Friday, November 14, 2008

The Fruit That Fight Flu

Once November hits, the rest of the year is a giant sprint to the Dick Clark ball-dropping finish line. Here’s the game plan for keeping healthy through it.
Start by getting a flu shot. Then, buy yourself a bag of apples and munch away. The quercetin in apples may help bolster your immune system during vulnerable times.

Boon to Immunity
Yep. Apples (and red onions, broccoli, and tea) are great sources of quercetin -- a flavonoid that may stave off the influenza virus when the body is under stress. In a recent animal study, quercetin did just that: The normal dip in immunity that comes with physical fatigue was pretty much cancelled out by the flavonoid. If it works as well in humans, quercetin could help power the body through both physical and psychological stress. (Is stress already getting the best of you?

Talking ’Bout Disease Prevention . . .
Quercetin may not only quash the flu but also stave off health conditions like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and pancreatic cancer. So get more quercetin with these quick and easy recipes from EatingWell:

* Slip some quercetin-rich broccoli into the king of all comfort foods with Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash.
* Give the holidays a twist with this Chunky Apple-Rhubarb Sauce with Dried Cranberries. (You’ll get loads of quercetin from the apples, apple juice, and red onion.)
* Or try this quicker, healthier take on a favorite dessert: Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp.