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Get more quercetin from onions

Onions are a prominent food source of quercetin, a flavonoid that, according to in vitro and animal studies, inhibits viruses, soothes stress stimuli and perhaps also stimulates the production of androgenic hormones. Does it matter how you prepare onions in the kitchen? An American study in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis answers this question.

Get more quercetin from onions

There is a lot of quercetin in onions - not in a pure and 'bare' form, but mainly in a glycosylated form. But you don't eat onions raw. You cook or bake them.

Kevin Lombard, a researcher at New Mexico State University, wondered how the onions' cooking methods affected the amount of quercetin they contain. He bought onions from different cultivars, prepared as is usually done in a normal kitchen, and then determined how many quercetin analogues were in the onions.

Get more quercetin from onions

Baking the onion for 15 minutes increased the concentration of quercetin analogues by 7 percent.

Cooking onions [boil] for 5 minutes reduced the amount of quercetin by 18 percent. This was because the quercetin analogues leaked out of the onion into the water.

The best way to prepare onion, in terms of the amount of quercetin analogues, was saute [saute]. Sauteing involves heating the onion for a short time - the researchers sauteed their onions for 5 minutes - under a high temperature in a pan with a little oil. By shaking the pan regularly, you prevent the onions from burning. Sauteing is a bit like stir-frying.

Sauteing increased the amount of quercetin analogues in the onion by 25 percent.

The table below has been reduced and simplified. Click on it for a larger and full version.

Get more quercetin from onions

Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 18 (2005) 571-81.

Quercetin makes bones heavier and stronger, says meta-study 11.02.2021
Animal study | Quercetin helps prevent virus infection after strenuous exercise 16.12.2020
Quercetin prevents stress hormone cortisol from breaking down muscle cells 07.12.2020


Quercetin is a geroprotector Onions have androgenic effect, says 1967 animal study Quercetin sabotages influenza virus

Quercetin is a geroprotector
If you take a capsule of quercetin once a week, you probably will not prolong your life. No sir. But perhaps this weekly dose will ensure that you stay healthy longer.

Onions have androgenic effect, says 1967 animal study
The juice of the common-or-garden onion has a hormonal effect, claims an Egyptian researcher in an old animal study that we stumbled across accidentally.

Quercetin sabotages influenza virus
Chinese virologists from Southern Medical University report this in Viruses. Is quercetin an antiviral agent?