(Natural News) Your body can be compared to an extremely complex machine. For it to function normally and keep itself safe from potential threats, such as disease, it needs to take nutrients from your environment, specifically, through your diet.
Quercetin is one of the many natural chemicals you obtain from eating plants. Although not as well-known as most antioxidants, it can do wonders for your body, especially when supported with vitamin C.
You most probably know vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid. This natural chemical occurs in most fruits and vegetables and is a powerful antioxidant. Its role in boosting your immune system and protecting your cells from oxidative damage has helped cement its reputation as a natural shield from many types of disease.
Benefits of quercetin
Quercetin is a less known flavonol, but it is fairly common. Found in fruits, leaves, flowers, and seeds, its primary function is protecting plants from threats, such as infections and toxins in the environment. When ingested and paired with vitamin C, it benefits your body, too.
It is an antioxidant
Just like vitamin C, quercetin is a potent antioxidant. It scavenges free radicals, molecules that damage your cells and lead to various diseases like cancer and neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It also acts as a booster for other antioxidants in your body. For instance, it helps in the production of glutathione, considered as your body’s “master antioxidant.”
It is anti-inflammatory
Aside from its antioxidant properties, it also mitigates the occurrence of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is part of your immune response, particularly in the presence of toxins and bacteria, but too much of it can lead to serious health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Quercetin has been found to inhibit the expression of the pro-inflammatory molecule cyclooxygenase (COX).
It protects against heavy metals
Your body collects various heavy metals from your environment, including the food you eat. This is one of the reasons it is essential to avoid plants that were treated with insecticides, for instance. High concentrations of heavy metals like aluminum, cobalt, nickel, and lead, can lead to metal toxicity. Quercetin was found to have chelating properties that help limit the risk of toxicity from lead, as well as reducing its levels in the body.
It protects against allergies
One of the most important applications of quercetin has to do with its role in fighting allergies. It inhibits the release of histamines, which makes it effective against common allergy symptoms like itching, hives, and watery eyes. Additionally, it may be taken ahead of exposure as a means of preventing allergies. It is also being studied as a treatment against more serious complications, such as anaphylactic reactions.
A separate but related benefit has to do with its ability to suppress leukocytes in both the bloodstream and the lungs. This leads to relaxed airway passages and more elastic lung tissue. This effect makes quercetin a potential treatment for asthma, which is usually triggered alongside allergies.
It is heart-friendly
Aside from its antioxidant properties, which reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, there are other reasons why quercetin is good for the heart. Some studies indicate that it helps lower and normalize high blood pressure, a common precursor to heart disease. Animal studies even reveal that this antioxidant can inhibit cardiac hypertrophy, one of the off-shoots of hypertension.
Quercetin also makes platelets less “sticky,” helping thin out the blood. It promotes the production of nitric oxide, an important chemical that dilates the blood vessels. These effects further lower the risk of heart attacks caused by stifled blood flow.
Discover other benefits of ingesting quercetin by following Veggie.news.