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Adults and children alike love chocolate.

It is a wonderful cooking ingredient, it is mood-enhancing and stimulates the neurones, but that’s not all. Now, chocolate can be found in the supermarket as well as in the pharmacy. The origin of this marketing outlet is due to the fact that cocoa is naturally rich in antioxidants. The main antioxidants found in cocoa belong to the vast family of polyphenols and more particularly the sub - family of flavonoids. Antioxidants prove to be valuable to the cardiovascular system. They help combat cell ageing and molecular damage to blood lipids and DNA.

Several studies have shown the beneficial effects of chocolate on the heart and blood circulation. Firstly, cocoa polyphenols reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Secondly, they increase blood flow. Lastly, they increase blood vessel dilation. The amount of flavonoids in chocolate depends on its cocoa content. Dark chocolate, therefore, has greater nutritional benefits than milk chocolate. Remember also that chocolate has stronger antioxidant powers than a lot of the vegetables that are usually consumed. Note that balanced proportions of the three basic nutriments, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, are found in chocolate. Moreover, it contains many vitamins and minerals : calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin H and vitamin B12.

However, chocolate cannot in any way replace fruits and vegetables whose other nutritional benefits are in no way comparable. Chocolate, even sold in pharmacies, cannot fight disease. Nevertheless, when eaten in conjunction with the proper amount of fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc., it fully proves its worth.