Resveratrol is a plant compound, which is found naturally in a variety of foods. Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols, and there is substantial evidence that specific polyphenols benefit your health and help to prevent certain diseases, including resveratrol (1).
Although studies have demonstrated the potential benefits, the research has also shown that it would be difficult to consume the recommended dosage of resveratrol through your diet alone. Nevertheless, consuming more plant-based foods rich in polyphenols is known to reduce your risk of chronic diseases (2).
Highest Food Sources of Resveratrol
Of the different types of wine, red wine has the highest concentration of resveratrol per serving, followed by rosé, and then white wine. Red grapes have a larger amount of resveratrol compared to white grapes because red wine and rosé wines are created with grape skins, unlike white wine.
Different grape varieties have varying concentrations of resveratrol, with certain wines such as Pinot Noir and Merlot having a higher than average resveratrol content in grapes.
Grapes have a good source of resveratrol, however, resveratrol is actually only found only in the skins (3). Research suggests that red grapes could contain a higher amount of resveratrol than green grapes, as much as five times higher.
Pistachios have around 0.11mg of resveratrol per 100g, which is several times higher than roasted peanuts.
Peanuts, and peanut butter, have both been found to contain resveratrol. Unlike some of the other foods on this list, resveratrol is found in all parts of the peanut. Roasted peanuts contain a much lower amount of resveratrol
European cranberries contain a high concentration of resveratrol, more so than grapes according to one study (4).
Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)
Despite the high calories, moderate and regular amounts of chocolate have been linked with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (5). Cocoa, and therefore products like dark chocolate contain resveratrol in small amounts. Products with higher amounts of cocoa powder like dark chocolate (60% - 90% powder) will contain higher concentrations of resveratrol than milk chocolate (20% - 50% powder).
According to a study on phenolic profiles of European berries, the lingonberry, a small red cranberry-like fruit, has the highest amount of resveratrol of all the food items tested. The lingonberry contains around 3mg per 100g, and is popularly eaten as a jam in Scandinavian countries.
Like many important vitamins and nutrients, resveratrol has been found to have cardioprotective, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, studies have shown that the health benefits of resveratrol are only present in lower doses and that high doses could be detrimental (6).
In that case, it may be fortunate that foods don’t contain high levels of resveratrol. Given that research has suggested that up to 500mg of resveratrol per day does not cause side effects, and most supplement brands recommend this serving, you would have to consume the following amounts to reach that intake:
- You’d have to drink 247 bottles of red wine per day, which is around 1 large bathtub full
- You’d have to consume 12,500 large bars of dark chocolate, which is around the same weight as 3 horses
- You’d have to eat 357 punnets of strawberries, which is about the weight of a fully grown male panda
- You’d have to eat 455kg of pistachios, which is the weight of one piano
It’s pretty evident the amount of food you’d need to consume is nearly impossible. However, if you are keen to try resveratrol, there are resveratrol supplements that will make getting a reasonable intake a lot easier!