Red wine and dark chocolate can keep astronauts healthy in space.

Drinking red wine is great for astronaut health

Drinking red wine is great for astronaut health

A study has found that chemicals in the food and drink treats enable people to cope better with the physical demands of going into orbit.

Compounds known as flavanols - whose health benefits are regularly championed by experts - have been found to keep the immune system working in space.

The revelations are part of an investigation into the long-term health impact that space expeditions have on humans in preparation for manned trips to both the Moon and Mars.

Dr. Daniel Winer, study author at the Buck Institute, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: "Due to the pronounced benefits that quercetin gave to cells in normalising microgravity-induced pathology, we would anticipate the other flavanols could have similar benefits, pending more study.

"Red wine and dark chocolate both contain multiple flavanols, including quercetin, and so there might be benefit on immune function in taking these in space."