Science Says The Meal That Can Keep You Alive Is Something You Love Anyway
It actually sounds like a dream dinner.
As a general rule of thumb, diets suck — this is why it’s usually hard to stay committed to one over a long period of time. I mean, think back to the late 90s, when the “cabbage soup” diet was in all of its glory (or lack thereof). Or, if we really want to talk about sucky diets, lest we forget the prodigious “Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox,” which suggested drinking just few glass of juice throughout the entire day.
But as poor as the track record of most diet “fads” may be, I think we might’ve stumbled upon one that could potentially stick around for the long haul. While it doesn’t necessarily sound too slimming, Martha Carey for Traveler said: “a diet full of champagne, chocolate, and spicy foods might be the key to the longest life — and there actually might be some scientific validity to it.” Allez cuisine!
Although this diet may be a touch more hopeful than anything else, Carey certainly provides enough of a case for us to buy into it. And while this diet might not result in a huge weight loss, it does contain a number of other “life enhancing” benefits. Let’s take a look.
According to one study published in 2013, drinking 1–3 glasses of champagne each week can go a long way in reducing the risk of dementia. Apparently, champagne slows down the loss of memory that we will typically experience as we get up there in age. One thing — make sure you’re not trying to cut corners by substituting champagne for any old white wine. In fact, it’s the high levels of phenolics that champagne contains — compared to other white wines — that apparently brings about these positive cognitive effects.
Although spicy foods are not generally looked at as “healthy foods,” one study gives us good reason to change the way we see them. Apparently, spicy foods — specifically chili peppers — contain capsaicin, an ingredient that goes a long way in decreasing our risk for cancer and heart disease, thus promoting longevity. It can also contribute to your weight loss efforts. So, be sure to keep a little sriracha sauce in the kitchen.
Typical Mediterranean diets contain a lot of fish, vegetables, and healthy fats — all of which are good for you in many ways. For starters, they are typically low in calories which means — as long as you stay away from overdoing the pita — you shouldn’t be packing on too many pounds. Additionally, studies show that this type of diet is beneficial for the prevention of Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and heart disease. Time to order some mezze.
Resveratrol. Resveratrol. Resveratrol. When I studied abroad in Tuscany, I learned all about resveratrol, a natural phenol that is found in all red wines. Although alcohol is not usually correlated with an especially “healthy” diet, red wine in moderation might be the exception. According to a large body of research, one glass of wine is actually extremely healthy for you and — as Carey notes — could be as beneficial as one hour at the gym, with regard to muscle and heart strengths.
According to a Harvard study conducted in 2013, chocolate is not just delicious and fattening — it’s also good for your brain. According to Carey, “hot cocoa can help boost the brain’s blood supply and increase memory.” Chocolate can be good for people with high blood pressure, too. Keep your eyes peeled for those darker chocolates with levels of cacao (more than 85%) for a boost of antioxidants.