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Onions: A Super Food

Onions are low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, and many other health-promoting nutrients.

Studies have shown that regular consumption of onions brings significant health benefits.

Research indicates that eating onions several times a week lowers the risk of suffering from certain cancers, as well as helping to maintain healthy bones and reducing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

Onions also have anti-inflammatory effects, which means that they may be beneficial for those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

Onions have antiviral and antibacterial properties, so consuming them may help to protect against colds, flus, and the bacteria that cause gum disease. In addition, animal studies suggest that eating onions may help to lower blood sugar.

As with garlic, it’s the pungent smell of onions that signals the presence of health-promoting ingredients. Therefore, the stronger an onion smells, the more potent its health-protective effects will be. If you find that strong-smelling onions irritate your eyes, chill them in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting, which reduces the likelihood that they will make you cry.

Store onions in a cool, dark, dry place until they will be used (they should not be kept in plastic bags, as they’re more likely to go moldy without air circulation). The health benefits of onions decrease after they’ve been cut, so it’s best to use them immediately after cutting. If you do need to store leftover cut onions, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or put them in a sealed container in the fridge and use them as soon as possible.

Onions are a versatile ingredient that can enhance almost any savory dish and a few sweet ones as well.

Although most people like onions, there are some who find them distasteful. Fortunately, garlic has the same health-promoting effects, so there is an alternative for those who would like to enjoy the health benefits of onions without having to eat them.

onion-types

Image source: www.healthytimesblog.com

Sources:
Adeshina, G.O.; Jibo, S.; Agu, V.E.; Ehinmidu, J.O., “Antibacterial Activity of Fresh Juices of Allium Cepa and Zingiber Officinale Against Multidrug Resistant Bacteria,” International Journal of Pharma and Bio Science, 2(2), pp. B289-B295, 2011.
Lombard, K.; Peffley, E.; Gaoffriau, E.; Thompson, L.; & Herring, A., “Quercetin in Onion (Allium Cepa L.) After Heat-Treatment Simulating Home Preparation,” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 18(6), pp. 571-581, 2005.
The George Mateljan Foundation, “Onions” and “Garlic,” The World’s Healthiest Foods, 2008.
The National Onion Association, “Onion Health Research,” 2011.

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