Quercetin is a pigment that adds color to many fruits and vegetables, found mainly in the skins and leaves of plants. Also a powerful antioxidant, quercetin offers many health benefits, including allergy-relief and significant immune support.
According to Dr. Vincent Pedre, part of the reason quercetin supports your immune system is because it acts as a prebiotic. “It also augments the effects of vitamin C, synergistically helping to prevent over-activation of mast cells, which secrete histamine when the body is inflamed,” Dr. Pedre says.
In our Fall issue of KIWI, we spoke with Dr. Elisa Song about the connection between gut health and allergies. In our interview, she explained how quercetin may help lessen the histamine response to an allergen exposure. “She explains that a type of white blood cell called a mast cell is responsible for releasing an inappropriate amount of histamine when an allergen attaches to it. To stabilize and support these mast cells, she recommends eating foods that are rich in quercetin. Doing so, she says, may lessen the histamine released upon exposure to an allergen.”
Quercetin also helps shut off inflammation, which causes oxidative damage and can contribute to health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Quercetin is widely distributed among plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It’s also found in some medicinal herbs, including Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wart, and Sambucus Canadensis (a type of elderberry). On average, people get around 5 to 50 milligrams of quercetin per day. If you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables, you’re likely getting much more. If you aim for 500 milligrams a day, you’ll reap the most benefits.
Benefits Of Quercetin
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Improved heart health
- Improved sexual health for men
- Improved circulation
- Reduced inflammation in the brain
- Reduced risk of cancer
While we know there are many benefits to implementing quercetin into your diet, further research needs to be done before it’s taken for any specific health condition. Quercetin is not to be considered as any type of treatment. Always talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns.