Even a simple cup of hot chocolate can have profound immune-boosting effects, according to recently published research. Hot beverages are commonly used in natural medicine to prevent and treat an array of symptoms, ranging from sore throats and stuffy noses, all the way down to stress and anxiety. And as the science now shows, the benefits of a hot cuppa are quite far-reaching.
In a recently published study, a team of Japanese scientists studied the effects a daily cup of cocoa had on flu prevention. A three-part investigation was conducted using cell models, animals and human subjects.
The researchers saw promising results from the get-go. In cell studies, cocoa extract prevented flu viruses from invading canine kidney cells. In the animal trial, mice were given cocoa extract for four days before being infected with influenza. The researchers again found that cocoa offered a protective effect against infection -- and it's effective in normal amounts that a human might consume.
Then came the human trial. A total of 123 people were selected for the study; half the participants were tasked with drinking a cup of cocoa every day, while the remainder did not. All of the study participants had been vaccinated with a flu vaccine.
As Green Med Info reports:
For three weeks before and after being vaccinated, one group consumed a cup of hot chocolate every morning. The drink is commercially available in Japan (under the name Kakao 2 Bai) and contains 360 mg of cocoa polyphenols per cup. The control group did not drink any cocoa.
After two weeks, antibodies against the A (H1N1) virus were not significantly different between the two groups. But the cocoa drinking group had significantly more natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells recognize and eliminate influenza-virus-infected cells in order to keep the virus from spreading.
NK cells are an indicator of the body's natural immunity, according to reports. So an increase in NK cell population is also a sign that vaccines are not actually necessary to boost immunity.
While flu shot propagandists want the masses to believe inoculation is the "only" option to prevent disease, science continues to show that simply isn't the case.
Chocolate is a delectable treat, but it is also loaded with an array of micronutrients, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Dark chocolate, in particular, is highly regarded for its myriad of nutritional benefits.
In addition to fighting off the flu, a newly published study also found that chocolate can help treat coughs. A European study reportedly found that study participants who tried a new cocoa-based cough medicine saw “a significant improvement in their cough and sleeplessness” in just 48 hours -- much faster than the participants who were given conventional cough syrup.
According to reports, past research concluded theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, was more effective at suppressing coughs than codeine, a controversial cough suppressant peddled by the pharmaceutical industry.
Some new research has also indicated that chocolate can help fight diabetes, as odd as that may seem. Scientists say that compounds in dark chocolate can help the body respond to increased blood glucose levels better.
Chocolate is a delicious superfood, but it can also be high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. You can learn more about chocolate and other superfoods at Food.news.
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