Apples & Chocolate
Apples, particularly ‘Red Delicious’, are known to be high in an anti-inflammatory flavonoid called quercetin, especially in their skins. (Note: It’s important to buy organic, because pesticides concentrate in the skins of conventionally grown apples.) By itself, quercetin has been shown to reduce the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prostate and lung cancers. Chocolate, grapes, red wine, and tea, on the other hand, contain the flavonoid catechin, an antioxidant that reduces the risks for atherosclerosis and cancer. Together, catechins and quercetin loosen clumpy blood platelets, improving cardiovascular health and providing anticoagulant activity, according to a study done by Barry Halliwell, Ph.D., a leading food science professor at the National University of Singapore. Quercetin is also found in buckwheat, onions, and raspberries. Susan Kraus, a clinical dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, recommends the following combinations: sangria with cut-up apples; green tea with buckwheat pancakes and raspberries; and kasha (roasted buckwheat, made in a pilaf) cooked with onions.
Photo: (cc) Steven Depolo/Flickr
Learn More: Your Guide to Heirloom Apples