Health Benefits of Eating Onions

There are many Health Benefits of Eating Onions.  The compounds found in onions provide anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.  Besides all that – they add so much flavor to a dish.

There are many Health Benefits of Eating Onions such as anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties

HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING ONIONS

The onion offers so many benefits for the prevention and treatment of disease that they are often considered a medicinal food.  While consuming raw onions is the most beneficial, even cooked onions offer superior benefits in protective compounds, immunity support and overall health.

There are many Health Benefits of Eating Onions such as anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties

WHAT ARE ONIONS

Onions are part of the allium family of vegetables which include garlic, scallions, leeks and chives. Besides adding flavor to dishes,  they provide therapeutic and antibacterial properties that cleanse and detox our bodies.

ARE ONIONS GOOD FOR YOU

Yes!  Onions are a powerful superfood! According to a study found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, onions provide powerful benefits against certain types of cancer cells.  Whether you eat onions raw or cooked, they offer tremendous health benefits by consuming them.  Eating one small onion a day equals about a cup of chopped onion.  You can add onion to soups, stews, salsas and salads. 

BENEFITS OF ONIONS

  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Rich source of sulfur (amino acids needed for protein synthesis)
  • They strengthen immunity
  • May help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Inhibits hardening of the arteries,
  • Enhances elasticity of blood vessels
  • Prevents certain types of cancer
  • May help to regulate blood sugar levels
  • Detoxifying 

Antioxidant Benefits

Red onions contain a higher amount of antioxidants and flavonoids than the yellow or white onion, and they’re a rich source of quercetin.  Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may help fight chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer and it is beneficial for eliminating free radicals in the body.  It may also prevent the release of histamine, making onions a natural antihistamine. 

Cancer Prevention

Due to the high amount of antioxidant properties found in red onions compared to white or yellow, red onions provide stronger protection against certain types of cancer, such as stomach, colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal and ovarian cancer. For the most benefits,  it is recommended that we eat at least 3 onions each week (or half an onion a day).  The quercetin abundant in red onions have been shown to reduce inflammation and is beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory

Onions act as powerful antioxidants which stimulate immune responses and reduce inflammation in our bodies.

Detoxifying

Onions are a rich source of sulfur, which helps to facilitate the detoxification process in our bodies by removing  toxins and  heavy metals.

Improves Immunity

Onions are a rich source of both vitamin C and phytochemicals which helps to strengthen our immune systems.  Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin that our bodies need to make collagen.  Collagen is a type of protein that plays a role in wound healing and immunity support. 

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Onions are a rich source of  biotin.  Besides being good for healthy skin and hair, biotin has many positive impacts on our health, one of which is combatting symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.  A combination of biotin and chromium may help to improve regulating blood sugar levels and even decrease insulin resistance.

Lowers Cholesterol

Raw onion also promotes production of HDL, which is the good cholesterol that’s needed for optimal health, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Lowers Blood Pressure

The sulfur found in onions acts as a natural blood thinner and it prevents blood platelets from clotting, which may help to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart attack or stroke.  The powerful antioxidant Quercetin found in onions may also help to reduce the risk of  heart attack and stroke by preventing  plaque buildup in our arteries.

There are many Health Benefits of Eating Onions such as anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties

WHICH ONION IS BEST FOR YOU

Red onions are superior to other types of onions!  Generally yellow and white onions contain more fiber and a higher amount of sulfur,  but red onions contain a higher amount of antioxidants (quercetin and anthocyanin) and cancer prevention properties.  According to a 2017 found in Food Research International, red onions are far superior to other types in onions in killing cancer cells in humans due to the high content of antioxidants. 

There are many Health Benefits of Eating Onions such as anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties

HOW TO COOK WITH ONIONS

A great way to add flavor to almost any dish is by adding onions. They can be sautéed, roasted, grilled or caramelized.  They’re also great when added raw to sandwiches, salads and salsas. Mix chopped onion with celery and carrot to make a flavorful mirepoix as a base for soup (which is a staple in my house). And during the summer months, they’re a popular addition to grilled chicken burgers and kebabs. 

HOW TO CUT AN ONION

The most abundant part of the onion containing antioxidant flavonoids is in the outer most layers of the onion. So try not to over peel.  

  • Cut the onion in half from root to root. 
  • Cut about half an inch off the top of onion discarding the root
  • Peel off the papery layers and discard
  • Slice the onion vertically
  • Take one half and lay it flat on a cutting surface 
  • Slice and chop horizontally

HOW TO CHOP AN ONION WITHOUT CRYING

  • Slice the onion in half leaving the roots intact
  • Peel the thin papery layers away
  • Slice the onion vertically in rounds until you near the root
  • Discard the root
  • Chop the rounds

TAKE THE BITE OUT OF RAW ONIONS

If you’re eating your onion raw, here’s a little tip you can use to take the bite out of raw onions

  • Soak sliced or chopped onions in a bowl of chilled water for up to 10 minutes
  • Drain well and pat dry
  • Add to your dish

TYPES OF ONIONS

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are probably the most commonly used onion.  They’re great grilled or simmered in soups and stews.

White Onions

White onions have a slightly more sharp flavor than the yellow version.  They are a little more tender with a thinner skin.  They’re also great simmered in soups and stews and added to a salsa.

Sweet Onions

These are my favorite!! I love the flavor of sweet onions.  Maui onions!!  Either  Walla Walla or  Vidalia  are the most common kinds of sweet onions. These onions have a little less of a bite to them than the yellow or white onion, and they taste a little on the sweet side.

Red Onions

Red onions are similar to the rustic yellow onion.  They’re great added to salads and salsas.  I always soak my slices of red onion in a bowl of water for about 10 minutes before serving.  It mellows the flavor tremendously.

Green Onions (also known as scallions)

Green onions are typically added to salads, salsas and stir-fried dishes.

Shallots

Shallots are typically added to salads and vinaigrettes. They’re also delicious when roasted (whole in their skins like garlic), or caramelized or sautéed slowly on low heat.

RECIPES WITH ONIONS

Additional Sources: www.naturalnews.com, www.wholefoods.com and www.mercola.com

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