Onions, Quercetin Found to Reduce Blood Pressure

red onion skin
Food as Medicine

red onion skinWhile onions may make you cry in the kitchen, they should make you smile at the dinner table. Not only do they taste great and are extremely versatile, but they also provide a wealth of health benefits. Among some of those benefits lies onion’s ability to lower blood pressure, according to some research published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Blood Pressure Stats

At last check, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say high blood pressure or hypertension affected about 28.6% of Americans over the age of 18. This is significant. More than one-in-four American adults suffers from the entirely preventable condition. Of those affected by hypertension, 76.4 were taking prescription medication to lower it.

While many of those people are quite comfortable taking their pills and crossing their fingers—dealing with the potentially dangerous side effects, others want a more natural solution. Fortunately for them, there are many, and onions happen to be one.

Quercetin in Onions: Effectively Lowering Blood Pressure

But researchers at the University of Utah didn’t focus on onions, but rather an extremely healthful antioxidant compound found in onions – quercetin. Quercetin has been studied for it’s positive effects on numerous ailments, including inflammatory-related diseases, and even cancer.

The randomized, double-blind study found that hypertensive adults given a quercetin supplement saw a decrease of 7 mmHg in their systolic pressure, and 5 in their diastolic pressure. Those given a placebo saw no decrease. Participants who were pre-hypertensive also saw no benefits. This means quercetin from onions could help to reverse high blood pressure.

Unlike other studies, though, the researchers didn’t find quercetin to prevent oxidative stress.

The study abstract concluded with:

“These data are the first to our knowledge to show that quercetin supplementation reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. Contrary to animal-based studies, there was no quercetin-evoked reduction in systemic markers of oxidative stress.”

So, how can you reap the blood pressure lowering benefits of onions? By eating them, of course.

Add raw onions to salads and cooked onions in nearly everything else. While onions may not go well in desserts, they can be used in nearly everything else—from soups to casseroles and stir-frys.
Some other quercetin-rich foods are:

  • Red apples
  • Red grapes
  • Red wine
  • Blueberries
  • Red cherries
  • Blackverries
  • Kale

If you are already suffering from high blood pressure, consider a quercetin supplement. For the study discussed above, participants were given 730 milligrams each day. Also, try other natural hypertension remedies like apple cider vinegar, coconut water, and vitamin D.