Sore throats during the winter or summer can be a real pain. If you have a sore throat, you may wonder, is chocolate good or bad for a sore throat?
While there are many remedies for a sore throat, chocolate doesn’t always come to mind. Since cocoa has some amazing health benefits, one of which is healing a sore throat, it’s wise to know how to use chocolate for a sore throat.
It turns out that chocolate is great for sore throats. All you have to do is take a piece of chocolate, put it in your mouth, and let it slowly dissolve. The combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter works similar to honey and will desensitize any sore nerves in your throat.
The health benefits of chocolate have been known for decades, but not many people know that it is also useful for a sore throat. We have asked many experts who have provided us with answers on is chocolate good or bad for a sore throat. Here, you’re going to find the answer to your question and a lot more.
As chocolate enthusiasts, who advocate the use of certain chocolates for their health benefits, we can guide you on how you can use chocolate for its health benefits -to soothe a sore throat.
Sore Throat and Chocolate
Do you have sensitivity to raw honey? Do you believe you'll never be able to eat elderberries? No worries, research has discovered a winter cough and sore throat treatment that almost everyone enjoys: chocolate!
That's right; you read that correctly. Chocolate. As in the delectable, creamy, dreamy chocolate. But hold off on grabbing your favorite Hershey bar just yet; there's a catch. It's not just any milk chocolate. You'll want to use dark chocolate manufactured with actual cacao for the finest results. Cacao offers several health advantages. It is abundant in minerals and antioxidants in its natural state. It also contains demulcent qualities, meaning it soothes inflammation and irritation.
Researchers do claim that cocoa might help soothe a sore throat. Experts set out to assess the efficacy of over-the-counter cough medicines in depth. Researchers compared the safety and efficacy of diphenhydramine, ammonium chloride, and a cocoa-based demulcent.
In the end, the cocoa-based treatment triumphed in one of the most comprehensive real-world studies of an over-the-counter cough medicine ever conducted. The chocolate-based treatment showed a considerable reduction in symptoms within two days in the head-to-head comparison. In fact, compared to patients on other drugs, twice as many patients were able to terminate therapy early. It was just no longer required during the study.
This isn't the first time that chocolate has been shown to help with a sore throat. Researchers at Imperial College in London discovered a few years ago that theobromine, an alkaloid present in cacao (and the same substance that makes chocolate deadly to dogs), is more effective in suppressing the urge to cough than other well-known compounds like codeine.
Other research also compares the effects of novel drugs containing cocoa to those of traditional linctus. In a tiny trial of 163 participants, researchers discovered that those who took cocoa-based treatments had substantial improvements in just two days.
The study was conducted by researchers who discovered that a substance called theobromine, an alkaloid found in cocoa, is far more effective than codeine at suppressing the urge to cough that we all experience. It's all because of chocolate's innate stickiness, which coats nerve endings in the throat and suppresses the urge to cough in a similar way as honey and lemon.
Choosing the Right Chocolate
As a general rule, use the darkest chocolate you can tolerate. I advocate a 70 percent increase. Why? There's a reason why when dogs consume a bar of baker's chocolate instead of a regular old milk chocolate bar, they're at a far higher risk of deadly consequences. Theobromine levels rise with the darkening of the chocolate.
Darker chocolate has less sugar as well. I also chose one that is dairy-free in order to get the most out of consuming cacao. My children enjoy it as well, and they are extremely natural. Choose brands that utilize raw cacao if possible. Chocolate prepared with raw cacao, which includes brands like OMBAR, has had its nutritional value retained.
Stay clear from white chocolate at all costs. While the controversy over whether it's even close to being labeled "genuine" chocolate is still raging, no one can deny that it has the smallest quantity of cacao. The term "least amount" refers to the absence of any amount.
The only reason the proponents of "yes, it's true chocolate" disagree is that it's prepared using cocoa butter, which originates from the same plant. To suggest they're near enough is like stating you can substitute eggs for chicken breast in a recipe and get the same results. Although they are derived from the same source, they are not the same meal.
Milk vs. White vs. Dark Chocolate
The flavanols in cocoa give it a very intense, pungent flavor. When cocoa is turned into your beloved chocolate bars, it goes through a series of procedures to eliminate this flavor. More flavanols are lost as chocolate is processed (via activities like fermentation, alkalizing, roasting, and so on).
Chocolate with more than 70% cocoa content is the greatest for your health, but only in small amounts: Dark chocolate has 500 calories per 100 grams. Chocolate that hasn't been sweetened has 100 percent cocoa. It's quite bitter and is only consumed as part of baked foods. To add rich flavor to a smoothie or coffee, use 100 percent cocoa powder in hot cocoa, handmade baked products, and recipes (instead of milk chocolate).
White chocolate is a chocolate derivative that contains 20 percent (or more) cocoa butter, up to 55 percent sugar, milk solids, lecithin, vanilla, and other flavorings. Milk chocolate must include at least 10% cocoa and at least 12% dry milk solids, according to the FDA. The remaining ingredients include cocoa butter, sugar, an emulsifier, and vanilla or other flavorings, much like dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate, often known as semi-sweet chocolate, must contain at least 35 percent cocoa to be considered dark. The remaining components include cocoa butter (the cocoa bean's natural fat), sugar, an emulsifier (a substance that keeps things together), and vanilla or other flavorings. Milk can be added to soften the texture.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore