5 Health Benefits Of Eating Red Onions

Often avoided for the pungent and nasty breath it leaves you with, onion, especially red onion has much more to it than just its taste. Red onions are worth the tears as they contain nutrients such as chromium and quercetin that can reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, and also improve your gut health. Try retaining the outer layers of onions as they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Although red onions and white onions are quite similar, red onions are better as they contain higher amounts of beneficial nutrients.

Here are 5 reasons why you must eat red onions.


1. Lowers Risk Of Cancer

Red onions can lower cancer risk

Red onions contain a powerful flavonoid called quercetin which promotes cancer cell death. It can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in prostate, breast, colon, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer.1 2 3


Additionally, quercetin exerts antioxidant activity. It fights the free radical damage, which affects the way the cells function. Free radical damage in the body increases cell mutations, damages the DNA and cell membrane, and promotes healthy cell death.4

2. Improves Heart Health

Red onions can improve heart health


While low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad cholesterol” increases the risk of heart diseases, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol” reduces its risk. Bad cholesterol is one of the major cause of atherosclerosis as the build-up of plaque in the arteries narrows them and prevents proper blood flow.5

As an antioxidant, quercetin in red onions not only reduces the bad cholesterol but also lowers blood pressure and prevents hardening of arteries, which are the major causes of heart disease.6


3. Aids Digestion

Red onions can aid digestion

Red onions contain inulin, a soluble plant fiber that is not broken down during digestion as it has the ability to act as an insoluble fiber. This property of inulin makes it beneficial for your gut health.7


Eating red onions can relieve constipation and increase the good bacteria in your gut. The fiber content in red onions has the potential to curb appetite and help you lose weight by increasing satiety.8

4. Regulates Blood Sugar

Red onions can regulate blood sugar


Red onions are a rich source of chromium, which can control blood sugar levels. This is good news for diabetics and people trying to lose weight as eating onions won’t lead to blood sugar fluctuations.

Chromium deficiency can lead to insulin resistance, which increases blood sugar and affects carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Insulin resistance can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and make weight loss difficult.9 10


5. Fights Inflammation

Red onions can fight inflammation

Quercetin, due to its anti-inflammatory properties can lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition to these benefits, it can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by inhibiting leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamines which cause inflammation.

Eating red onions can also boost your immune system by reducing inflammation. Infections can activate your immune system and lead to inflammation. Quercetin in red onions can reduce both the inflammation and the infection.11

Although onions are usually used raw and are more beneficial in that state, lightly cooking them will still provide you with a myriad of health benefits. Due to its blood-thinning effects, people with blood disorders or recent surgeries must avoid eating red onions.