Quercetin is one of the most powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants help decrease or prevent damage made by free radicals. Too many free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which can cause premature aging and other health issues.
So, what exactly is quercetin?
It is a natural pigment in many fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about quercetin. From its benefits to its natural sources, finishing up with its limitations.
Quercetin is a natural pigment found in plant compounds called flavonoids. The main benefit of antioxidants is to reduce the damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unpaired molecules trying to find a way to balance themselves. They steal electrons, which causes a chain reaction of new free radicals.
Too many free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which can increase inflammation, lead to poor gut health, and promote premature aging.
Quercetin, or antioxidants, can give those free radicals the molecules it needs to be stable. Thus, it doesn’t need to steal them from other places.
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, quercetin has several health benefits. Here, we’ll talk about all the possible benefits.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
When there is too much stress in the body or too many free radicals can lead to chronic inflammation. This can affect overall wellness, gut problems, weight loss problems, and trouble sleeping.
Research shows quercetin can help inflammation. However, it is still unclear what is the adequate dosage to help reduce inflammation.
2. Antiviral and Antibacterial
It seems that quercetin has antibacterial properties and antiviral properties. Combined with its potent antioxidant, it can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help boost the immune system.
3. Improved Heart Health
Evidence suggests that quercetin can help improve heart health. It seems that quercetin can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (fat and cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels) and decrease blood pressure.
In fact, a study showed that those who consumed 500 mg of quercetin had a reduction of 5.8 mmHg in systolic pressure and 2.8 mmHg in diastolic pressure.
4. Reduction In Allergy Symptoms
It seems that quercetin has antihistamine properties. Research shows that quercetin can prevent the release of histamine. So, it might have positive effects on people who suffer from rhinitis.
However, still more research is needed to determine the benefits related to allergy symptoms.
5. Improved Performance
Finally, thanks to its antioxidant content, quercetin can seem to improve performance and recovery.
According to a meta-analysis, consuming quercetin seems to help improve endurance exercise.
You can obtain quercetin from natural sources or supplements.
However, before we talk about foods high in quercetin, first, let’s talk about the daily recommended intake.
The recommended dosage for quercetin is 12.5 to 25 mg per kilogram of body weight. This means the average dosage for quercetin is 1,100 to 2,300 mg per day.
So, which foods are high in quercetin?
The following table shows the plant sources with the highest dietary quercetin content and the amount per 100 g.
Keep in mind that the quercetin content varies according to the weather conditions and the soil the fruits or vegetables are grown. Research shows that organic produce might have 79-97% more quercetin than conventional produce.
However, more research is still needed to determine the quercetin content in different products and how farming can affect quercetin concentrations.
While quercetin is a good source of antioxidants, one of its biggest limitations is its absorption. Research shows that quercetin has poor availability. Less than 10% of quercetin is absorbed in the body.
Another limitation is that you would need to consume a lot of the foods above to be able to reach the recommended dosage for quercetin. And, the problem with this is that foods high in quercetin are very high in fiber, meaning they are very filling.
So, it might be impossible to reach the recommended amount without feeling too stuffed or getting gassy and bloated due to the high fiber content.
With that said, what can you do to still get all the health benefits of quercetin without having to eat fruits and vegetables like crazy all day?
That is where quercetin supplements come into play. They can provide you with highly available quercetin. You only need to take a pill and get all the benefits of quercetin without feeling full all day.
Quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids. You can find it in dietary sources like broccoli, blueberries, and cherries.
Taking quercetin can help improve overall wellness due to its high antioxidant content, but it can also bring specific benefits. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, boost the immune system, reduce allergy symptoms, and improve performance.
While you can find it in several dietary sources, you might need to consume a lot of them to be able to reach the recommended intake of quercetin.
Also, it has poor bioavailability. For that reason, a quercetin supplement might be the best option if you want to boost your antioxidant content.