Chocolate and Red Wine ‘Are the Secret to Beating Wrinkles’: Scientists Find Both Help Rejuvenate Old Cells

It seems like every few months a new study comes out affirming the positives of red wine or chocolate. Today the Daily Mail reports that researchers looking at both found that compounds in grapes, blueberries and chocolate can make old cells look and behave younger. It’s the flavonoids that do this, scientists said — to a point that surprised them. Known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, these flavonoids encourage the cells to grow longer telomeres.

Before you start downing wine and chocolate for the benefit of your health, keep in mind that too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. That said, here are a few fun facts to know about wine and chocolate. First, dark chocolate has some amazing benefits, and it’s the cacao in it that offer these benefits. Cacao's health benefits are related to natural compounds in the bean, including epicatechin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and resveratrol, known for its neuroprotective effects. So, when electing chocolate, look for higher cacao and lower sugar content, and nibble sparingly. Your best bet is raw cacao nibs, which can be eaten whole or ground into powder for use in recipes.

When it comes to wine, it’s the resveratrol in it that may improve blood vessels in people with type 2 diabetes or which will give you the neuroprotective effects that can lower your Alzheimer’s and dementia risks. It also may protect against obesity, optimize cholesterol and decrease inflammation.

When choosing wine, remember that muscadine grapes actually give you the highest concentration of the sought-after antioxidants. But too much wine — or any type of alcohol — is not good for you either. I generally define "moderate" alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day. Plus, it's always better to get your nutrition from as many good sources as possible, so eat those blueberries.
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