In Nigeria Onion is part of our daily cooking and eating regime. Do you know you can achieve a lot by eating Onion alone every day? Below are some of the benefits.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ONION
Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, calcium and dietary fibre. In addition, they contain good amounts of folic acid and vitamin B1 and K. A 100 gram serving provides 44 calories, mostly as complex carbohydrate, with 1.4 grams of fibre. Like garlic, onions also have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when an onion is cut or crushed and it causes your eyes to water. They also contain flavonoids, which are pigments that give vegetables their color. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a direct antitumor effect and have immune-enhancing properties. Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for the liver. As a sulfur food, they mix best with proteins, as they stimulate the action of the amino acids to the brain and nervous system.
Onions, Rich Source of Quercitin
The onion is the richest dietary source of quercitin, a potent antioxidant flavonoid (also in shallots, yellow and red onions only but not in white onions), which is found on and near the skin and is particularly linked to the health benefits of onions.
Quercitin has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, raise good-type HDL cholesterol, ward off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is specifically linked to inhibiting human stomach cancer.
It’s also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. Quercitin is also a sedative. So far, there is no better food source of quercitin than onion skins.
ONIONS AND HEART
To help keep your blood free of clots, and make the most of the health benefits of onions, eat them both raw and cooked. Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly routine among cardiologists. But Harvard’s Dr. Victor Gurewich advises all his patients with coronary heart disease to eat onions daily. Here are some of the things that onions can do for your heart
Boost beneficial HDL cholesterol
Thin the blood
Retard blood clotting
Lower total blood cholesterol
Lower blood pressure
Onions have also been shown to have a significant blood sugar-lowering action, even comparable to some prescription drugs.
The active compound that seems to be responsible for lowering glucose works by competing with insulin for breakdown sites in the liver, thereby increasing the life span of insulin.
Onions have historically been used to treat asthma, too. Its action in asthma is due to its ability to inhibit the production of compounds that cause the bronchial muscle to spasm and to relax bronchial muscle.
Onions have potent antibacterial activity, destroying many disease-causing pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella.
You don’t need to eat loads of onions to achieve these effects. In fact, studies show that you can reap the health benefits of onions by eating just one medium onion, raw or cooked, a day.