It sounds almost too good to be true, but research suggests red wine and chocolate may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition reveals that people who consume items that contain flavonoids, specifically flavones and anthocyanin, have a lower insulin resistance and are able to better control their blood sugar, resulting in a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants found in red wine, dark chocolate, tea, and berries. Studies have shown that antioxidants may protect against a vast range of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Now, they may also play a role in insulin resistance and inflammation.

Researchers studied more than 2,000 healthy women, who were asked to estimate total dietary flavonoid intake along with intake from six flavonoid subclasses.

Analysis of blood samples from the participants showed that those who consumed higher amounts of flavones and anthocyanin had lower insulin resistance. And those who ate higher amounts anthocyanins were least likely to have chronic inflammation.

The study states, “Dose-response trials are needed to ascertain optimal intakes for the potential reduction of type 2 diabetes risk.”

In the meantime, how much is too much when it comes to flavonoids?

How much do you need?

Chocolate. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. L.D. reminds us to check the labels and add chocolate to our diet in moderation. Most chocolate found in the candy aisle is packed full of sugar. You want to make sure you’re eating dark chocolate with as much pure cocoa in it as possible, 65 percent or higher. Limit yourself to around three ounces a day.

Red wine. The Yale-New Haven Hospital recommends one four-ounce serving of wine to reap the maximum benefits. Research has shown that the wines yielding the highest concentration of flavonoids include Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir.

A good rule of thumb for consuming wine and chocolate is the sweeter it is, the fewer the flavonoids it contains. Remember to consult your physician before making any changes to you diet.

To learn more about this topic:
Chocolate, Tea, Berries May Cut Diabetes Risk
Do I Need to Cross Off Both Red Wine and Dark Chocolate from My Choices?
Dark Chocolate May Harbor Benefits for the Heart