The vegetable onion is famous for making people cry courtesy to its pungent smell and sulphuric nature, but what we are about to tell you may easily overpower that one disadvantage of having to cut onions. Maybe we’ll make you cry tears of joy when you read the amazing health benefits of onions we have listed out for you.
Onions have been cultivated for centuries in almost every civilization because of the nutritional value of onions. Given their long shelf life and easy portability, they were a common item to be traded. The Egyptians considered the onion to be sacred because of its round bulbous shape and the formation of concentric circles (layers) that symbolise eternal life. We don’t know about eternal life, but onions surely help you in living a healthier life. The benefits of eating onions range from having a healthy oral hygiene, preventing the growth of cancerous cells to onions acting as a libido booster.
Continue reading to know the various benefits of eating onions.
Table Of Contents:
What Are The Types of Onions?
Onions can be found all over the world in different shapes, sizes and colours. Their tastes vary on a scale as well. The types of onions are:
1) White Onions: White onions have paperwhite skins that have a sweet taste which is milder than yellow onions. White onions benefit the body by aiding new cell growth- they are rich in folic acid and vitamin B.
2) Sweet Onions: Slightly fatter than the other members of its family, sweet onions have layers that are almost translucent.
3) Red Onions: Red onions have reddish to deep magenta layers on the inside. They are mild and sweet when eaten raw.
4) Yellow Onions: Yellow onions look ivory coloured once their brown outer skin is peeled off. They are famous for their sulphuric stench.
5) Shallots: Shallots are much smaller than all onions in the family and have light brown paper-thin skin.
6) Green Onions: Green onions are immature younglings that are harvested before they have matured.
7) Leeks: Leeks are also called spring onions. Their bulbs are thinner and taper into green springs that are used in various cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, Mongolian etc.
Nutritional Value of Onions
Here is the nutritional profile of onions per 100 grams worth of serving.
What Are The Health Benefits of Onions?
Following are the health benefits of onions provided to the human body:
1) Fights Cancer: Red onions are known best for fighting the growth of breast and colon cancer cells. The quercetin and anthocyanin present in onions activate a pathway that results in cancer cells to kill themselves. A research proves that the people consuming the highest amount of onions have the lowest risk of cancer.
2) Improves Your Heart’s Health: Flavonoids present in red onions vastly improve the heart’s health. The risk of cardiovascular diseases is reduced by intaking organosulfur compounds present in onions. The health benefits of onions include reducing inflammation of the heart’s muscles and reducing the levels of cholesterol in the arteries and veins.
3) Promotes Healthy Digestion: A fibre called inulin in onions acts as nourishment for the healthy bacteria present in the digestive system. Phytochemicals that are present in onions reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.
4) Healthy For Your Bone Density: The compound GPCS present in onions can help to prevent age-related osteoporosis. Eating raw onions daily can boost your bone density to an extent too.
5) Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: Polyphenols and other compounds found in onions have been researched and linked to lowering the glycemic count in blood, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. There is hope for diabetics since the nutritional value of onions helps along with their use of metformin.
6) Boosts Your Immune System: Selenium found in onions improves immune function. One of the benefits of eating raw onions is that it can cure a sore throat, flu or fever and even common cold.
7) Prevents Allergies and Inflammation: Quercetin and other flavonoids in onions help reduce muscle and joint inflammation. Cooking dishes with onions help to open up the sinuses and onions are already known to possess antibacterial properties.
8) Soothes Earache And Ear Infection: Most parents swear by the benefits of onion juice. Heating an onion and using a few drops of the extracted juice in the infected ear can provide relief within minutes.
9) Improves Optical Function: The sulphur present in onions help the building of glutathione, an antioxidant that prevents muscular degeneration of the lens, cataract and glaucoma.
10) Helps You Sleep Better: Onion benefits your overall sleep schedule by reducing stress and boost sleep. Onions contain prebiotic fibres that improve gut health and release the hormones that induce sleep.
11) Helps To Cure Respiratory Disorders: Apart from the nutritional value of onions, the fumes from a raw onion help to open the nasal cavity and help the lungs expand freely.
12) Better Oral Hygiene: The sulphuric compounds thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates present in onions prevent tooth decay. The benefit of eating raw onions is that most of the compounds are present in higher quantities. Having fried onions may destroy these beneficial compounds.
13) Helps To Lessen Clots In The Blood: Onions contain an anti-thrombotic compound that is known to lessen blood clots in the arteries and veins.
14) Improves Your Sexual Health: The benefits of eating raw onions include curing impotence and erectile dysfunction. Drinking onion juice with honey improves the sperm count in males.
15) Enhances Brain Health: Onion benefits the health of your brain vastly. The antioxidants present in onions bind with toxins in the brain and flush them out. The sulphuric compounds help retain memory and combat age-related memory loss.
[Also read: 15 Benefits Of Onion Juice For Skin And Hair]
Side Effects Of Onions:
Along with the many amazing health benefits of onions, there are, but a few side effects of onions during pregnancy. Keeping the quantity of eating onions to a moderate level is advised during pregnancy, as some pregnant women may experience heartburn and diarrhoea due to consumption of raw onions. The side effects of eating onions also include respiratory problems such as breathlessness. People with an allergic reaction to onions may get skin rashes. If you show any symptoms of the aforementioned, please stop using onions in your diet until further diagnosis by your doctor.
The benefits that onions provide are much larger than the very size of a single vegetable. If used in moderation, you can reap the best out of it, whether eaten raw or cooked. Apart from being so nutritious, it is also very appetizing to our palates and several delicious dishes involve a very generous helping of this humble vegetable!