The Health Benefits of Onions – “There’s No Crying In Onions”

No need to cry when it comes to onions… unless they’re tears of joy.  Onions provide relief from various kinds of diseases such as respiratory problems, asthma, cold, cough, and angina.

This vegetable belongs to the lily family and is often termed as the “king of the vegetables” because of its pungent flavor. From the sharp taste of a white onion to the sweeter taste of a walla walla, each type of onion has its own distinct essence.

The colors, aromas, and sizes vary. Because of the many varieties and subsequent options they provide to home and master chefs alike, onions are a staple ingredient in culinary delights throughout the world.

In this article, we explain the many benefits of incorporating more onion into your diet. (And we give you a few ideas on how to do so!)

Did you know?

Historians have yet to form a consensus on the origins of onions. Many conclude that the plant first originated in central Asia, while other research suggests origins in modern-day Iran and western Pakistan.

Onions were grown and used in ancient Persian and ancient Egyptian civilizations. Ancient Egyptians even worshiped and celebrated the vegetable, featuring it frequently in paintings and employing it in funeral offerings and mummification processes.

Amazing Health Benefits of Onions in the Body

Ah, this wonderful vegetable that can bring tears to your eyes sure packs a punch for promoting a healthy body.  There are so many health benefits of onions in the body including:

Promotes heart health and prevents cardiovascular diseases

Onions are a rich source of flavonoids, which have a demonstrated history in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote overall heart health.

This vegetable also has a number of sulphides commonly found in garlic that lower blood lipids and blood pressure. Consequently, individuals who consume onions face fewer problems related to high levels of triglyceride and bad cholesterol. This is because they contain compounds that decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels.

Onions’ fight inflammation and may also help reduce high blood pressure. In fact, one study shows that in a group of overweight individuals with high blood pressure, a daily dose of onion extract (rich in quercetin) reduced systolic blood pressure significantly (by 3-6 mmHg).

The plant is highly effective at helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, because it contains substances that suppress platelet-clumping. In fact, in a study where subjects were served a high-fat meal with or without the addition of onions, this mighty little vegetable provided a beneficial effect on blood fibrinolytic activity, which helps break down clots.

Helps prevent cancer

Eating onions helps prevent cancer. Antioxidants present in the plant reduce DNA damage in the blood cells – damage that is caused by different kinds of free radicals.

Both garlic and onions (members of the Allium genus) lower rates of cancer diagnosis. These vegetables are also rich in organosulphur, which has cancer- prevention properties. Extracts of onion have demonstrated the ability to destroy tumor (cancer) cells in test tubes.

The plant also contains a compound called “onionin A.” This powerful compound contains sulfure and, when isolated in extract-form, is impressively effective at slowing the growth of tumors. It does this by inhibiting the functions of myeloid cells, which play a major part in the progression of tumors.

Onion extracts are non-toxic. Their cancer-fighting abilities are a most important benefit.

Boosts immunity

Another important benefit of onion is its powerful effects as an immunity booster. The pungency of the vegetable, as recognized in traditional medicines, increases the circulation of blood in your body and causes sweating, thus ridding you of toxins. (Of course, it might rid you of the people sitting next to you as well!)

People typically consume onions in greater quantity in winter seasons as they are featured more prolifically in cold-weather cooking. Onions help protect against various infections, provide important vitamins and minerals, and ward off fever.

Provides Cold Symptoms Relief

Another one of the amazing health benefits of onions is that they help fight off mucus that perpetuates sore throats.  This is because onions contain sulfur compounds that help your body rid mucus from your airways.

TIP: Doctors often recommend that cough sufferers drink a mixture of onion juice and honey. Create onion juice by leaving sliced onions soaking in water. Drink 3-4 teaspoons up to three times a day. Click To Tweet

Serves as an Antiseptic and Antibiotic

As a natural antiseptic and antibiotic agent, onion fights against bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, among others. It’s also been shown to protect against strep throat.  In addition, quercetin extracted from onion has been shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori.

Some naturalists even recommend placing them throughout your house to absorb bacteria from the air! Although before trying that yourself, you might want to consider carefully where you place them so as to avoid having to explain to your guests why there is an onion on top of your bathroom sink.  (On second thought, it is a good conversation starter!)

Bonus: Acts as a natural insect bite panacea and non-harmful insect repellent!

The benefits of onions continue. You can use onion juice to provide relief against the pain inflicted by bee stings. Even in cases of other insect bites (or even scorpion bites), you can use onion juice as an external soothing applicant and a repellent against future bites.

You can also use a fresh onion “tea” to repel pests from your garden!

Check out this healthy and delicious “Kale and Sweet Potato Super Salad” recipe. Red onion is used to add a mild, sweet pungency and color.

Nutritional Value

237 milliliters (1 cup)

  • Calories: 64 kcal
  • Proteins: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fats: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Plus, 10% or more of your daily value of vitamins C & B-6 and manganese.

A Complementary Flavor

It’s easy to add a little onion flavor to any meal you make.

  • Sautée in oil along with veggies. Throw your mix in anywhere that you like your vegetables – in burritos, stir-fries, omelets, and more!
  • Top your savory items with grilled or stir-fried onions. Add to baked potatoes, eggs, sandwiches, hot dogs, meat, or any other protein.
  • Blend into soups and mashed potatoes. (Add cheese to make it extra creamy.)

In Conclusion

Because of their flavor, variety, and color, onions are featured in cuisines internationally, and are easy to incorporate into most any savory dish! Their health benefits abound. Why not try adding some into your next home-cooked dish? And if you have a moment, leave us a comment and share with us how you use them in your organic lifestyle.

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