Meta Title: Red fruits do not just look pretty. They are also packed with Quercetin that is a natural anti-histamine. Keep reading to find out what other healthy spells Quercetin has up its sleeve!
Quercetin for Stress, Blood Pressure, and Allergies
Red fruits, such as the ones pictured above, and vegetables, such as onion, are not only flavorful but also contain Quercetin. This polyphenol compound has so many health benefits that we fully expect you to start chomping on onions after reading this article! Now first things first, what are polyphenols anyway? These are chemicals that are nature’s protectors against bacteria and viruses. Other rich sources of this compound include red wine, olive oil, citrus, and apples. Maybe the proverbial bull already knew about quercetin – it would certainly explain a lot about them chasing red capes!
Health Benefits of Quercetin
Increases the resistance to oxidative stress Oxidative stress produces radicals that damage our body from the inside. The radicals are also involved in the aging process. A study on yeast cells showed that quercetin not only bolstered their resistance towards this kind of stress, it also increased their life spans! (Belinha et al., 2007)
Reduces stress and anxiety
During stressful situation, the brain produces a hormone called CRH or "Corticotropin Releasing Hormone". This causes the adrenal glands to secrete cortosol in what is called an adaptation response. Too much cortisol can increase anxiety and depression. Quercetin helps to inhibit the excess release of CRH and helps to control stress, anxiety and even depression. (J Nutr Biochem. 2010)
Reduces Blood Pressure
Quercetin is also a substance that can help reduce blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a substance that causes relaxation of blood vessels resulting in better blood pressure control.
Decreases the hold allergic reactions have on us since they have natural antihistamines One in every 5 people is affected by asthma and allergies in the United States. Together, we spend almost 8 billion on anti-allergy medication every year! Quercetin from natural sources can help stop the release of histamines – no more runny noses!.Reduces the swelling that comes with arthritis – say goodbye to swollen joints! (Chirumbolo, 2010).
Our heart suffers the most when the balance between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol is disturbed (Egert, 2009).Quercetin helps restore that balance by preventing plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries. No or less plaque buildup means reduced risk of heart attacks! When combined with red wine that is alcohol-free, this polyphenol can stop cholesterol from accumulating in obese people. Obesity increases the risk of heart attack.
Works against tumors and cancers (Follo-Martinez et al., 2013).Various studies have also shown that Quercetin halts tumors in their footsteps. It even lowers the risk of cancers! This chemical has also been shown to decrease the risk of lung cancers in smokers, as well as, keeping the prostate and colon healthy.
Sources of Quercetin
As mentioned before, the natural sources of Quercetin include red fruits and vegetables. This means having apples and onions will actually keep the doctor away from you. Other sources are citrus fruits, parsley, red wine, and tea. The afore-mentioned sources are quite quercetin-rich. Other foods that will provide you with a measure of Quercetin include beans, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, grapes, leafy green vegetables, buckwheat, and olive oil.
Dosage of Quercetin
According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, it is safe for most people to take 50-500 mg of Quercetin every day. (Egert et al., 2008 )
Things to Consider There may be side effects to consider. The common ones are listed below: Nausea Upset stomach Headache
Kidney patients, pregnant/breastfeeding women, and children should avoid quercetin since the dosage for these groups has not been researched yet. Furthermore, it is possible that it could interact with anticoagulants, chemotherapy medications, corticosteroids, and cyclosporine. Therefore, avoid intake of quercetin, if you are on these medications.
References Belinha et al. (2007). Quercetin Increases Oxidative Stress Resistance and Longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Agric. 55 (6): 2446–2451. Chirumbolo, S. ( 2010). The role of quercetin, flavonols and flavones in modulating inflammatory cell function. 9(4): 263-85. Egert et al. (2008 ). Daily Quercetin Supplementation Dose-Dependently Increases Plasma Quercetin Concentrations in Healthy Humans. 138(9): 1615-1621 . Kawabata K, et al. .Biochem. 2010 May;21 (5):374-80. Egert, S. (2009). Quercetin reduces systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidised low-density lipoprotein concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-cardiovascular disease risk phenotype: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study. 102(7):1065-74. Follo-Martinez et al. (2013). Resveratrol and quercetin in combination have anticancer activity in colon cancer cells and repress oncogenic microRNA-27a. 65(3): 494-504. J Nutr Biochem. 2010 May;21(5):374-80.