he word "cocoa" is derivative of "cacao” and is derived from the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids. Prolonged intake of flavanol-rich cocoa has been linked to cardiovascular health benefits, though it should be noted that this refers to raw cocoa. Hollenberg and colleagues of Harvard Medical School studied the effects of cocoa and flavanols on Panama's Kuna Indian population, who are heavy consumers of cocoa. The researchers found that the Kuna Indians living on the islands had significantly lower rates of heart disease and cancer compared to those on the mainland who do not drink cocoa. It is believed that the improved blood flow after consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa may help to achieve health benefits in hearts and other organs. In particular, the benefits may extend to the brain and have important implications for learning and memory. Foods rich in cocoa also appear to reduce blood pressure. A 15-year study of elderly men published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 found a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality and a 47 percent reduction in all- cause mortality for the men regularly consuming the most cocoa, compared to those consuming the least cocoa from all sources.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of health conditions. Turmeric is able to cross the blood brain barrier, and work as an antioxidant molecule in helping reduce normally occurring oxidative stress. Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant and works by scavenging free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of cellular damage. It also protects liver cells, and promotes a healthy balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol and is used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans Vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because when sun exposure is adequate, the body can synthesize it (as Vitamin D3). Studies show a reduction in certain cardiovascular risks associated with higher Vitamin D levels. Additionally, higher levels of vitamin D in the blood appear to be associated with a reduced risk of incident diabetes among people with high risk for the disease.
Omega- 3 Fish Oil
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body and provide cardiovascular support. According to recent studies Omega-3 fish oil supplementation has been associated with a decreased risk of insulin resistance and reduced inflammation.
Magnesium plays an important role in the secretion and function of insulin. Measurable magnesium deficiency is common in diabetes and in many of its complications, including heart disease, eye damage, high blood pressure and obesity. There is a connection between stress, obesity and diabetes that cannot be overlooked. The stress chemical cortisol signals a metabolic shutdown that makes losing weight almost impossible. Magnesium can neutralize the effect of stress, which is one reason it is known as the anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose. Recent studies show magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance and C-reactive protein levels.
L – Arginine is a chemical building block called an “amino acid” and is found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. L- arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to relax and enlarge for improved blood flow, prevents blood clots that cause strokes and heart attacks, regulates blood pressure, reduces stress on the heart, improves circulation and reduces accumulation of plaque in blood vessels.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant and is used for nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. Alpha-lipoic acid is also used to treat eye- related disorders, such as damage to the retina, glaucoma. Alpha-lipoic acid seems to help prevent certain kind of damage in the body, and restores vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C. There is also evidence that Alpha-lipoic acid can improve the function and conduction of neurons in diabetes.
Cinnamon is a well-known spice with an extensive history of use as a pungent and sweet flavouring agent. Cinnamon is actually the dried inner bark of various forms of evergreen trees. Research on this common spice has shown that cinnamon may help people with type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes improve their ability to regulate their blood sugar. One study published in 2009 found that cinnamon taken twice a day for 90 days improved hemoglobin A1C levels — a reflection of average blood sugar level for the past two to three months — in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (hemoglobin A1C levels greater than 7 percent). In addition to the positive effects on blood sugar levels, those taking cinnamon also showed significantly lowered levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
Chromium is an essential mineral which plays a role in how insulin helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and is found in such foods as brewer’s yeast, liver and Brazil nuts. Approximately 90% of American diets are low in chromium. Studies have shown a reduction in HbA1c and blood sugar levels as compared to a placebo when taking chromium supplements.
Studies have shown that creatine, when supplemented with proper diet, exercise and hydration, can increase lean muscle mass and strength. It has also shown to aid in recovery after workouts. Creatine is an amino acid/nitrogenous molecule and does not contain sugar.