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Onion is a vegetable that has been used since antiquity. The health benefits of onions are associated with their content in quercetin, which studies have shown to be cancer-fighting compounds. Onion recipes include soups, salads, and meat dishes. It also includes other recipes, such as the famous onion rings recipe from Uptown Tavern in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
The “disadvantages of eating raw onion” is a post discussing the health benefits, side effects, and more onions. The article also includes recipes and nutrition facts.
According to records, various species of onions have been utilized as a vital medicinal and food source for thousands of years. In addition, many ancient societies thought onion nutrition useful for illness treatment and immunity, which is why it has long been recommended as part of a therapeutic diet.
Why is it beneficial to consume onions? According to studies, the numerous antioxidants in onions are thought to be responsible for onion health advantages such as improved immunity and cancer prevention. Flavonoids like quercetin and anthocyanins, which are found in berries, cherries, and eggplant, as well as organosulfides and minerals like vitamin C, are among them.
What Are Onions?
Onions (Allium cepa L.) belong to the Amaryllidaceae plant family, containing garlic and leeks, two additional tasty allium vegetables. Sulfur compounds are held in medicinal oils found in allium crops (cysteine sulfoxides).
These are partly to blame for their distinct odor and flavor. They’re also responsible for many of onion nutrition’s health advantages, particularly when it comes to curing cancer naturally.
Are onions considered vegetables?
According to the University of California Department of Plant Sciences, a vegetable is any edible piece of a plant, and vegetables are frequently divided into categories based on which parts of the plant are consumed, such as leaves or roots. For example, the onion bulb is consumed, making it a vegetable.
The onion family, which includes onion variations such as Amaryllidaceae is another name for the onion family of vegetables, which includes onion types such as:
- Onions come in three colors: white, yellow, and red.
- Shallots and scallions are two types of shallots (green onions)
- Onions with pearls
- Onions from Spain
- Vidalia onions
- And many others
Which onion kind is the healthiest?
According to onion nutrition studies, yellow onions are particularly amazing since they contain the most quercetin and the most sulfur compounds. However, other protective antioxidants are greater in red onions (or purple onions) (as indicated by their color).
However, studies reveal that all onions are helpful in their own manner, thanks to the sulfur-containing chemicals they contain.
Many people prefer sweet onion types, such as Vidalia onions and shallots, since they have a softer flavor and may even be eaten raw. However, they contain fewer useful components than white and red onions.
Sweeter onions are kept in the ground for longer before being picked, allowing more of their carbs to convert to sugars, resulting in a sweeter flavor. According to certain studies, onion nutrition improves when they are kept in the ground for extended periods.
The longer onions are kept in the ground, the sweeter they taste, but the lesser their phytonutrient content. The more powerful the onion’s smell and flavor, the more nutrients it contains (and therefore, the onion is more likely to make you tear).
How healthy are scallions compared to white or yellow onions?
Scallions are young onions with green tops and undeveloped bulbs that are taken while they are still green. The stem, bulb, and leaves and the stem have a moderate taste and may be eaten uncooked.
They’re abundant in antioxidants, including flavonoid phenolic components like carotenes, zeaxanthin, and lutein, as well as vitamins K, C, and fiber.
Is there a difference between shallots and onions?
Shallots are a tiny onion variation with a moderate taste and a white, light brown, or red peel. They contain many antioxidants, including sulfoxides, which have antibacterial, anti-diabetic, and fibrinolytic activities.
Shallots may help minimize oxidative damage and combat infections, high blood sugar/insulin resistance, blood clots, and high LDL cholesterol levels, among other health issues.
Facts and History
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, onions are among the world’s oldest cultivated plants. Although no definitive evidence exists as to when they initially arose, they have a 5,000-year history in portions of the Middle East and Southwest Asia, including Iran and West Pakistan.
They’re said to be one of the first farmed crops since they’re less perishable than other foods at the time, survive a long time, are transportable, can be produced all year, and thrive in a variety of climates and soils. They can also be stored and conserved, making them an important source of nutrition during famines.
Around 3500 B.C., onions were grown in portions of China, India, and Egypt, according to some accounts. Because of the onion’s “circle-within-a-circle” form, they were even regarded as a sacred item in Egypt, symbolizing eternity.
Vegetable paintings may also be discovered on the inside walls of ancient Egyptian pyramids and tombs. Along with cucumbers, melons, leeks, and garlic, onions were consumed by the Israelites and referenced in the Bible.
Have you ever wondered why chopping an onion makes your eyes water? It’s because onions’ cell membranes, which hold sulfur compounds and ACSOs, are punctured when they’re chopped.
While it may be uncomfortable to cry while cooking, as you can see, it’s a tiny price to pay for the outstanding disease-prevention functions that these chemicals play.
According to the USDA, one cup of raw, chopped onion nutrition (about 160 grams) comprises about:
- Calorie Count: 64
- Carbs: 14.9 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 11.8 milligrams (20 percent DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.2 milligrams (10 percent DV)
- Manganese: 0.2 milligrams (10 percent DV)
- Folate: 30.4 micrograms (8 percent DV)
- Potassium: 234 milligrams (7 percent DV)
- Phosphorus: 46 milligrams (5 percent DV)
- Thiamine: 0.1 milligrams (5 percent DV)
Vitamin A, vitamin K, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium are also included in onion nutrition.
The Top 8 Health Advantages
1. Assists in the fight against cancer
Much clinical research on onion nutrition advantages has shown that this vegetable may help lower the incidence of colorectal, ovarian, and oral cancers by providing a high level of antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
Sulfur compounds contained in onions have been shown in tests to protect cells from mutation and induce apoptosis, preventing tumor growth and cancer formation. In addition, according to studies released in 2016 by the National Cancer Institute, they seem to be highly protective against malignancies of the gastrointestinal system.
What happens if you consume onions daily?
Even a few times a week, onion consumption has been associated with increased cancer prevention. So naturally, the more you drink, the greater the advantage.
Large studies from Southern European populations, for example, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed an inverse relationship between the frequency with which onions and other allium vegetables are consumed and the risk of acquiring a variety of malignancies.
Across all onion cultivars, at least 25 distinct flavonoid compounds have been found. According to research, quercetin may help the immune system by reducing the effects of histamines.
In reality, quercetin is a phytonutrient that is often used in allergy treatments as an antihistamine. In addition, the antioxidants anthocyanins, which are also present in red berries, are responsible for the rich color of red onions and have been related to anti-carcinogen and anti-tumor properties.
Alkenyl cysteine sulphoxide (ACSO), a sulfur molecule that has been found to have anti-carcinogenic qualities, anti-platelet activity, anti-thrombotic activity, anti-asthmatic, and antibacterial activities, is another type of onion flavonoid, according to studies.
2. It is good for your heart
They contain fibrinolytic properties, which means they protect the heart by lowering the danger of blood clot formation.
They can also defend against “bad” LDL cholesterol. They do so by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing blood circulation and blood pressure by restricting the damage of free radicals inside blood vessels.
Onions may work as “functional components with bioactive lipid mediator potential and influence on inflammation, oxidative stress, and organ dysfunction,” according to 2017 research. In addition, Onion-derived phenolic chemicals, including flavonols and organosulfur compounds (particularly thiosulfinates), seem to help balance cholesterol levels through various metabolic pathways, including those involving arachidonic acid.
3. Assists in the maintenance of strong bones
They promote bone health by promoting increased bone mineral density, which reduces the incidence of bone fractures. According to a research conducted by the University of South Carolina’s Department of Family Medicine, women’s bone density rose as their onion intake increased.
Women who ate onions once a day or more had a 5% higher overall bone density than those who ate them once a month or less. According to the findings, women who eat onions often may reduce their risk of hip fractures by more than 20% compared to those who never eat onions.
One probable reason for onion nutrition’s bone-building advantages might be its GPCS compounds (gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxides)—these aid in preventing osteoporosis and the reversal of osteopenia or corticosteroid-induced bone loss.
