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Dark Chocolate is Healthy!!!!!

Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health posted a notable paper which gives the go-ahead to dark chocolate eating. (My best day ever!) Why? Extensive research by credible sources with interesting, positive results.

They report that cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols that may help to protect the heart. Flavanols have been shown to support the production of nitric oxide in the inner cell lining of blood vessels that helps to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure. Flavanols in chocolate can increase insulin sensitivity in short term studies; in the long run this could reduce risk of diabetes.

Here’s a great case study: an Indian tribe in Panama, the Kuna, have a high intake of cocoa powder (typically, 5 cups daily). High blood pressure was extremely uncommon in this group, young and old. By the way, their salt intake is greater than most Western populations. But, take the Kuna out of their natural environment and move them to an urban area in which their diets changed, and their rates of high blood pressure increased. And take note of this: the urinary levels of flavanols in the tribe members in the natural environment of the Kuna were significantly higher and their rates of death from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes significantly lower than their counterparts living in urban centers.

Other observational studies suggest a link between high cocoa or chocolate intake of 6 grams daily (1-2 small squares) and a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality, possibly in part by reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

You need to know: dark chocolate is high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce) and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. However, chocolate, like nuts can induce satiety, so the longer term implications for weight control are not clear. It also contains a moderate amount of saturated fat, which can negatively affect blood lipid levels, though its heart-protective effects from flavanols appear to outweigh the risk. It is also rich in iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus.

The report finishes with this green-light statement: Choosing dark chocolate and eating modest quantities may offer the greatest health benefits. YIPEE!!

Tips:

  • Buy quality dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70% or greater.
  • Eat the equivalent of a mini-candy bar daily (1-2 small squares) daily
  • Shy away from white or milk chocolate – unfortunately, they’re not much more than empty calories

I am hopeful that a Gummy-Bear study will be released soon. I’ll keep you posted!

14 Dec 2018

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The holidays can be a wonderful and joyous time of the year for many people. Amid decorating, shopping, and visiting friends and family, it can be easy to forget that individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia may have a difficult time coping with the season. We’ve put together some tips that may take some of stress out of the holidays for you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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19 Jun 2018

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It is a known fact that as summer approaches in Houston, the temperatures climb to steamy highs. That’s why it’s especially important during these hot months to check in on senior neighbors and loved ones. Now is the time for Encore Caregivers to share the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control’s) vital tips on how to keep older adults safe in hot weather.

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16 Apr 2018

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In experiments conducted using mice, Jorge Palop, PhD, and his team have found a way to reengineer certain neurons connected to epileptic activity, which is commonly observed in Alzheimer’s patients. This groundbreaking research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer’s Association and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

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29 Jun 2017

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Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health posted a notable paper which gives the go-ahead to dark chocolate eating. (My best day ever!) Why? Extensive research by credible sources with interesting, positive results.

They report that cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols that may help to protect the heart. Flavanols have been shown to support

Continue reading

25 May 2017

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We have a culture of attraction and accomplishment at Encore Caregivers – and that is why we hire and keep outstanding caregivers.
Following are some of the reasons why our caregivers are so loyal – they are sure that we care for them:

Large, established in-home care agency with a solid reputation

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30 Jan 2017

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You may have seen the recent news video of the private caregiver being physically and verbally abusive to her elderly client. It was shocking and reprehensible.

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22 Nov 2016

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It is time to be thankful — and as Encore Caregivers is preparing to celebrate our millionth hour of service to seniors, we want the world to know that we have a true attitude of gratitude. We are thankful … for our client, for the abilities of our caregivers to meet clients’ needs, for hearts for service •for professional drive and dedication, for patience, acceptance and peace, for the tender mercies we see every day,

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10 Oct 2016

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Are you worried that it’s Alzheimer’s? Only a qualified doctor can conclude (and not with 100% certainty) that a living person has Alzheimer’s Disease, but the following are 8 tell-tale signs. If you see these symptoms in your loved one, consult your family doctor. 1. Memory lapses 2. Confusion over words 3. Marked changes in mood or personality 4. Trouble with abstract thinking 5. Difficulty

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10 Oct 2016

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Influenza continues to spread illness across the country and flu-related hospitalization and death indicators have increased sharply in recent weeks with the heaviest toll on people 65 and older. The Center for Disease Control is urging seniors to seek treatment for flu-like symptoms promptly. Encore Caregivers is on the job, acting as the eyes and ears of the family, reporting any signs of flu-like symptoms

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20 Aug 2016

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When a client is cared for by Encore Caregivers, they can expect high quality companionship, homemaking and personal care. They get that and more as we strive to meet and exceed client expectations. What is sometimes an unexpected bonus, and a completely complimentary service, is Encore Caregivers’ ability to provide the client with all tools necessary to navigate the often confusing world of long term care

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