2 Secrets to the Fountain of Youth: Eat Chocolate and Take A Daily Nap
Posted on March 07 2017
Recently, Eunice Modlin of Boonville, Indiana made news when she celebrated her 101st birthday—that’s pretty impressive, right? But you will be surprised to hear what she advises for achieving longevity—a nap and a couple of pieces of chocolate per day. Yes, you read that right! While she also followed a healthy lifestyle and stayed away from cigarettes and alcohol, these two little pieces of advice have us all ears!
Let’s take a look at how Eunice’s tips can help people stay healthier, happier, and younger-looking.
Bring on the Chocolate!
With all its deliciousness, poor chocolate had to suffer bad press for quite some time as it was considered a food that leads to weight gain. But recent research has thrown up some amazing health benefits of chocolate (we can never thank those scientists enough!). Here are some reasons to stock up and enjoy a piece of chocolate daily without the guilt.
A British Medical Journal study found that participants who ate chocolate regularly had lower mortality rates than those who didn’t. In fact, cocoa beans have more antioxidant properties than green tea, say experts. In another study by Harvard researchers, it was found that eating chocolate can add two years to a person’s life expectancy.
Eating dark chocolate regularly may actually help delay or completely prevent the onset of diabetes. Cocoa has been found to enhance sensitivity to insulin in the body. Your body uses insulin to process sugar and regulate your energy.
Eating chocolate regularly can help you maintain healthy skin. Although chocolate has often been blamed for the onset of pimples and other skin problems, recent studies suggest that it can actually have an anti-aging effect. This is because dark chocolate contains cocoa beans as a key ingredient. Cocoa beans contain phytochemicals that keep your skin protected against aging and certain diseases. The flavonoids are also believed to prevent and “significantly reduce” wrinkles by fighting the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.
In another bit of good news, researchers have found that eating dark chocolate in moderate quantities can aid those looking to shed a few pounds. Since chocolate makes you feel fuller with less quantities, you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks like sugary, fatty, and salty food. Remember that milk chocolate will not have the same effect, so stick to the darker versions and varieties.
Relax and rejuvenate
Ever wonder why you tend to reach for chocolate when you are stressed and nothing seems to be working for you? The biological reason behind this is the presence of a compound called anandamide, which can have a relaxing effect. In recent studies, people with anxiety were found to have reduced stress levels after eating dark chocolate.
A recent Swedish study with more than 31,000 women participants found that eating chocolate can reduce the risk of heart failure. This sweet treat can decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in your body, also known as “bad fats.” This has several cardiovascular health benefits and can also lower blood pressure levels. The antioxidant compounds found in chocolate improve the flexibility of the arteries and veins, thereby keeping your heart functioning well.
Consuming chocolate makes you happier
JK Rowling got it right, chocolate is the perfect antidote to Dementors (an embodiment of depression in the Harry Potter books). Research has found that phenethylamine, an ingredient present in chocolate, triggers your brain to release endorphins, which has the power to make you feel better. Moreover, this yummy delight can also keep your brain healthy by improving blood flow, which helps prevent memory decline and other mental diseases that often make an appearance with advancing age.
With so many studies about it, it has been proved that dark chocolate is loaded with minerals that can work wonders for your health. However, avoid the sugary, milky, and versions filled with filler as those will only load up the calories. Go for quality, organic dark chocolate that has cocoa content of at least 70 percent. Also, keep a watch on the quantity—a piece or two after dinner is the ideal amount for everyday consumption.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleeping Beauty never had to deal with dark circles, right? While we are not suggesting that you hibernate for months, studies have indicated that a short snooze can make a big difference and keep your skin young. Here’s why napping once a day can actually be good for you.
It can rejuvenate your skin
All of us have tried at least a few different beauty products that promise clear, beautiful skin. But there may be a simpler, natural way to achieve that—napping. A nap once in a day can work wonders as your skin renews itself by growing new cells to replace older ones even as you sleep. This repair and rebalancing mode is not only for your skin, but for the entire body.
A regular nap can improve your memory
Your working memory constantly tackles complex tasks that you face everyday. It requires that you concentrate on a particular thing even as you keep several others in mind. We all know the struggle and frustration caused by this, but the good news is that a power nap can be a lot of help. When you sleep, your retention power is improved as the more recent memories get transferred to the part of your brain where long-term memories are stored. In short, napping has the ability to improve your thought processes and learning agility.
Naps make you more alert
We all know the feeling of our energy dipping by afternoon, when there is still a long way to go for a hectic day to end. As you feel sleepy, you tend to lose focus and slow down—something that can cause trouble at the workplace or even at home. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a nap of 20-30 minutes at such times to restore alertness without having to deal with a groggy feeling.
Naps make you healthier
As women today juggle multiple roles, they often miss out on the required amount of sleep. You may tend to brush this under the carpet, but this sleep deprivation can have several negative effects on your health as it leads to excessive amounts of the cortisol hormone in your body. This not only wreaks havoc on your learning and memory, but can also weaken your immune system and glucose intolerance, which causes weight gain. A regular nap can solve such issues as your body gets the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.
Take a nap to increase productivity
You can make as many schedules as you wish for better time management, but this unfortunately does not do much for your productivity. Instead, just napping for 30 minutes a day can help boost your productivity levels by improving your energy, as demonstrated by a Harvard University study.
Napping prevents a burnout
In this age of cut-throat competition and social media buzz, the constant race builds frustration and high levels of stress, ultimately resulting in a burnout in even young people. To prevent this from happening to you, get into the habit of taking a short snooze daily—it works similar to a system reboot of your gadgets.
The benefits of napping daily are many, both for your health and your curves. However, it is important to do it correctly. According to experts, 10-20 minutes is the idea nap time to recharge you both mentally and physically, and this will also not interfere with your night-time sleep.
With Eunice’s secrets of eating chocolate and taking a regular daily nap beauty and long life seem well within reach. Indeed, the fountain of youth is not tucked away in a mythical forest; in fact, the secrets to youth involve snaking on a box of dark chocolates and enjoying a quick rest midday. Here’s to long life, wishing Eunice a wonderful 101st year, and lots of chocolate.
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