Coughs are the worst! They're irritating, sound horrible, and always happen at the most inconvenient times "“ in the middle of the night, during yoga class or in a meeting. Don't even get me started on how horrible it feels trying to hold a cough in.
Anyway, this may come as a shock to you but you can actually get relief from coughing by eating *drum roll* CHOCOLATE!
That's right, you read that correctly. According to Professor Alyn Morice, a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough, "chocolate can calm coughs," and in fact, it does it better than the traditional lemon and honey concoction and even codeine.
This claim is based on the results of multiple studies including a recent European study of over-the-counter cough medicine (ROCOCO).
Study participants who took chocolate-based medicine saw significant improvement within two days compared to those who were given standard cough medicine.
Morice confesses that "the idea that chocolate could cure a cough might sound a bit mad, but the ROCOCO researchers believe the benefits are primarily down to the demulcent properties of cocoa."
In simpler terms, cocoa contains an alkaloid, theobromine, which suppresses coughs and provides relief from inflammation and irritation. Cocoa is also stickier than the standard cough syrup so it forms a coating which protects the nerve endings in the throat that trigger the urge to cough.
The best part? You won't have to worry about the side effects that come with the standard cough medicine because theobromine causes no adverse effects on the cardiovascular or central nervous system.
Morice says slowly sucking on a piece of dark chocolate is the best way to get some relief as it ensures that the cocoa is in contact with the throat long enough to create a coating.
This is just one more reason why you should always keep chocolate on hand, it's good for you!