A few years back I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. It was not a shock for me as I knew I would fall victim to my family curse. Needless to say I had to begin taking meds to keep it all under control. This is important to do as you look for other, more natural remedies, to deal with this issue. High blood pressure causes damage over a long period of time, so don’t be afraid of meds and by all means do what you have to to get it in control. However there are many things one can do to help lower blood pressure and perhaps someday come off the meds entirely.
One of those things is to have a good cup, of real, hot cocoa a day. What do I mean by real? One that is made with cocoa and not a pre-made package. The funny thing is those Swiss Miss instant cocoa’s have little to no real chocolate in them. They are basically just sugar and chemical so stay away. Real hot cocoa is made with just that, cocoa powder. My favorite being Hersehy’s! But first let’s talk abut the health benefits.
We have all heard about the power of antioxidants, but did you know that ounce for ounce cocoa has the most antioxidants of any food. It is a true powerhouse. On top of all that it is believed that the cocoa and all it’s nutritional weight stimulates production of nitric oxide in the body. This in turn relaxes the blood vessels which leads to lower blood pressure. There was a fascinating, 30 year study, of the Kuna tribe in Central America. A people that live almost entirely isolated from civilization and consume about 3-5 cups of hot cocoa a day. They have the lowest blood pressure ever seen. Even their elderly record numbers that the healthiest twenty somethings in the USA only dream of. To read more about these people and the scientist who conducted the study do a quick search for the Kuna tribe or check out this NYTimes article. Now on to the recipe.
So if you are ready to try this simple and potentially powerful tool in your health arsenal go out and get yourself some good old Hershey’s cocoa. You will find it in the baking section. From here it is easy and about personal preference. I like mine spicy so I add some powdered cayenne, cumin, cinnamon and ginger, however my step son gobbles it up with just cocoa powder, honey and water. The basics are simple:
-2 cups boiling water
-1 tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa powder
-1 tablespoon of honey
In a coffee or tea cup I add the cocoa and honey. I pour in enough boiling water to cover the ingredients and stir it all up to get it good and mixed. Then I add the rest of the water. Give it a quick stir and enjoy. Simple, delicious and powerfully healthy. Enjoy!