Chocolate’s benefits include boosting heart vigor, introducing antioxidants to the diet, nurturing healthy skin, and preventing memory decline. Chocolate’s abundance of flavanols and antioxidants are key to its health-bolstering powers.
Flavanols are a type of flavanoid found in a variety of things found in nature, including cocoa and chocolate, and research has indicated them for benefits such as helping to prevent blood clots, boosting blood flow to the brain and heart, diminishing blood pressure, and improving vascular health in general. Other health- and pleasure-inducing substances, like red wine, also claim high concentrations of flavanoids.
Antioxidants are warriors in the fight against free radicals, which may damage cells. And cellular impoverishment is not something we seek—we want cellular invigoration. Among other things, it is believed that antioxidants help prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which our doctors call the "bad" cholesterol, from forming plaque on artery walls.
Chocolate’s health advantages are not yoked entirely to flavanols and antioxidants. Stimulants found in chocolate, like caffeine and theobromine, are believed to aid brain function in the short term; one study showed consuming high-flavanol cocoa boosted blood flow to the brain.
Excellent chocolate, like the entire Défoncé line, is simple: for the most part, just cocoa and sugar (milk chocolate also contains some dairy). The good stuff is not hatched in labs by white-jacketed scientists wielding unpronounceable chemicals. Instead, the best chocolate contains only ingredients found in nature, and the main ingredient, cocoa, contains myriad health-promoting substances.
Research into the healthy aspects of cannabis remains in its infancy—due to the plant’s legal status with the federal government, studies into cannabis are relatively scarce. Fortunately, that is changing fast.
Regardless, many refer to cannabis as medicine for good reason—it helps people with a variety of conditions, including pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and more. The evidence for cannabis’s medical potential was so overwhelming it compelled CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, to reverse his previous, cannabis-skeptical stance to one that accepts the plant’s healing properties.
Cannabis contains a wide range of compounds that contribute towards its status as a health-promoting substance. Two of them—cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—have received the bulk of academic scrutiny. Défoncé chocolates contain both of these compounds, although THC is the primary cannabis-related ingredient.
Pain-relief stands as a principal benefit of THC. Studies show pain signals that normally get sent to the brain can be disrupted by THC, a chain of events that diminishes pain. In addition, THC appears to limit nerve-related pain like neuropathy.
People use THC to combat post-traumatic stress disorder. To increase appetite and to treat patients undergoing chemotherapy. To ratchet-down anxiety, and precipitate depression-conquering euphoria. Asthma, glaucoma, sleep problems—people have addressed all of them, and other conditions, with THC.
We don’t trumpet our chocolate bars and confections as prescription replacements, or as cure-alls. We celebrate them as sumptuous delicacies. But we do embrace our chocolate’s manifold health properties. The triangles of chocolate you are nibbling are not mass-produced mysteries assembled in Costco-sized factories, and containing baffling, lab-fabricated chemicals. All of the ingredients come direct from nature, and—win-win—many of the same ingredients that spark such pleasure also boost health.