Published January 05, 2014
Here is some diet advice you can sink your teeth into: Polishing off more chocolate, nuts, blueberries, and wine can help you live longer, reports a new study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Researchers found that people who consumed a daily diet high in polyphenols -- an antioxidant chemical found in many plants -- reduced their risk of overall mortality by 30 percent compared to subjects whose diets contained low amounts.
Now, we've known for a while that polyphenols are linked to a reduction of diseases like cancer and diabetes. They can help regulate the immune system, and "they have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogetic properties," said study author Cristina Andres-Lacueva. So it's no wonder that eating lots of polyphenols would lower your risk of dying. (Find out how cocoa polyphenols can also lower your risk of anxiety.)
What we didn't know was exactly how much we should consume. According to this study, the magic amount is at least 650 mg a day -- or about five or six servings. Don't worry: That doesn't mean you need to chow down on a head of broccoli after reading this.
The key is to get the recommended amount from a variety of sources, said Andres-Lacueva. Luckily, many of the foods and drinks you love are chock-full of polyphenols. (Here are more foods with amazing -- and scientifically proven -- health benefits: Check out the 40 Foods with Superpowers.)
Check out this list of 16 items to find your favorites.