By Natural Advocate | September 30, 2006 - 7:21 am - Posted in Foods

This is some possibly great news for my fellow chocoholics. I found an interesting article the other day about the possible medicinal and blood pressure lowering properties found in compounds in chocolate. Before you rejoice, here’s the scoop on how chocolate can really benefit your health:

1.) They say chocolate is actually good for a pregnant woman to consume in moderation. It actually transfers to the fetus as a sort of “euporia inducing” pleasure sensation for the baby. Don’t know for sure if it’s bunk or not, but many seem to believe it’s true.

2.) Chocolate as a natural aphrodisiac. I can attest this is true as a woman. Give me chocolate and I automatically think of sex, or maybe it’s the other way around…

3.) Chocolate may have some antioxidant propertie. The cocoa bean which chocolate is derived from, has been shown to have antioxidant powers when eaten.

4.) A recnet study of aging men in The Netherlands, known for its decadent chocolate, demonstrated that those who ate the equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day had lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of death.

Wow – pretty impressive. The seemingly natural antidepressant and euphoria inducing benefits of chocolate were enough for me, but add in antioxidant double duty and heart health benefits, and it’s a shoe-in for the best sweet ever created in my book. Before you go out and stock up on chocolate though, the study, while strongly persuasive has not been conclusive in its findings quite yet. If only they could knock the fat and calories out of chocolate, I’d be 100% ON BOARD!

I came across an article, which was in the same line of thought as one of my previous posts, that there are several tests and research studies going on right now, funded by federal funds, that are showing that some alternative remedies may not do what they propose to do.

Even the study’s scientists admit that these preliminary findings doesn’t mean they don’t work at all, and that if something is working for you, not to discontinue it as everyone is different and simply the psychosomatic part of believing a remedy works for you can add to its overall effectiveness in whatever you are trying to treat (mind over matter).

To me, this does not make a lick of difference in the knowledge and certainty that I have that my herbal supplements and remedies I’ve taken in the past have undoubtedly helped me….an interesting guy in the article is quoted as saying nearly the same thing about his arthritis supplement of glucosamine chondroitin, so it looks like they may have a lot more persuading to do – or perhaps more comprehensive and convincing studies!

By Natural Advocate | September 28, 2006 - 7:10 pm - Posted in Medical News, Natural and Herbal Treatments

I found this really great website and I feel compelled to share it with everyone, because I think it’s truly one of the only “altruistic” websites out there right now that offers good, solid advice and information on the influenza.

The flu affects millions of people a year, and ranges from mild to severe. The symptoms vary greatly, since there are skads of different strains of the flu to deal with.

It’s a professionally run website where this guy has all kinds of professional post information and advice on the influenza (flu) virus anonymously, much like the idea behind the immensely popular Wikipedia which is a human compiled online encyclopedia created and maintained by anonymous donors.

The feedback on this site has been postivie so far from many physicians and professionals and they say the content does have merit and in generally very reliable. So take a look.

By Natural Advocate | - 12:34 pm - Posted in Natural Pain Relief

Magnet therapy is often scoffed at, but there are many loyal followers of magnet therapy as a means to equalize the body and mind as well as stabilize pain-contributing factors in the body magnetically, which in turn helps to relieve pain naturally.

There are actually now scores of magnetic alternative pain therapy items available for purchase online at specialty magnet therapy shops. They range from magnet therapy heating pads and leg wraps to bracelets, mattress pads and magnetic shoe insoles.

While magnet therapy is still considered a niche market, it is steadily gaining in recognition. Some have tried it and said it is completely worthless, and some swear by its healing powers.

Magnet therapies biggest claims to fame is to aid in naturally curing or at least reducing back pain, and those who have suffered back injuries in the past. Some people swear by it and they actually wear magnetic bracelets which claim to help everything from headaches to nerve damage and muscle pain when worn.

It is claimed to be a safe and natural alternative to dangerous and often addictive prescription pain medications.

By Natural Advocate | September 27, 2006 - 9:02 pm - Posted in Medical News

Health insurance rates for both individuals and companies who provide group benefits to their employees has trumped inflation – in a big way! Health insurance rates have more than double the rate of inflation this year reportedly.

The 7.7% increase seems quite hefty, but really only in comparison with the inflation rate when you look at it from a cost of living standpoint, since health insurance rates traditionally increase at about this same rate, a little lower almost every year.

It seems that traditional health insurance has just become much more expensive to offer for insurance companies, and the increasing costs of physician care, emergency room expenses, and traditional medications prescribed has only upped the ante even more.

For those that are self employed, this can be truly devestating, since they are relying on only themselves to pay their health insurance premiums, while those that are considered employees get less of the real cost increase passed on to them and deducted from their paychecks.

I know personally, my health insurance cost almost doubled last year alone. Many of my friends who had higher plans (I almost never use mine, but figured in case of emergency I need the bare minimum) started to pay astronomical fees this year out of their paychecks.

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