Food health

These 8 Health Benefits of Onions Would Shock You

The health benefits of onions does not end with their ability to give meals a sweet flavor.

Onions are also not just good for chasing away witches and wizards; they are also great for your health.

There are other numerous and shocking health benefits of onions that you may not know.

The onion, Allium cepa is a vegetable. It is a member of the allium group of plants, which also includes garlic, shallots, chives, green onions, spring onions, and scallions.

It is the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. Onions are of various shapes and sizes. They also vary in color and flavor.

China is the number one producer of onion while India and Egypt are the second and third highest respectively, according to Wikipedia (Last edited November 28, 2018).

Health Benefits of Onions

Rich Source of Many Nutrients

Onions are excellent sources of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids, and phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants that can react with your body to trigger good reactions.

Flavonoids are important antioxidants that promote several health effects. Flavonoids also provide the following beneficial effects:

  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-allergic
  • Anti-cancer

Quercetin is a particularly important flavonoid found in onions. Quercetin acts as an antioxidant and is very effective preventing cancer.

Lowering blood pressure, promoting prostate health, and reducing the symptoms of blood infections are some other benefits of quercetin.

Disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene, and vinyldithiins are some other essential phytochemicals in onions.

Onions Help in Maintaining a Healthy Heart

Onions exceed the heart-protective properties of red wine. You should know that when platelets in your blood cluster, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke increases significantly.

Your blood’s ability to clot fast is vital for your survival, but sometimes your blood can clot too much. This can lead to complications that can be potentially dangerous for you.

The sulphur present in onions acts as a natural blood thinner.

It helps your blood platelets from clustering and clogging your blood vessels, therefore, reducing the risk of you suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Oxylipins helps your body regulate blood fat and levels of cholesterol. To increase oxylipins in your body, consuming a healthy amount of onion is encouraged.

Onions Help in Reducing Inflammations and Swellings

Inflammation is a way your body responds to injury. The inflamed (swollen) area witnesses a rise in the production of white blood cells.

However, your body’s immune system can malfunction due to some illnesses and diseases which results in chronic inflammations.

Good digestive health is associated with reduced inflammations. Eating onions provide the body with the flavonoid quercetin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Quercetin also helps in fighting inflammation in arthritis.

Onions Help in Boosting your Immune System

Phytochemicals found in onions together with vitamin c present makes onions an excellent immune system booster.

Selenium, a mineral that helps in stimulating immune function, is located in large quantities in onions.

According to the book Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, thiosulfinates found in onions has excellent anti-bacterial property.

Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Bacillus subtilis are some dangerous bacteria that the thiosulfinates present in onions can help your body fight.

Anthocyanin provides fruits and vegetables with their colours. They are present in large quantities in red onions because they help in providing colour to fruits and vegetables.

Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce anti-cancer activities. It is particularly helpful in fighting against multiple cancer cell types.

Moderately consuming onions can reduce the risk of you having ovarian, colorectal, and laryngeal cancers.

Onions Help in Cancer Prevention

Onions contain onionin A. This is a sulphur-containing compound that helps to decrease tumor development.

Onions Help in Digestion

Onions are a rich source of fibres and prebiotics, which helps boost your digestive health and improve the bacterial balance in your gut.

Probiotics in your stomach feed on Prebiotics. Prebiotics are nondigestible types of fibres. They help your body in building and maintaining healthy bacteria that aids digestion in your guts.

After feeding on prebiotics by the bacteria in your gut, they create short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, acetate, and propionate.

These short-chain fatty acids help to strengthen gut health, boost immunity, and enhance digestion.

Consuming foods rich in prebiotics helps increase the probiotic population, which benefit digestive health.

Oligofructose is a crucial soluble fiber found in onions, which promotes bacteria growth in the intestine.

Research also suspected Oligofructose to prevent and treating types of diarrhea.

Onions Help in Regulating Blood Sugar

For people with diabetes, eating onions can be very helpful as it can help in controlling your blood sugar level.

Compounds like quercetin and sulphur found in onions possess antidiabetic effects.

Research has shown that quercetin interacts with cells in the small intestine, pancreas, skeletal muscle, fat tissue, and liver to control whole-body blood sugar regulation.

Boosting bone health is another health benefit of onions. It supports strong bones.

Onions, according to some beliefs, helps in reducing oxidative stress, decrease bone loss, and boost antioxidant levels, which may prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density.

Helps in Boosting Bone Density

A diet rich in prebiotics, which is plentiful in onions helps in the absorption of essential minerals like calcium, which improves bone health.

According to research published in the U.S National Library of Medicine on the association between onion consumption and bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women aged 50 years and older.

Onion consumption was said to have a beneficial effect on bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older.

Conclusion

Older women who consume onions most frequently may decrease their risk of hip fracture by more than 20% versus those who never consume onions.

Although the health benefits of onions are amazing, when consumed in excess they could result in the following health problems:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea, vomiting, and other gastric discomforts

Onions can stay fresh for a long time before they spoil. That is, however, not a reason to keep onions for a very long time before consuming.

Onions spoil faster if they are chopped or sliced. Refrigerate your onions if you cut them up for later use. It is advisable to eat onions when they are fresh.

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References
1. Are Onions Good for your Immune System? (Aug. 2019) www.healthyeating.sfgate.com
2. Boost your immune system and health with onions. (Jan. 2019). www.southlandssun.co.za
3. Impressive Health Benefits of Onions. (Dec. 2018). www.healthline.com
4. Onions and garlic could help prevent against cancer (Feb. 2019) www.medicalnewstoday.com
5. Onions & Digestion (Aug. 2019). www.livestrong.com

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