“A natural plant pigment and flavonoid, quercetin, is part of a larger group of phytochemicals known as flavonols”. Various fruits, vegetables, grains, and herbs widely distribute it in the plant kingdom.
Here are some key aspects and considerations related to quercetin:
- Many plant-based foods contain quercetin, including:
- Fruits: Apples, berries (such as cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries), cherries, citrus fruits, grapes, and tomatoes.
- Vegetables: Onions, broccoli, kale, spinach, red leaf lettuce, and red peppers.
- Herbs and Spices: Parsley, dill, capers, buckwheat, and ginkgo biloba.
- People know quercetin for its potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body against free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells. By neutralizing free radicals, quercetin may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and contribute to overall health.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Quercetin also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It can help inhibit the production and release of inflammatory substances in the body, such as cytokines and histamines. This makes quercetin potentially beneficial for conditions associated with inflammation, such as allergies, asthma, and certain inflammatory diseases.
- Cardiovascular Health: Quercetin has been studied for its potential cardiovascular benefits. It may help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve blood vessel function. These effects can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- People know quercetin for its immune-supporting properties. It may enhance immune function by modulating the activity of immune cells and reducing inflammation. Some studies suggest that quercetin may have antiviral effects and can help support the immune system’s response to viral infections.
- Researchers have investigated quercetin for its potential anticancer properties.. It may help inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), and reduce the formation of blood vessels that support tumor growth. However, further research is necessary to fully comprehend its effects in cancer prevention and treatment.
- Bioavailability: The bioavailability of quercetin, or its ability to be absorbed and utilized by the body, can vary depending on factors such as food sources, individual metabolism, and other dietary components. Combining quercetin-rich foods with a source of healthy fats or certain enzymes, such as bromelain found in pineapple, may enhance its absorption.
It’s worth noting that while dietary sources of quercetin are generally safe, high-dose supplementation should be approached with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Quercetin supplements are available, but their efficacy and safety are still being studied.