Few people are talking about anything else at the moment other than the COVID-19 pandemic, the devastation it has caused and extreme measures unfolding daily to try and contain this virus. With no current treatment available, an important preventative measure we can take is ensuring a healthy, nutrient dense, balanced diet. Many of these healthy foods contain a nutrient called quercetin, a flavonoid compound which has shown promise in its anti-viral activity against cold, flu and corona viruses. Flavonoids in general are known for their anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Quercetin is a water-soluble nutrient which falls into the category of plant phytonutrients, known as flavonoids.
It is widely present in fruit and vegetables, including:
- Berries, including blueberries, blackberries and bilberries
- Green chilli
- Raw Cacao
Quercetin has been the subject of a number of studies investigating its health benefits, including:
- Inhibition of certain neoplastic (cancer) cell growth
- Improvement in blood sugar regulation
- Anti-viral activity. This included the inhibition of influenza and cold viruses.
For example, A study showed that quercetin successfully inhibited a number of strains of influenza in the early stages of infection via its interference with the hemagglutinin protein, a key feature of flu viruses.
In animal studies, quercetin supplementation demonstrated a restoration of important antioxidant levels (glutathione and superoxide dismutase), which are depleted, particularly in lung tissue, when there is an influenza infection. This replenished antioxidant status helps to provide protection of the lungs, minimising damage which may result from such infection.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capability alone means that there are numerous health conditions which can improved by increasing quercetin in the diet.
Want to try a recipe rich in quercetin?
Our Grape & Blueberry Cheesecake will give you a good hit. A grape cheesecake may sound odd, we thought it would be, but it’s actually one of our favourites!