The gut and the immune system connection

gut and immunity

gut and immunity

Your gastrointestinal tract, or gut, is a vital system that plays a significant role in biological processes within your body, and essentially encompasses your whole digestive system, from the mouth on down. The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota, which play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut and immune system. The combination of these microbiota and their environment within the gut are referred to as the gut microbiome.

Microbiome Immunity

That’s a term you’re probably more familiar with. As well as processing food for energy and essential nutrients, the gut microbiome plays a significant role in regulating immune response. When harmful pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses) enter the body, immune cells like T cells and B cells are activated to neutralise the threat. The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in modulating this immune response, so there’s an important relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. It’s generally accepted that microbiome immunity and good health are closely linked.

The gut microbiome communicates constantly with the immune system through various different mechanisms. Cells lining the gut known as epithelial cells maintain the integrity of the gut barrier, preventing certain pathogens from being absorbed. The gut microbiome supports the function of these epithelial cells, promoting a healthy and effective gut barrier. Signalling molecules called metabolites are also produced by the microbiome, and these modulate and control immune responses. These molecules can do things like activate T or B cells, or inhibit the release of proteins like cytokines, which can cause inflammation and damage otherwise healthy tissues.

How do I support a healthy gut microbiome?

A healthy gut microbiome generally has a diverse population of beneficial bacteria. Foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, can disrupt the composition of the gut microbiome and lead to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can result in chronic inflammation, and the development of unwanted health conditions.

So it’s pretty obvious that supporting a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help promote a healthy gut microbiome. In addition, consuming probiotics, such as those found in fermented foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut, can help support a healthy gut microbiome. As good as they are in promoting gut health though, those foods aren’t for everyone, and can be a bit of an acquired taste. Oh well… no pain no gain…

Live Cultures and Good Gut Health

That’s where chocolate comes in. Chocolate is not only a delicious, popular food stuff, with some pretty incredible benefits of its own — packed with flavonoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — but it’s also a terrific vehicle for delivering live cultures to the gut. It’s actually around three times more effective at doing this than dairy products such as yoghurt drinks, and… well… It’s chocolate. Need we say more?

Your daily bars of ohso-good, luxury Belgian chocolate are not only incredibly tasty, with a variety of cocoa content, and a range of delicious flavours, they’re also a brilliant way of making sure that you’re working towards a better balance in your gut microbiome, and helping your immune system to function correctly too. The small, perfectly-formed bars are tailor-made for making sure that your gut microbiome is balanced when you’re busy and on the go. You might not be able to pick up fermented foods everywhere you travel, and some people might not appreciate you opening your sauerkraut at the gym.

Get some ohso-good chocolate

So getting your regular intake of ohso ticks lots of boxes on your everyday health checklist; you get to have a daily bar of chocolate for one thing and that’s a big feel-good plus right there, but you’ll also be getting those important live cultures that you need to maintain your gut-health – an essential step in promoting a healthy immune response and great overall long-term health.



Healthy Gut, Healthy body – a 31 day challenge

healthy gut and healthy body

ohso benefits

31 tips and challenges to help build a healthy gut and healthy body throughout March.

Your microbiome within your gut is made up of trillions of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other forms of microorganisms. There are as many as 1,000 different types of bacteria living within your cecum, a pocket within your large intestine, and the vast majority of them have a very important role to play in your overall health.

How microbes affect your health

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to live with, and even rely on, the microbes within our gut. As we grow and develop from babies into adulthood, our microbiome diversifies and the different types of microbes broadens over time. A higher microbe diversity is linked to better health and affects our bodies in numerous ways.

The microbes within your body help you to:

  • Digest fibre, which in turn helps prevent heart disease, lowers the risk of cancer, prevents weight gain, and helps reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Control your immune system. The diverse range of bacteria and other microbes within your gut helps regulate your immune system and your body’s response to infections.
  • Improve brain function. Your microbiome can also have an effect on your nervous system, which helps control brain function. So, a healthy gut microbiome could positively influence your brain function.
  • Digest breast milk. Bacteria first start to grow and diversify when you’re just a baby. One such bacteria is known as Bifidobacteria, which you may have heard of, and this helps babies break down and digest the sugars within breast milk that help growth and development.

These are just a few of the ways that microbes within your body can influence your bodily functions and overall health.

