Researchers found that a diet packed with polyphenols - potent antioxidant compounds contained in the drinks - can lower the "risk of several chronic diseases and overall mortality," the Daily Express reported.
Experts from Barcelona University studied 807 men and women aged 65 or over from central Italy for 12 years.
The researchers recorded a 30 percent reduction in mortality among a group of participants who had a high intake of polyphenols.
The compounds occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals as well as tea and coffee. More than 8,000 different types have been identified in plants.
They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
The study, led by Professor Cristina Andres Lacueva, head of the university's Biomarkers and Nutritional and Food Metabolomics Research Group, measured the participants' intake of polyphenols by using a nutritional biomarker - which showed up in the subjects' urine.
According to Professor Lacueva, this provided for a more accurate study than asking the participants to record their own intake of the compounds "as it is not only based on their memory when answering questionnaires".
The study concluded that overall mortality was reduced by 30 per cent in participants who consumed more than 650mg of polyphenols a day in comparison with those who took in less than 500mg.
The research is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
--ANI (Posted on 12-10-2013)