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Best Sources of Quercetin: 10 Foods You Should Be Eating

Red onions and apple peels may be the best known sources of quercetin, but there are also plenty of other foods that contain a lot of quercetin. If you are trying to increase your intake of this powerful antioxidant, be sure to include the following 10 foods in your diet:

1. Capers

When it comes to the best natural sources of quercetin, it's hard to beat capers: these edible flower buds contain a whopping 234 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams. That's six times the amount found in red onions!

Top 10 Foods Rich in Quercetin

2. Onions

Along with apple peels which we'll talk about later, onions are among the best known dietary sources of quercetin. Among the onion family, red onions are by far the best source of quercetin, with a 100-gram portion providing 39 milligrams of this powerful flavonoid.

3. Elderberries

Elderberries are highly valued for their health benefits in many European countries. These tart black berries are particularly known for their extremely strong antioxidant properties, which have been largely attributed to their high content of phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins and quercetin. According to data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, elderberries contain a whopping 27 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams.

4. Kale

The next food on our list is the superfood kale. Kale contains 23 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams, which is seven times the amount of found in broccoli, another Brassica vegetable that is often touted as a good source of quercetin.

5. Okra

Okra doesn't usually appear on lists of foods recommended for people who want to up their intake of quercetin, perhaps because it's not as widely consumed as foods like onions and apples. However, with 21 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams, okra has definitely earned its place on this list of the best sources of quercetin.

6. Apple Peels

With 19 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams, apple peels are an excellent source of this powerful flavonoid. The flesh of an apple, by contrast, provides only small amounts of quercetin.

7. Aronia Berries

Also known as black chokeberries, aronia berries, are known for their extremely strong antioxidant properties. The antioxidant powers of these small dark berries have been largely attributed to their extremely high content of anthocyanins, but they also contain significant amounts of other antioxidant compounds, including quercetin. In fact, with 19 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams, aronia berries are on par with apple skin when it comes to providing quercetin!

8. Cranberries

Cranberries are yet another example of a quercetin-rich berry, and with 15 milligrams of quercetin per 100 grams, they are not far behind aronia berries. For maximum benefits, go for fresh cranberries: they have been found to contain significantly more quercetin than their dried, sweetened counterparts.

9. Asparagus

When it comes to the best vegetable sources of quercetin, asparagus is right there on top of the list after onions, kale and okra. But exactly how much quercetin do these lovely spears contain? According to analysis, 100 grams of cooked asparagus (or 6 medium-sized spears) contains 15 milligrams of quercetin.

10. Goji Berries

Dried goji berries are a popular snack food among health food enthusiasts who keep praising their exceptionally high pro-vitamin A and iron content. But turns out, these superberries are also packed with quercetin, with dried goji berries providing 14 milligrams of this powerful antioxidant.

1. C. Rice-Evans et al (1995). The relative antioxidant activities of plant-derived polyphenolic flavonoids. Free Radical Research, 22(4):375-83.
2. A. Boots et al (2008). Health effects of quercetin: From antioxidant to nutraceutical. European Journal of Pharmacology, 585(2-3), 325-337.
3. USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release, 3.2.