The tearjerkers of the plant family, onions are important veggies that are used in almost all cuisines across the world. Although a lot of tears are involved in peeling and chopping them, their incredible health benefits make it worthwhile. A daily intake of onions can prevent anything from minor infections to debilitating conditions that affect the vital organs.
Different Types Of Onions
The commonly used onion variety, it is a staple in almost any kitchen.
Used for making the famous onion rings, sweet onions are larger and flatter than the yellow ones.
This variety has a thin white skin and has a much milder aroma and taste.
With a magenta skin and flesh, red onions are often used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of foods.
Shallots are similar to garlic in structure because the flesh often has multiple lobes.
These onions are also known as scallions and green onions. Their bulb is underdeveloped but their shoots are used for imparting great flavor to dishes.
An important addition to broths and soups, leeks look like mature spring onions.
Nutritional Value Of Onions
Onions have been used for centuries together for both culinary and medicinal purposes. They are primarily rich in iron, fiber, proteins, and vitamins like C and B6. They also have a lot of antioxidants, sulfuric compounds, and minerals that make them very beneficial for human consumption.1
Health Benefits Of Onions
Onions are extremely beneficial for health. They play a major role in providing relief for both acute and chronic conditions.
1. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Being loaded with antioxidant and polyphenols like quercetin, onions can significantly reduce oxidative stresses on the heart. The powerful anti-inflammatory action of quercetin protects against atherosclerosis, regulates blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart attacks.2
2. Regulates Blood Sugar
Onions have the prebiotic inulin which has been scientifically proven to be very effective in diabetics. It helps to improve glycemic control in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of onions can lower the risk of developing the disease.3
3. Strengthens The Skeletal System
Long-term researchers have found that including onions in your diet can protect the bones, cartilage, muscles, and tendons. As they have a high content of sulfur compounds and flavonoid polyphenols, they can increase bone density in postmenopausal women.4
4. Exercises Strong Antiseptic And Antimicrobial Action
An ancient remedy for insect bites and bee stings, onion juice has excellent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine action. It gets its antiseptic and antimicrobial activity due to its high sulfur content. This makes it very effective against bacterial and fungal growth.5
5. Relieves Upper Respiratory Tract Congestion
In people suffering from congested sinuses and rhinitis or respiratory allergies, onions can be very beneficial. They have a high content of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that boost immunity. This will help in reducing the severity of symptoms as well as bring relief to a sore throat and other respiratory problems.6
6. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Quercetin and flavonoid polyphenols have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers. An increased daily consumption of raw onions is one dietary modification you can adopt to reduce the risk of cancer.7
Remember never to over-peel onions as essential flavonoids are most concentrated in the outer layers. Although raw onions are healthier, don’t shy away from adding them to your diet in baked, curried, fried, or roasted form. After all, they offer a flavor that is irresistible.
|↑1||Onions, raw. Nutrition value|
|↑2||Quercetin. UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER|
|↑3||Jevas, C. “Anti-diabetic effects of Allium cepa (onions) aqueous extracts on alloxan-induced diabetic Rattus novergicus.” Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5, no. 7 (2011): 1134-1139.|
|↑4||Matheson, Eric M., Arch G. Mainous III, and Mark A. Carnemolla. “The association between onion consumption and bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older.” Menopause 16, no. 4 (2009): 756-759.|
|↑5||Griffiths, Gareth, Laurence Trueman, Timothy Crowther, Brian Thomas, and Brian Smith. “Onions—a global benefit to health.” Phytotherapy research 16, no. 7 (2002): 603-615.|
|↑6||Raal, Ain, Daisy Volmer, Renata Soukand, Sofia Hratkevitš, and Raivo Kalle. “Complementary treatment of the common cold and flu with medicinal plants–results from two samples of pharmacy customers in Estonia.” PLoS One 8, no. 3 (2013): e58642.|
|↑7||Quercetin. UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER|