Is Chocolate Good for Arthritis? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Chocolate is good for arthritis, but only dark chocolate. Because it has flavonoids and other nutrients that can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage.

Arthritis is a condition that affects your joints, which are the places where your bones meet and move.

In arthritis, your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your own joint tissues, causing inflammation, pain, stiffness, and damage.

This can lead to various health problems, such as reduced mobility, disability, and increased risk of infections and heart disease.

One of the key factors in managing arthritis is diet.

What you consume can affect your inflammation levels, which can impact your arthritis symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage arthritis, you should consume anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, and avoid pro-inflammatory foods like processed meats, refined grains, sugar, and alcohol.

Now, chocolate is a food made from roasted and ground cacao beans, mixed with sugar and other ingredients.

People usually eat chocolate as a snack, dessert, or drink.

Chocolate is good for arthritis because it contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage.

However, this only applies to dark chocolate, which has at least 70% cacao content.

Milk chocolate, which has less cacao and more sugar and fat, could potentially contribute to inflammation and weight gain.

One ounce of dark chocolate can give you about 12% of your daily needs of magnesium, 11% of iron, 9% of fiber, and 6% of copper.

These nutrients can support your bone health, blood circulation, digestion, and immune system.

Flavonoids can positively affect arthritis by inhibiting the production of inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines and prostaglandins, and by modulating the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and macrophages.

Furthermore, chocolate is a mood booster and a stress reliever, and both mood and stress can affect arthritis.

Because, chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that can make you feel happy and calm.

You can eat one or two squares of dark chocolate per day safely.

More than that can cause excess calories, sugar, and caffeine, which can worsen your arthritis symptoms and increase your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Also, you shouldn’t eat chocolate if you have gout, which is a type of arthritis that causes painful uric acid crystals to form in your joints.

Because, chocolate contains purines, which are compounds that can increase your uric acid levels and trigger a gout attack.

You can buy fresh dark chocolate in your local market or can order it online.

Always choose organic, fair-trade, and high-quality chocolate.

Because, these types of chocolate are more likely to have higher cacao content, lower sugar and additives, and better environmental and social impact.

You can store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to a year.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing arthritis effectively.

I always recommend my arthritis patients to follow an arthritis-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

Leave a Comment