For many of us, coffee is an absolute must if we want to be productive human beings. And even though coffee isn’t bad for you, it might not be the best drink to have every morning. Instead, cacao is a nutrient-rich superfood that can reduce stress and lower blood pressure naturally. Doesn’t that sound like a good way to start your day?

Raw cacao is loaded with chemicals called flavonoids, which act like antioxidants and bring with them many benefits for your cardiovascular system. One of flavonoid’s heart health perks is to lower blood pressure, and this is due to the fact that they make veins and arteries more flexible.

It might sound too good to be true, but a German study found that women who enjoyed a piece of dark chocolate every day also powered their blood pressure.

A daily serving of dark chocolate doesn’t just keep your blood pressure levels in check. It also helps to reduce stress, too. According to this Swedish study, in just two weeks, a daily serving of dark chocolate, highly stressed individuals showed a significant reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol.

So, what kind of dark chocolate should you eat to get these amazing cacao benefits? Raw cacao powders are optimal, and can be added to breakfast smoothies. Or, you can add raw cacoa nibs to your yogurt or snacks. Otherwise, chocolate bars are an obvious choice, but be sure to avoid ones with added sugars. A chocolate bar with at least 70% cocoa is a good place to start.

It’s common knowledge that a pregnant woman should avoid alcohol and smoking to ensure that the unborn fetus is healthy and develops properly. But now, experts are including rice and soda into the mix. So, if you’re planning on getting pregnant soon, you’re probably want to know why soda and rice are foods to avoid.

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