Why do we say: An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

Researchers in the field of antioxidants and the effects of micronutrients are beginning to explain why the old saying; “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, is more scientifically true than we may have thought. Apples, as well as many other colorful fruits and vegetables, contain a rich amount of a particularly powerful antioxidant called quercetin.

Health Benefits of Quercetin

Quercetin has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiviral, immune-boosting, and other biological properties. Since 1977, many lab and animal studies, as well as a few human clinical studies and trials, have shown that quercetin works in multiple ways to help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions, including: Cancer Canker sores Heart disease Herpes Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Nasal allergy relief Respiratory infections Quercetin’s antioxidant properties also appear to offer sunscreen protection against damage to the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.   Clearly quercetin is an ingredient we should be adding to our diets, but which foods are high in quercetin?

onionAdding More Quercetin to Your Diet

The antioxidant quercetin is responsible for that lovely red glow in your apple skin. It is also present in many forms of fruits and grains. Here is a list of foods that have relatively high levels of quercetin:

mg/100 g.
Ancho peppers 27.60
Apple sauce, unsweetened 2.00
Apple, raw w/o skin 1.50
Apple, raw with skin 4.42
Apricot, raw 2.55
Bilberries, raw 3.04
Black grapes 2.54
Blueberries, frozen 3.93
Blueberries, raw 3.11
Bog whortleberries, wild frozen 17.70
Broccoli, cooked 1.06
Broccoli, raw 3.21
Buckwheat 23.09
Buckwheat flour, whole groat 2.72
Butterhead lettuce 1.19
Capers, canned 180.77
Celery, raw 3.50
Cherries, raw 1.25
Cherries, sweet canned 3.20
Cherry tomatoes, raw 2.77
Chives, raw 4.77
Chokeberries, frozen 8.90
Cocoa powder, dry, unsweetened 20.13
Coriander, raw 5.00
Corn poppy leaves 26.30
Cowberries, raw 21.00
Cranberries, raw 14.02
Cranberry juice, raw 16.41
Dill weed, fresh 55.15
Dock leaves, raw 86.20
European black currants, raw 5.69
Greek greens pie 12.40
Green beans, canned 1.49
Green beans, raw 2.73
Hot green chili peppers, raw 16.80
Hot wax yellow peppers, raw 50.63
Iceberg lettuce 2.47
Jalapeno, raw 5.07
Kale, canned 4.50
Kale, raw 7.71
Lemons, raw w/o peel 2.29
Lingonberries, raw 12.16
Lingonberry juice 1.02
Looseleaf lettuce 1.95
Lovage leaves, raw 170.00
Marinara sauce 0.91
Onions, boiled 19.36
Plums, raw 1.20
Queen Anne’s Lace leaves, raw 1.10
Red currants, raw 0.95
Red grapes 3.54
Red onion, raw 19.93
Rowanberries, frozen 7.40
Serrano peppers, raw 15.98
Spinach, raw 4.86
Spring onions, raw 14.24
Sweet potato leaves, raw 20.54
Tarragon, fresh 10.00
Tea, black brewed 2.07
Tea, decaf brewed 2.84
Tea, decaf green brewed 2.77
Tea, green brewed 2.69
Tomato juice, canned 1.46
Tomato puree, canned 4.12
Watercress, raw 4.00
White currants, raw 1.95
White sweet onion, raw 5.19
Yellow snap beans, raw 3.03

You may want to consider organically grown versions of fruits and vegetables when looking to maximize your quercetin intake. A recent study found that tomatoes which had been organically grown had more quercetin than their conventionally grown counterparts, although green peppers had no difference in quercetin levels.

Another way to get the ingredient in your body easily and without having to eat massive amounts of different foods is to add quercetin supplement to your diet. Here is a list of 2 great supplements that are very bio available:

 gamma immune

Bio available quercetin formula


Vitamin C-1000 Formula with Bioflavonoids AND quercetin


      Sources for this article include: http://www.quercetin.com/overview/food-chart