Surprising and Delicious Food May Help MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Everybody’s favorite food just became even better (if that’s even possible). That’s because, in addition to being absolutely delicious, research shows that it may be therapeutic for those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis.

The research, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, found that chocolate may help symptoms of MS and CFS. In the study, researchers assessed the effects of dark cocoa on the frequently debilitating fatigue present in both diseases by administering cocoa to the participants on a daily basis for 6 weeks. Participants’ fatigue levels were monitored at the baseline as well as after mental and physical tasks. Those who had the daily cocoa had a 45 percent improvement in fatigue and an 80 percent increase in walking speed. While pain levels were not assessed as part of this study, many of the study participants also reported reductions in pain.

While the mechanism behind the symptom improvements is unclear, it may be linked to the flavonoids found in cocoa. Cocoa contains naturally-occurring compounds known as flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and brain and nervous system healing benefits.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, almost disabling, disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as of 2017, there were almost 1 million people living with multiple sclerosis in the United States.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic ephalomyelitis, (CFS or ME), is a serious, debilitating condition that is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms overlap with other conditions. It is usually diagnosed by ruling out overlapping conditions and then determined by a physician that patients meet the other diagnostic criteria, including: severe fatigue that often leaves sufferers bedridden and lasts for at least 6 months while not improving from rest or sleep, memory impairment, sleep disorders, worsening of symptoms while standing or sitting upright, muscle or joint pain, frequent headaches, tender lymph nodes, digestive disturbances, chills and night sweats, allergies and sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals or noise.

Earlier research showed that dark chocolate in small amounts was helpful to those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis. Chocolate contains high amounts of compounds known as polyphenols, which appear to improve levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone, known as a neurotransmitter, that helps ensure we’re motivated, have balanced moods and feel good about life. Boosting low serotonin levels is one of the keys to health and happiness. Low serotonin levels can be linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia and even violent behavior.

Dark Chocolate Nutritional Info at-a-Glance

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 101-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70 to 85 percent cocoa provides: 604 calories, 7.87 grams of protein, 43.06 grams of fat, 43.36 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber, 24.23 grams of sugar, 12.02 milligrams of iron, 230 milligrams of magnesium and 3.34 milligrams of zinc.

How to Benefit from the Study Results

While it may be tempting to gorge yourself with chocolate after reading this, not just any chocolate will do. You should select dark chocolate only, not milk chocolate. Also, be sure the chocolate you select is low in sugar and free from additives, particularly those that are often linked to food sensitivities, such as butter, milk, cream, colors and artificial flavors.

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include her newest book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease. Follow her work.

70 comments

Judith Hannah
Judith H28 minutes ago

Thankyou

SEND
heather g
heather g4 days ago

Love dark, dark chocolate

SEND
Karin I
Karin I5 days ago

Dark Chocolate, especially with nuts, yum! I eat a row of "Endangered Species" dark chocolate every time with my coffee. The company donates 10% of its profits to endangered animals and is ethically sourced.

SEND
Chad Anderson
Chad A9 days ago

Thank you!

SEND
Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek10 days ago

Tyfs

SEND
Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek10 days ago

Tyfs

SEND
Christine V
Christine V10 days ago

Any excuse to eat dark chocolate sounds good to me.

SEND
Donald M
Thomas M11 days ago

tyfs

SEND
Danuta Watola
Danuta W12 days ago

thank you for sharing

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara13 days ago

yes

SEND