A flavonoid found in plants, the benefits of quercetin are pretty recent discoveries. Every year, we gain a bit more knowledge about how plant foods protect us. They have natural defenses against the ravages of the environment that they pass on to us when we eat them.
Flavonoids such as quercetin are what provide fruits and vegetables their pigmentation. They’re proven to have powerful antioxidant ability.
Quercetin is naturally…
- Antihistamine (anti-allergic)
- Cancer protective
- Heart protective
We’re going to focus on the incredible heart benefits of quercetin in this article as part of our heart health series. According to research, this flavonoid addresses the most common problems that lead to cardiovascular disease.
- Protects against hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Quercetin (along with resveratrol and catechins) lower the amount of plaque that builds up along arterial walls of the heart. This buildup is the number one factor that raises your risk of heart attack.
- Lowers LDL cholesterol naturally (without drugs). Quercetin has proven effective against the levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Participants in multiple studies have shown improvement to cholesterol by combining quercetin with a non-alcoholic red wine that also contains high concentrations of the flavonoid. Even overweight subjects with high cholesterol saw improvement.|
- Causes a measurable improvement in blood pressure. Participants with high blood pressure saw a significant improvement in their clinically diagnosed hypertension with the addition of quercetin in their diet. It also lowers the “stickiness” of your blood platelets which improves blood circulation.
- Cools inflammation throughout the body. Heart disease (as most diseases in our modern world) share inflammation as a common risk factor. Quercetin’s natural anti-inflammatory properties have a far-reaching impact on your cells that includes reducing chronic pain, easing allergies, settling digestive distress, and improving overall cognition.
- Drastically lowers your risk of death due to heart disease. In one study that included more than 800 men, those participants who had the highest flavonoid intake (including quercetin) had an almost 70% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women worldwide. Experts agree that your primary weapon to fight heart disease is diet. The World Heart Federation states heart-healthy changes to your diet can result in a “73% reduction in the risk of new major cardiac events.”
You read that right! Diet can change your risk of cardiac events by a whopping 73% – and it’s in your power to make that happen. This isn’t a matter of age or genetics. It’s simply using food to protect your heart!
The benefits of quercetin and the other flavonoids found in natural, whole foods are proven to improve your cholesterol, lower inflammation, and protect your heart. By eating.
“Diet is one of the key things you can change that will impact all other cardiovascular risk factors.” -World Heart Federation
That means you can do this. Every single minute in the United States, a woman dies of heart disease (more women than men die annually) and you don’t have to be one of them.Every single minute in the United States, a woman dies of heart disease (more women than men die annually).Click To Tweet
What to avoid…
- Processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meats (read your labels!)
- Refined sugars and flours used in most prepared or “junk” foods
- Heavy consumption of pro-inflammatory sodas, sport drinks, and “energy” beverages
- Too much alcohol (don’t drink daily…choose red wine when possible)
- Hydrogenated oils (margarine and vegetable oils)
- Commercially grown meats and dairy (stick to organic when possible)
The foods your heart loves are delicious (thankfully) and you’ll find them readily available. Seafood, nuts and seeds, avocados, and coconut oil are some excellent places to start. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You’ll find quercetin in many of the foods you probably already eat.
- Citrus fruits and apples
- Onions, peppers, and tomatoes
- Red wine and red grapes
- Broccoli, cabbage, and sprouts
- Spinach and kale
- Cacao and teas (black or green)
- Sage and parsley
- Olive oil
- Dark cherries and berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries)
Load up on the benefits of quercetin through the food you eat and consider a quality bio-available supplement if you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet.
This is a simple change you can start making right now…at your local grocery store and on your own dinner table.
Don’t be a heart disease statistic. Use food to protect your heart.