Improve your microbiome and overall health with our 31 day challenge – #31DaysOfHealth

There are many ways in which you can look after the diverse range of microbes living within your body and improve your overall health.

We’ve listed 31 ways in which you can improve your microbiome, gut health, and your physical and mental wellbeing. You can try one a day, pick a few to focus on, or see how many you can do over the course of a month in our #31DaysOfHealth challenge – It’s up to you!

If you decide to take part – tag us in your posts on social media and use the hashtag #31DaysofHealth to let us know how you’re doing!

#1 Eat a bar of OhSo Chocolate a day

We created OhSo to help promote a healthy gut microbiome through our unique probiotic chocolate, which has been scientifically proven to deliver billions of live probiotic cultures three times more effectively than other methods like probiotic yoghurts.

Each pack of our chocolate is made up of 7 daily bars, perfect for your weekly routine. So, grab some packs of your favourite flavours of OhSo Chocolate in our shop and enjoy a bar a day, giving you all the benefits of chocolate as well as a daily dose of live probiotic cultures to help improve your microbiome.


#2 Increase the amount of fibre in your diet

Fibre is essential to eating a balanced and healthy diet. Not only does a high-fibre diet help protect against unhealthy weight gain but it also improves your gut health. 

Eating fermentable, soluble fibre, such as fibre found in foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, and pulses, helps the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut reproduce and grow in number.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re eating plenty of fibre is to try to stick to the recommended 5-a-day rule for fruits and vegetables. Try and include a source of fibre from fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, or beans with each meal, if possible.


#3 Increase the amount of water you drink

Everyone knows that we need water to survive but are you drinking enough water to thrive?

Drinking plenty of water obviously prevents dehydration, which has many unpleasant and damaging effects, but it also has a whole host of other benefits to your overall health and wellbeing. 

Drinking more water helps improve cognitive function and mood, improve physical performance, improves digestion, supports kidney function and helps prevent kidney stones, helps with healthy skin and improved complexion, and helps regulate your stomach acid and maintain a healthy and abundant microbiome.

Aim to drink between 2-4 litres of water consistently throughout the day (don’t guzzle it all at once). If you are more active or it is a hot day and you’re losing water through perspiration, aim for the higher end and learn to recognise thirst and early dehydration symptoms and drink when you need to.


#4 Eat a more diverse range of foods

Do you tend to eat the same kinds of meals or foods each week? 

Eating a variety of different types of food is not only likely to improve the nutritional balance within your diet but it can also help diversify your microbiome, increasing the variety of microbes and healthy bacteria in your gut.

Deciding to eat different types of food is also a great way to try new recipes and dishes, experimenting in the kitchen, and learning new cooking techniques and skills!

Try to commit to cooking something different or trying a different meal at least once a week.


#5 Try a plant-based diet

If you’re not already vegetarian or vegan, we’re not saying you should become a vegetarian or eat a completely plant-based diet but vegetarian and vegan diets have been linked to reduced levels of bad gut bacteria such as E. coli. They have also been linked to lower levels of inflammation and a lower risk of high cholesterol.

Diets that include a range of plant-based meals have also been linked to a lower risk of some chronic diseases and illnesses such as diabete and cancer, and improved cardiovascular health and metabolism.

If you are an omnivore and eat meat regularly or even with every meal, try and introduce one or two vegetarian or plant-based meals as part of your weekly diet. Not only will this help introduce more fibre into your diet and allow you to eat a more diverse range of foods, but it will also help improve the ecosystem of your gut bacteria.


#6 Increase your step-count

Fitness trackers such as step-counting apps or activity tracker wearable tech have increased exponentially in recent years – over a quarter of adults in the UK own some form of wearable exercise tracker and nearly 40% of Brits monitor their step count daily, with a similar number tracking steps on a regular basis!

Walking is such a simple and incredibly effective way to improve your overall health (especially your cardiovascular health), help with weight loss, build muscle, improve bone density, and improve your overall mental health by reducing stress and helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, walking is completely free! You don’t need an expensive gym membership, exercise equipment, or fancy running shoes.

If your step count is relatively low or you don’t go for many walks, increase your step count or the time you’re out walking slowly. An increase of 1,000-2,000 steps a day has been proven to have a positive impact on your health.

