Yes, processed chocolate is bad for sore throat especially when it contains dairy or sugar. That is because treats like processed chocolate or drinks are sugary and will only end up feeding the bacteria that could make your sore throat worse.
Taking sugary treats like chocolate can also prolong the time it takes for your sore throat to heal. However, chocolate such as dark unsweetened chocolate made with real cacao can also be effective in treating sore throat or cough.
This article helps you understand why chocolate is bad for sore throat and how it can also be useful for the same condition.
Why is chocolate bad for sore throat?
Chocolate is bad for sore throat due to the presence of sugar or dairy in it. Dairy causes an increase in the mucus buildup in your throat while sugar feeds the bacteria responsible for the sore throat.
Feeding the bacteria can further lead to a burning sensation in your throat, worsening of the sore throat, and delaying the treatment.
Hence, regardless of whether it is white chocolate, milky chocolate, or your favorite branded chocolate bar, you’re probably setting yourself up for more pain than you can imagine.
And if you by mistake happen to consume some sugary chocolate while having a throat infection, a saltwater gargle or herbal tea mixed with cinnamon, cloves, honey or mint can help soothe the pain.
Can hot chocolate relieve sore throat?
Hot chocolate beverages made from sweetened cocoa should not be used to treat sore throats.
Regular hot chocolate drinks have a high sugar content and will worsen your throat infection. Also, because chocolate beverages usually possess a thick sticky texture, they can trap the bacteria in your tonsils and allow them to fester more.
However, hot chocolate beverages made using dark chocolate from pure cacao will definitely help and can relieve the soreness to some extent.
When should you not use chocolate for sore throat?
Do not use chocolates for a sore throat when it contains sugar or dairy and also if your sore throat is a result of acid reflux.
Chocolate contains cocoa which is known to boost gastric acid production and worsen acid reflux. Gastric acid being shot up to your throat will definitely worsen your sore throat.
This also happens with coffee, so it’s best to avoid green or black tea that contains caffeine and coffee as they aggravate acid reflux.
What are the health benefits of chocolate?
Some of the major benefits of chocolate are its richness in antioxidants which combat free radicals, and its ability to relieve irritation and inflammation.
Pure chocolate is also rich in minerals, boosts heart health, improves brain function, and boosts the immune system.
How does chocolate soothe a sore throat?
Researchers found that the darkest chocolate made from real cacao contains theobromine, an alkaloid capable of minimizing the urge to cough. Theobromine was also found to be more effective than codeine.
However, to enjoy the soothing effect of chocolate on cough or sore throat, go with dark chocolate with over 70% concentration of cacao.
Dark chocolates with over 70% concentration of cacao are generally healthier and contain less sugar compared to their sweetened counterparts.
How do you use chocolate to treat a sore throat?
To use chocolate as a remedy for sore throat, it needs to be dark chocolate from real cacao and it needs to be in contact with your throat for longer.
Rather than just swallow a big chunk of chocolate, get yourself dark unsweetened chocolate and slowly suck on it. The best way to do that is to bite into a piece of dark chocolate and let it slowly dissolve in your mouth.
What beverages can you use for sore throat?
Drinking hot herbal or decaffeinated tea works wonders with a sore throat. To enhance its therapeutic and healing properties, you can add lemon, honey, and mint to the mix.
Can you be allergic to chocolate?
Yes, you can suffer allergic reactions after consuming chocolate. Common allergies to look out for after consuming chocolate includes swelling (tongue, lips, throat), shortness of breath, wheezing or shortness of breath, stomach cramps, and/or hives.
What is the difference between white and dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is made up of little or no milk, has a slightly bitter taste, and majorly consists of cocoa solids known as cacao. However, white chocolate contains no cocoa solids and is mainly made up of milk, cocoa butter, and sugar.
The consumption of dark unsweetened chocolate is not a problem if you have a sore throat. In fact, darker chocolate made with real cacao will help you feel better faster. However, do not stop taking the recommended medications because of this, and make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Darker chocolate made from real cacao that contains theobromine works just like honey in a sense, as it relieves affected nerves in the throat. You can also take the darker chocolate in hot liquid form for faster and more effective relief.
However, using any other form of chocolate like dairy-filled ones or candy bars that contain sugar will result in your throat issues getting worse. The high sugar content present in these chocolates will only feed the bacteria and help it fester.
Finally, if you plan to use darker chocolate for your sore throat, make sure it isn’t moldy to avoid further health complications. Here are common signs to look out for in moldy chocolate and how to prevent them.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.