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Can Chocolate Prevent Coughing?

By Randi Morse 

I don't need much of a reason to grab a piece of chocolate. To me, chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. It's one reason why I try to avoid having it in my house regularly. A delicious, gooey chocolate brownie is very hard to refuse. It turns out that my love of chocolate may actually help me if I get sick. 

Regular Cough Medicine 

They say one of the best ways to get over a cold is to get a good amount of sleep. It's hard to sleep, however, when you are up constantly coughing. That's one reason why most over-the-counter cough medicines contain a suppressant like dextromethorphan. The whole idea of cough medicine is to prevent you from coughing so that you can get the rest you need to fight off the virus. If over-the-counter medicines don't work, your physician may be able to prescribe a cough medicine that has codeine in it, which will almost certainly help you to sleepbut some doctors are thinking that it's time to move away from the chemicals and move toward something even better: chocolate. 

Chocolate Cough Medicine 

Research was conducted at the University of Hull, located in Yorkshire, England, to see if cough medicine with chocolate as one of the main ingredients was a better option then cough syrup with codeine in it. They examined 163 patients who had a cough. Some were prescribed cough medicine with codeine while others were prescribed a medicine that was chocolate-based. Two days later, they discovered that the volunteers who had received the chocolate-based cough syrup showed much more improvement than the ones who took the traditional cough syrup. But why would chocolate help you to stop coughing? 

How It Works 

Cough syrup with codeine works by tricking your brain into thinking you don't have to cough. It's kind of like how narcotic pain medication tricks your body into thinking there is no pain -- and a reason why chiropractic makes more sense than opioids when dealing with pain. Chocolate, however, does something different. If you suck on a piece of chocolate it turns into a thick and sticky substance. When you swallow that liquid, it protects the nerve endings in your throat which stops the urge to cough. It's like how honey can help prevent coughing, but from the research it looks like chocolate may even be more effective than honey. 

This winter season, if you find yourself ill, grab a piece of chocolate. The authors of the study recommend sucking on a piece of chocolateYou could try using hot chocolate, but it doesn't seem to work quite as well as a simple piece of chocolate does. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orem, Utah.

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