A new scientific study offers good news for both athletes and wine fans. Researchers at the University of South Carolina say a chemical found abundantly in red wine, apples and onions helps protect against influenza, especially after a rigorous respiratory workout when the body is more susceptible to infection.
The chemical, quercetin, is a known anti-inflammatory found in the skins of fruit and vegetables. The study notes that the anti-viral properties of quercetin remain unknown, but it speculates that the compound may block the ability of the virus to replicate itself.
The South Carolina study is not the only recent research to highlight quercetin. In the March 2008 issue of Atherosclerosis, a study conducted by the Institute of Food Research in England found that the compound reduces inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.
Try this recipe and serve with your favorite glass of red wine.
RED ONION, APPLE AND RAISIN CHUTNEY
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/8 tsp. dried mint
Pinch ground cloves
2 lb. red onions quartered lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise (about 4 c.)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 Granny Smith apple
In small bowl combine 2/3 cup warm water, vinegar, honey, raisins, mint, and cloves and let mix stand while cooking onions. In large skillet cook onions in the oil and the butter, covered over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to cook stirring for 30 minutes or until very soft. Stir in raisin mixture and the apple, peeled and cut into fine dice. Cook over moderate heat until liquid is almost evaporated and apple is very tender and season with salt and pepper.
The chutney may be made 3 days in advance, cooled, kept covered and chilled.
Blend until smooth and use as a glaze for roast ham or chicken, or stir in a little mustard and use as a dipping sauce for shish kebabs. You could also chop it and swirl into softened cream cheese to serve with crackers or apple slices. Or stir into mayonnaise when you want a delicious spread for ham or turkey sandwiches.
A Votre Sante! ( To Your Health!)