Chocolate is a Powerful Health Food —
But Heed This Warning
February 12th, 2012 by Holly Cornish
A bit of good news if you receive a gift of chocolate this Valentine’s Day: For once, something that tastes good is good for you. Chocolate “teems with antioxidants that prevent cancer,” according to a Cornell University study published in 2003.
And the results of an animal study — just published in December, 2011 — show that eating cocoa, the raw material in chocolate, can help prevent cancerous lesions in the colon.
Does this give us a license to load up on candy bars, brownies, hot chocolate and (my favorite) Black Forest cake? Let’s find out. . .
Continued below. . .
Ten-year breast cancer survivor was told:
“You’ll be dead in a year” (Pssst!! That was 10 years ago!)
Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.
One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)
When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.
She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.
Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for ten years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”
You can find out about Bill’s proven cancer treatment plan in a free video presentation — click here to watch it now.
When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”
He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.
“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”
The Cornell study was entitled “Cocoa has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine.” That’s a quite a discovery!1
“If I had made a prediction before conducting the tests, I would have picked green tea as having the most antioxidant activity,” said one of the researchers, Chang Y. Lee. “When we compared one serving of each beverage, the cocoa turned out to be the highest in antioxidant activity, and that was surprising to me.”
He added that as recently as 1993, food scientists did not know that phenolics had an important role in human health. Phenolics or polyphenols are substances found in many plants that are good for your health. They tend to be associated with aromas and flavors — and rich in antioxidant power. The tannins in red wine, for example, are phenolics.
The Cornell comparison of cocoa to green tea and red wine produced startling results. Cocoa turned out to be about twice as rich in beneficial substances as red wine and three times as rich as green tea.
Professor Joe Vinton of the University of Scranton says the darker the chocolate is, the better it is for you. Ounce for ounce, milk chocolate has twice as many antioxidants as blueberries, but dark chocolate has five times as many. But the antioxidant power of cocoa powder is even higher — twice that of dark chocolate.
Eat it off the tree, or as close to that as you can get
The industrial processes that turn cocoa into chocolate reduce its antioxidant properties. The less processed the chocolate, the better it is for your health.
Cocoa is harvested from a plant called “cacao,” derived from an Aztec word. This is an evergreen tropical American tree that bears a leathery fruit on the trunk and older branches.
Cocoa powder — the pure stuff — is made from cacao seeds that have been fermented, roasted, shelled, ground, and freed of most of their fat. Most of the polyphenols do survive being heated.
Besides antioxidants, cocoa contains a wealth of other substances that can do you good, including 400 different compounds that promote a better mood and relieve anxiety. Most chocolate fans don’t need to be told the stuff gives you a lift. And now the scientific proof is in. Who needs Paxil and Prozac?
Chocolate and cancer prevention
A new study from Spain’s Institute of Food Science and Technology (ICTAN) supports the idea that eating cocoa powder can help prevent cancer — or at least colon cancer.2
In the study, rats were fed a diet consisting of 12 percent cocoa while a control group was not fed cocoa. The animals were then given a chemical known to cause cancer lesions in the colon wall. The rats fed a cocoa-rich diet developed fewer lesions than the control group.
The researchers also found an improvement in the antioxidant defenses of the cocoa-fed animals and a decrease in indications of oxidative damage (damage caused by free radicals).
The researchers believe that cocoa helps protect from cancer by interrupting cell-signaling pathways involved in cancer cell proliferation, and also by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). Apparently the cancer-fighting substances in cocoa are not absorbed well in the small intestine. That’s enables them to find their way into the large intestine — the colon — with their antioxidant powers intact.
Chocolate yes, sugar no
Although there’s strong support for the antioxidant value of unprocessed cocoa powder, most of the health benefits are negated by making it into chocolate — mixing it with gobs of sugar and saturated fat. It’s a wash, at best.
There are some chocolate companies that sell dark chocolate candy that supposedly contains a full, rich dose of antioxidants. Check the labels for sugar content.
When I was a child, my older sister and I had hot chocolate every morning for breakfast. (Those were the days). My sister made hers with unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder, while I made mine with sugar-loaded Nestle’s Quik. My sister had the right idea, although she added her own sugar and probably ended up with a drink as sweet as mine.
If you can restrain your shaking, addicted hand from reaching for the sugar jar, a drink made from unsweetened cocoa powder can give you a wealth of health benefits. In fact, it’s fair to call it a “super food.”
If you’ve eaten mole poblano — chicken with chocolate sauce — at a Mexican restaurant, you’ve encountered unsweetened chocolate — and, yes, it does taste good.
Meanwhile, there’s a food that’s definitely bad for a great many of us. If you missed the article in the last issue about this lethal substance, scroll down and catch it now.
Sick and don’t know why?
This could be the reason
Does the term “healthy” come to mind when you see the words wheat, barley and rye? When eaten as whole grains, they do provide health benefits for most folks who eat them. But not for everyone. In fact, ditching these products may be one of the best steps you can take for good health. Keep reading to find out why. . .
Continued below. . .
You’re being conned!
Your doctor told you to kiss bread goodbye…but your cramping and gas didn’t stop. The truth? There are so many OTHER foods containing lectins that could be upsetting your digestive health! An amazing blend of nutrients can promote your gut’s health and allow you to splurge on the foods you love on occasion. Click here to learn more.
Whole grain wheat, barley and rye can be good sources of complex carbohydrates, as well as some key vitamins and minerals. And according to the Mayo Clinic1 — they may even help lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Now that’s the good news for the majority of folks who eat them. Unfortunately, some people have difficulty digesting the protein called gluten found in these grains.
