The flavonoid quercetin is one of many flavonoids that have numerous health benefits. Flavonoids are plant pigments that act as antioxidants and neutralize free radicals that can cause damage to your cells. The flavonoid quercetin has been widely studied and has been found to be especially beneficial. You can purchase quercetin supplements to reap the benefits of this healthy flavonoid, but it is also found in many fruits and vegetables, which is all the more reason to eat a plant based diet.
1. Many Plants Have Quercetin
I am sure you have heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” One of the reasons apples are so healthy is because they contain the flavonoid quercetin. However, they are not the only source of quercetin. Blueberries, sweet potatoes, kale, onions, and cranberries all contain quercetin, and they are just a few of the many plant sources of quercetin. You can even get a healthy dose of quercetin by eating buckwheat. If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, you will be getting a good amount of quercetin, which, as you will see, has some great health benefits.
2. Natural Antihistamine
Consuming foods that are rich in quercetin is a great way to keep allergies at bay. When you have an allergic reaction to something your body releases histamines, which can cause a runny nose, itchy eyes, hives, and other unpleasant symptoms. Generally, people take antihistamines to relieve these symptoms. However, quercetin is a natural alternative to taking antihistamines because it prevents your immune cells from releasing histamine in the first place.
3. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Quercetin and other flavonoids help keep your heart healthy by decreasing the risk of plaque building up. Quercetin can also decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol, and it can decrease blood pressure. By keeping plaque buildup, cholesterol, and blood pressure in check, quercetin works to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
4. Decreases the Risk of Cancer
Researchers have discovered that flavonoids, like quercetin, can prevent the growth of cancer cells. Quercetin, in particular, has been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells in the ovaries, breasts, colon, and prostate. It is especially helpful for decreasing the risk of lung cancer. One study, for example, showed that it even decreased the risk of lung cancer in people who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day!
5. Helps Keep Bones Strong
Quercetin can help keep bones strong by stimulating bone growth and decreasing the breakdown of bone. It increases osteocalcin, which is a hormone needed for bone formation. It also decreases the activity of osteoclasts, which are the cells that resorb bone tissue. Clearly, quercetin is an important flavonoid for healthy bones.
6. Beneficial for Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells. For example, the immune system attacks the joints in people who have rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint damage. Quercetin can be beneficial for autoimmune diseases because it has a modulating effect on the immune system and can decrease the activity of an overactive immune system.
7. You Can Have Too Much
As wonderful as quercetin is, it is possible to take too much. This happens when you take quercetin supplements. High doses of quercetin, more than one gram per day, can cause kidney damage and a loss of protein function. Therefore, it is much better to get quercetin by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Quercetin is one of many flavonoids that can benefit your health. Not only does it decrease allergies, it also benefits your bones, heart, and it can even help autoimmune diseases. To make sure you are getting plenty of quercetin for these benefits, try eating an apple a day! Did you know how healthy quercetin is?