Cacao Beans are whether we like this or not, we cannot deny the fact that blood pressure is a evil that catches us all at some point in our lives and hypertension which results due to high blood pressure proves to be potentially dangerous and this might cause a plethora of illnesses and diseases.
Both diet and lifestyle are common factors that are responsible for high blood pressure and if you take care of these two you may control your blood pressure naturally.
Magnesium for example is good at lowering the blood pressure, but this mineral is found in very small amount in the foods we consume daily, hence eating magnesium rich superfoods may supply your body with the required quantity of minerals to lower pressure naturally.
Several studies have revealed that the daily use of raw cacao beans is very useful for the blood vessels and heart, and they help regulate the blood pressure. Those who regularly consume this superfood are known to have incredibly low blood pressure.
What do you mean by high blood pressure?
Before we go any further let’s tell you briefly what blood pressure is. Also known as arterial blood pressure, this is the pressure of blood against the artery walls and this is mainly caused by pumping of the heart.
Each time your heart muscles contract, the blood is sent to the blood vessels and the pressure reaches the peak point. When the heart muscles relax, the pressure becomes low, and this is called the diastolic pressure.
High blood pressure is symptomless condition, and it is difficult to detect this problem and most analysts have defined it as a silent killer. According to the recent estimates about 30 percent of people in England suffered from high blood pressure problems. Some of the symptoms may be headaches, fits or blackouts, or no symptoms at all.
Raw cacao beans are magnesium-rich superfood?
Raw cacao beans are not only great to smell and taste, but they also contain high amounts of beneficial nutrients that make them superfoods. They contain high amounts of minerals, vitamins, fibre, and essential fatty acids. Raw cacao contains magnesium much more than the content found in broccoli or banana.
Interest in cocoa as a blood pressure lowering was sparked by a curious discovery. In Central American Kuna Indians, who drink three to four cups of cocoa a day, high blood pressure almost never occurs into old age. However, if they change their lifestyle and consume less cocoa, the prevalence of hypertension increases.
The drink that the Kuna traditionally drink cold and unsweetened is made from untreated, dried and powdered cocoa beans – and therefore has a taste that European palates don’t like at all. It contains about 3.6 percent flavanole. For comparison: Even dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains only 0.5 percent flavanole. By processing the raw cocoa, the flavanol content can drop to less than 0.001 percent.
Where do cacao beans grow?
Cocoa growing countries and regions
As a result of the demanding growing conditions, cocoa can only be grown in the warmest and rainiest tropics between 20 ° north latitude and 20 ° south latitude. The map shows the most important growing regions. Countries that export fine cocoa are classified as premium cocoa producing countries.
The largest growing countries are:
Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Colombia, Dominik. Republic, Malaysia.
Smaller growing countries are: Peru, Venezuela, Guinea, India, Sierra Leone, Philippines, Madagascar, Salomon Ins., Tanzania, Costa Rica, Haiti, Equat. Guin., Liberia, Congo, Sao Thomé / Pr., Cuba, Bolivia, Vanuatu, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Guatemala, Uganda, Thailand, Jamaica, Gabon, Grenada, Benin, Fiji.
Interesting facts about the cocoa tree
The cocoa tree belongs to the mallow family, within which it forms its own genus: Theobroma. This includes Theobroma cacao, which is cultivated for cocoa production. Originally, the cocoa trees are native to tropical areas, where they grow in the wild and can reach heights of up to 15 m.
In the tropics, the cocoa tree is evergreen, has leaves up to 35 cm long and, from around 10 years of age, produces flowers all year round that form directly on the trunk and branches. From these 15 to 25 cm long fruits emerge, which can be yellow, yellow-red, red or brown. They look like a cucumber and contain the cocoa beans. These are processed into cocoa powder, chocolate and cocoa butter. However, such a process is extremely tedious, so that there is little hope for an ordinary plant lover to be able to produce chocolate from home-grown cocoa beans.
Are cocoa beans fruit?
Cocoa beans are the SEEDS of the cocoa trees. They bear fruit, the pulp of which can also be eaten and is very tasty, and the cocoa beans are also in there. Just like an apple.
Cocoa beans fermentation
At the cocoa collection points, the cocoa farmers carefully open the fruit with a short stick and loosen the seeds surrounded by a whitish mass – the pulp. In order for high-quality raw cocoa to be produced from the seed kernels, an important step for aroma formation is required – fermentation.
What sounds complicated means nothing more than that the fresh, moist cocoa beans are left to ferment for about a week.
A biochemical fermentation process begins immediately in the tropical heat: the pulp still adhering to the beans liquefies and flows downwards. As the temperature rises to 50 ° C, the cocoa seed germs die, the cell walls become permeable, so that the cell juices penetrate the entire cocoa core. The originally bitter-bitter taste weakens significantly; at the same time, the color of the whitish-yellow cocoa bean changes to a strong chocolate brown.
Cacao beans facts
Origin and culture of the cocoa bean
The cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) probably comes from the southeast of Ecuador. At least in Santa Ana (La Florida) in the upper part of the Amazon basin, traces of clay pots were found, which can be used to prove that this plant has been there for at least 3,300 BC. BC was cultivated. From there, the tree is said to have spread across Central America to Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City.
In the Aztecs, cocoa beans were valued as a drink they called “xocóatl”. This word is derived from “xócoc” (= bitter) and “atl” (= water) and therefore means something like bitter water. Our chocolate today was invented in the 19th century and then refined. However, cocoa brought to Europe by the Spaniards in 1519 was used earlier as a drink and was popular among aristocratic circles.