Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is one of the fastest growing health problems across the world. It is a silent killer, helping to cause or exacerbate a wide array of medical problems such as heart disease, strokes, and kidney failure. For this reason the medical community has dedicated a lot of effort towards battling high blood pressure, introducing more and more treatments and medications with each passing year. However, several scientific studies both past and present have revealed that there may be a far more pleasant and inexpensive way to help treat your high blood pressure. It is a common food product that has had its herbal and medicinal properties long forgotten: cacao.
Cacao is the main component of chocolate, and has been used by Mesoamerican civilizations both as a beverage and an elixir to cure a wide array of ailments. Aztec kings used cacao as a way to increase their lifespan, and upon its introduction to Europe, it also became the preferred medicine of the Spanish nobility. The medicine men of those times could only guess how cacao was able to produce all those positive effects, but modern scientific techniques have now revealed the secrets behind its potency. Cacao contains high amounts of flavonoids, which are unique substances that lower blood cholesterol and significantly reduce the risk of blood clots forming. While other food products such as tea contain flavonoids, they do not have the same concentration of procyanids, the specific type of flavonoid that helps reduce hypertension. In fact, five seperate scientific studies recently conducted over 40 years (1966-2006) compared the flavonoid benefits of tea and cacao, and found that while the group being fed cacao experienced an average blood pressure reduction of 4.7/2.8 mm Hg, the group who were on tea experienced no significant reduction at all.
Another way that cacao helps lower blood pressure is by helping us deal with stress better. Flavonoids are also known to reduce the body’s levels of stress hormones, which helps explain why some people immediately grab some chocolate when under some kind of stress or pressure. Cacao also helps boost the activity of the beneficial microbes in our stomachs while regulating our metabolic functions. Mental and physical stresses are two of the most significant contributing components to high blood pressure, and cacao’s ability to help us adapt to them better only serves to make it more effective.
Some people might think that these benefits are an excuse to go grab as much chocolate as they can find. This is not the case, since most chocolates on the market will do more harm than good for your health. As cacao got cheaper and more common in the 20th century, it began to be mixed with milk and sugar to form the chocolate treats we are all familiar with today. While this made cacao more palatable to children, it effectively reduced its health benefits to almost nil. Milk is essentially liquefied animal fat, and simple sugar is rich in calories and a major contributor to the development of diabetes. Dark chocolate has been created to try and address this issue, but it still falls short when it comes to delivering the full health benefits of cacao. The best way to experience cacao is by consuming cacao nibs, which are dried and roasted cacao beans. These nibs contain all of cacao’s unique and therapeutic substances in a pure and undiluted form. The cacao nibs can be ground into a paste and mixed with water and other herbs and spices to be enjoyed the way ancient rulers enjoyed them, or can simply be enjoyed on their own.
Hidalgo Foods is a leader in providing only the highest quality functional foods. Our organic cacao nibs are no different, and they come in two varieties to serve the needs of chocolate lovers everywhere. Our plain organic cacao nibs are perfect for people who wish to enjoy the purest cacao experience, while our dark chocolate coated organic cacao nibs are geared more towards children and people looking for the healthiest chocolate snack alternative. By providing this type of nutrition, flexibility, and convenience, we hope to promote healthier lifestyle choices for the entire family.
- Cacao Nibs products are available retail at www.HidalgoFoods.com. Hidago Foods (USA) ships to any location within the following countries: USA, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, UK
- For manufacturers looking for Acai Berry and other functional food ingredients in bulk, please visit www.HV22.com.
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