We continue to struggle to get to grips with COVID-19. The virus at the heart of this disease seems to be saying to us “catch me if you can.” When a country does so well at controlling a pandemic and then suddenly we take our foot off the pedal, COVID-19 punishes us. It is so unforgiving and many dear lives are lost or suffer. There are so many questions left unanswered. Should we once again quarantine everyone who comes through our borders irrespective of what the PCR test may read?
As the virus mutates, humans also try everything under the sun to protect themselves (but the science-driven protocols are approached half-heartedly). Hydroxychloroquine has had its days, hydrogen peroxide, povidone iodine, ivermectin, cocktails of antibiotics, supplements previously unheard of, concoctions drank on an empty stomach that will make the gods cringe, steam laced with unmentionables that are inhaled daily plus many others are all knocking on the door of fame.
People talk about game-changer vaccines that may be in the form of nasal sprays BUT what we have now is all about a jab or two. But wait a minute, while all this goes on haven’t the benefits of washing our hands properly (at least 20 seconds) with soap and water been touted as a DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY) vaccine for several years? Yes it has the ability to get rid of viruses, bacteria and many other harmful things if done properly. Handwashing should not be underestimated and doing it properly protects us from many diseases including COVID-19. By all means we should not get tired of this.
As we eat healthy food and drink water and exercise and get adequate rest plus keep a positive mind to boost our immune system, one of our very own that deserves primetime in the midst of this pandemic has surprisingly lost its voice. Cocoa should in my opinion be a part of every management plan for COVID-19 and many other diseases, except you are one of the “chosen” few who are allergic to this product packed with magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, zinc (yes zinc our new found love) and many other micronutrients. Cocoa may not have it all but it surely will not harm you as you reap other benefits.
The purer the cocoa (less additives/processing) the more beneficial it is. The antioxidant in cocoa that is at the centre of its quest for being considered a super food is also found in red wine, green tea, several fruits and vegetables and so it is not surprising that it has some anti-cancer/cancer prevention properties. Red wine (or alcohol in general) has been touted for ages as beneficial to heart health yet cocoa that has twice the antioxidants that red wine contains and thrice that found in green tea gets less mileage when we talk about heart-health. Take a second look at what you drink these days.
This same antioxidant also increases the good cholesterol (HDL) in our blood and hence prevents the formation of plaques in blood vessels that may cause narrowing or blocking of these vessels supplying essential nutrients to vital organs and various parts of the body. It’s no surprise that this wonder lays claim to the following and many more;
• Reducing blood pressure
• Increasing blood vessel health
• Reducing heart attack and stroke risk
• Improving brain function – why not when it is getting good nutrients
• Relieving stress
• Boosting sexual desire and performance – this is a function of the brain and good blood flow.
• Providing energy and vitality – this general improvement in health may also boost fertility.
• Delaying physical signs of aging – great looking skin for instance from great blood circulation.
• Relieving menstrual cramps/discomfort (its magnesium component responsible to a large extent for this)
• Reduces risk of Type 2 Diabetes
• Protects teeth from dental caries
• May protect us from severe malaria*
Since the majority of us may die from cardiovascular disease (heart and blood vessel disease) and cocoa apparently reduces our risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, then it may be worth looking at our consumption of cocoa products once again. Also it seems to supplement the treatment of many diseases that are considered to increase chance of complications and poor outcomes in COVID-19.
I love the numerous benefits that this golden pod hoards. I will attempt to list a few uses but the list continues to grow;
• Used in the preparation of soaps and creams that can simply take your breath away
• Sauces for food
• Animal food
• Mix with food to reduce nausea in people battling with cancer for instance
• May play a role in marketing where “cocoa fragrance” in books on sale drives traffic to those books.
It appears that parts of cocoa that were originally considered as “waste” are now pushing for primetime.
This Valentine weekend or Chocolate Day as you may prefer I dare say “your valentine deserves a healthy heart in addition to staying SAFE.”
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ St Andrews Clinic/Mobissel
Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise.
Thought for the week –“STIGMATIZATION has no place in fighting this pandemic. It will cause people to hide and not disclose their status, seek medical care late and reduce all the benefits of protocols. We should all be comfortable enough to tell our close contacts when we test positive for COVID-19 so that the proper measures are taken. This is extremely important if we have to win this fight.”- Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
1. Information from National Committee For The Promotion Of Cocoa Consumption
2. www.webmd.com – cocoa with a kick