4. Can Assist in the Prevention and Management of Diabetes
There’s good news for those who follow a low-carb diet for various reasons, including blood sugar control and diabetes management. Onions are low in carbohydrates but high in phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Onion extract may help combat diabetes, according to a major meta-analysis conducted by the Plant Resources Research Institute in Korea, since onion consumption may be useful for decreasing plasma glucose concentrations and body weight. In addition, onions are a healthy, natural approach to keep blood sugar levels in check and avoid insulin resistance.
Onion nutrition study also suggests that onions are high in chromium, which is good for blood sugar regulation and may help avoid diabetes.
5. Arthritis and Asthma Risks are Reduced
Because onions are an excellent anti-inflammatory meal, they’re one of the greatest vegetables to consume if you have painful inflammatory conditions like arthritis or asthma. According to the National Arthritis Foundation, quercetin, a compound found in onions, may be particularly good for arthritis patients since it inhibits inflammation-causing leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamines, which aggravate pain and swelling.
6. Protects Against Infections of the Respiratory System
Try eating more onions the next time you have a cold or a respiratory infection as a natural approach to get rid of it. Certain onion nutrition phytonutrients, according to experts, may boost immune defense, decrease inflammation, reduce mucus in the nasal passages, lungs, and respiratory system, and make you feel better faster.
Onions also contain antibacterial characteristics that make them useful in the battle against illnesses.
7. It Has the Potential to Aid Fertility
Onions may be a natural strategy to boost fertility since antioxidants greatly influence sperm health metrics. For example, when researchers from Azad University in Iran studied the effects of onions on rat fertility, they discovered that total testosterone and sperm concentration, viability, and motility rose dramatically in rats given large doses of onions for 20 days.
8. It Might Assist You in Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
While there aren’t many studies on the subject, many individuals claim that smelling an onion before bed helps them fall asleep quicker. Although it hasn’t been shown that onions may aid with insomnia, it’s plausible that they can.
Try cutting into a raw onion and inhaling the scent for five to ten minutes. Then put your onion in a glass jar or zip lock bag and try the following evening again.
Interactions, Side Effects, and Risks
Is it true that onions are poisonous to humans?
According to a superstition that dates back to the early 1900s, cut onions are hazardous when kept in the refrigerator, owing to their propensity for absorbing germs.
However, research shows that this is not the case. Onions possess antimicrobial qualities.
Cut onions have been shown to destroy or limit the development of various bacteria, including ones that may cause food poisoning, making them safe to consume and useful and protective.
Onions have a history of causing responses in persons who have trouble digesting FODMAP foods and disorders like heartburn or acid reflux. So if you’re experiencing onion side effects like bloating, gas, or stomach discomfort, you should try cutting them out for a while to see if the symptoms go away.
Small amounts of cooked onions may be easier to stomach than large quantities of raw onions, so that it may require some trial and error. If white, red, or yellow onions irritate your stomach, substitute leeks, scallions, or chives, which produce less digestive problems while still adding taste and nutrition to meals.
Purchasing, Preparing and Storing
Onions come in a variety of fresh, whole, and processed forms, including:
- Boiled and pickled onions are condiments that are packaged in cans or jars.
- Onions, chopped from frozen
- Onion juice in a bottle, marketed for flavor
- Products made using dehydrated onion powder (like granulated, ground, minced, chopped, and sliced forms)
According to reports, onions are one of the veggies that are least polluted with pesticide chemicals. In fact, according to some authorities, they’re the least pesticide-residue-storing vegetable.
As a result, if you’re trying to eat healthily on a budget, purchasing organic onions isn’t always required. On the other hand, you may save your money and use it on fruit that is more likely to be sprayed with pesticides (such as spinach, apples, and berries) – but buying organic items is always a good idea.
Onions are noted for having a long shelf life, particularly for a vegetable. Onions can be stored on your countertop for approximately a month before going bad, so there’s no need not to stock up while you’re at the grocery store.