If you don’t have a step tracker, measure the time or distance you walk each day and gradually increase that instead. Get off the bus a stop or two earlier, park a little further from your destination, go for a 30 minute walk instead of 20… and so on.


#7 Improve your sleep

Between 7 and 9 hours of sleep – that’s what health professionals state is how much sleep an adult needs every night. However, it’s not just the quantity of sleep you’re getting that matters but the quality of sleep, too.

Set a reasonable bedtime. If you have a specific wake-up time (i.e. you have a morning alarm set to get up on time for work) then count back 8 hours from that time and try to stick to going to bed at that time each night.

Here’s a few more tips on getting both the right amount of sleep and improving the quality of your sleep and are included as part of our #31DaysOfHealth. 

  • #8 – Include wind-down time as part of your nightly routine. Going straight from being active and wide awake to climbing into bed isn’t going to help you drift off. Set a minimum of 30 minutes before your scheduled bedtime to relax and wind-down, ready for bed.
  • #9 – Limit screen time before bed. Try and avoid staring at a screen for around an hour before bed. Exposure to the blue light given off by screens can disrupt our circadian rhythm and thus our sleep. Limiting the amount of blue light you’re exposed to will help with the quality of your sleep.
  • #10 – Avoid caffeine after 3pm. If you’re a big coffee or tea drinker, try and avoid those caffeinated drinks after 3pm. Switch to decaf tea or coffee instead if you do like a drink or two in the afternoon or evening. Or try non caffeinated herbal teas instead, like chamomile, ginger, or peppermint tea.


#11 Get outside

Not only can getting outside improve your overall fitness levels (a brisk walk in nature anyone?) but it has other physical and mental health benefits.

Getting outdoors can boost serotonin levels, which we all know is a good thing, and as little as 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight can help increase vitamin D in your body.


#12 Reduce your alcohol consumption

We all know the main benefits of reducing the amount of alcohol we drink, especially if the amount was fairly high to begin with! 

However, did you know that alcohol can have a negative impact on the good bacteria in your microbiome, too? Excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the diversity and amount of bacteria in our gut, which has a detrimental effect on our overall health.

So, if you do drink Alcohol regularly, try to introduce 2 or 3 alcohol free days each week and monitor how you feel, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.


#13 Eat less processed foods

Eating more natural foods and less food that’s processed in a lab or factory is better for your overall health. Processed foods often come with added sugars and salt, generally include higher levels of unhealthy fats, and it’s difficult to ascertain what else has been added due to all those difficult to pronounce ingredient names.

Ultra-processed foods are also linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases such as bowel cancer, colorectal cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown an association between highly processed foods and the number of “bad” microbes in the microbiome whereas minimally processed foods are linked to higher numbers of “good” species of bacteria.


#14 Stand up and move

In the modern age that we live in it is very easy to remain seated and unmoving for long periods of time – especially if you have an office job or similar or work from home.

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time has been linked to a number of detrimental health effects and increases your risk of chronic disease and reduces life expectancy!

Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is also linked to an imbalance between essential, healthy bacteria and harmful bacteria in our microbiome.

Try to stand up and move at least once an hour, if not every 30 minutes, throughout the working day. It doesn’t have to be much, just a short walk around the room or office, performing a few squats, or just getting up and moving for a minute or two every half hour.


#15 Drink a glass of water every morning when you wake up

Ok. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is already on our list of health challenges but this also deserves its own spot on the list.

Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning not only helps with hydration (as you’ve likely not drank any through the night) but it also helps to kick-start your digestive system, increases your energy levels, and has been linked to improving skin health!


#16 Stairway to heaven

Ok, maybe not heaven, but using the stairs whenever possible instead of taking the lift or escalator has been proven to provide a number of benefits to your overall health.

Opting to take the stairs instead of jumping in the lift increases your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which increases your metabolic rate and just a small increase in NEAT can have a significant positive effect on your health.

So, wherever possible, opt for the stairs over the lift or find other ways to increase your NEAT – we’ve mentioned a few already such as moving every 30 minutes, getting outside, increasing your step count, etc. These are all great ways to increase your NEAT.


#17 Eat enough protein and fibre

Note how we said enough protein and not more. Protein is an essential nutrient and very important in managing your health and weight loss goals. But very high protein diets have been linked to poor gut health.

