Recent studies are showing some impressive results when it comes to the health benefits of super phytochemical quercetin – a specific flavonoid found readily available in apple skins and a handful of other foods. According to The University of Maryland, quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, providing a wide array of heart and immune system health benefits. But, better yet, apples, are a great source of soluble fiber and this quality, along with their quercetin content, makes them a perfect part of a snack or meal for someone with diabetes.
The soluble fiber present in an apple, (usually 3-5 grams), helps slow the digestion and absorption of blood glucose so blood sugars stay more stable. This means energy levels stay up and daily tasks continue without the interruption of a low or high blood sugar.
Studies on quercetin have also shown benefits for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, cancer, prostatitis, allergies, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol.
In animal and human studies, individuals who consume diets moderate to high in quercetin (50-500mg) have lower blood glucose values and lower blood pressure numbers. At least one Taiwanese study has expressed the potential for quercetin to be used as a pharmaceutical application for diabetes. Not all studies showed positive changes in inflammatory response or histamine release, but, more often than not, the outcomes related to diabetes prevention and regulation were surprisingly positive.
Not a fan of apples? These health benefits should make a believer out of anyone, but if apples just aren’t your thing, there are some other foods with high quecertin levels, including red wine, kale, tomatoes, red onion, broccoli, asparagus and green tea.
But, give them a try. Apples really are a great asset to those with diabetes because of their quercetin and their soluble fiber content. Not all fruits have these two elements in such quantities, and when brought together in a natural, whole food, you have something truly special.