Flavanols are natural antioxidants that can be found in fruits, teas, vegetables, red wine and cocoa. They have been widely linked to a number of health benefits. Find out how flavanols work their magic.

Cocoa beans are a vital ingredient in Fazer chocolate, but they come a long way before being transformed into the sweet treats that are found on shop shelves. The cocoa bean grows in oval-shaped pods on trees and change from green to an orangey red colour when they're ripe. Once the cocoa pods have ripened, farmers carefully cut them down from the trees and remove the cocoa by hand.

Rich nutritional components

The cocoa bean has an abundance of rich nutritional components like potassium, magnesium and fiber, which are transferred throughout the chocolate-making process with a positive impact on your well-being. One of the less well-known components of cocoa is flavanols and recent studies suggest that these tiny molecular compounds could hold the key to important cardiovascular effects.

An EU authorised health claim says that high levels of cocoa flavanols have a positive impact on elasticity of blood vessels which contributes to normal blood flow. Agricultural practices and the processing of chocolate can all have an impact on the level of flavanols that reach the finished product, but the more the better. Fazer is continuously working hard to find ways to preserve as much cocoa flavanols in our chocolate as possible.

According to the official health claim, you need to consume at least 200mg of cocoa flavanols to achieve the health benefits. That’s equivalent to four Karl Fazer Dark 70% chocolates or 1/3 of a tablet of irresistible Fazer Pure Dark.

Naturally, the more cocoa that chocolate contains, the more nutrients from the cocoa fruit it will retain. Therefore, dark chocolate generally contains more of these nutrients. However, milk chocolate often contains many of the healthy components of milk, such as calcium and vitamin B2.

As a natural antioxidant, flavanols have become a growing area of research for the medical community as well as chocolate manufacturers. A new Fazer study is the latest piece of research to explore the health effects of dark chocolate, with the results concluding that chocolate can be included in a healthy and balanced diet. Other studies have found eating chocolate can help improve various other aspects of your well-being from cardiovascular health to memory.