Have a winter cough that won’t go away? Chocolate can help!

I know you’re probably thinking we’re lying just to sell more chocolate, but I promise the science is there. Around this time of year a tingly cough seems to make its way around. It doesn’t seem to be followed by the cold or flu, but also won’t always disappear with some over the counter medications.

There is actually a chemical in chocolate that has been shown to suppress the vagus nerve and coughing. What’s your vagus nerve? The vagus nerve is one of your twelve cranial nerves and is actually the longest. This nerve helps you breathe and perform other basic body functions but can also affect things like coughing.

A chemical found in cocoa – theobromine could actually suppress this vagus nerve and at the same time…suppress that tingly winter cough. Many studies have been done and although some have mixed results, if you have that winter cough that just wont go away, why not add in a little dark chocolate to your diet and see what happens?

dark chocolate mocha munch



Martã­nez-Pinilla, E., Oã±Atibia-Astibia, A., & Franco, R. (2015). The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Frontiers in Pharmacology,6. doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00030

Vagus Nerve. (2015, April 15). Retrieved February 17, 2017, from http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/vagus-nerve

Guest blogger, Carli Barbo, is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in dietetics. She is currently a dietetic intern and graduate student at Georgia State University with hopes to eventually become a registered dietitian. In her free time she likes to try out new recipes, play with her puppy, Sampson, and scoping out Atlanta for new restaurants to try!

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