more rapid aging!
Cocoa, with its supply of MAO inhibitors, helps keep plenty of neurotransmitters in circulation, and thus helps prevent this unhappy phenomenon from occurring. “Think young – you’ll have more fun!”
Now that you have learned how cocoa contains PEA, Anandamide, and MAO Inhibitors, and learned about the happy effects these chemicals can produce, can you see how real chocolate might deserve to be called “the happiest food”?
Chocolate as an Aphrodisiac
The peoples of Central American in the pre-Columbian era often spoke in metaphors composed of words or phrases which had a hidden meaning when uttered in sequence. This is common in many languages, including English. One of these ancient metaphors was yollotl, eztli, meaning “heart, blood,” – a phrase which referred to cocoa. Chocolate is the heart’s “blood” due to its magnesium, antioxidants, love chemicals and esoteric properties. Chocolate truly is “food for the heart”.
Chocolate is a symbol of sensuality, pleasure, and sexuality. Some writers have claimed that 50 per cent of women actually prefer chocolate to sex! That percentage might even rise if the women were offerred real chocolate in the form of organic cocoa!
Chocolate is a favorite gift from a lover to the beloved one. Chocolates are always given as love offerings. A box of chocolates is one of the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day.
Cocoa, because it is natural and unadulterated, has an even stronger love energy than manufactured chocolate candy. In ancient Aztec wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom would exchange five cacao beans with each other.
Durian is an exotic, expensive, and seasonal fruit that has rich content of phytonutrients, antioxidant, protein, vitamins and minerals. Durian can give more spirit and energy to your days because it has high calories and carbohydrate (both are good source of energy). Main ingredients that contribute a lot to the benefits are Organosulfur Compounds and Tryptophan, but there other healthy components like dietary fiber and protein. Yet, durian does not have cholesterol. Many folk medications use durian’s leaves and roots to treat fever.
The Organosulfur has benefits as followed.
- To inhibit the formation of blood clots, thus prevent from heart attack and stroke.
- To control the inflammatory enzymes, thus also prevent from cardiovascular disease.
- To act as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial.
- To help you get good complexion, healthy hair, glowing skin, better brain function.
- To treat muscles soreness, enhance balance blood sugar, reduce stiffness and pain, and improve joint flexibility.
The tryptophan or L-Tryptophan has benefits as followed.
- To treat anxiety, bulimia, depression, insomnia, migraine, nightmares, compulsive disorder, and stress.
- To help you get better sleep, especially if you take some calcium with it.
- To help the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome, suicidal related depression, and pain release.
Some people can not stand the smell of durian, while the rest love it so much. It tastes like heaven for those who love, even just by smelling the odor will make people curious. Countries in Asia are main producers of durians. They are Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Philippine, and some others. There are hundreds variants of durians, but only some are heavily planted and sold. If you buy durians, you would want to choose ones that are big, fresh, fully ripen, and have solid stems. It is usually fully ripen in 2 to 4 days after falling from the tree, the best time to enjoy the flesh.
- Raises serotonin levels…Creates an over-all sense of well being and aids in depression.
- It has a high amount of protein and amino acids (22 out of 24)…Good for muscle building and organ function.
- High in antioxidants…For anti-aging benefits including enhancing the appearance of your skin.
- It has the most complete nutritional profile of any fruit…Certain groups of people in Asia live on it, and nothing else, for up to 2 months at a time.
- It is power packed with nutrients, including essential fatty acids and organo-sulfur compounds…For increased energy, endurance, mental clarity, and cellular health.
- It enhances libido…It helps revitalize the desire for sexual intimacy
- Rich history of traditional uses…Anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, Thermogenic, calms fever, aids healing of swelling and skin diseases.
Drinking Durian For Beauty
According to David Wolf’s “Eating for Beauty”
“Durian contains high levels of tryptophan. This is an amino acid and a tryptamine (similar to serotonin, melatonin, and DMT). Researchers have discovered that tryptophan helps both anxious, depressed, repressed people, as well as insomniacs. Tryptophan works by raising serotonin levels in the brain. When serotonin levels increase, a euphoric feeling is felt as a free passage is cleared for nerve impulses to travel.
Durian is such a strong blood cleaner that eating a few durian a day can change the odor of urine (urine is filtered out of blood).
What gives durian its strongest beautifying characteristics is its high concentration of raw oleic fats (and vitamin E), sulphur compounds, and soft proteins. Durian actually contains one of the highest concentrations of protein of any fruit, making it an excellent muscle builder.” Organic sulfur
compounds among other properties in durian are very cleansing for the body.
Durian provides “more concentrated healthful energy in food form than any other product the world affords” – to keep the body vigorous and tireless; the mind alert with faculties undimmed; the spirit youthful.
Nutritive Value per 100 g
- Vitamin A: 20-30 I.U.
- Ascorbic Acid: 23.9-25.0 mg
- Vitamin E: “high”
- Calcium: 7.6-9.0 mg
- Phosphorus: 37.8-44.0 mg
- Potassium: 436 mg
- Thiamine: 0.24-0.352 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.20 mg
- Niacin0.6: 83-0.70 mg
- Iron: 0.73-1.0 mg
- Sugars(approx.) 12.0 g
- Protein: 2.5-2.8 g
- Fat: 5.33g
- Fiber: 3.8 g
- Total Carbohydrates: 30.4-34.1 g
- Calories: 144