What Foods Are Highest in Quercetin? (Best Sources Listed in Order)

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What Foods Are Highest in Quercetin?

Have you ever wondered what foods are highest in quercetin? If you have, then this article is for you.

In this article, we will list the top 25 foods by quercetin concentration according to the USDA. If you are reading this with an eye towards increasing your food-sourced quercetin levels, bear in mind that the numbers given here are all based on a 100 gram or 100-milliliter serving, not a typical-sized serving. 

Fresh dill may rank much higher than okra or kale, but consuming 100g of dill would be difficult while eating several hundred grams of kale is relatively easy. Taking this into account, let’s dive right in.

1. Capers (Capparis spinosa) 233.84mg/100g

Fresh capers can be difficult to find outside of the Mediterranean regions of Europe. Canned capers are more common in U.S. groceries and have 172.55mg. Unfortunately, canned capers are also sodium bombs that some people should eat with caution.

2. Raw Lovage Leaves (Levisticum officinale) 170.00mg/100g

Lovage leaves are a common culinary herb used in several styles of European cooking and are a wonderful touch added to salads. They taste very similar to celery, but with a touch, more bite, and many people enjoy them in herbal teas.

3. Elderberry Juice Concentrate (Sambucus) 108.16mg/100ml

The use of Elderberry juice in traditional medicine goes back eons. Created by cooking down the toxic berry of the Sambucus vine, elder juice is very dense in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Common ailments it reportedly aids are stomach issues, cold and flu symptoms, and high cholesterol.

4. Raw Dock (Rumex Crispus) 86.20mg/100g

Raw dock has a flavor much like healthy spinach but with a pronounced sour edge. Besides being loaded with quercetin, it is also rich in Vitamins A and C, a host of minerals, and many micronutrients.

5. Radish Leaves (Raphanus raphanistrum) 70.37mg/100g

We usually don’t think of eating radish leaves, but we should. They have a peppery flavor that can be pretty intense, but they can be delightful when mixed with other greens, raw or cooked. Best of all, they are very nutritious and have high concentrations of quercetin.

6. Rocket Greens (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) 66.19mg/100g

Rocket greens have been popular in Asian and Arabic cuisines for centuries. They have a distinctive peppery taste with a sweet-nutty undertone that doesn’t compare to other greens. Rich in nutrients and quercetin, a rocket salad gives a great energy boost when paired with high-protein meals.

7. Fresh Dill (Anethum graveolens) 55.15mg/100g

Dill weed is a culinary staple herb that pairs well with seafood and vegetable dishes. Especially at home with cucumbers, it is the featured ingredient in many pickle recipes and Greek salads. If you are new to working with dill, you should tread lightly, as it can become very dominating when overused.

8. Fresh Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 52.9mg/100g

Anyone who loves Mexican-style salsas is familiar with cilantro. What many may not realize, though, is that this magnificent herb is loaded with quercetin, naturally occurring antibiotics, and may help eliminate metals from our systems. 

9. Raw Banana Peppers (Capsicum annuum) 50.63mg/100g

Sweet and mild without the spicy bite that hot chilies possess, banana peppers are lovely in fresh salads, stuffed and baked, or pickled. Great, as a salad topper, banana peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, B6, and active enzymes. 

10. Raw Fennel Leaves (Foeniculum) 48.80mg/100g

If you like the taste of licorice, you will love fennel leaves. Looking much like dill but more closely related to carrots, fennel has loads of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant compounds. 

11. Juniper Berries (Juniperus communis) 46.61mg/100g

Juniper Berries are not actual berries but rather tiny conifers more closely related to pine cones. They have a very dominant taste with heavy resin tones only mildly balanced by citrus notes and are used to season a wide variety of dishes, especially in Scandinavian cuisine. The most common use of juniper is in the flavoring of Gin.

12. Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens) 42mg/100g

Mexican oregano has a more robust flavor than regular oregano but less bitterness and more citrus and floral tones. It is most at home in salsas, burritos, beans, soups, tacos, and enchilada sauces but usable as a substitute in any dish that calls for oregano. 

