My chocolate trick!

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My chocolate trick!

By Jane Clarke

September 07, 2016

Even though Maya calls me the 'Salad Hoover' she does accept that I do have other tricks up my sleeve when it comes to chocolate and its swallowing aid effects. Ever since learning that chocolate contains theobromine, a caffeine like substance, I started to look into whether a good quality chocolate (ideally a high cocoa bean chocolate, something like a Green and Blacks or Lindt) could relax the muscles we use to swallow when eaten either as a small piece or melted and for many patients, it does!

So often when we have a poor appetite and our ability to swallow feels awkward, sucking a small piece of chocolate or having a small espresso cup sized portion of chocolate milk (made by melting the chocolate in milk, which can be almond, cow's or other types of milk) served warm or chilled, can start to relax the muscles and the swallowing becomes easier.

You can also get a sweet hit from the sugar from the chocolate absorbed through the roof of the mouth which can also hint and hopefully persuade the body that it's good to eat and to get a move on with eating.

Getting anxious around eating can also make it hard to swallow, so again, having a little appetiser of chocolate can help to relax, take the pressure down and the appetite can return.

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