Hibiscus flowers are a popular ingredient in Mexico, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the main ingredients of our Chile Negro & Hibiscus salsa! Best known for its vibrant flowers with large petals-- ranging in colors from pink to yellow to white and more-- the Hibiscus plant has over 100 species.
Although the flower is most commonly dried & brewed into herbal tea, it can also be used in sauces, in sautées used as fillings, and desserts. In Mexico, hibiscus water, known as Jamaica, is most commonly used to make agua fresca and paletas. Dried hibiscus is also considered a delicacy and can be used in candies or as garnish. Not only does this tropical flower taste good, it’s good for you!
Here are 5 health benefits that can come with eating Hibiscus:
1. Hibiscus is packed with powerful antioxidants that can help prevent damage and disease caused by free radicals. It is specifically rich in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that has been linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
2. Hibiscus has been linked to lowering blood pressure. One study gave 65 people with high blood pressure hibiscus tea and found that after 6 weeks, their systolic blood pressure had decreased.
3. Hibiscus is also high in polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer properties.
4. Research has found that hibiscus can help speed up metabolism by lowering the absorption of starch and glucose. One study that gave overweight participants hibiscus extract, found that after 12 weeks, the hibiscus had reduced body weight, body fat, body mass index, and hip-to-waist ratio.
5. Hibiscus is rich in ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C. This is an essential nutrient required and used by your body to stimulate and boost the activity of the immune system.
Have you used Hibiscus in a recipe before? Let us know in the comments!