You don’t want to get a liver disease, but your risk is increased if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or are exposed to dangerous chemicals in your workplace. To protect your liver from the effects of toxicity and stress, it is advisable to adopt a diet rich in vitamin C. In addition to its anti-oxidant properties, vitamin C helps the body process fats by aiding in their conversion into useful compounds like Coenzyme A. So, how can you support your liver with quercetin and other functional foods? Here is everything you need to know about this antioxidant flavonol found in many fruits and vegetables.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in most fruits and vegetables including apples, onions, berries, and even tea. It is also one of the most common liver-supporting foods on the planet. Quercetin is a potent anti-oxidant. It has been found to be approximately 10 times more effective than Vitamin C at neutralizing free radicals produced by metabolic processes in the liver. This makes it an excellent supplement for those who already have adequate levels of vitamin C in their diet. While quercetin has been found to be less effective than the liver-supporting nutrients curcumin and resveratrol, it is also much easier to obtain from foods.
How Can Quercetin Help Your Liver?
Quercetin is believed to help the liver in three main ways.
Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects: The liver is constantly being exposed to harmful toxins in the form of alcohol, medications, environmental pollutants, and even natural metabolic byproducts. As part of the detoxification process, quercet-in acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that protects the liver from oxidative stress and inflammation.
Protein Synthesis: One of the most important functions of the liver is protein synthesis and metabolism. For protein to be useful, it must be broken down into amino acids, repackaged into proteins, and then sent to the rest of the body. Quercetin is known to enhance the process of protein metabolism in the liver, helping it synthesize proteins more efficiently.
Blood Sugar Control: For people with diabetes, consuming quercetin-rich foods can also be an excellent way to improve blood sugar control. Studies have found that it may be effective at improving glucose metabolism in diabetics.
5 Best Quercetin Food Sources
While quercetin is found in many fruits and vegetables, there are some foods that are particularly rich in this liver-protecting antioxidant.
Apples: Apples are one of the richest sources of quercetin, with a single apple providing about 30% of the daily recommended intake.
Strawberries: Strawberries are another excellent source of quercetin, containing about 1.5 times as much quercetin as apples.
Tea: While some teas are better than others, studies have found that they all contain significant amounts of quercetin. In fact, tea is the single richest source of quercetin.
Onions: Onions are another excellent source of quercetin, particularly red onions.
Grapes: Grapes are not only a delicious way to boost your quercetin intake, but they are also an excellent source of this potent liver-protecting antioxidant.
3 More Important Liver-Supporting Foods
Apart from these five foods, there are three other foods that are particularly beneficial for liver health.
Coconut Oil: A single tablespoon of coconut oil contains approximately 0.54 mg of quercetin, which is more than some fruits and vegetables. It can be used in a variety of recipes, but we recommend using it to make coconut quinoa or baking with coconut flour.
Nuts: Nuts are another excellent source of quercetin, yet they are often overlooked. A handful of almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or pecans provides approximately 3 mg of quercetin per serving.
Garlicky Vegetables: Garlic, onions, and leeks are some of the most potent liver-supporting foods around. A single clove of garlic contains about 5 mg of quercetin, while a single onion bulb contains about 10 mg of this powerful flavonol.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. It is a potent anti-oxidant and has been found to be a useful supplement for those already consuming adequate levels of vitamin C. Quercetin can help the liver in several ways, including by inhibiting oxidative stress, improving protein metabolism, and blood sugar control. Some of the best sources of quercetin include apples, strawberries, and grapes, as well as nuts, coconut oil, and garlicky vegetables. To protect your liver, it is advisable to adopt a diet rich in vitamin C, in addition to consuming quercetin-rich foods.