Quercetin is a flavonoid (plant pigment and antioxidant), found in vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Usual health conditions related to free radicals include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and degenerative disorders.
Simply put, all antioxidants can protect your cells from premature aging. Heavily processed foods, animal foods, unhealthy beverages and a toxic environment filled with poisonous household chemicals and personal care products can easily threaten our health.
Quercetin health benefits
Cardiovascular health – it may benefit those suffering from heart disease. This antioxidant inhibits the proliferation and migration of aortic smooth muscle cells, improves the health of the endothelium, inhibits platelet aggregation, and protects vascular endothelial cells against oxidative and proinflammatory insults.
Hypertension – as a vasodilating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant substance, this flavonoid maintains your heart’s health. A 2011 Korean study on male smokers concluded that consuming foods high in this nutrient helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), raise HDL cholesterol, and lower blood sugar level and blood pressure slightly.
Prostate health – preliminary studies indicate that this flavonoid might reduce symptoms of prostatitis (infection of the prostate). One research found that men who took the supplement experienced fewer symptoms than men who took a placebo.
Anti-inflammatories properties – more and more studies show that chronic inflammation is involved in heavy-hitting illnesses. Inflammation occurs naturally in your body. But when it goes wrong or goes on too long, it can trigger disease processes. This healing antioxidant can help stop damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which negatively influence how cells work, including damaging cell membranes, increasing cell mutations, changing the way DNA works, and causing healthy cells to die.
Improves endurance exercise capacity – one study found evidence that taking 500 milligrams of quercetin supplement twice/day, helped protect bicyclists from developing exercise-induced respiratory infections, which usually occur in elite athletes following periods of heavy exercise. Another study, conducted in 2012 by researchers from the School of Applied Physiology, Atlanta, established that on average “quercetin provides a statistically significant benefit in human endurance exercise capacity and endurance exercise performance.”
Liver health – your liver is your body’s “toxic waste dump,” receiving and detoxifying the bulk of the poisons it is exposed to every day. In one research, the liver of rats given toxins was much better protected when they were pre-treated with this nutrient.
Allergies – histamine is a natural compound produced by the body and is also present in many foods (especially in animal products). In addition, histamine is released by the body during times of stress and allergy. The release of histamine can be caused by almost any allergen. Examples include drugs (sulfa, penicillin, aspirin), inhalant allergens (dust mite, ragweed pollen, eat dander), stinging insect venoms, and foods (wheat, eggs, milk, fish, etc). This powerful antioxidant can help stabilize the release of histamines from certain immune cells, which results in decreased symptoms like watery eyes, coughs, swollen lips or tongue, runny nose, hives, and indigestion. Moreover, a Chinese herbal formula, known as FAHF – Food Allergy Herbal Formula, has been related with the blocking of anaphylaxis to peanuts in mouse models.
Kidney health – Kidney disease leading to kidney failure is an under-recognized epidemic in the U.S. Protecting the kidneys is crucial, for once they are damaged, it becomes hard, if not impossible, to restore healthy function. In a study, consuming foods high in this substance has been shown to protect against kidney damage caused by a well-known nephrotoxic drug.
Cancer – it has been connected to a reduction in prostate, pancreatic, colorectal, and skin cancers. The American Cancer Society reports a human study in which the combination of curcumin and quercetin supplements decrease the size and quantity of rectal tumors.
Top 8 foods with the highest content of quercetin:
The unique flavor of capers makes them a very desirable ingredient in the Mediterranean basin. They range in size from as small as a peppercorn to as large as a green olive. High in flavonoid compounds, capers are the highest source of quercetin (180mg per 100g).
#2 Lovage leaves
Lovage, a member of the parsley family, is a widely-used herb in parts of Europe and southwest Asia. Contains 170mg per 100g.
#3 Red onion
Red onions are one of the best natural sources of this flavonoid. Red onions have long been known to have many health benefits including preventing heart disease, cancer, and common colds and coughs. Contains 19.93mg per 100g.
Elderberries, of all the berries, are very rich in quercetin, but blueberries, and all other berries, also contain high amounts of quercetin.
One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of dietary fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. Contains 7,71mg per 100g.
The phytochemical composition of apples varies greatly between different varieties of apples. A large red apple, for example, contains about 10 mg. Organic apples are the best since the quercetin is in the peel.
Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach so that you stay free of ulcers. It also flushes out toxins from the colon. Contains 4,86mg per 100g.
#8 Red grapes
Red grapes have a number of health benefits, mainly because they are rich in flavonoids. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenes, B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, pyridoxine, and thiamine. Contains 3,54mg per 100 g.
Quercetin side effects
Consuming this supplement inhibits an important enzyme (CYP3A4) involved in the metabolism of many frequent medications, which can alter blood levels and effects of the drugs. Very high doses may damage the kidneys. You should take periodic breaks from taking the supplement.
Furthermore, it is contraindicated in combination with some antibiotics; it may interact with fluoroquinolones (a broad-spectrum antibiotics), as the flavonoid competitively binds to bacterial DNA gyrase.
If you eat lots of vegetables and fruits, you’ll get a fair amount of quercetin. It is a healthier option so you can forget about supplements; going vegan is a better choice.