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Is there a solution? Yes, here's how I handled it:
Step 1: The first few days with the raw cacao: don't breathe. In fact, hold your nose if you have to! I know that sounds humorous, but it turns out the "unusual" taste of raw cacao for those not used to it comes from the aroma. So by not breathing and drinking fast, I can down a teaspoon in almost no time. In other words, I take it just like medicine. In fact, that's a good way to look at it: cocoa is a great superfood medicine for all those years of abuse you put your body through.
Step 2: Be patient. After a few days, or maybe a week or two for some, you find that the taste does not bother you. Many people find the same kind of effect when eliminating a lot of animal foods, dairy, fats, salt or sugar from their diet. For a time, their food tastes bland and tasteless. After a couple of weeks, though, they lose this memory - some would say addiction - to the original indulgence.
So why go through all of this? If you're serious about lowering your blood pressure and boosting your blood flow in a natural, healthy way, you'll consider raw cacao. (Always talk to your doctor first, of course, especially if you are on any medications.) Raw cacao has become very affordable and there are multiple suppliers hitting the market.
For example, Navitas puts out a 8 and 16 oz. pouches that are available for a reasonable price in stores such as Whole Foods or even on Amazon: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Power, 16-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 2). This is the one I use, but there are several others out there.
CAUTIONS: Do not overconsume cocoa: you should consider it almost an "herb". It is very powerful and, when I have consumed it, have stirred a half teaspoon or a little more into a warm glass of water as a kind of tea (twice per day). I have read stories of people substiting it in recipes with literally cups of the raw product and you cannot in my opinion use it this way as it is much more powerful than standard cocoa. One other caution: cocoa is relatively high in phytic acid which binds with magnesium, calcium and zinc. So this is best consumed at a separate time from your nutrient dense meals. Again, drinking it as a "tea" in between meals is probably a good idea.
CAUTION: If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, please discuss any changes with your doctor first. Certain supplements, foods and even juices can alter absorption rates of certain medications for example. Play it safe.
1) http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/7075/ title/Food_for_Thought__Prescription_Strength_Chocolate,_Revisited, Prescription Strength Chocolate, Revisited, By Janet Raloff
2) HYPERTENSION, AHA, Published online before print August 14, 2012, "Benefits in Cognitive Function, Blood Pressure, and Insulin Resistance Through Cocoa Flavanol Consumption in Elderly Subjects With Mild Cognitive Impairment"
3) Physiol Behav, 2011 Jun 1, 103(3-4):255-60, Epub 2011 Feb 12, "Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions"
4) Developmental Immunology, 2002, 9(3):135-141, "Modulation of TNF-α Secretion in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells by Cocoa Flavanols and Procyanidins"
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