Do you feel like your immune and respiratory system needs some extra love? Well, look no further than the flavonoid quercetin. Quercetin is a naturally occurring antioxidant commonly found in fruits and vegetables, including dark berries, grapes, and dark leafy greens! Green tea and red wine are also known to have notable amounts of quercetin.
This potent antioxidant not only boosts your immune system and supports respiratory health, but it can help with your body's natural response to allergens, histamines, and inflammation. Let's dive into the top six quercetin benefits that you need to know.
Benefits of Quercetin
1. Supports Respiratory Health
When your respiratory system is irritated, redness and swelling can result from the release of histamines. Quercetin may be your newest go-to supplement! It's shown to have an antihistamine effect. Quercetin influences intracellular enzymes and may help inhibit histamine release. This can often provide relief for watery eyes, runny nose, and swelling in the face. Quercetin may even help with photosensitivity — extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other light sources.
2. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Did you know that the consumptions of flavonoids promote healthy hearts? Quercetin is known to support heart health, as well as encouraging blood flow. It even protects against LDL cholesterol sticking to artery walls.
3. Promotes Balanced Blood Pressure
In addition to supporting cardiovascular health, quercetin naturally promotes balanced blood pressure. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study evaluated the effect of quercetin supplementation and reported that the participants experienced a stabilization in systolic, diastolic and average arterial pressure.
4. Offers Protection Against Stress
When your body is stressed, it produces cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that produces that "fight or flight" response. Although this is normal, when your stress levels are high and ongoing, cortisol can damage muscle tissue, leading to protein breakdown in the body. Quercetin can fight these effects during times of extended stress as it suppresses the enzyme necessary for cortisol release.
5. Potential for Upper Respiratory Conditions?
Although the jury is still out, numerous animal studies and lab models have suggested that quercetin may offer a bronchial dilating effect. A 2013 study determined that it inhibited an enzyme that breaks down signaling proteins which produce swelling and airway narrowing. Quercetin caused a relaxation of the airway smooth muscle, leading researchers to suggest it may offer therapeutic solutions for persons suffering from upper respiratory conditions. Hopefully more research will continue to explore this possibility.
6. Offers Nutritional Support for Overall Health
Listen, putting good nutrition into your body is one of the best measures you can take to encourage good health. It's not a guarantee, and some people will still get sick, but it's a good foundation and fundamental approach. Why should quercetin be part of your approach? Because research has shown that people who consume more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of some diseases and lab studies have shown that quercetin has a positive benefit against some cancers.[8, 9, 10, 11, 12] Is it a cure? No. Is it something you should check into? I think so.
Supplementing With Quercetin
Although quercetin offers many benefits and it is all-natural, there are a few health considerations. Large amounts can stress the kidneys, it may also interact with blood thinners, corticosteroids, and aspirin. If you're taking any of these, it's probably best to check with your healthcare provider before adding quercetin to the list – especially if you're taking it in supplement form. Most people, however, should be able to enjoy dietary quercetin (fruits and vegetables) without a concern.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.