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.

Here’s why silence is good for your brain and body

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, chances are you live in a loud environment. Noise fills our waking moments from traffic, people, radio, news feeds, and just the general sounds of modern life. But too much noise can take a toll on your body. And new research is finding that silence is actually really good for your brain and body. Keep reading to learn why silence is good.

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