Can Chocolate Be Medicine? That Is the Question

Image: Addictive Wellness

In Woody Allen’s classic film “Sleeper,” a health food store owner who has been cryogenically preserved wakes up 200 years in the future to discover a topsy-turvy world in which, among other things, junk food is the healthy option.

Who hasn’t fantasized about such a world? Over the years, we’ve been treated to the occasional glimpse of that utopia, with some of those glimpses lasting longer than others.

Take dark chocolate. Several decades ago, medical researchers claimed that this siren food is high in flavonoids, a group of plant metabolites associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Eat chocolate and live longer became the mantra of chocolatiers everywhere.

But what if the dream went beyond that? What if chocolate were a superfood, endowed with properties that reduced stress and anxiety or boosted natural energy production? A company called Addictive Wellness has come out with a line of chocolates that promise those benefits and more. Want more beautiful skin? Eat Addictive Wellness chocolate. Want to improve your love life? Eat Addictive Wellness chocolate. Want to improve your memory and other cognitive functions? Well, you get the picture.

Armed with that challenge, our tasting panel got busy eating chocolate from Addictive Wellness. The chocolate is packaged in boxes weighing 1.7 ounces (48 grams), each containing four conjoined squares of chocolate. Two squares — a serving — provides 140 calories, 125 of them from fat.

Image: Addictive Wellness

So far that’s nothing to write home about. But — big but — the chocolate is sugar-free, deriving its sweetness (more on which shortly) from the sugar substitute Stevia. It is also GMO-free and dairy-free: Many popular brands of dark chocolate, including Cadbury and Lindt, add milk-based ingredients.

The million-dollar questions are: (1) Does it deliver on its promise? (2) How does it taste?

Our panel tasters sampled each of the six formulas: Tranquility, Energy, Beauty, Focus, Love, and Recharge. Perhaps we didn’t consume enough of the product to enjoy the promised health benefits, but none of the tasters experienced any change in mood or energy level.

As for sensory appeal, the chocolate has a deep, rich cocoa-ey aroma reminiscent of the best brands on the market and the requisite decadent month feel: It melts smoothly on the tongue. If there was one complaint that was nearly unanimous it was that the product lacked sufficient sweetness. Two testers found the product bitter.

The chocolate is sold at the Addictive Wellness website priced at $7.75 per box of four squares, with discounts on larger quantities.

Interestingly the company’s logo is a unicorn. Maybe that’s an inadvertent concession to the fact that the dream is destined to remain elusive.