Chocolate, Red Wine, And Cheese Can Help You Live Longer, According To Science

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Foods like red wine, coffee, cheese, and chocolate aren’t usually touted for their health benefits. And if you’re truly a fan of these foods, that’s probably never stopped you from enjoying them anyway.

But in case you needed a healthy excuse to indulge in coffee, red wine, and chocolate to your heart’s content, scientists have great news. A new study found that eating these foods can reduce your chances of an early death.

The study, published by the Journal of Internal Medicine, looked at data from over 68,000 Swedish men and women, ages 45 to 83. Researchers found that people who followed a diet consisting of anti-inflammatory foods had a lower risk of dying prematurely.

And guess which foods are anti-inflammatory? Red wine, chocolate, low-fat cheese, and coffee (and a bunch of others). Woo hoo!

Inflammation has been linked to cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular diseases, among other health issues. Participants who followed the diet had a 20% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular problems and a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer.

“Even partial adherence to the anti-inflammatory diet may provide a health benefit,” Joanna Kaluza, the study’s lead author, said.

To be clear, studies show that consuming these foods in moderation is your best bet. And to complicate things a bit, other studies have also shown the harmful effects of drinking alcohol regularly.

Other anti-inflammatory foods include vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole-grain bread, olive oil and canola oil, nuts, and tea.

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