13. Carob Flour (Ceratonia siliqua) 38.78mg/100g

The carob tree is a flowering evergreen native to the Mediterranean. Its bean pods are gathered and opened, and the pulp inside once dried and ground into a flour-like powder. Using carob flour is no different than using any other type of flour, with two exceptions. Carob flour is gluten-free and high in quercetin.

14. Red Onions (Allium cepa L.) 31.77mg/100g

Red onions are the most popular onions on the planet due to their mildly sweet flavor and versatility. As much at home in savory dishes as in salads, red onions also offer an impressive array of health benefits. They: 

  • Are highly nutritious
  • Promote a healthy heart
  • Are loaded with antioxidants, including quercetin
  • Contain cancer-fighting compounds
  • May boost digestive health
  • Help control blood sugar 
  • Are antimicrobial
  • Help maintain bone density

15. Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) 31.51mg/100g

Radicchio is often called Italian chicory due to its frequent use in Italian cuisine. Radicchio has bright red leaves with white veins and a spicy, bitter taste that mellows when grilled or roasted. High in quercetin, radicchio is also rich in copper and vitamins C and K.

16. Red Bulb Spring Onions (Allium cepa L.) 30.6mg/100g

Red bulb spring onions are the juvenile form of the red onions listed above. They share many of the same health benefits but with a much milder flavor, and the greens bring an earthiness to the table. They also work well as a tastier alternative to the traditional white spring onion most of us are familiar with.

17. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) 29.99mg/100g

Watercress is an aquatic cabbage and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables that we consume. Noted for its piquant flavor, watercress is widely eaten in Europe, often alone in sandwiches with mayo-type dressings.  

18. Ancho Peppers (Capsicum annuum) 27.6mg/100g

Ancho chilies are dried poblano peppers. They have mild heat (1000-1500 Scoville heat units) and a sweet smokey flavor. Very versatile, chefs commonly grind them for use in soups, moles, salsas, and sauces, or rehydrate them in water before slicing.  

19. Elderberries (Sambucus spp.) 26.77mg/100g

Elderberries have garnered much interest among scientists due to their widespread use in traditional medicine for treating respiratory illnesses. While no firm conclusions are possible with currently available data, doctors feel elderberries show promise with a minimum risk of side effects. 

20. Hawthorn Leaves (Crataegus monogyna) 24.1mg/100g

Hawthorn, also known as thornapple, quickthorn, and May-tree, has been used to treat heart conditions since the first century AD. Hawthorn leaves and berries have long been a favorite among foragers and are now available in many whole foods markets and some general groceries. 

21. Raw Kale (Brassica oleracea) 22.58mg/100g

Well known as a nutritional powerhouse, kale has grown in popularity over the last decade. A favorite among smoothie drinkers, kale is equally at home in salads and sandwiches once the taste is acquired. 

22. Raw Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) 20.97mg/100g

No one knows for sure where okra originated. Still, everyone knows that ladyfingers are chocked-full of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that can help fight against stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

23. Chia Seeds (Salvia hispanica) 18.42mg/100g

Considered by many to be a superfood, chia seeds certainly qualify. Rich in: 

  • Protein
  • Antioxidants 
  • Vitamins 
  • Minerals 

Chia seeds have the added advantage that almost all of their carbohydrate content is fiber.

24. Moringa Leaves (Moringa oleifera) 16.65mg/100g

One of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet, virtually every part of this fast-growing tree is nutritious. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads, added to soups and stews, and contain over 90 protective compounds to complement their high vitamin and mineral content. Many people see the moringa tree as a key weapon in fighting malnutrition.

25. Saskatoons (Amelanchier canadensis) 16.64mg/100g

Saskatoon berries have a sweet, nutty flavor that makes them delicious as a snack or made into jellies or jams. A favorite of America’s Northern Idigeonouse Tribes, saskatoons are now widely available in groceries and farmers’ markets across the Northern United States.  

Primary Sources:

USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods: https://www.ars.usda.gov/arsuserfiles/80400525/data/flav/flav_r03.pdf 

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health “Estimated Daily Intake and Seasonal Food Sources of Quercetin in Japan “: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425148/