The five foods listed above are said to be good for our health

If you do the maths, you’ll find you actually need to eat enormous amounts of particular foods to get an active dose of the desired element. In some cases, this might endanger your health rather than protect it.

The common claims about the healing properties of foods are not always true.


Cinnamon contains a substance called cinnamaldehyde that is said to help with weight loss and control appetite.

Cinnamaldehyde has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. This is based only on large-scale studies, not on eating the spice.

The studies suggest that people consume between 1 and 6 g of cinnamaldehyde a day. Cinnamon contains 8% of cinnamaldehyde, so to get the same amount, you would need to consume 13 grams or half a jar. You’d need to add more cinnamon than you would to your porridge.

Red Wine

Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a family of chemicals with antioxidant properties. Resveratrol belongs to the polyphenol family, which is a chemical with anti-oxidant properties.

Claims that resveratrol can protect our cells and reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Some limited evidence suggests that resveratrol is beneficial in animal models. However, studies in humans did not show a similar benefit.

Red wine is often recommended as a health drink.

Red wine has about three micrograms of resveratrol (or three millionths a gram) per bottle. Studies that show a benefit of resveratrol have used at least 0.1 gram per day (that is 100,000 micrograms).

You would have to consume 200 bottles of wine per day in order to get the same amount of resveratrol. We’d all agree that this is not very healthy.

Read more: Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?


Like red wine, blueberries are a rich source of resveratrol. However, at only a few milligrams per berry, you would have to consume more than 10,000 berries in a single day to receive the full dose.

Has shown that anthocyanins in blueberries may help improve certain markers of heart disease. To get the active dose, you would need to eat 150-300 blueberries a day. It’s still a lot, and it is expensive.


It is always welcome news when dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. Theobromine is a chemical found in chocolate that has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure at doses up to 1 gram of active compound. Lower doses did not lower blood tension. You could reach this level by eating up to 100g of chocolate.

Chocolate is considered a “junk” food. The recommended serving for discretionary food does not exceed 600 kilojoules or 25g of chocolate per day. More than 2,000kJ is equivalent to 100g of dark chocolate.

Read more: Treat or treatment? Chocolate is good, but cocoa is better for your heart.

Excess kilojoule consumption leads to weight gain, and being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. So these risks would likely negate the benefits of eating chocolate to lower your blood pressure.

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