Who Loves Chocolate More – You or the Beneficial Bacteria Living in Your Gut?

You may have always loved chocolate for its decadent, creamy flavor and celebrated the news that chocolate may be good for you. You may not know, thought, that the bacteria living in your gut also enjoy chocolate and actually help you reap all the health benefits some of the chemicals in chocolate have to offer. Cocoa beans contain about 380 chemicals, ten of which are those psychoactive compounds that make you feel so good when you eat chocolate. Cocoa beans also contain polyphenols, which are healthy micronutrients in certain plant-based foods. Cocoa beans are chock full of polyphenols – and…. [Read More…]

Probiotic Pumpkin Smoothie

When October hits, everything from your coffee to the air freshener products seems to feature that fabulous orange pumpkin, usually with a little spice. If you’re a fan of this seasonal pumpkin phenomenon then take it a step further with some DIY magic. Few food choices do so much for the body as the basic smoothie. In one drink, you can meet the daily allowance for many vitamins and minerals. The problem is not all smoothies are created equally. There are just as many unhealthy recipes out there for pumpkin smoothies as there are healthy ones. A recipe that calls…. [Read More…]

New Research Connects Gut Microbiota & Gluten Sensitivities

Celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities can mean a lifetime of avoiding wheat and gluten. Exposure to even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger a damaging and sometimes painful gastrointestinal reaction in people who are sensitive to the stuff. Avoiding gluten altogether can be very difficult, and the quest to avoid it can disrupt the lives of those suffering from the sensitivity. The inevitable dietary changes that come can also disrupt the lives of family members.  About Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms of gluten sensitivities include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating and fatigue after eating wheat. Researchers are still working to understand…. [Read More…]

Do Americans Really Pack on the Pounds During the Winter? And What You Can Do About It

With fall comes Halloween candy and Thanksgiving Day desserts, and then soon after it’s the season of holiday cookies and New Years Eve smorgasbords – does all this add up to extra pounds during the winter months? While it is true most people do see the number on the scale rise thanks to binge eating during the holidays, it’s not the five or 10 pounds you might think. What is the real story behind winter weight gain and what can you do about it? What You Need to Know About Obesity Americans are overweight and it’s not all about winter…. [Read More…]