SMARTer bodies

Tag Archives: foods

Chocolate Will Save Your Life!

Well, that may be a little bit of a reach, but more and more scientific evidence is revealing that raw cacao beans are a boon of nutrition!  We’ve posted before about the healthier chocolate bars there are to eat that still taste really yummy while providing their goodness.  But if you’re ready to get serious about getting the most you can that’s when you turn to raw cacao.  Cacao beans are the source of all chocolatey goodness, but if you consume them without processing or added sugars then you are tapping into major physical benefits (plus they still taste good).  To mention a few of the reasons to start adding these little brown wonders to your diet, they contain:

  • Magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
  • Polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties
  • Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
  • Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
  • Protein
  • Fiber

To get the full story go to this article, Raw Chocolate: The Superfood You Never Had!  If you’re not keen on just snacking on them by the handful we can attest that they go well in smoothies, yogurt, hot cereals, etc.  The best immediate benefit Melissa noticed was that sugar cravings were better managed, which is huge for her and anyone else who struggles with wanting to eat sweets on the regular.   The picture of the cacao nibs above is the one we’ve chosen to buy; they seem to accessible in almost every health food store and vitamin/supplement store.  If you prefer another brand let us know!  Also, feel free to share your experiences with this “superfood.”

Thirstea Cafe in NYC Rocks!…or Bubbles

Yesterday I (meaning Melissa, the tea-obsessed one, remember?)  had the pleasure of trying bubble tea in a wonderful little spot known as Thirstea Cafe.  This cafe is a must!  Nestled in the East Village Thirstea has a zen-like interior that is simple and clean, making it a perfect set up for the many teas they have stocked to seem like they are ready to jump off the shelves…and leap into your bags.

My man wanted to do something nice for our anniversary and found a google offer for Thirstea.  You might be thinking that this all well and good for tea collectors. But Elie (usually not a tea fan) can attest to the fact that their bubble teas are amongst the best we’ve had and he’s ready to go back.  So please, please, PLEASE do yourselves a favor and after you’ve had a yoga practice (like how I slipped that in there?) go and get refreshed.  I suggest the Jasmine Green Bubble tea,  so lightly sweetened.  Also bought some of their matcha. Not to mention the owners, Helen and Wynn, are super nice.  No reason not to go.

Check out the sweet pic they took of us and posted on their blog.

 

Why Mel is Obsessed with Green Tea

Summer is almost over, and before we know it winter will be on its way. So along with the cold weather, instead of ordering a hot chocolate—try replacing some of those hot comfort beverages with a nice mug of green tea every once in a while. There are so many benefits!

Sipping green tea has been a healthy habit of the Chinese culture for thousands of years. The amazing thing is that modern science has proven what the Chinese knew all along. It is packed with flavonoids, which are compounds that help prevent cancer!  Green tea has been shown to protect against several different types of cancer including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer according to Harvard Medical School’s Research Division. And that is just the beginning—green tea helps to lower badLDLcholesterol and increase good cholesterol and artery function, as well as reducing the risk of heart hypertension by up to 65%. And if that wasn’t enough, green tea also BOOSTS the metabolism—meaning it helps your body burn fat! It even helps you to increase the absorption of antioxidants and vitamins from your food! So the benefits are incredible, and backed by detailed research.

The best way to drink Green Tea is when it is freshly brewed—steep time will depend on the variety. Try to get organic tea, as it has the highest amount of beneficial compounds. Some say adding lemon or milk to it will enhance the benefits even more.  Drinking three cups a day is the way to get the maximum benefit from it, but start out by drinking one cup a day. This beverage is a diuretic, so expect some extra trips to the bathroom and remember to replace what you drink with pure water. Give it a try for two weeks and see how you feel! You won’t regret it!  Subscribe to Smarter Body’s newsletter to get more healthy living tips!

 

Here are a few links to some of my favorite tea varieties from a few of my favorite places: