Fun fact: The average American eats almost 18.8 pounds of fresh and storage type onions every year. To keep up, that’s 350 semi-truck loads of onions per day!
Onion is among the most widely consumed vegetable across the globe. Almost all recipes, if not all, feature onions to improve or capture an extra-rich taste or flavor. Whether it is for sauces, marinade, main dishes, or salads, onions simply complete them. Onions, botanically known as Allium cepa, vary in colors and taste strength according to their cultivar types. While regarded as vegetables, they are consumed primarily as spices to almost all dishes.
Revisiting the past, onions were used as traditional medicines. But aside from that, they are also loaded with several nutritious and healthy components.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested that 100g of onions come with 40 calories and with zero cholesterol and almost no fat. It provides 1.7g or 4.5% of the daily-recommended intake of dietary fiber.
Onions contain allicin, an element formed from an enzyme released upon chopping or crushing onions. Aside from the anti-bacterial use of allicin, it likewise limit the production of cholesterol. As allicin gives off nitric oxide it reduces one’s blood pressure.
As an immune booster, no doubt that onions are made up of a large quantity of vitamin C. It is packed with 12% DRI of vitamin C known to develop body resistance against infectious diseases. It likewise finds importance in the absorption and transportation of iron in the body.
Aside from that, this vegetable is also a good source of vitamin B complex such as vitamin B6, folates, and vitamin B1. The 9% DRI of vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine assists in the synthesis of amino and fatty acids. Folates, with 5% DRI, is important to keep red blood cells healthy especially as they mature. Vitamin B1 or Thiamine, with 4.5% DRI, furthers growth while assists in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
Onions are loaded with 3% DRI of potassium, which regulates muscle activities and helps obtain acid-base fluid balance.
They also make one of the best sources of chromium, which is essential to normalize glucose metabolism while sending tissue cells to respond properly to the insulin level in the blood.
Moreover, onions come with significant amount of manganese, copper, phosphorus, and iron.
Phosphorus present in onions, with 4% DRI, helps in the metabolism of energy and in the build-up of strong bones and teeth. The 4% of copper and 3% iron interact together to assist the body in the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. The 5.5% DRI of manganese, on the other hand, plays a role in blood clotting and in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Onions
Enhances the Digestive Process
Onions are very rich in fiber. Fiber plays a vital role especially in digestion. It stabilizes the digestive process so that food intake is properly breakdown at the same time accordingly and immediately wasted. Smooth digestive process is important for the overall function in the body. This is the process where nutrients are extracted from the food we eat and absorbed by the body. Needless to say, our body needs nutrients for it to be well functioning. Without nutrients and vitamins, the tendency is for the body to deteriorate and get sick easily. Aside from fiber, onions also have oligofructose which houses in the intestines. This is a good type of bacteria that fights diarrhea and helps in treating it. Studies also proved that onions can help in preventing accumulation of free radicals in the stomach that can possibly lead to diseases like gastric ulcer.
Toughen the Bones
As we grow old, our bones become weaker. Bone loss and bone disorders are very common to old people. Continuous research proved that consumption of onions can make the bones denser. Bone density is important to avoid bone fragility. If you add onions in your diet, you will be able reduce risks of having age-related bone issues.
Normalizes Blood Sugar
Onions have chromium that is very essential in regulating normal blood sugar. In addition, onions also have sulfur that normalizes insulin production. It is important to consume onions especially to those who suffer from diabetes as well as those who are highly exposed to it due to family’s medical history. It has been proven through years of research that onion consumption is effective in preventing as well as treating diabetes through regulating normal blood sugar levels.
Stabilizes Heart Condition
There are many reasons why onion consumption is very healthy for the heart. First and foremost, it has blood pressure lowering effects that avoid risks of having heart attack. Second, its sulfur content assures that blood platelet count is normal and not excessively multiplying. Sulfur also helps in making the blood thinner. This is vital because if not regulated, risks of stroke and heart attack arise. Studies were also conducted that supported the fact that with regular intake of sulfur, hypertension is significantly lessened. Lastly, onions contain quertecin that are very impressive in protecting the arteries from plaque buildup. This compound is very operative in reducing heart attack and stroke possibilities.
Aids the Immune System
Onions are very great sources of powerful antioxidants that benefit the entirety of our body’s systems especially the immune system. Onions are rich in polyphenols that stops accumulation of free radicals. Free radicals are the stepping stones to multiple diseases including cancer, heart and other organ ailments. This is how onion consumption boosts the immune system. Eating onions will able your body to fight off bacteria build-up, infections, and common diseases like flu, cough, cold, and others more. Onion’s quertecin also have histamine production lowering effects that effectively avoid allergies.
Enhances Mood and Quality of Sleep
Mood swings and sleeping disorders are triggered by the body’s excessive production of homocysteine. Onions have the ability regulate homocysteine production in the body. This is because of their folate component. Onions are enriched with folate that assures the brain gets the nutrients and vitamins it needs to be well and sound. Too much homocysteine in the body affects the formation of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These hormones are known as the happy, feel-good, and sleeping hormones.
Nourishes the Skin
Onions are also enriched with Vitamin C that is essential in collagen production and maintenance. Collagen is what makes the skin healthy and young looking. With sufficient collagen in the body, you will get to enjoy flawless and revitalized skin. It does not only make your skin beautiful but healthy from the inside as well. Collagen maintains and repairs skin cells.
Reduces Risks of Cancer
Onion is part of the allium vegetable family that has popular positive effects on cancer. Because of their richness in organosulfur properties, their consumption will avoid growth of tumor, development of free radicals, and mutagenesis. This supports why regular consumption of onions probably prevent cancer especially stomach, colon, prostate, and colorectal cancers. Onion’s richness in fiber lowers colon cancer risks. Studies also proved that allium compounds reduce prostate, esophageal, and stomach cancers’ risks to an extremely low level.
High in Anti-inflammatory Properties
Sulfur is a very strong anti-inflammatory compound. Inflammation can cause damage to the body in many ways. This can be the cause of heart ailments, allergies, and many others more. Having enough anti-inflammatory properties in the body keeps it in a good condition. For the body as a whole to function accordingly, inflammation must be avoided.