Ways Dark Chocolate Can Help With Pain
The changing of seasons has us ready to get out and enjoy some sunshine!
Whether you’re hitting the trails or tending to yard work, the warmer temps and the activities they encourage can sabotage your early-summer vibe with injuries and strained muscles. While pain medications can provide temporary relief, they aren’t always the healthiest way to manage pain.
Throughout history, food has been used as medicine to treat everything from sleep issues to cardiovascular health and pain management. Dark chocolate is an antioxidant-packed food source that is known by many for its mood-enhancing properties, but did you know it is also associated with pain relief?
As if you needed another reason to love dark chocolate, it may also be smart to keep it on hand for any aches and pains you pick up with your summer activities.
This article discusses the leading causes of pain and how dark chocolate has been shown to decrease pain with naturally occurring properties that fight inflammation.
Leading Causes of Summer Time Pain
The rising temps and humidity of the summer months can make some pain issues harder to manage. In particular, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps and PMS, arthritis, and muscle cramps are known to be a bigger challenge in the summer months because the heat impacts the lubrication of joints, and you are more likely to become dehydrated as a result of being active during the heat of the day.
Your first line of defense against pain in the warmer months is staying hydrated with plenty of fluids and electrolytes throughout the day. Adjust accordingly based on the amount of activity you participate in.
Your second line of defense is to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet to ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs to recover and function at its optimal level.
Doing these things in conjunction with the recommendations of your health practitioner will help you manage pain more effectively and keep you enjoying all the summer has to offer.
How Does Dark Chocolate Reduce Pain?
While the word alone is enough to stir happy feelings, dark chocolate has been shown to reduce pain through clinical studies that looked at how it helped reduce inflammation and pain in patients.
Because the cocoa found in dark chocolate contains a wide variety of phytochemicals like flavonols and methylxanthines, it has been described as a potential medicine for inflammation and pain. The anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects associated with cocoa may impact how one feels pain when consuming cocoa-derived products like dark chocolate.
The properties found in dark chocolate can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow. In addition to helping with pain, these effects may also assist with several other common health realities.
Other Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
While the pain relief associated with increased blood flow and reduced inflammation is a great perk of eating quality dark chocolate, it doesn’t stop there.
The healing properties of cocoa have also been shown to:
- Reduce some of the risks associated with heart disease
- Increase sexual arousal and desire
- Improve and stabilize mood
- Sharpen focus and improve brain function
- Increase seretonin level and endorphins
- Fight cell damage and aging
These health benefits make dark chocolate a great sidekick for summertime activities.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Dark Chocolate
Eat it slowly and savor it. There is a sense of satisfaction in letting a piece of chocolate dissolve slowly on your tongue as you let each flavor soak in. Don’t rush the process and enjoy.
Buy quality chocolate bars. Quality dark chocolate is far above the rest. Buy ethically source chocolate that is made with high-quality cocoa to ensure you are eating a chocolate bar that is good for your health and the planet.
Pair it with more goodness. Try enjoying your dark chocolate with slices of seasonal fruit or your favorite beverage to unlock all of its feel-good potential!
Functional Chocolate for Pain
Created to address specific health realities in the form of a delicious chocolate bar, Functional Chocolate boast all the health benefits of dark chocolate paired with herbs and other botanicals to kick issues, like pain, to the curb.
Order any of our delicious chocolate and start addressing your most pressing health realities.