- 13 Amazing Health Benefits of Onions
Onions are a staple in most of the known cuisines in the world. I personally cannot get over how delicious caramelized onions can be. In Indian cuisine it is the base of almost all curries and stews. Pour a little oil, add chopped onions, garlic, and green chili, there you have it! The perfect base to build any dish. Onions are extremely versatile and add a distinct flavor to food; there are many dishes that are made with onion as the key ingredient. I once had a chance to visit a Sri Lankan friend who had “especially” made onion curry for me. This is a dish that is made entirely made of onion with oil and seasoning. Then there is the onion pie, also based entirely on onions.
Onions are a superfood, a gift of nature. On understanding what onions can really do, it leaves us in awe of this vegetable. There are many varieties that can be used in different ways; green onions can be sprinkled on top of any savory dish. Not only does it add a pop of freshness and color, but it is also extremely beneficial in helping digest what you eat. Onions are often considered as one of the world’s healthiest foods, packed full of essential nutrients.
The nutritional composition of an onion is quite interesting. The scientific name of the onion plant is Allium Cepa. Onions are full of antioxidants and contain a number of sulfur-containing compounds. This definitely makes this vegetable appealing. Onions are found in many different sizes and can be eaten raw or cooked. A medium sized onion is composed of 89% water, 1.7 % fiber and 9% of carbohydrates. Onions contain 9.3 g of carbohydrates, 1.1 g of protein, 0.01 g of omega 6, 1.7 g of fiber and 4.2 grams of sugar. Onions also contain multiple vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin B6, B9, C, folate, and potassium. There are multiple phytonutrients that are found in onions. These are Anthocyanins, quercetin, sulfur-compounds, and thiosulfinates.
All these components have multiple benefits, that solidify the belief that onion is a superfood. Here are 13 amazing benefits of using onions
13 Amazing Health Benefits of Onions
1. Stronger Immunity
The defense mechanism of our body is our immune system and a healthy immune system will ensure we do not contract diseases that are caused due to bacteria, fungus, and viral infections. Nature has many natural ways to help prevent free radicals from affecting our body. Onions are one of these natural ways to build a stronger immunity. The vitamin C present in onions is the reason onions are believed to protect us from many diseases. The phytonutrients present in onions help the antioxidant properties of the vegetable to take full effect.
2. Prevent Cancer
Free radicals that enter the body and cause abnormal cell growth lead to cancer. Cancer is a disease that keeps on growing. Prevention is the cure in this case, and using foods that help reduce its chances is the best option.
Onions contain phytonutrients such as quercetin and other flavonoids that help fight the free radicals. Sulfur-compounds found in onions are also helpful in fighting the effects of cancer.
3. Detoxifying Properties
Detoxing has become a popular health trends nowadays, but aside from being trendy, it is extremely crucial for our body. Detoxing basically helps our body to flush out several toxins and bad cholesterol due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise.
Onions are an extremely good way of keeping our bodies toxin-free. Onions contain sulfur-compounds and amino acids that help clear out the digestive system and help expel the harmful toxins from within.
4. Aids in Antioxidant Production
Some vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and onions help the body produce its own antioxidants. This is the best way to help prevent the effect of free radicals. Studies show that onions help the body produce Glutathione. This not only helps fight cancerous elements, but is also extremely beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart.
5. Healthy Digestion
It is rich in dietary fiber, which acts as a natural laxative and ensures comfortable bowel movements. Fiber helps clean the intestines and remove waste from the body. Onions also contain saponins that help relieve stomachaches and cramps.
6. Helps Manage Anemia
Anemia is caused iron deficiency and can be a fatal disease. There are various conventional medicines that help balance and maintain the levels of hemoglobin in our bodies. However, going the natural route prevents us from the side effects of the conventional medication. It contain 0.2mg of iron per 100 gram and a good amount of folate. Folate is a phytochemical that helps absorb iron to its full potential and is often recommended to pregnant women.
7. Diabetes Management
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can hit at anytime if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat processed and junk foods. The biggest problem in managing diabetes is maintaining a safe blood sugar level. Raw onion consumption is recommended to keep your sugar levels in check and prevent them from getting out of hand.
8. Hair Growth
There are often instances when we start losing hair or it starts going gray. This may be due to age, stress or lack of specific nutrients. Eating protein and potassium-rich foods is helpful in preventing these complications. There are many hair masks that can be made with onions to apply, which you can apply to your hair and scalp. Not only are onions known to promote hair growth, but is also a good remedy for dandruff. Mixing onion juice with yogurt and leaving it on the hair for half an hour can help strengthen your hair and cleanse your scalp.
The antioxidant nature of it is no secret; it also helps boost the internal production of antioxidants in your body. Aging is caused by the accumulation of the harmful elements that our skin absorbs and also by the effects of free radicals. Onions, with their detoxifying and antioxidant properties helps slow down the aging process.
10. Anti-fungal and Antimicrobial
Not only do onions prevent infections and viral diseases from entering the body, they also help fight the bacteria present in our mouths. Some people recommend chewing an onion in the morning for 3 minutes to get rid of the bacteria in the mouth.
11. Pain Relief
I still remember being advised by my grandmother to rub a sliced onion on the affected area if stung by a blue bottle or a bee or when I scrapped my knee. I do not know how that worked, but it did provide instant relief. Same goes for ear irritation, add a few drops of onion juice to a cotton pad and apply it on your ear to get rid of the pain and discomfort.
12. Relieve Cough and Cold Symptoms
When suffering from a cough or flu virus, we often brew teas to find some solace. It is recommended to add an onion in hot water when preparing tea. Onion juice added to honey can also be taken to help reduce any swelling in your throat.
13. Healthy Bones
Onions can be helpful in treating bone loss as they have been found to contain growth plate chondrocytes. They also have the compounds that help rebuild connective tissue.