High protein diets can be great for managing weight loss in the short term but sometimes aren’t great for your overall health in the long term. This isn’t because high levels of protein is necessarily bad for you but because a lot of high protein diets are associated with a reduced fibre intake and higher levels of saturated fats. These types of diets are linked to increased gut bacteria associated with inflammation and disease.

When you choose to eat protein rich foods that are also a great source of fibre, such as peas, or pair your protein source with foods high in fibre like broccoli, green beans, and sweet potatoes. This will promote better gut health and help your body process the protein more effectively, providing more benefits.

ohso benefits


#18 Grow some greenery

Maybe you’re the type of person that kills off all your houseplants within a week of owning them or maybe not, but introducing house plants into your home is great for a number of reasons.

Increasing the amount of plants in your house helps to improve the air quality in your home and has been known to improve overall mood, increase creativity, and offer health benefits too.

So, time to put aside the guilt from killing off that previous house plant and try and introduce some greenery into your home again. There are plenty of plant species out there that need minimal maintenance.


#19 Think positive thoughts

Cultivating a positive attitude towards life in general is not just good for your mental health but it can provide positive physical health benefits as well.

Introducing a positive mentality can help reduce stress hormone levels in the body as well as combat the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Studies have also indicated that a “fake it til you make it” approach to positivity can have just as much of a positive effect as actually being positive. This includes recognising any negative thoughts that enter your mind, stopping them from spiralling out of control and telling yourself “No, I can do this. It’s not that bad. How can I turn this around? This is just a challenge. I AM good enough.” and so on. 

This month, try and take note of any negative thoughts or self-deprecating self-talk and counter it with positive statements or affirmations.


#20 Smile more and the #OhSoSmileChallenge

Following on from #19, smiling has many surprising benefits to your overall health and wellbeing that you might not have known about.

Smiling is not only a great way to boost your mood but it also helps to reduce blood pressure, reduce stress levels, improve your immune system, increase your endurance, and can even reduce pain!

Smile more. Smile with other people. Smile at strangers – you’ll notice how often it is returned. Write down a list of things that make you smile and put it somewhere you can clearly see it every day.

If you want to go a step further – take a selfie of yourself smiling, take a picture of yourself smiling with friends, family, colleagues, maybe even a stranger, take a picture of somewhere that makes you smile, take a picture of you doing something that makes you smile, take a picture of you smiling with your favourite OhSo Chocolate bar. Make a video collage of all of these and post it on social media, tagging us and using the hashtags #31DaysOfHealth #OhSoSmileChallenge – then you’ll have a lovely video to look back on and cherish, showing the importance of something as simple as a smile!


#21 Be kind

This one doesn’t need a lengthy explanation. Being kind should be one of the easiest things to do. If you watch a toddler or a young child, almost always, their first instinct in a situation is one of kindness. 

Being kind is not just great for other people, but it also improves your own mood and has a great positive effect on your mental health and your physical health, reducing stress, anxiety and depression symptoms, and increasing “good” hormones like serotonin and endorphins.


#22 Do something you enjoy

Life can get busy. Work, family, children, any number of other commitments can restrict your time but making time for yourself to do something that you enjoy is essential to a healthy work/life balance.

Whatever it is, whether it’s going for a bike ride, taking part in a self-defence class, going to the gym, reading a book, cooking, or just watching your favourite TV show, try to set aside time each week to do something you genuinely enjoy.


#23 Conquer your fear

When you experience fear, feel threatened, or are anxious, your body goes into fight or flight mode. When in fight or flight mode your body shuts down or slows down bodily functions that aren’t required for survival, such as the digestive system where your microbiome is located. 

Fear, if uncontrolled and overwhelming, can lead to a weakened immune system, cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal issues, fertility problems, impaired memory function, and an interruption in brain processing. That’s not even mentioning the mental health implications.

A little bit of fear is necessary to survival and can even be enjoyable but no one wants their fears to control them.

Do something, however small, each week that scares you. Or pick one of your fears and focus on slowly beginning to conquer it, one step at a time.


#24 Be thankful

Similar to #19, being thankful means appreciating what and who you have around you.

Practising gratitude or being thankful is not just a good way to introduce more positive thinking into your life but it also has physical and mental health benefits! Research has shown that people who have high levels of gratitude have stronger immune systems, sleep better, and report fewer aches and pains. Gratitude has also been shown to improve social relationships and self-worth as well as increasing positive emotions and reducing loneliness and symptoms of depression.

