Indulge in antioxidants: Research shows moderate amounts of red wine and dark chocolate protect against diabetes

Does your family have a history of diabetes? Don’t worry: Your favorite red wine and dark chocolate just might save you. A study published in Diabetologia reports that these two foods are actually great sources of antioxidants, and can lower the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Antioxidants are molecules that prevent or delay cell damage chain reactions caused by free radicals. Examples of antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Unfortunately, our bodies are not able to produce these vitamins on their own, so we have to supplement these vitamins through our diets. Antioxidants are known to lower cancer rates, especially among people whose daily nutrition is plant-based (fruits, vegetables, etc.). Aside from cancer, antioxidants may also slow down the cell aging process, prevent heart disease, and decrease the risk of strokes. New data from ongoing studies suggests eating five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.

Co-authored by Guy Fagherazzi from the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP) in France, this study shows that drinking half a glass to one full glass of red wine daily may decrease the risk of type-2 diabetes in women by 27 percent. The 15-year study involved approximately 64,000 women aged 40 to 65. Information collected from the participants included their body mass indices and their medical histories. Fagherazzi’s work provides a comprehensive standpoint on the relationship between food and type-2 diabetes. A 208-food item questionnaire was distributed to the participants and was used to score their antioxidant consumption. Results of the study showed that women who consumed more red wine and dark chocolate had a 27 percent decreased risk of diabetes, whether or not they had a history of the chronic disease.

Other researchers from all around the world agree with the results of Fagherazzi’s study, stating that his results add evidence to the linkage between antioxidants and the lowered risk of chronic diseases. However, Fagherazzi was quick to mention that the benefits from these antioxidants (red wine and dark chocolate) can only be gained by consuming large amounts of the food items — equivalent to around several red wine bottles per day. Caution must be taken when consuming any kind of any food, because too many¬†calories may also harm the body. Clinical advisers suggest consuming only a small amount of these food items daily — enough to reap the same health benefits without putting you at risk.

Red wine contains resveratrol, which helps with conception and is known to slow down the progress of dementia. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is likewise full of flavonoids, or plant-based compounds that have the same effects as antioxidants. There are many foods that have antioxidants, and not just red wine and dark chocolate. Look for items that have a high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score, which measures antioxidant content. Examples are kidney beans, raisins, barley, broccoli, tomatoes, and walnuts. Tea has a fair amount of antioxidants as well as coffee.

Fast fact: The highest antioxidant score belongs to Dragon’s Blood, a red sap from a croton lechleri tree, which has an ORAC value of 2,897,110.

You are what you eat, so make sure to consume healthy, organic food on a daily basis. Taking your capsulized vitamins may not be enough to help you age well and be disease-free. To know more about healthy living, natural sources for vitamins and minerals, and various recipes for healthy meals, head over to

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