Zobo drink is a popular drink in Africa and Nigeria at large; its name is derived from the Hausa name of the Hibiscus plant “zoborodo”.
This is a widely consumed drink across Nigeria and many make a living just by making and selling this drink; apart from the sweet taste and its popularity, zobo is a healthy drink with many health benefits.
We will be looking at some of the health benefits of this amazing drink and I will also show you how to make yours in the comfort of your home. The reason I encourage people to make theirs is that you don’t how the ones you are buying are being prepared, you don’t know the type of water used and many other health factors to consider.
Besides, food poisoning and typhoid can be gotten from all patronizing public foods. So the best way to be sure of what you are taking is to make it yourself. Below are some of the health benefits of zobo drink.
It prevents high blood pressure
Dried Hibiscus flower which is used in making this drink has anti-hypertensive properties; it can also prevent the risk factors for hypertension like high levels of cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the body can form plaques in the blood vessels thereby narrowing or blocking the blood vessel completely. This can lead to hypertension and hypertension is a risk factor for many chronic diseases like stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attack.
It prevents cancer
Zobo drink is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are effective in preventing and fighting cancer; all these vital nutrients ensure healthy growth and repairs of the cells and tissues, it also boosts the immune system which helps in the fight against cancer. It contains a good amount of Anthocyanins; these compounds are anti-cancer compounds, they also protect against liver cancer, they prevent and fight inflammation and can protect one from cancer.
It prevents diabetes
Zobo prevents diabetes and it helps manage the conditions in those that have it; it controls the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, it inhibits the production of amylase, this is an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates and sugars.
It protects the kidneys
Zobo prevents the accumulation of uric acid and oxalic acids in the kidneys; these can lead to kidney stones and other health implications it brings like kidney damage. This drink can effectively reduce the concentration of uric acids, citrate, calcium, creatinine, tartrate, sodium, potassium and phosphate in the urine; this prevents kidney problems and improves the health and functions of the kidneys because an excess of these compounds destroys the kidneys.
It aids weight loss
Zobo has helped many lose weight; it controls appetite and keeps one feeling full for a long time. When you want to take zobo for weight loss; do not add sugar or other artificial sweeteners and colorings, they promote weight gain and make the drink ineffective in weight loss. So take unsweetened zobo if you want to lose weight.
It increases the volume of blood
Some studies suggest that zobo increases the volume of blood; this is possible because Hibiscus leaves are rich in iron which helps the body produce new red blood cells and hemoglobin. It also increases the amount of glutathione and white blood cells. Regular intake of zobo can guard against anemia in those at risk of it; like, sickle cell patients, women with heavy menstruation, people who lost enough blood due to accident or surgery, etc.
It boosts healthy digestion
This drink ensures proper digestion of foods while preventing digestive problems like constipation, indigestion and other digestive disorders. It is rich in fiber and this prevents constipation.
It treats a cough and cold
Zobo is rich in vitamin C which helps to keep colds, flu, and cough at bay; this vitamin boosts the immune system and fortifies the body against these diseases and others. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which treat a cough and cold. Zobo drink also has a cooling effect on the body which helps to relieve the symptoms of these conditions.
It boosts the immune system
Zobo is rich in vital nutrients like vitamin C, and other vital minerals that boost immune strength. Taking zobo regularly will help increase the levels of vitamin and vital minerals in the body that boost immune functions.
It makes the bone strong
Zobo is rich in calcium and it is believed that this mineral is essential for strong bones and it guards against osteoporosis and other bone problems. Calcium is also needed by important organs in the body like the heart; the muscles also need calcium to function effectively. The teeth need calcium for strength and many other metabolic activities in the body require calcium.
It boosts overall health
Zobo contains a good amount of vitamin B3; this vitamin supports body function and boosts the overall health of the body. This vitamin prevents depression and other mental problems; it supports the functions of the brain and makes it healthy, this vitamin prevents diabetes and lowers the risks of cardiovascular disease, it maintains a healthy heart and boosts healthy metabolism.
It boosts vision
Zobo contains carotene which the body converts to vitamin A; this vitamin protects the eyes and supports healthy vision, it maintains healthy mucous membrane and prevents eye diseases related to aging.
It prevents fatigue
Zobo drink is rich in riboflavin; this is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body produce energy, this fight fatigue, and weaknesses.
It supports a healthy nervous system
Vitamin B1 contained in zobo leaves boosts a healthy nervous system.
How to Make Zobo
Zobo drink is very easy to make and there are many recipes for it and various ways people do theirs but am going to show you how to make zobo with one of the best recipes I know. I can’t call it the best yet because I don’t think I have tasted all zobo recipes.
So for this recipe, below are the things you will be in need of:
A large pot
Dried zobo leaves
Fresh or dried Ginger roots
1 large pineapple
Watermelon, cucumbers, apples and other fruits of your choice
Set the pot that you will use in cooking the zobo
Quickly rinse the dried zobo leaves you bought from the market in a bowl of clean water before putting it in the pot, this is to remove dirt and dust particles on it.
Pound the dried or fresh ginger roots, as much as you can handle; then you add them to the zobo leaves in the pot.
Wash and rinse your pineapple well before peeling it; then add the bark to the pot containing the zobo leaves and ginger.
Pour water over this mixture; the water should cover it fully, then put the pot on the fire and let it cook.
While it is cooking, quickly juice the pineapple and oranges; you can mix the juices in a bowl.
Then dice your fruits into small cubes; these include the watermelon, apples and cucumbers and any other fruit you want to be in your drink.
Some people skin the cucumbers but I don’t do that and I don’t encourage that because cucumber skins are rich in sulfur which is very good for the skin. It supports the production of collagen and makes the skin elastic and gives it a natural glow. I will advise you dice the cucumbers with the skin. You can remove the seeds but don’t throw them away because they are healthy; you can eat them.
When your zobo leaves have been well cooked; you bring it down from the fire; sieve it and re-boil the leaves, the ginger, and the pineapple bark. After it has boiled, sieve it and you can now throw them away.
Leave it too cool; when it is cool, add the pineapple and orange juices to the zobo drink; you also add the diced fruits and stir well with a wooden stick or long spoon.
Your healthy zoborodo drink is ready.
You can put it in containers and store it in the fridge and take it regularly.
You can take this drink without adding sugar, artificial sweeteners, and colorings. The pineapple and orange juices and the fruits added will sweeten it naturally; all these artificial sweeteners are not healthy and they make one gain weight and become obese, they also cause other health problems like diabetes when taken regularly. Remember we said that unsweetened zobo aids weight loss; and besides with these sweet fruit juices added, it won’t be too sour. You can also add other fruit juices or herbs of your choice. My aunt boils lemongrass with her zobo leaves and she loves it.
These drink you have now is a very healthy drink and it is also medicinal; the ginger you added is a powerful medicinal herb on its own and all the fruits added are storehouses of powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals and vital nutrients needed for the optimum function of the human body.
Note that it is not advisable for a pregnant and breastfeeding mother to take zobo regularly and in excess; they can take it once in a while, click here to see the reasons.