You can practise gratitude by writing down things that you’re grateful for each morning or just saying them out loud or in your head. You can write thank you notes to people in your life that you’re grateful for, whether you actually send them or not. You can try expressing gratitude during meditation or prayer. You can also start a “gratitude jar” and pop spare change in it whenever you have some and, once the jar is full, you can use the money to buy someone flowers, pay for lunch for someone you’re grateful for, give someone a gift card, or anything else to express your gratitude towards people.


#25 Stretch

If you spend just 5 minutes a day performing some basic stretches, you can improve your mobility and reduce your risk of pain. Whether you live an active lifestyle with plenty of gym sessions or some form of training, or whether you sit at a desk most of the day with little movement, mobility stretches will help you.

Here is a simple, 12 minute mobility routine video that almost anyone can follow.


#26 Spend less time on your phone

We included reducing your screen time as #9 on our list but that was relating to improving your sleep and reducing the amount of time you spend on your phone or staring at a screen has so many benefits that it’s worth including as its own challenge.

Did you know that the average adult in the UK spends around five hours per day looking at a screen? This is in addition to any work related screen time!!!

Spending a lot of time in front of a screen can have a negative impact on almost everything, from your mood to your quality of sleep to your eyes, even your brain functionality. Reducing your screen time can lower your stress levels, improve your sleep quality, improve your focus and brain function, increase the amount of physical activity you do, improve your posture, and reduce eye strain.

Many smartphones come with built-in screen time trackers now and offer reports on your daily screen time habits, which is a great way to track how much time you spend on your phone and what apps take up most of that time (hint: it’s usually social media).

To reduce your screen time try: 

  • going for a walk outside after work before you sit down to watch tv 
  • read a book instead of “doom scrolling” through social media in the evening 
  • starting a new hobby or dedicating more time to an existing one 
  • spending screenless time with your family 
  • cooking a meal from scratch
  • spending more time with friends and family


#27 Improve your memory and exercise your brain

Memory loss has been linked to a number of physiological and mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, stress, as well as more serious conditions such as dementia. The good news is that it can be improved in the majority of cases and performing regular activities that help improve brain function has been linked to improved cognitive ability (obviously), reduced stress levels, lower risk of anxiety and depression, and improved mood.

Try these simple activities and exercises for the brain:

  • Repeat, pause, repeat. Whether it’s someone’s name that you’ve just been introduced to, a piece of information you want to remember, or a new skill you want to learn, repeating it multiple times has been proven to help you remember it.
  • Stress less about stress. Stress is a risk factor for a lot of health conditions but perceived stress is also a risk factor for a decline in cognitive ability. Perceived stress is when you worry about how much actual stress you are under and can be relieved by performing the same sorts of activities that help reduce overall stress levels.
  • Stretch and move. Physical activity is known to improve cognitive function as well as physical health. Anything from simple stretch routines to an outdoors run to a gym class or training activity can help improve your brain’s health and your memory.
  • Dance, laugh, sing, be silly. Anything that makes you smile, laugh, and be happy regularly, especially in the company of others, has been shown to provide a big boost to cognitive function. It has even been shown to have a preventative effect on dementia!
  • Read out loud. Studies have shown that people who read out loud recalled information better than those who read silently, listened to others read, or listened to an audio recording of themselves.


#28 Eat fermented foods

Coming back to that all-important microbiome of gut-friendly bacteria and other organisms, and the overall health of our gut, another way to help promote biodiversity and the growth of “good” microbes is to eat a variety of fermented foods.

Fermented foods have been around for millennia, with examples of humans eating fermented foods dating back as far as 6000 B.C. It is thought that foods were fermented originally to preserve the food and give it a longer shelf life. 

Fermented foods also provide a number of health benefits such as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, inflammation, and obesity, improved mood and cognitive functionality, improved bone health, and also faster recovery after exercise.

