Our bodies need many nutrients to stay healthy and work optimally, and among some of the most important nutrients are flavonoids. Quercetin is a powerful flavonoid that is particularly powerful in protecting our cells from damage due to free radicals. Free radicals that damage cells can lead to diabetes, heart disease, degenerative disorders, and even cancer.
Clearly, you want to include as many flavonoid-rich items in your diet, and quercetin is one to be included. Here you’ll find a list of just some of the foods with high quercetin levels that will promote good health and longevity.
There may be some more truth to the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Apples are also rich in quercetin, with 10 mg per average red apple. Don’t skip the peel, since that is where most of the quercetin is hiding.
Although they might not be on the top of everyone’s grocery list, capers are extremely rich in many flavonoids and have the highest amount of quercetin per serving (180 mg per 100 grams). Ranging from pea-size to olive-size, capers make an excellent addition to any Mediterranean dish.
3. Lovage Leaves
This leafy herb is a member of the parsley family and is widely used throughout Europe and Asia. Although it may be harder to find in some stores, you’ll have the best luck at a natural food store. Adding lovage to your dish will provide you with 170 mg of quercetin per 100g serving.
4. Red Grapes
Red grapes make a delicious snack and are rich in a variety of vitamins and other nutrients. Rich in vitamins A, C, B, and K, red grapes also contain 4 mg of quercetin per 100 grams.
5. Green and Red Onions
Onions are believed to have many benefits, from fighting the common cold to preventing heart disease and cancer. This is likely due to their high levels of quercetin. Add some onions to more of your dishes to reap the benefits of 20 mg of quercetin per serving.
Almost all berries are rich in quercetin, including blackberries, blueberries, rowanberries, raspberries, and strawberries, but lingonberries and elderberries have the highest amounts per serving. Add some berries to your smoothie, oatmeal, salad, and more.
Kale is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals and offers 8 mg of quercetin per 100-gram serving. The best part? One serving of kale will only cost you 36 calories but will deliver 5 grams of dietary fiber.
Similar to its leafy cousin kale, spinach is also rich in quercetin. This veggie also helps protect the stomach from ulcers and other damage while removing toxins from the colon. A serving of spinach will deliver 5 mg of quercetin.
Other Foods High in Quercetin
- Cocoa powder, dry, unsweetened
- Bee Pollen
- Sweet potato
- Green and Yellow Snap Beans
- Citrus fruit
- Black grapes
- Black Currants
- Leafy Greens
- Black or green tea
While quercetin is an important nutrient for the body, it is best to obtain it through natural food sources as opposed to a supplement. Your body will better be able to metabolize the flavonoid and use it as appropriate. Try to incorporate as many of these quercetin-rich foods into your diet as often as possible to protect your body from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.