It’s time we put the spotlight on quercetin (recipes included)
11/28/2020 / By Leslie Locklear / Comments
It’s time we put the spotlight on quercetin (recipes included)

When it comes to supplements, we usually reach for the likes of vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D to give our (overworked) immune system a much-needed boost. However, did you know that there’s another less well-known nutrient that’s also showing impressive immune-supporting potential?

Enter, quercetin.

What is quercetin and how does it affect my health?

Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their brilliant, natural colors.

Aside from providing eye-catching colors, flavonoids — quercetin included — also act as antioxidants. This means that they help rid the body of pesky free radicals, which are known to cause damage to cell membranes, cause apoptosis or cell death and even tamper with the body’s DNA.

As noted by experts, while we can’t make quercetin on our own, we can easily get our supply of this potent antioxidant from fruits and vegetables such as grapes, berries, apples, broccoli, kale and tomatoes, as well as drinks such as red wine and black tea.

In fact, according to experts, we regularly consume up to 16 milligrams (mg) of it daily through our food. Amazing, right?

Due to its potency as an antioxidant, it’s no surprise that quercetin has been linked to quite an impressive slate of health benefits such as the following:

Quercetin may help relieve symptoms related to allergies, asthma, hay fever and hives

As an antioxidant, quercetin is known for the ability to prevent immune cells from releasing histamines, which are chemicals that trigger the onset of allergic reactions such as runny noses, watery eyes, hive breakouts and swelling.

In addition, quercetin has also been shown to be effective at alleviating symptoms associated with asthma, with experts noting that taking quercetin can help improve symptoms in asthmatic individuals, as well as reduce their dependence on rescue inhalers in people.

Quercetin may help prevent the onset of heart disease

Those looking to improve their heart health may benefit from adding more quercetin-rich foods in their diets. This is because quercetin — as well as its fellow antioxidants resveratrol, and catechins — has been found to be incredibly effective when it comes to reducing plaque buildup in arteries.

Plaque buildup, also known as atherosclerosis, happens when substances such as fat, cholesterol and calcium, among others, build up in the arteries, narrowing them and limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. This, according to medical experts, can lead to problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease if left unchecked.

Aside from that, quercetin has also been shown to help lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, has been linked to heart disease.

More studies are needed to confirm this, however.

Quercetin may help prevent the onset of certain types of cancers

Perhaps due to its antioxidant properties, scientists and researchers are now looking at quercetin as an important factor in cancer prevention.

According to several studies, quercetin was found to suppress cell growth and induce cell death in cancer cells, such as those of the prostate, liver, lung, breast, bladder, blood, colon, ovaries, lymph nodes and adrenal glands.

Quercetin may help lower your risk of developing chronic brain disorders

Want optimal cognitive health and function? Load up on quercetin-rich fruits.

This is due to several studies, which found that quercetin’s antioxidant properties can help protect the brain against degenerative disorders caused by oxidative stress, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Aside from protecting the brain against oxidative stress, quercetin has also been shown to help protect the nervous system against the toxic effect of certain metals.

How can I increase my quercetin intake?

As noted by experts, it is quite easy to get your fill of quercetin, as the potent antioxidant is found naturally in many plant-based foods.

These foods, experts say, include the following:

  • Capers
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Asparagus
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Red apples
  • Red grapes
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Berries

One has to keep in mind, however, that the amount of quercetin present in foods is largely dependent on the conditions in which the source was grown.

For instance, tomatoes grown in organic farms appear to have up to 79 percent more quercetin than those grown in conventional farms.

Aside from fresh fruits and vegetables, quercetin is also found in plant-derived drinks such as red wine and black and green tea.

What this means is that getting your fill of this all-important antioxidant is as easy as getting a salad alongside a glass (or two!) of red wine for dinner.

Organic Garden Salad

If you’re craving something light yet nutritious, this fresh tossed salad may just be the perfect dish for you.

Made with plenty of vegetables and complemented with a tasty and equally healthy dressing, this salad — adapted from an original recipe by Spoonful of Flavor — is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which are guaranteed to help one achieve optimal health and wellness.

Ingredients for the dressing

  • 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic red wine vinegar
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried organic basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns

Ingredients for the salad

  • 10 ounces organic salad greens
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 small pickled organic peppers, such as pepperoncini
  • 1 small, organic vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  • 1 small red apple, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium-sized red radish, sliced into medallions
  • 2 tablespoons sliced organic black olives
  • 2 tablespoons organic capers
  • 1/2 cup large croutons
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Pour olive oil, red wine vinegar, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, and spices into a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined.
  2. Combine the salad greens, peppers, apple and radish slices, feta cheese, capers, olives and croutons in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle salad with dressing and then toss to coat thoroughly. Let the salad stand for five minutes before serving.

Quercetin Bomb Smoothie

Want a healthy breakfast or a filling afternoon snack? Try whipping up this quercetin bomb!

Adapted from a recipe by the Minimalist Baker, this delicious vegan green smoothie is made with nutritious ingredients such as fresh bananas, organic almond butter, iron-rich spinach, flaxseed, antioxidant-loaded berries and creamy coconut milk.


  • 1 medium organic banana, peeled, frozen and quartered
  • 1/2 cup mixed organic frozen berries
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 heaping tablespoon natural, organic almond butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • 2 cups fresh, organic spinach


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy, adding more coconut milk, frozen berries or bananas as desired.
  2. Serve immediately.

Quercetin is one nutrient that’s fast claiming a spot in the limelight — and with good reason. Not only is it readily available, but it is also incredibly potent, having been linked to an impressive selection of health benefits.

Despite that, however, one must remember that as with all nutrients, quercetin isn’t a magical cure-all that can solve your health problems in an instant. Instead, it is just a simple tool that must be used in conjunction with other elements such as the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.


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