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Another Super-Nutrient to the Rescue

Quercetin is one of the lesser known super antioxidants found in various fruits, vegetables and supplements. Don’t let the obscurity of this super nutrient prevent you from appreciating its full importance in your daily diet. It is what we call a “biofl avonoid” and it help your body resist colds and virus attacks.

Quercetin scavenges your body for free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to aging. Italso combats conditions that can potentially interfere with cell function and your immune system. Forthe fruits and vegetables, this means survival and fl ourishing amongst long days of being bombarded bydamaging solar rays. Free radicals are produced during a process in our bodies called oxidative stresswhich plays a role in the development of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and agerelated blindness.

Much of the work on quercetin that demonstrated its real power was performed by the DefenseAdvanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA); the same agency that brought us the internet and GPStechnology and host of very important biological discoveries as well. They do cutting edge work for the Department of Defense and quercetin research was part of their Peak Soldier Performance program. They found that quercetin enhances immune system function which means you get fewer colds and other viruses because your body is better able to attack and destroy them before they make you sick.

In one study involving two groups of physically stressed military members, only 1 in 20 got coldswho were taking quercetin whereas 10 out of 20 in the control group who were not taking quercetin got sick. Bottom line, enhancing your immune system with plenty of quercetin can help reduce getting sick this cold season in late winter, early spring. If you are an athlete and do a lot of high- endurance exercising, quercetin will help prevent that immune suppression that results from all the stress on your body.

In the laboratory, quercetin also shows an ability to block the release of histamine from cells which is a good thing since histamine triggers allergic reactions. So, although more research is neededto demonstrate this, quercetin might also help with your seasonal allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy/watery eyes. It also has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory, potentially helping with conditions such as arthritis and generalized joint point. Work by Dr. Mark Davis shows that it is also increases endurance activity by stimulating the production of mitochondria in the cells.

All in all, it’s a pretty magical nutrient. So make it part of your dietary routine either throughsupplements or by eating quercetin-rich fruits and vegetables. These healthful foods include citrus fruits,apples, onions, parsley, tea and red wine. Olive roil, grapes, dark cherries and dark berries are also high in fl avonoids, including quercetin.

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