Here’s another feature of onions that makes them stand out when it comes to storage: When they’re left near potatoes, they absorb the ethylene gas that the potatoes produce, causing them to deteriorate considerably faster. As a result, it’s better to store onions and potatoes separately but unrefrigerated.
Uncut onions should not be kept in the refrigerator since they will rot sooner. However, if you do chop open onions, store them in the refrigerator and utilize them as quickly as possible to ensure that all of their beneficial elements are preserved.
Because onions have a strong odor and scent, store them apart from other items in a firmly sealed container so that the onion smell and taste don’t permeate the whole refrigerator or freezer.
In various sorts of dishes, different onions work well. Red onions and shallots, for example, are often eaten raw, but white and yellow onions are favored when cooked.
Keep in mind that a large number of important phytonutrients — which are the keys to the numerous onion nutrition advantages stated above — are stored around the surface of the vegetable, immediately under its thin, paper-like outer peel regardless of the kind you pick. Therefore, to get the most out of onions, peel off just the topmost layer and eat the remainder of the fleshy, wet sections.
Studies suggest that their phytonutrient content rises and becomes more absorbable when onions are sliced open and exposed to air for around 10 minutes. So, if you have the time, chop your onions and set them aside on a cutting board for a few minutes before using them in a dish.
Every day, onions may be used in a variety of healthful dishes. For example, you may use them in eggs, soups, salads, quinoa or brown rice, pilaf meals, sauces for fish or other proteins, and a variety of other foods.
By quickly frying onions, you may bring out their naturally sweet taste and increase the absorbability of their nutrients. In addition, the thinner the onions are sliced, the faster they will cook.
The more sugars are released and the sweeter they taste, the longer you cook them.
Sauté them quickly in grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. You may also soak them in stock and cook them to absorb the flavors.
Unlike many other vegetables, Phytonutrients in onions are normally well retained throughout cooking and aren’t considered delicate chemicals.
Onions may be used in a variety of dishes. They’re employed in some fashion in almost every culture’s cuisine throughout the globe, whether it’s French, Chinese, Mexican, or Indian.
To add antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients to your diet while still providing lots of low-calorie, natural taste, try some of these onion dishes.
Is It Possible to Juice Onions?
Although juicing onions may seem unpleasant, some individuals say that the flavor isn’t too bad and that the advantages of onion juice make it worthwhile. Even little quantities of onion juice may help you get vital nutrients that are concentrated in raw onions rather than cooked onions.
You may add a peeled and quartered onion to juices or even smoothies if you’re feeling courageous, especially with a spoonful of raw honey or some apples or carrots to assist in enhancing the flavor.
- Onions (Allium cepa L.) belong to the Amaryllidaceae plant family, containing garlic and leeks, two additional tasty allium vegetables. Onions come in various colors and sizes, including yellow, white, red, pearl, Spanish, and Vidalia, as well as scallions, shallots, and chives.
- The health advantages of onions include anti-inflammatory antioxidants, cancer prevention, enhanced heart health, and protection against infections, asthma, arthritic symptoms, and more. In addition, flavonoids like quercetin and anthocyanins, the same defensive substances found in berries, cherries, and eggplant, as well as organosulfides and minerals like vitamin C, are present in this vegetable.
- You can eat an onion raw or cooked. In various sorts of dishes, different varietals work well.
- When it comes to onions, red and shallots are often consumed raw, while white and yellow onions are favored when cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages and disadvantages of eating onion?
A: Advantages of eating onion
-Some people find it to be an effective remedy for mild depression.
-People who have glaucoma can benefit from onions, as they help lower eye pressure and inflammation, which is a major cause of glaucoma.
What are the health benefits of onions?
A: Research has shown that onions have many health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and improving blood sugar levels. They are also known for their pungent smell and flavor, which can help to reduce inflammation in your body. In addition, steamed or fried onions contain fewer calories than raw ones because they lose a lot of moisture when cooked. Be careful not to eat too many, though, because this could cause your stomach problems!
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