But the damage goes far beyond digestive upset. Gluten intolerance is associated with a wide range of “mystery” medical problems that have stumped the victims — and their doctors.
The sad truth for many people with gluten intolerance is that they run a greater risk of developing intestinal cancer!
Gluten, gluten everywhere…
You might have never thought about it, but many of your favorite foods could be made from grains that contain gluten. I’m talking about tasty items such as warm, delicious breads and cookies… mouth-watering pizza… and even a tall, frosty mug of beer!
If you find yourself belching often and being troubled by frequent bouts of stomach-rumbling gas—your gut could be sending you a warning.
Your digestive troubles could be a sign that you suffer from gluten intolerance. The worst form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune condition that affects nearly 3 million American children and adults. It’s a very serious illness. What’s more, experts think it could affect far more than 3 million.
The Celiac Disease Foundation2 said people with celiac disease have a permanent intolerance to foods containing gluten. This protein does two harmful things:
- It prevents your body from properly absorbing nutrients, and
- It causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine.
A 72% higher risk of dying
Left untreated, the complications from celiac disease can be fatal. A study of more than 30,000 patients reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association featured data gathered from 1969 until 2008. Patients either had: 1) celiac disease, 2) intestinal inflammation but not full-blown celiac disease or 3) gluten sensitivity.
Researchers found that subjects with full-blown celiac disease had a 39% higher risk of dying. The risk was a whopping 72% for those with intestinal inflammation, and 35% for those with gluten sensitivity!
Research now shows many other chronic health conditions are triggered by gluten sensitivity and intolerance. And most of the time, doctors don’t know that gluten sensitivity is the culprit.
Here’s why gluten keeps some doctors
scratching their heads…
Dr. Thomas O’Bryan is a board-certified clinical nutritionist who’s studied many of the underlying causes of metabolic disorders and chronic disease. In the DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Wheat and Gluten Sensitivity, Dr. O’Bryan quoted a 1996 report from the American Celiac Society that showed the majority of celiac patients visited five or more doctors before their condition was diagnosed properly!
In short, the vast majority of people with wheat sensitivity and/or celiac are undiagnosed. They’re sick and don’t know why — and neither does their doctor.
Why all the mystery? One reason is there are no signs or symptoms typical for all people with celiac disease. Some people experience abdominal pain, bloating and intermittent diarrhea—and others may have no symptoms at all.
What’s more, celiac disease can mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as anemia, Chron’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and gastric ulcers.
It doesn’t stop with the GI tract. Dr. O’Bryan said gluten intolerance may cause inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger a variety of health problems including:
- Autoimmune disorders (lupus, thyroid disease, etc.)
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Depression and anxiety attacks
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- And a host of other illnesses!
Worse still, research shows a person with undiagnosed celiac disease has an increased chance of developing cancer or lymphomas of the small intestine.
The odds have soared that you or someone you know may need to remove gluten from their diet. In fact, Dr. Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, called celiac disease a “public health issue.”3
One study compared blood tests of 10,000 people from fifty years ago with tests on 10,000 people today. Researchers found a 400 percent increase in full-blown celiac disease!
So what can you do to protect yourself from the health problems associated with celiac disease?
You MUST take this important step
The first way to address gluten intolerance is to avoid all foods that contain gluten. And remember, this involves more than just avoiding grains.
One of our valued sponsors, True Health, offers a supplement that reduces the symptoms of gluten intolerance. I guess you can even have bread or a piece of cake once in a while if you take these supplements, and you won’t feel distress. It sounds like it’s worth looking into — click here if you want to know more.
But let me stress that this is just a BandAid solution. If you’re gluten-intolerant, you need to give up all foods that contain gluten. Period. And if you’ve got celiac disease — not just run-of-the-mill gluten intolerance — you can NEVER have anything with gluten in it, supplement or no supplement. Celiac disease is dangerous.
Read this BEFORE you lick another
envelope or stamp!
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said gluten is also hiding in products such as lip balms, medicines, and even in the glue on some envelopes and postage stamps!
Don’t toss all your stationery just yet. Most envelopes made in the U.S. use glue made from corn-based products. And U.S. postage stamps use sticky adhesives that don’t require a lick.
But be on the watch for the sneaky buzz words that really could be wrecking your gluten-free diet such as:
If you’re wondering whether you have gluten intolerance, your doctor can run tests to diagnose your condition. Once you know whether you have problems with gluten—you can develop an action plan for healthier eating.
So does following a gluten-free diet mean all your food will be boring and taste like cardboard? Hardly! I’m on a no-wheat diet and I’ve found delicious breads and crackers that are made without wheat (my personal favorite is a millet-flax bread).
Many grains and starches such as buckwheat, corn, flax, millet, rice and tapioca can still be part of a gluten-free eating plan. And so can beans, eggs, nuts, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.
What’s more, many specialty food stores offer tasty products that are clearly labeled as gluten-free. This can take some of the hassle out of your trips to the grocery store!
Sueson Vess, consultant, food coach and author of gluten-free cookbooks, offers several suggestions on how to cook delicious meals that won’t tie your stomach in knots—or put your life at risk! You might consider checking out her website at www.specialeats.com.
People with celiac disease who make the effort to eat a gluten-free diet often reduce their symptoms and experience fewer complications from the disease. Surely the sacrifices you might make will pale in comparison to the years of healthy living you may gain!