Some great examples of fermented foods and drinks that you can begin to introduce into your diet include:

  • Kimchi – a fermented cabbage recipe that can be found in most supermarkets.
  • Cultured or fermented dairy products such as kefir, buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, and cultured milk.
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso – a fermented soybean paste used in recipes such as miso soup
  • Tempeh – a fermented soybean cake-like food sometimes used as a meat alternative
  • Sourdough bread (whilst not containing probiotics like other fermented foods, sourdough bread can still help promote healthy bacterial growth within the microbiome)
  • Kombucha
  • Fermented pickles – Note: not all store bought pickles are fermented
  • Cheese made from unpasteurised (or raw) milks
  • Cottage cheese – look for ones that are low in sugar and contain active cultures


#29 Increase your intake of probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics are those gut-friendly microorganisms that help to promote the biodiversity and composition of the microbiome in your gut and prebiotics are foods that help the growth and development of those helpful bacteria within your gut.

Eating more probiotic foods (such as fermented foods above) as well as prebiotic foods (such as foods high in fibre and complex carbohydrates) will help improve your gut health and microbiome.

So, as well as eating an OhSo Chocolate Bar a day, introduce more of the above fermented foods, foods high in prebiotics such as garlic, onions, artichokes, bananas, whole oats, leeks, asparagus, cocoa, flax seeds, and apples. 

Aim to eat probiotic and prebiotic foods over supplements as this promotes natural growth and biodiversity within the microbiome, but if you can’t or are finding it difficult, there are many choices of probiotic and prebiotic supplements available.


#30 Get some nuts (and seeds)

Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which help cultivate a more diverse gut microbiome and can help to improve your overall cardiovascular health and reduce blood sugar spikes associated with eating carbs.

Some great nuts and sees that you can include in your diet are:

  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Chia seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds


#31 Quit smoking

Ending on a big one – if you smoke, quitting the habit will have a massive positive effect on your overall health. This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. Everyone knows the risks associated with smoking and how detrimental it is to your health so we won’t dwell on it too much.

However, smoking can cause damage to your gut microbiome, irritate your digestive tract, increase the risk of IBS as well as increasing the risk of esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and bowel cancers, and increase the risk of stomach ulcers and colon polyps.

The good news is that after you quit smoking, research suggests that your gut microbiome can begin to flourish again (as well as other risks associated with smoking drastically reducing as well).

There you have it! OhSo Chocolates 31 Days of Health. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and we wish you luck in introducing some of these into your routine over the next month and hopefully beyond!

We’d love to hear how you get on with the challenge – share your progress with us on social media by tagging us in your posts and using the hashtag #31DaysOfHealth.

And don’t forget to top up your OhSo Chocolate supply for a little extra healthy boost for your gut microbiome!


If you would like to be in with a chance of winning one of 10 gorgeous Raspberry Chocolate bars comment below and tell us how you’re doing with your challenge! Let us know by sharing your success on instagram, twitter or Facebook using #31daysofhealth and you’ll get an extra competition entry!

Entry closes on 31st March 2023.

Chocolate With Benefits

ohso benefits

Enjoy a healthier relationship with lots of benefits without the potential for heartache.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of you may be thinking of ways to enrich your current relationship, find yourself a new one, ask out that person you’ve had your eye on for a while, or maybe even enter into some form of mutually beneficial friendship that provides certain benefits 😉 

Well, what about your relationship with chocolate? Chocolate with benefits!

Chocolate has many health benefits

Whilst eating too much chocolate, especially milk and white chocolate, can be detrimental to your health (too much of anything can be bad for you), there are many benefits that chocolate provides when enjoyed in moderation and as part of a healthy diet.

  • Studies have shown that dark chocolate is packed with nutrients and rich in antioxidants. It has even been found that regularly consuming around 28g of chocolate can lower your risk of coronary artery disease!
  • Dark chocolate could also lower your risk of poor heart health, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  • There are multiple reported benefits that chocolate can have on your brain. Research indicates that chocolate can stimulate the reward and pleasure pathways within the brain, decreasing stress and improving your mood. Chocolate could impact your memory and cognitive function, too, by increasing neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s way of forming new synaptic connections.
  • Studies have shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial for your gut because chocolate acts like a prebiotic, encouraging “good” bacteria growth within the gut. Add to this the fact that Ohso chocolate has been proven to deliver billions of live gut-friendly bacteria more effectively than dairy products and you can see why our chocolate bars are so popular!

As you can see, a healthy relationship with chocolate can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health; much better than a situationship, we’re sure!

Don’t settle for a guilty pleasure

While getting into a relationship for the sake of the Valentine’s period can satisfy an urge, scratch an itch, or tickle your fancy, why not get into a relationship with actual, tangible benefits?

