Cutting an onion is worth shedding tears. Don’t you agree? If your answer is no, then you must take a glance at the onion health benefits. Certainly, the positive health effects of onion will not only help you bear syn-propanethial-S-oxide, but will also make you fall in love with it. Once you get acquainted with all the health benefits of onion, its light-colored thin skin of red, yellow and white will suddenly start appealing to you.
Excellent sources of vitamin C, minerals, sulphuric compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals, Onion have several nutritional benefits. However, before dwelling on its advantages lets spare a few minutes to learn more about its nutrition facts.
Onion Nutrition Facts
Relative of chives, garlic, scallions, shallots and leeks, Onion is a vegetable, which grows as underground bulbs. Its scientific name is Allium cepa and is grown all over the world. It is eaten both raw and cooked. You can bake, caramelize, grind, grill, roast or make a powder of it. It will add flavor to your food and make it rich with nutrition.
Interestingly, in comparison to white ones, red and yellow onions are richer in antioxidants. Despite saying this, it is important for you to remember that on cooking the antioxidants present in the onions decreases significantly. Furthermore, raw onions are also low in calories.
Onions are also rich in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant vitamin and helps in improving immunity. It also contains Folate B9, Vitamin B6, and Potassium. For pregnant women, Folate B9 is quite healthy. Onion also contains plant compounds in abundance like Anthocyanins, Quercetin, Sulfur-compounds, and Thiosulfinates. Onions are also a source of carbohydrates as well as fibers. Strikingly, it contains prebiotic fibers, which are also known as fructans and are a source of healthy bacteria.
Health Advantages of Onion
1. Keeps your Heart Healthy
According to a 2002 study in the journal Thrombosis Research that sulfur plays a crucial role in preventing blood platelets from aggregating. As it is already known that platelets cluster enhances the risk of heart attack. Hence in onions, the presence of sulfur can help in reducing the risk of heart attack. Further, as per Jarzabkowski, onions encourage a healthy heart. Even the Phytochemical and health properties of onion provided by the National Onion Association states that “It is evident that there are several different mechanisms by which consumption of onions may exhibit protective effects against coronary heart disease.”
However, more research is undergoing to determine its effect in humans. There are also reports that show boiled onions having less effect against heart attacks in comparison to raw. Strikingly, a 2016 study in the journal Redox Biology found an amusing thing about the consumption of onions. It showed that the intake of onions increases oxylipins, which helps in regulating blood fat levels in addition to the levels of cholesterol. One may conclude from all these studies that onion may have some positive effect on our heart, which can be confirmed by further studies.
2. Helps in Preventing Cancer
Cancer is a disease that has affected many lives all across the world. In cancer, the patients have uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. There are many types of cancer and so much research is going on in the world to learn how it can be prevented. One such type of study is also going on to determine the effects of onions in preventing cancer.
According to The Netherlands Cohort Study conducted in 1996, it was inferred that there is “a strong inverse association between onion consumption and stomach carcinoma incidence.” Stomach carcinoma is commonly known as stomach cancer. Recently, two studies – a 2015 meta-analysis of allium vegetables like onions, garlic, showed that these can help in reducing gastric cancer risk and a 2016 study, which was published in Integrative Cancer Therapies found that intake of fresh yellow onion can lessen insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in breast cancer patients.
All these studies show that onions can help you in minimizing the risk of cancer. In fact, The National Onion Association “Onions – Phytochemical and Health Properties” study shows that it can have a positive effect in preventing different types of cancer such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, etc.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar
As aforementioned, researches have shown that the consumption of yellow onion can reduce insulin resistance. This makes it clear that definitely, onions have a property to regulate blood sugar.
Diabetes is a disease that leads to many complications. Hence, it is always good to learn how onion consumption can have an effect on diabetes condition. According to a study published in 2014 “the consumption of dietary onion could lower blood glucose levels, thus contributing to the reduction of risk factors associated with Diabetes Mellitus (DM).” Another study that was conducted in 2010, highlighted that red onion “used as a dietary supplement in management of type 1 and/or type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”
It is important to note that here the intake of raw onions are considered having a positive effect in regulating blood sugar in diabetic patients of Type 1 and 2.
4. Keeps your Bones Healthy
These days from a quite young age, men and women (especially in women after menopause) start facing the bone health problem. The initial stage is Osteopenia, which leads to a more dangerous health problem Osteoporosis. Strangely, many times in the initial phase you might not even know that you are having this health problem.
However, a healthy diet can work as a preventive measure in this health issue. According to a research carried out in 2002, onion and a mixture of vegetables can affect bone resorption. Another study in 2009 published in the journal Menopause found that the daily consumption of onions can improve the bone density in women.
5. Prevents Oral Infections
Do you know that by chewing raw onions for 1 to 2 minutes may keep your mouth free from germs? If not, then you must know now. Onions have been considered as a potential product that prevents the decay of the tooth, thereby killing all the germs present in your oral area.
6. Improves Your Immunity
It is a well-known fact that Vitamin C boosts the immunity. Strikingly, onions are a rich source of Vitamin C, which means Onions can improve your immune system, thereby keeping you safe from flu, cold and other illness.
7. Its External Application acts as Insect Repellent
If you have been stung by a honeybee and are writhing in pain, then apply onion juice on your skin. Definitely, this will reduce your pain. Furthermore, when you apply onion juice or paste externally, then the smell of onions let insects flee. That is why onions are also popular as insect repellents.
8. Keep you free from Stomach pain
The anti-inflammatory as well as the antibacterial properties of the onion, make it a perfect vegetable to palliate the stomach aches. The saponins present in Onions have anti-spasmodic capabilities, which improves your bowels movement.
9. Eases Asthma
Biochemical chain formation inside the body has an adverse effect on us, thereby leading to asthmatic conditions. However, the sulfuric compounds present in onions may stop it and can prevent severe coughing in the patient. This way the inhalant quality of onion ensures better health of asthma patients. In fact, during normal cough problem, you may try consuming onion juice with honey. It will relieve your throat pain.
It is important to highlight that according to Peace Health, onions can be used in the treatment of many diseases such as a persistent cough, cold, metabolic disorders, cancer, etc.
10. Provide Relief in Urinary Disorders
The urinary disorder is quite painful. Anyone suffering from this may experience a burning sensation while urinating. Nonetheless, onions could provide considerable relief to you in such situations. You just need to take onion water, i.e. boil water with 6 to 7 grams of onions.
All the health benefits of onion make it a good option for you. However, it is better to more eat raw onion instead of cooked ones. The consumption of raw onion is more beneficial and is also a rich source of fiber.