Zobo Drink For Heart Health

Shares

Published: May 27, 2014

Healthy Eating

How do you take your Zobo?  Hot with a handful of chin chin? Cold with a spoonful of sugar? If you are a Zobo fan, there is good news coming out of the medical field.  Studies suggest it can be a powerful ally in improving your health. Traditionally used as a cure for ailments such as minor coughs, upset stomach, poor appetite and bacterial or fungal infections, Hibiscus Sabdariffa (aka Roselle), the flower from which Zobo  drink (aka sorrel) is made is packed with healing plant chemicals such as anthocyanins, polyphenols and hibiscus acid.  This combination of chemicals produces valuable medicinal properties that extend beyond the traditional uses we may be accustomed to.

Zobo reduces blood pressure

According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Hibiscus Sabdariffa significantly lowered blood pressure by removing excess fluids and allowing the blood vessels to relax in people suffering from pre- and mild hypertension.  In fact, adding Hibiscus to the diet was reported to be just as effective as taking the popular anti-hypertensive drug, Captropril. With over 43% of Nigerians suffering from high blood pressure and the lack of adequate health care facilities, this finding is important because drinking a beverage like Zobo can reduce medical costs and prevent complications such as stroke, heart disease and even death.

FREE RADIANT DIGITAL ISSUE NO 06_1

Zobo may lower cholesterol

Another study published in Filoterapia, a  journal dedicated to medicinal plants and bioactive natural products of plant origin, confirmed Hibiscus’s effectiveness in treating high blood pressure. In addition, it reported an overall positive effect on heart clogging cholesterol evidenced by decreases in LDL- cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and an increase in HDL- cholesterol (the good cholesterol) in  people that took HS capsules. This was especially evident in people that suffered from diabetes.  Although some researchers have questioned its effectiveness, there appears to be a larger consensus that HS is beneficial in reducing cholesterol whether taken in either capsule or beverage form.

To reap the full benefits:

  • Drink  2 – 3 cups daily.

       Tip:  Add a cup to each meal. That way you are guaranteed to get your required dose.

  • Watch the sweeteners. Taken in large quantities, sweeteners such as sugar, honey and even fruits and juices add calories that promote weight gain and dental caries.

        Tip: Use no more than 1 teaspoon of sweetener per cup of Zobo

  • Eat a balanced diet and exercise frequently.  HS is not a miracle food. Diet and lifestyle still matter. A well nourished body absorbs more nutrients so be sure to have a balanced diet.

       Tip:  Feed your body a colorful diet loaded with whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The more colourful your plate,       the more nutrients you get.  Be active by engaging in physical activity 4-5 days of the week.

  • Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid zobo drink. There is some evidence that zobo drink could cause a pregnant woman’s period to return which could lead to miscarriage. Its safety during breast feeding is unknown and therefore it is best to avoid.
  • As with any alternative medicine regimen, do not stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your physician or healthcare professional.

Unfortunately, with the increased popularity of sugary fizzy drinks and alcohol, Zobo may barely make a dent in the ever increasing rates of blood pressure in Nigeria and beyond. Be a proponent for health and replace each sugary and/or alcoholic drink with healthy alternatives like Zobo.  Before long, you will be on the road to better health.

 

sorrel leaves and drink

Dried Hibiscus Sabdariffa leaves and zobo tea

Zobo Tea Recipe

Measure out 1.25g of dried Zobo and place in a tea bag (How to make your own tea bags). Bring 240ml water to a rapid boil and drop the bag into the water. Allow to steep for 6 minutes before removing the bag. Enjoy your tea hot or cold.

Tip: You can make your drink ahead of time but to reap the full benefit, you must consume it within 12 hours.

Here’s to your health!

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter and never miss a post! Plus get a FREE digital version of our Issue No.06 with sign up.

 

 

  
Shares

About Cordialis Msora-Kasago

Cordialis Msora-Kasago is a Registered Dietitian (R.D) and a pioneer in the discussion of modern day healthy lifestyles in Africa. She is the founder of The African Pot Nutrition - an organization that improves the health of African people through sustainable diet and lifestyle programs. Follow her on twitter @africadietitian.

Visit My Website
View All Posts

Leave a Comment


  • oduenyi

    It is amazing how much we don’t know.This is very educating and the quest is on for ZOBO.

    • http://ejogenyi.com/ EJ Ogenyi

      I normally get ZOBO at Walmart during the summer. They are sold in the produce section in packages or bulk and are labelled as hibiscus leaves/flower.

      If you like pineapples, you can also use the skin of pineapple in your zobo tea instead of throwing them away. Just boil both of them together in a large pot and strain. The pineapple flavor makes it easier to reduce the amount of sugar you need.

      Enjoy your quest.

  • Pingback: Hibiscus: The African Tea with Health Benefits | The African Pot Nutrition()