Here’s 10 reasons why chocolate is better than a relationship

  1. Chocolate can stay hard for ages and satisfies you even when it’s gone soft.
  2. Chocolate will last as long as you make it last.
  3. Chocolate doesn’t run a mile when you mention “commitment”.
  4. Chocolate doesn’t choose “the game” over time with you.
  5. It’s very easy to find 9 inches of chocolate.
  6. There’s no need to fake it with chocolate.
  7. You can have as much chocolate as you can handle.
  8. Size doesn’t matter with chocolate – it’s always good.
  9. You can eat chocolate safely while driving.
  10. You can have chocolate in the workplace, at your desk, while out in public, in the cinema, practically anywhere you want without getting in trouble.

And one more bonus one for good luck: 

  1. You can bite the nuts as hard as you like and the chocolate won’t mind.

Fancy a bit on the side?

Or, why not have both? There’s nothing to say you can’t enjoy the feel-good emotions associated with a good relationship AND the feel-good sensations associated with chocolate at the same time!

Ohso Chocolate also makes a great gift for a loved one too… just saying.


This is your chance to win a year’s subscription of Ohso. Just tell us why you love chocolate using the box below and mention who you would share your chocolate with.


Sign Up To Win An Ohso Subscription

* indicates required

Customers’ Gut Health Stories

ohso gut health

Ohso Good Chocolate has helped many customers with their gut health thanks to billions of live gut friendly bacteria!

The combination of delicious Belgian chocolate and a billion gut-friendly live bacteria has proven to be a hit with customers with 4.5 stars and over 700 reviews on Trustpilot!

We know that many customers love the fact that all the cocoa for our chocolate is sustainably sourced. Others love the fact that the live bacteria cultures in our chocolate are delivered 3 times more effectively than in dairy products thanks to our unique encapsulation process. And others just love the way it tastes!

But what do our customers really say about Ohso Good Chocolate bars? 

And how has our unique blend of great tasting chocolate and live bacteria helped with their gut health?

Here’s just a small selection of the amazing reviews we’ve received about our chocolate and how it’s pleased many of our customers and helped with their gut health.

Gut health is better with an Ohso subscription

“Love Ohso! I had previously cancelled my subscription and have noticed the difference as my gut health plummeted. Have resubscribed to enjoy a daily chocolate bar with good gut bacteria.” – Amanda

Ohso 70% Dark Chocolate is ideal for diabetics

“A brilliant chocolate from a top company. The 70% dark is ideal for diabetics because of the low sugar content. 1 a day keeps the Doc at bay.” – Derek

Ohso Chocolate has helped with bloating

 “I’m about 3 weeks into having the daily chocolate and I can say I’m feeling good with it and feel it has helped with not feeling too bloated.” – B. Honey

Best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long time

“Having to eat sugar free chocolate, I thought I’d give the taster bars a try and it’s the best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long while. No horrible after taste. Really enjoyed the orange and raspberry flavours.” – Diane

A daily treat that is good for us

“Love the chocolate – so does my husband, so we have 8 boxes each month through our letterbox! It’s good to know that our daily treat is good for us.” – Jacky

Ohso helped with colitis

“Been buying Ohso for years. Just love the taste and a little bar of this a day has helped my daughter with her colitis. Not a medical expert or recommendation but the probiotics in these bars seem to have helped her.” – Carolyn

Sugar free plus gut friendly bacteria is a no-brainer

“I am a type 2 diabetic and I love dark chocolate (70-75% cocoa) but dark chocolate with raspberry and orange flavours AND sugar free PLUS gut friendly bacteria from Ohso is a no-brainer” – Malcolm

The very best way to get your pro-biotics

“I love Ohso chocolate. The very best way to get your probiotics and there are plenty of vegan options too.” – Jessica

Fancy trying Ohso chocolate yourself?

Enter below for your chance to win one of 10 orange chocolate 7 day bar packs.  Our winners will be drawn at random when our competition closes on 31st January 2023.

Buy Better Chocolate This Christmas

Gone are the days of “chocolate houses”, where chocolate was only available to the social elite. Nowadays, chocolate is everywhere. You need only walk down the road to buy a chocolate bar from your local shop, garage, or supermarket. Chocolate is mass produced across the globe and available in countless forms and flavours. Each year, more than 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are devoured by chocolate lovers around the world, whether eaten as a chocolate bar or consumed as a chocolatey drink.


