Clinical Dietitian Carolyn Burdsall, however, said she doesn't recommend that anyone replace their medications with the chocolate.
"There's no real benefit to it," she said. "It's true dark chocolate has some health benefit. If it's taken in the context of an otherwise healthy diet, there's not harm in it, but people need to recognize they can get the same nutrients from many other food items, less expensively, and probably less calories in many cases. I would hate for someone who is receiving traditional treatment to think they could go off of their medications."
Burdsall said she has tasted the chocolate and personally knows Xocai distributors, but said she believes people turn to the candy as an alternative because they're looking for a shortcut.
"We know about fruits, vegetables and exercise," she said. "People want a quick fix, especially if it's packaged in chocolate. It's not a miracle item by any means."
Ward said the chocolate contains all-natural sugar, and fights excessive free radicals in the body that destroy antioxidants, and also provides an extremely high amount of antioxidants.
In fact, Ward said one serving of Xocai chocolate equals half a pound of spinach, one and a half pounds of kidney beans, more than a pound of cherries, almost a pound of beets, and three-quarters of a pound of broccoli.
"I believe the quality of life you have is up to you," Ward said. "We're all going to die, but whether you spend your last 10 years in a nursing home or not is up to you."
Lindsay Jones writes for the Hendricks County Flyer in Avon, Ind.