'I-28Sfuuy-WR10okMSia3VYeZTm2RHA2LZDel59TlF8' name='google-site-verification'/>www ghs.google.com 6dseurqgapmn gv-v6egtfduggmq3k.dv.googlehosted.com Autismwarriormama: Autism and Eating Chocolate: Self-Medication?

Living with Autism

Loading...

June 5, 2013

Autism and Eating Chocolate: Self-Medication?

Award Winning Non-Fiction Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Autism and Chocolate: What’s the Connection?

My autistic son Jamey has rarely liked eating chocolate. However, recently, he’s been obsessed with chocolate pudding, chocolate candy and chocolate almond milk. So, naturally, I have to ask myself, why? Why chocolate?
Research shows chocolate elevates serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Chocolate can also lower blood pressure, which may help calm the overactive nervous system in the autistic person.

Dark chocolate has especially interesting properties, in that it’s a powerful antioxidant and serves to thwart formation of free radicals. As most autism parents are aware, increasing antioxidants is a proven health benefit for autistic children. Is my son trying to self-medicate? Increase feel good neurotransmitters in his brain by seeking out chocolate? When an autistic person can't communicate, a sudden change in food preferences could be a sign of self-medicating. Research from Swinburne University of Technology found polyphenols in dark chocolate increase calmness and enhance mood. Dr. Oz suggests dark chocolate speeds up bowels. Some autistic people suffer from chronic constipation rooted in chronic anxiety. Hence, chocolate would be a win win in this situation. 


Interestingly, dark chocolate has cardiovascular benefits, derived from catechin and gallic acid. Gallic acid, as an antioxidant, protects human cells from oxidative damage. With autism research showing oxidative damage exacerbates aberrant behaviors in autism, why not offer the child some chocolate? Word of caution: if your autistic child is on a diet that restricts oxalates due to a risk of forming kidney stones check with your child’s doctor before offering chocolate.

Gluten free chocolate is the best choice, given gastric issues facing autistic population.  

Good places to find gluten free chocolate for your autistic child:

1.      Trader Joes
2.    Sprouts Farmer’s Market
3.    Whole Foods Market
4.    Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Candy Bar from Glutino
5.     Gourmet Gluten Free Chocolate: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/category/Vosges-Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Gifts

Kim Oakley

5 comments:

LokaSamasta said...

Hi Kim,

Chocolate containse FAAH inhibitors, FAAH is the enzyme which breaks down anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid which binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, a bit like THC (or rather, THC is a bit like anandamide).

Autistic people have 50% more CB2 receptors, and other differences in our endocannabinoid systems. This is another reason chocolate is good for us. I can happily eat 200g per day. Chocolate with hazelnuts is good.

W ford said...

I am 22 year adult legit high functioning autistic and I have food likes and food problems I saw gastro doctor at southern california Kaiser (now I have medicare) and was told eat no wheat or dairy by one of those docs and that diet was no help. I am still having bloody greasy stools and throwing up food and chocolate is a big culprit but yes I do like I not so much in candy but in shakes protein. I had colonoscopy and upper endoscopy 2 years ago and what a mess barrets esophagus, polyps and colon inflamed, illietis . I did not understand every thing in docs report but these issues are bad. If you have real autistic child get them both colonosocopied and endoscopied to check for deadly gastro issues. Insurance should cover these things.

Lydia Hubbell said...

I don't know if you have heard of Xocai Healthy Chocolate or not, but I feel like it has changed my life and I am looking into how it might help with others. My issues are fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. www.lovinghealthychocolate.com I don't know if it helps everyone, but it is a food product and I think it helped my body get the nutrients it needed to heal itself. I am not saying I will never have another flare-up, but this has helped like nothing else.

Lynette Henk said...

I have a adult son who is autistic. Healthy Chocolate protein shakes have helped control his mood and improve symptoms. I see chocolate as a benefit. Ask me for details. I would be happy to send you a sample of healthy chocolate if you are a family touched by autism or if you work with disabled or those with autism spectrum disorder. Here is a blog post I wrote about our storm with chocolate and autism. http://healthchocoholic.com/2016/01/20/how-does-a-family-deal-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-mood-swings-in-the-teenager-or-adult/

Lynette Henk said...

I have a adult son who is autistic. Healthy Chocolate protein shakes have helped control his mood and improve symptoms. I see chocolate as a benefit. Ask me for details. I would be happy to send you a sample of healthy chocolate if you are a family touched by autism or if you work with disabled or those with autism spectrum disorder. Here is a blog post I wrote about our storm with chocolate and autism. http://healthchocoholic.com/2016/01/20/how-does-a-family-deal-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-mood-swings-in-the-teenager-or-adult/

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)