Amazing benefits of Sorrel (Zobo) drink - Funmbi Oo - Nutrition, Diet, Health Care, Weight Loss and more

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There are a lot of super foods, fruits and drinks out there that can help us live a healthier life and one of them is the Sorrel drink.

Sorrel Drink is dark red, a little sour, with a raspberry like flavor; made from the petals of sorrel plant (flor de Jamaica) or hibiscus plant flower, known by its scientific name Hibiscus sabdariffa , as popularly known in West Africa. These hibiscus flowers have various names and are known as “Roselle” in some places. The drink is one of several inexpensive beverages commonly consumed in Mexico and Central America that are typically made from fresh fruits, juices or extracts. In Nigeria, it is referred to as Zobo drink. In Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean Island, it is known as Sorrel Drink or Hibiscus tea.

Roselle is used in Nigeria to make the refreshing and well-loved Zobo drink and natural fruit juices of pineapple and watermelon are usually added. Ginger is also sometimes added to give a refreshing taste and flavor.

Health benefits of Sorrel (Zobo) Drink
It is a very popular beverage, widely available in the market throughout the tea-drinking world and can be consumed hot or cold depending on your preference. This drink is often used as a medicinal tea as it is low in calories and is caffeine-free.

Not many people are aware that almost 15-30% of sorrel drink is composed of organic acids. These acids are malic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid. They are commonly found in fruits such as grapes and wine. They help in boosting immunity, promoting better skin, lowering blood cholesterol, managing inflammation, and improving digestive issues.

Zobo drink has diuretic and choleretic effects, thus controlling blood viscosity by reducing blood pressure and enhancing digestion. It also improves sexual health in men as it helps to boost sperm production. This is enhanced with the addition of ginger. Other benefits include:

Anti-cancer Properties
Zobo drink contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid (also found in green tea) which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.

Anti-inflammatory & Antibacterial Agent
It is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. It is an essential nutrient required by your body to boost and stimulate the activity of the immune system. Sorrel (Zobo) drink is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it protects you from catching a cold and flu. It is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever, due to its cooling effect.

Relieves Menstrual Pain
The health benefits of Zobo drink include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating.

Acts as Antidepressant Agent
Zobo drink contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids which have antidepressant properties. Consumption of this drink can help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.

Possible Side Effects
Although this drink is a health enhancer and a natural weight loss booster, there are possible side effects you should be aware of:

Low blood Pressure: The health benefits of sorrel drink include lowering blood pressure (anti-hypertensive property). Therefore, it is not recommended for people who already have low blood pressure, a condition called hypotension.  It may cause faintness, dizziness, and can even damage the heart or brain if consumed by anyone with extremely low blood pressure.

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding: This drink has not been recommended for pregnant women, particularly due to its emmenagogic effects which may stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus or pelvic region. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking sorrel in medicinal amounts during breast-feeding. It is better to stay on the safe side and avoid use. For those undergoing hormonal treatments or taking birth control pills, it is recommended to consult your health specialist regarding consumption of this variety of drink.

Hallucinatory Effect: Some people may feel intoxicated or experience hallucinations after drinking zobo. Although this is relatively rare, it is important to be cautious until you know how your body reacts to the drink. Don’t drive a car or try anything particularly dangerous until you know what its effects are on your system.

How to prepare Sorrel (Zobo) drink
In the Caribbean, sorrel drink is made from sepals and calyces of the roselle plant. Dried roselle calyces can be obtained in two ways. One way is to harvest the fruits fresh, de-core them, and then dry the calyces. The other way is to leave the fruits to dry on the plants to some extent, harvest the dried fruits, dry them further if necessary, and then separate the calyces from the capsules.

It is then prepared by boiling the dried sepals and calyces of the sorrel/flower of the plant in about 10 cups (or more) of water for 8 to 10 minutes (or until the water turns red). Any sliced fruit of choice can be added such as pineapple, lemon or orange peels as well as natural spices such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon.

Once prepared, it is then covered with foil or plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to steep for 2 hours or overnight. Sugar is sometimes added and it is often served chilled.

Asides from Nigeria, this method of preparation is similarly done in Trinidad and TobagoGrenadaJamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis where it is called 'sorrel'.


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