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
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
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 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 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
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.
|↑1||Yang, Jen-Hung, Te-Chun Hsia, Hsiu-Maan Kuo, Pei-Dawn Lee Chao, Chi-Chung Chou, Yau-Huei Wei, and Jing-Gung Chung. “Inhibition of lung cancer cell growth by quercetin glucuronides via G2/M arrest and induction of apoptosis.” Drug Metabolism and Disposition 34, no. 2 (2006): 296-304.|
|↑2||Linsalata, Michele, Antonella Orlando, Caterina Messa, MARIA GRAZIA REFOLO, and Francesco Russo. “Quercetin inhibits human DLD-1 colon cancer cell growth and polyamine biosynthesis.” Anticancer research 30, no. 9 (2010): 3501-3507.|
|↑3||Angst, Eliane, Jenny L. Park, Aune Moro, Qing-Yi Lu, Xuyang Lu, Gang Li, Jonathan King et al. “The flavonoid quercetin inhibits pancreatic cancer growth in vitro and in vivo.” Pancreas 42, no. 2 (2013): 223.|
|↑4||Sokolová, Romana, Ilaria Degano, Šárka Ramešová, Jana Bulíčková, Magdaléna Hromadová, Miroslav Gál, Jan Fiedler, and Michal Valášek. “The oxidation mechanism of the antioxidant quercetin in nonaqueous media.” Electrochimica Acta 56, no. 21 (2011): 7421-7427.|
|↑5||Ference, Brian A., Henry N. Ginsberg, Ian Graham, Kausik K. Ray, Chris J. Packard, Eric Bruckert, Robert A. Hegele et al. “Low-density lipoproteins cause atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. 1. Evidence from genetic, epidemiologic, and clinical studies. A consensus statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society Consensus Panel.” European heart journal (2017): ehx144.|
|↑6||Zahedi, Maryam, Reza Ghiasvand, Awat Feizi, Gholamreza Asgari, and Leila Darvish. “Does quercetin improve cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers in women with type 2 diabetes: a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial.” International journal of preventive medicine 4, no. 7 (2013): 777.|
|↑7||Niness, Kathy R. “Inulin and oligofructose: what are they?.” The Journal of nutrition 129, no. 7 (1999): 1402S-1406s.|
|↑8||Heap, Sarah, Jessica Ingram, Marron Law, Amy J. Tucker, and Amanda J. Wright. “Eight-day consumption of inulin added to a yogurt breakfast lowers postprandial appetite ratings but not energy intakes in young healthy females: a randomised controlled trial.” British Journal of Nutrition 115, no. 2 (2016): 262-270.|
|↑9||Simonoff, Monique. “Chromium deficiency and cardiovascular risk.” Cardiovascular research 18, no. 10 (1984): 591-596.|
|↑10||Plutzky, Jorge, Giancarlo Viberti, and Steven Haffner. “Atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance: mechanistic links and therapeutic targets.” Journal of Diabetes and its Complications 16, no. 6 (2002): 401-415.|
|↑11||Li, Yao, Jiaying Yao, Chunyan Han, Jiaxin Yang, Maria Tabassum Chaudhry, Shengnan Wang, Hongnan Liu, and Yulong Yin. “Quercetin, inflammation and immunity.” Nutrients 8, no. 3 (2016): 167.|