New research has found that both these indulgences can lower the chances of diabetes. A study of over 64,000 diabetes-free women aged between 40 and 65 were recruited and given a 208-item food list, which they filled out to generate an 'antioxidant' score.

They were then followed for 15 years and it was discovered that those ladies who consume the most antioxidants, found in the above treats as well as other foods like blueberries, reduced their risk of the disease by 27 per cent compared to women who barely had any.

And of all the antioxidants consumed, 15 per cent came from alcohol - red wine in particular!

The molecules are famed for their health properties and help eliminate 'oxidative stress', which can damage the cells and onset diabetes.

"This work complements our current knowledge of the effect of isolated foods and nutrients, and provides a more comprehensive view of the relationship between food and type 2 diabetes," Guy Fagherazzi, co-author of the study from the centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in France, said. "We have shown that an increased intake of antioxidants can contribute to a reduction in diabetes risk."

Red wine also boasts resveratrol, a plant compound linked to slowing down the development of dementia and increasing the likelihood of conceiving.

Even more impressive was that the reduced risk of diabetes continued even when other factors, like family history of the illness and body mass index, were taken into account.

"We know that these molecules counterbalance the effect of free radicals, which are damaging to cells, but there are likely to be more specific actions in addition to this, for example, an effect on the sensitivity of cells to insulin," lead author Francesca Romana Mancini added of the findings, published in the journal Diabetologia. "This will need to be confirmed in future studies."

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