Every Christmas, the choice for chocolate treats and gifts is endless. Chocolate boxes, bars, packs, and variety packs from mainstream producers are practically shoved in your face, making it easy to and affordable to purchase chocolatey Christmas presents. 


However, in this day and age, with a greater focus on healthy living, emotional wellbeing, and sustainability, is it time to make better choices with regards to the chocolate we eat and gift our loved ones?

Lower priced chocolate often equals lower quality chocolate


Since the days of the “chocolate houses”, because of the high demand for chocolate and the increase in production, standards of cocoa farming and the quality of the end product dropped significantly to keep the costs of mass-produced chocolate bars competitive. Sugar was added to sweeten the chocolate and milk to give it a creamier taste and texture. 


Over time more and more ingredients have been added to some brands of chocolate, further reducing the overall cocoa percentage. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, for instance, has only around 26% minimum cocoa content, whereas their “dark” chocolate bar, Bournville, still only has around 36% minimum cocoa content.


Now, a lower cocoa percentage doesn’t always equal lower quality. That comes down to the beans used in the chocolate production as well as the number and quality of other ingredients added to the chocolate. Many mass-produced chocolate brands add a multitude of additional ingredients to improve the taste, consistency, or give it a longer shelf life, other companies add additional ingredients to mask the inferior taste of the lower quality cocoa beans.


One way to tell the quality of the chocolate you’re eating is by looking at the ingredients list. The first ingredient on the list is the main ingredient – the one that makes up most of the chocolate bar. If the first ingredients listed are sugar or milk, those are what make up most of the bar, not the cocoa mass.


At Ohso, for example, our Milk Chocolate bar (milk chocolate has a significantly lower cocoa percentage than dark) contains 37% cocoa with no added sugar. You’ll notice on a pack of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk that the first ingredient is milk, followed by sugar, then cocoa butter, and then cocoa mass. The first and main ingredient in our Milk Chocolate bar is cocoa mass.


What’s more, our Ohso Dark 70% Cocoa bar does precisely what it says on the tin… er… wrapper. It has 70% cocoa content. It also has no added sugar (along with those gut friendly bacteria), making it even better for you!


Give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas


Anyone can nip to the shop and buy bars (or a box) of chocolates from the mainstream chocolate manufacturers. 


So, why not give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas? 


Instead of gifting the usual box of chocolates or variety pack, let your loved ones enjoy the sensory experience of higher quality chocolate.


At Ohso, we don’t just source high-quality cocoa beans direct from cocoa farmers through a sustainable partnership.


Each of our bars, made from delicious and high-quality Belgian chocolate, has over a billion “gut friendly bacteria” which, due to our unique encapsulation process, delivers these live bacteria to your gut three times more effectively than dairy products. The science behind this claim has been proven and approved by the European Food Standards Authority, so you know it’s genuine.


Great tasting, healthier Christmas chocolate


So, put down the box of generic chocolates you were going to buy that special someone and give them the gift of great tasting, high-quality, healthier, sustainable chocolate this Christmas.


Shop our full range.

Black Friday

Black Friday Sale

Ohso black Friday

Ohso Black Friday Sale

Get 30% off the Ohso good chocolate you love!

That’s right, you can get 30% off our gut friendly chocolate, with over a billion live bacteria in every bar.

Just sign up to get your discount code below. You’ll receive your discount code via email, check your promotions or spam folder if you don’t see it.

Your discount code will be valid until 28th November.

Orange October



This is your chance to win an amazing ohso chocolate bundle!

We love a good competition, almost as much as we love our tasty, healthy Dark Orange Chocolate Daily Bars! With each bar delivering over a billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium live cultures, our sumptuous ohso Dark Orange combines delicious Belgian dark chocolate, nutritious cocoa butter and natural Orange flavours, giving you a serious citrus hit alongside smooth chocolatey goodness at just 75 calories per bar!

We’re getting three bundles of our ohso Dark Orange Daily Bars together for our winners!

Just fill in the questionnaire below to enter.

Competition closing date is 30th November 2022. Our lucky winners will be chosen at random and notified via email.

Ohso Questionnaire

Signup & Save

Signup to our newsletter and get 15% off your next order.

your ohso bag