By Aly Walansky
Updated January 28, 2016
Credit: © MitarArt / Alamy

A new study reveals that a diet that is rich in flavonoids—natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables such as berries, apples, and peppers but also in chocolate and wine—can be a great asset in preventing weight gain.

For this study, which was published in BMJ yesterday, 124,086 men and women were evaluated over a prolonged period of up to 24 years. It was found that eating more fruits and vegetables containing flavonoids leads to a small but significant reduction in weight gain. This natural compound is also found in tea, chocolate and wine.

“This new study on the benefits of flavonoid-rich foods is very exciting. We’ve known for years that foods in the flavonoid family help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, and now there’s evidence that they’re also beneficial for weight loss. Berries, apples, onions and tea were tracked in the study, but other sources of flavonoids, including cocoa and lemons, could also be beneficial for weight loss. I think it’s important to highlight the point that the researchers made about even small amounts of weight loss being beneficial for overall health—every little bit helps!” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color.

Any flavonoid-heads out there should keep in mind that you need a solid commitment to eating fruits and vegetables to see the benefits. According to the study, the bare minimum is two cups of fruit or two and half cups of vegetables a day.

But flavonoids are having quite the 2016 so far. Another recent study also revealed this compound can be a man’s best friend in the bedroom, making them less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.