Image from: http://healthmeup.com/
It would be a dream come true for anyone in the western world to eat what they want and look good doing it. We are constantly reminded of this dream of a diet-free life that guarantees our good looks on a regular basis by internet advertisements, infomercials, and magazines. Some recent discoveries, however, have ensured that the chocolate lovers of our world can live the dream.
Eat chocolate and you’ll lose weight! Incredible, right? Dark chocolate, despite being seen more as an indulgence than a weight-loss strategy, is full of many natural benefits. Primarily, it is full of antioxidants, which boost cellular metabolism, thus burning more energy while at rest. A 2012 study done at the University of California highlights this effect in the following CNN report.
In addition to its metabolic benefits, dark chocolate also helps the body manage sugar spikes by significantly reducing insulin sensitivity. Increases in insulin sensitivity means that the hormone insulin no longer functions as well as it should. As a result, muscle and fat cells will be less effective at using sugar, resulting in weight gain, and eventually Type 2 diabetes. A 2005 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition goes into greater depth with regards to chocolate’s effects on insulin resistance.
Image from: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/
So next time you feel the urge to have a sweet snack or a bit of dessert after a meal, don’t feel the need to resist. You may be doing yourself worlds of good by satisfying your chocolate crave! Despite its benefits however, the benefits only exist in moderation. Chocolate is not a miracle weight-loss drug, but its addition into a healthy diet and a bit of exercise can greatly improve your chances of fitting into those new skinny jeans for the summer!
By: Kia Sanjabi
- Fetters, A. (2014). Can eating chocolate help you lose weight? Retrieved 03/17, 2014, from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/chocolate-weight-loss#.
- Grassi, D., Lippi, C., Necozione, S., Desideri, G., & Ferri, C. (2005). Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(3), 611-614.
Image from Aktron on Wikimedia Commons
If you are allergic to peanuts, you must know how annoying and potentially deadly an allergic reaction is. It is the most common and severe food allergy, as it affects one in fifty children. It causes problem with breathing and can even induce anaphylactic shock upon ingestion in severe cases. Peanut allergies can even go as far as making an impact on one’s social life as well when all action has to be taken to avoid making contact with peanuts at all cost. Needles to say, a peanut allergy is a big inconvenient. However, it seems as though scientists might have found a cure!
In an attempt to find a cure for the peanut allergy in children, scientists conducted a study where small increments of peanuts were exposed to children’s diet. They first started with peanut proteins equivalent to 1/70 of a peanut, then slowly increased the amount. After a few months, 88% of the participants built the tolerance to eat 5 peanuts a day, and 58% were able to eat as much as 10 peanuts. The experiment was carried out in two six-month periods; in the first six months, the children were given a placebo. Actual peanuts were prescribed in the second six months. No peanut tolerance was observed when the children were given the placebo, so the results in the end were definitely not due to the placebo effect. This study was recently published and the scientists hope that one day this will become a treatment for peanut allergies.
This is a video the details the overall experiment:
The peanut treatments were conducted in a controlled environment in case of the occurrence of an allergic reaction. This should not be tried at home. This study is still in it’s early stages and can not be considered a cure just yet. However, the results are significant and are a beacon of light for those who have severe allergies. If a cure for peanut allergy is possible, then perhaps a remedy for other allergies might someday be a reality as well. Hopefully, in the near future, allergies will no longer exist as a limit to people’s everyday activities.
By: Kimberley Xiao