Maintaining a “healthy gut” is all the rage these days among health experts, both the loud and cray-cray types and the more serious, sober, analytic types. It still baffles traditional-medicine researchers as to why some people do wonderfully well on a vegetarian diet while others need their daily red meat lest they get sluggish, but some alternative-medicine researchers have figured that out with the blood-type connection – so that’s not a puzzle to us anymore. It’s all about your own basic body chemistry.
(People love talking about “chemistry” when it comes to getting along and attraction to others, but they’d rather not talk about it when it comes to food. People don’t like to be told that they shouldn’t eat something!)
It’s reeeally important to maintain a healthy gut if you have a chronic condition like MS, and pure dark chocolate can immensely help with that. Chocolate has antioxidants, and these help to defend your cells against damaging free radicals. And although a nutrition-based approach to health is still considered “alternative” medicine, people of all medical stripes are starting to come around.
Note: If you’re allergic to chocolate or don’t like it, replace the word “chocolate” with “oats” everywhere it appears in this article.
How Is Chocolate Good for MS?
If you’re Generation X or older, you remember that Ex-Lax used to be sold only in chocolated form, because chocolate naturally helps your body eliminate what it needs to eliminate. And proper elimination is at the core of maintaining a healthy gut, not allowing bad bacteria to grow and fester in the digestive system.
So why not just consume regular dark chocolate (which doesn’t have as much sugar as milk chocolate) as a delicious way to help the body process foods properly? The only explanation I’ve been offered insofar as why chocolate isn’t overtly, officially recommended is that experts are afraid that people would eat too much of it. That said, I’ve never seen any research explaining what that upper limit of chocolate intake would be.
Why Doesn’t My Family Doctor Tell Me to Eat Chocolate?
I explain in “Game Over, MS” that the fields of complementary and alternative medicine (COM), which focuses on healthy eating and heathy living to maintain health, and traditional medicine, which focuses on treating illness, don’t yet collaborate with each other. However, I’m glad to say that it does seem like both sides are now flirting with each other and are seeing that patients need both approaches, not either/or.
In fact, I’ve noticed traditional medicine beginning to relent to blending with complementary medicine, whereas I’m not yet seeing complementary medicine relenting very much to blending with traditional. Hopefully that cold war will start to warm up soon!
Shouldn’t I Eat Everything in Moderation?
In the book “Eat Right 4 Your Type,” which delineates the Blood Type Diet, Dr. Peter D’Adamo explains how he can take a droplet of a certain blood type and see how it reacts under a microscope with a certain food. And that a different blood type will not necessarily react the same way. Some foods make certain blood types agglutinate, or coalesce. This isn’t good. So those foods that have bad reactions under a microscope with a blood type are on that type’s “Avoid” list.
So, no – not everything in moderation, especially if you have MS. Why would you eat something that will make your condition worse on a cellular level?
The good news is that chocolate doesn’t have an agglutinating reaction with any of the four blood types, so Dr. D’Adamo puts chocolate on the “Neutral” list of all four types. And that makes sense to me as someone with MS, because dark chocolate helps me maintain a healthy gut. Let’s just say it’s very obvious if I don’t eat my daily dose of dark chocolate.
If you’re concerned about your teeth, like I was, my dentist actually told me that pure chocolate (not with nuts or ancillary extras) is an excellent snack food for your teeth, because chocolate rinses out of the teeth easily. It’s important to drink water when eating chocolate so it doesn’t sit in the teeth.
So if you have MS, give dark chocolate a try, and see if it helps you maintain a healthy gut!