With blog posts and trending videos about super foods and natural cosmetic products, you should be inspired to reduce your intake of certain medications and boost your system with holistic alternatives. Good news for you: chocolate and cocoa can provide natural solutions to so many physical or emotional ailments.
- Headaches: Say you’re at home with the young ones after they refuse a nap. A headache is bound to occur approximately…10/10 times in situations such as these. What do you do? Pop a couple of excedrin and hope for the best? What you may not know is that popping a piece of chocolate could be a part of the solution (sort of)! It was common folklore in the not so distant past that chocolate causes headaches and migraines; however, according to a recent study funded by the Missouri State University’s Center for Biomedical & Life Sciences, cocoa can actually help reduce inflammation in the brain. While it is true that much of the mass produced chocolate in the marketplace is loaded with sugars and trans fats, which can truly contribute to headache pain, professionals suggest an increase in cacao content can relieve the pain. This means that you need to steer clear of processed milk chocolate, and keep a higher percentage of dark chocolate in your medicine cabinet. The study suggests that consuming a small amount of cacao everyday, much like certain vitamin supplements, can decrease headaches or migraines in the long run.
- Rashes or Dry Skin: Topical lotions typically found in your average corner store or pharmacy tend to contain unnecessary ingredients, even if they claim to be organic. The truth is, many lotions available today actually cause more irritation to the skin, giving consumers the illusion that they need to buy more intense lotions to solve the problems the first ones caused. And so we turn once again to cacao. Chocolate has long been blamed for acne; but cacao has been used medicinally since ancient times. Pure cacao contains the nutrients to slow the breakdown of cells, which is what skin irritation is, and flavanols, which prevents UV damage from over exposure to the sun. Experts suggest mixing cocoa powder with other natural ingredients to make scrubs or masks, or even purchasing pure cocoa, melting it down, and applying it straight to your skin. If the idea of rubbing cocoa powder on your skin is a turn off (or if you’re afraid you’ll try to lick it off your arm), then purchase a bag of pure cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is the fat in chocolate and is a natural moisturizer, especially effective on those rough areas such as feet and elbows.
- Broken Heart: No, alcohol and ice cream are not the solution to a heartbreak, contrary to popular belief. Neither is moving on. In fact, consuming chocolate is the best solution to any kind of heartache there is: breakups, grief, loneliness, stress and more. We’re not suggesting eating the pain away, but studies show the correlation between chocolate and happiness. Why is this? Well, chocolate contains tyrosine, an amino acid also located in our brains that helps control dopamine and serotonin levels. The increase in tyrosine creates a domino effect of brain levels which ultimately lead to you feeling a temporary wave of joy and relief from said heart break. Note: this refers to a metaphorical broken heart, i.e. temporary sadness, for real heart pain, please see your doctor or visit the ER and don’t eat chocolate.
- Smelly Armpits: There have been many natural alternatives to deodorant since it was put on the market. Some people turn to essential oils, crystals or baking soda while others decide not to wear deodorant at all. While we highly recommend proper hygiene appropriate for today’s societal standards, we also strongly encourage looking into “sweeter” alternatives to deodorant, such as chocolate. Okay, you can’t straight up stick chocolate or even cocoa under your armpits and call it a day, but we highly suggest looking into chocolate-scented deodorants and perfumes to change it up a bit. According to a neurological study done at London’s Middlesex University, the smell of chocolate can affect people’s brain waves. Some people report feeling excited, hungry or relaxed after getting a whiff of chocolate, why wouldn’t you want to do the same?