The onion also known as the bulb onion, is a vegetable and is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Onions are grown and consumed all around the world. They are usually served cooked, as a vegetable, also be eaten raw or used to make pickles, sauces n dips. They emit a pungent smell when chopped.
Onions have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when onions are cut, this causes eyes to water. The onions also contain, quercetin, the antioxidant flavonoid. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti- biotic, anti- cancer agent. It also has sedative properties. Onions also contain flavonoids and sulfur. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Both the compounds enhance the immune system. The flavonoids in onion are found to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh.
There are three color varieties of onions. Yellow or brown onions, that are full-flavored, can be used every day. The red onion, good choice for fresh also used in grilling. White onions are traditional ones, used in classic Mexican cuisine.
Onions have plenty of medicinal properties. They contain vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds, including the sulfuric compounds and quercetin. They are a good source of vitamin C, biotin, vitamin B6, calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, potassium and dietary fibers.
Onions help in relieving from common cold, asthma, bacterial infections, respiratory problems , heart diseases, skin problems, hair problems, also acts as an insect repellent, immunity booster and much more.
Nutritional value per 100g
- Energy 166KJ
- Carbohydrates 9.34g
- Sugars 4.24g
- Dietary fibers 1.7g
- Fats 0.1g
- Niacin 0.116mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.123mg
- Vitamin B6 0.12mg
- Folate 19 μg
- Vitamin C 7.4mg
- Calcium 23mg
- Iron 0.21mg
- Magnesium 10mg
- Manganese 0.129mg
- Phosphorus 29mg
- Potassium 146mg
- Zinc 0.17mg
- Water 89.11g
- Fluoride 1.1 μg
1. Good dental health
Onions prevent decaying of the tooth and also mouth infections. They kill germs present in the mouth, near lips or throat, which cause infections.
2. Strengthen immune system
Phytochemicals present in onions boosts the immune system, making it fight diseases and infections. Phytochemicals basically act as a stimulant to vitamin C in the body, increasing the efficacy of vitamin C within the body.
3. Heart safety
Onions are also known as blood thinners. They act as anti- coagulants that prevent the clump formation of red blood cells. These clots and blockage lead to heart attacks, strokes.
4. Managing blood sugar levels
Onions contain chromium, which is a quite an unusual mineral to find naturally in food. It helps the body manage blood sugar levels and maintains a slow and gradual release of glucose to the muscles and the body cells.
5. Act as an insect repellent
The pungent smell of onions keeps insects away, and also it can be used as a paste to apply to insect bites or stings.
6. Keep away from cancer
Onions contain certain active compounds that inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant compound present in onions that destroy the cancer cells. Furthermore, Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant, which acts by reducing the presence of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. Therefore, a person must eat any food that is rich in antioxidants, which cancel the effect of these free radicals.
7. Heal an earache
If you are suffering from an acute earache then it is better to apply onion juice that cures the ringing sound in the ear giving you relief.
8. Radiant skin
Onion juice can be used to treat acne. The active compounds present in onions also help to reduce the redness and swelling problems on skin. Onion juice mixed with honey or olive oil can be used to treat skin problems.
9. Relieves cough
Consuming onion juice along with honey is helpful in relieving from a sore throat and cough problems.
Onions work well in increasing your libido. One spoon onion juice with ginger juice, consumed daily, boosts up sex
11. Treating anemic conditions
Anemia is caused due to deficiency of iron in the body. Onions are also a good option to treat anemic conditions. Onion juice consumed with jaggery and water, adds minerals to the body, especially iron, which is an essential for producing new red blood cells.
12. Treats stomach aches
Onions are really effective in treating relief to upset stomach. The saponins present in onions have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that treat gastric problems and regulate the bowel movements. Onions also detoxify the body, keeping away from infections.
13. Treat urination problems
The urinary problems are common and people generally don’t talk about them openly. If you are suffering from a burning sensation during urination then consuming onions on a daily basis can provide relief and overcome these situations.
14. Treat respiratory problems
The sulfuric compounds in onions help treat asthmatic conditions. The sulfuric content promotes the melting of phlegm in a patient suffering from severe coughing. The aroma of fresh onion juices brings vigor and energy to people, helpful for people who lose consciousness.
15. Relieving from hair problems
Onion has a good amount of sulfur that helps with numerous hair conditions. They treat hair fall problems, relieves from scalp itchiness and dandruff and also prevents hair thinning maintaining hair color and shine.
How to incorporate onions into your diet
Onions are the backbone of cuisines. Eaten raw, cooked, pickled, as sauces; they have great culinary uses.
- You can add onions to your salad, enjoy it with your regular meal.
- You can mix onion paste in your soups or you can sprinkle chopped onions on your soups and enjoy the healthy diet.
- Sauces and dips, great way eat raw onions. Guacamole, French mayonnaise, Thai dipping sauces use red onion and garlic together to enjoy the pleasant taste of sauces.
- Onions raw or cooked are great toppings over your pizzas, sandwiches, rolls.
- Onion decreases blood sugar levels so diabetic patients should keep a check of their blood sugar before consuming it.
- Onion treats gastrointestinal disorders but excess consumption may cause gastric irritation, vomiting, and burning effects.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should stay away onion consumption as it often causes heartburn during these stages.
- Onion if eaten raw, leaves a bad breath due to its strong aroma. So you can also use a mouth freshener or eat fennel to overcome this.
- Onions act differently on different skin types. It is better to test on skin first before applying all over as it can also cause allergies.