Chocolate and Fibromyalgia – Surprising Health Benefits

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Did you know that dark chocolate helps to improve blood pressure and blood flow? Because it improves blood flow to the brain, it can improve memory and mental clarity. It contains powerful antioxidants that help with the negative effects of free radicals. Dark chocolate also has been shown to have high levels of some of the minerals that those of us with FM need, such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and selenium.

It has now been found that dark chocolate may be good for your health. One study found that cocoa helps your body produce Nitric oxide, which is important for blood flow and blood pressure. It works similarly to low-dose aspirin in promoting a healthy blood flow.

For some people, chocolate is a huge part of how they cope with their daily life. They eat chocolate in order to cope with their feelings; women will eat it to stay calm during their menstrual cycle. Either way, it’s a big deal to many of us.

A healthy craving

When we’re dealing with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia, we may be on a specialized diet. And when we’re on that diet, we’re likely going to get sick of eating healthy all of the time. Our body may crave sugar. What better way to get the craving under control than to eat a sweet that also helps your body do the things that it needs to do in order to keep you healthy and strong.

Benefits of dark chocolate

Cacoa also contains many flavanoids (called flavanols), which possess high antioxidant properties. Flavonols relieve inflammation and prevent wear-and-tear damage on your cells. Theobromine, caffeine, tyramine and phenylethylamine (PEA) are stimulants in cocoa that can improve the energy level of the fibromyalgia sufferer.

Cacoa also contains many flavanoids (called flavanols), which possess high antioxidant properties. Flavonols relieve inflammation and prevent wear-and-tear damage on your cells.

Dark cocoa may help this situation by stabilizing the nerve roots and repairing the nerves, resulting in improved neuropathy and a decrease in pain. It might take a while, but it may help. It also produces nitric oxide, which is important for blood flow and blood pressure, promoting healthy circulation.

Cocoa is a natural anti-inflammatory. The cocoa is an antihistamine, which stops acid production in the stomach. It also works on COX2 pathways, which does not affect the stomach. The cacao in dark chocolate may also promote the production of natural opiates in the brain. These can help relieve pain and promote a feeling of well-being.

Dark chocolate can contribute to improved gut health. Dark chocolate helps to provide your body with antioxidants, which can play a significant role in helping your body to function correctly. This helps to reduce pain and it can help you to feel less fatigued.

 

A Fibromyalgia woman opened a chocolate shop

One woman claimed that by eating an ounce of cacao-rich chocolate every morning she was able to relieve her fibromyalgia symptoms. She said it helped her with muscle pains, migraine headaches etc. and she was able to go off all her “fibro meds.”  In fact, she was so convinced of the healthy aspects of natural cacao that she opened a chocolate shop dedicated to pure dark chocolate.  She recommends eating a serving of 85% cocoa dark chocolate slowly, savoring the taste and making the most of its pleasurable benefits.

Appropriate requirement

We only need about 0.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day to get the desired benefits.  Dark chocolate therapy seems to work best in the morning.

Do not eat milk chocolates

Milk chocolate is often made with cheap vegetable oils rather than real, cacao butter or healthier fats. Milk chocolate and white chocolate are not going to provide the same sorts of benefits, and they actually may make some of your symptoms worse if you eat too much, especially because of the sugar contained in it.

Milk and dairy sometimes cause issues when it comes to fibromyalgia, and many processed chocolates have some sort of dairy in them, possibly causing some of those issues to flare up and making it hard for you to process the foods that you are eating. Of course, this is especially true when it comes to milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate is a bit better for you, as we said, and doesn’t have as much dairy content as the other two types.

If this is the case, then what do you want to look for when it comes to chocolate? You want dark chocolate that has at least 60% cacao in it, but the more you can get, the better. Just remember, it’s going to be more bitter because there will be less sugar.

Organic dark chocolate is also best, because you can be sure that there’s less of the processed items in there, and even when there is sugar, it’s going to be natural and organic as well. Read your labels and keep track of exactly what you’re eating, no matter what type of food you are eating.

So, as you can tell, it’s all about what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and when you’re eating it. Chocolate can be great if you’re careful with it, but it can also end up causing a lot of other issues. So don’t be afraid to enjoy that candy bar, but don’t end up sitting down to eat five or six of them at a time, either. Read More on “Effect of Milk on Fibromyalgia Patients

Some unpleasant effects

While cocoa does contain tryptophan, cannabinoids, theobromine, caffeine, tyramine and phenylethylamine, it does not contain as much as some other foods. For example, a cup of coffee contains a lot more caffeine than a bar of chocolate.

In this case, eating a bar of chocolate may not provide the psychological effects that these components promise. However, combined with other foods that contain these things, a more noticeable effect may be present. Another concern in that much of the active health-promoting ingredients in cocoa are destroyed during the production of chocolate. So the potential chocolate has for your health becomes less with more processing.

Chocolate production companies today are looking for ways to minimize the losses of these chemicals. Finally, if you do want to get any possible benefits from chocolate, it matters what kind of chocolate you eat. Avoid milk chocolate and chocolate sold as candy, since these contain high percentages of milk and refined sugar. Instead, look for dark chocolates with high cocoa content (65% or higher) that are grown organically and made with as little processing as possible, such as by hand.

Related Article:

Sugar Addict and Fibromyalgia – How to ease symptoms

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