No dish is complete without including onions as an ingredient. In many countries, these bulbs are also considered an indicator of the country’s economy as when the level of inflation can be acknowledged by knowing the price of onion.
However, in days when it gets costly, even a poor man’s food cannot be cooked without an onion. The proportion may reduce, but it is a must. People prefer to consume tender onions as a salad. It adds a distinct taste to your food, the sweet taste of onions is unique.
It might interest you to know that there is a reason why onions cause tears in the eyes, and it is for your good. The tears clear the eyes from dust and other foreign particles.
Onions are vegetables that grow under the soil just like raddish, carrots, or garlic. Though they all have differences botanically, the common link that joins all these vegetables is that they grow underground, and the leaves can be seen on top.
After a certain period when the plants develop its fruit or vegetable, it swells. After onions are harvested, they need to be stored properly or else they can be destroyed. Once onions are dry, their outer skin becomes dry and brittle. It turns reddish orange in color.
Nutrients In Onions
As onions are used in our everyday culinary, we might forget to know the health benefits of onion. Onion either cooked or raw, in both ways has many health advantages. Here is a list of some of the important nutrients in onions that help us a long way.
Minerals: Minerals are required in small quantities, but they are highly important for the proper functioning of the body. There minerals found in onions are copper, fluoride, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, Chromium and calcium. These minerals are important for the functioning of different body parts and target specific organs like bones, teeth and blood.
Vitamins: Biotin also referred to as Vitamin-H is a highly effective nutrient found in Onions. It helps in strengthening the hair and treats rashes. Other vitamins include Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
Allicin: Allicin is a compound that gives onions their unique taste. It supports the overall health of the circulatory system and reduces the chances of heart attacks as well as strokes. Studies also suggest that allicin prevents common cold and cardiovascular attacks. It is also supposed to enhance the suppressed antibody response and antimicrobial activities.
Best Health Benefits Of Onions
After having known the nutritional value of onions, let’s take a look at the specific onion health benefits.
1. Good For Oral Health
Although you might not want to chew any onions before going on a date with a very special person, onions do have special properties to provide oral care to your teeth and gums. Onions have strong antibacterial properties, and this is due to their sulfur-containing compounds.
They work effectively on germs and bacteria that cause cavities and gum problems as concluded by some studies. You can increase the consumption of onions by including it in your salads. Eat raw onions and not the sautéed ones. Of course, you might want to rinse your mouth with an effective mouth freshener after consuming onions.
2. Strengthen The Immune System
The multi-nutrient properties of onions help in developing a strong immune system. Onions are especially effective during flu, common cold and cough; it does not just treat these diseases but also helps in preventing them.
The quercetin in onions breaks up mucus in the chest and head. Also, the allicin in onions is effective in killing a variety of bacteria and viruses. Onions are so effective in treating flu that if you consume them within a few minutes of experiencing the first symptoms of flu, it boosts your immunity system. Consumption of onions also makes your sweat, which in turn works wonders when you are down with the flu.
3. Healthy Heart
The onion health benefits also contribute to a healthy heart. The distinct taste of onions improves your blood circulation. The compound Quercetin found in onions reduces high blood pressure and stops the hardening of arteries. Onions are known to exceed the heart protective properties of red wine. It lowers the cholesterol and maintains a healthy heart.
4. Prevention Of Cancer
Red onions are the best super foods in slowing the growth of colon and liver cancer cells. Onions work best upon cancer when mixed with turmeric; the combined effect of these two reduces both the number and size of hosts that live in the intestine and can cause colon cancer. The organosulphur compounds found in the walls of the onions can detoxify potential carcinogens.
5. Relieving Earache
Onion juice is considered quite effective in treating earaches. In case there is a pain in the ear, then you can try adding a few drops of warm onion juice in the ear and rest for a few minutes. Try heating the onion in an oven for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Then wrap this onion in a cloth and place it near the aching ear.
The anti-inflammatory properties of onion help in reducing the swelling and pain in the ears. Although there is no scientific evidence to prove this claim, it has always been a favorite age-old tradition used by mothers and grandmothers.
6. Radiant Skin
Consuming onions work from within to purify the skin and blood. As mentioned earlier, onions improve blood circulation and make the skin glow from inside. It supplies the body with flavonoids that help vitamin C to keep the skin naturally healthy.
Applying onions as a face pack can be of great help. The antimicrobial properties fight against acne and vitamin C wards off skin infections. It also fights against dark spots, removes dead skin cells, and pigmentation. The antioxidants in onions provide deep nourishment to the skin and remove skin impurities. The sulfur rich compounds in onions fight against free radicals, which are a major cause of premature skin aging.
7. Boosts Sexual Drive
Since onions are aphrodisiac foods, they are considered to naturally boost the sexual drive. It increases the libido, strengthens the reproducing organs, and boosts the sex stamina. It is not just beneficial to men but also to women.
Just sauté onions in butter and consume a spoon of it every morning on empty stomach. You can even add a few drops of honey to eliminate the pungent smell. It works in multiple ways to improve one’s sexual life. In men, onions are reported to increase the sperm count naturally.
As onions improve the energy levels, low stamina, which naturally causes less excitement, is treated. The multiple vitamins in onions help overcome fatigue. It improves blood circulation and testosterone levels.
8. Anemia Treatment
Anemia is a condition that occurs when there is a deficiency of blood in the body. However, consuming onions on a regular basis can help fulfill it. Onions have an iron that gives them the distinct red color. Mix onions with jaggery to improve the iron content in the body. Both jaggery and onions work in increasing the iron content and formation of red blood cells. Therefore, a healthy amount of onions is prescribed for treating anemia naturally.
9. Relieves Stomach Ache
Most stomach disorders occur due to gastric diseases that are caused due to bacteria and viruses. Being anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, onions play a vital role in treating stomach disorders. They soothe the stomach while the saponins in onions are anti-spasmodic which ensure that the stomachaches do not continue for a long duration. Moreover, it makes sure that the bowel movements are clear and functioning smoothly.
10. Treats Urinary Disorder
Though urinary infections are embarrassing for a few to talk about, it is important to understand that it is a disease that both men and women can contract and is rather painful and dangerous. There is a burning sensation while passing urine or there is a constant urge to urinate.
However, the antibiotics and sulfur-rich compounds in onions treat infections and kill bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections. Chop onions and boil them along with water. Let the water boil to half and then drink this concoction in smaller doses.
Also Read: Cranberry Juice For UTIs
11. Hair Fall
One of the best health benefits of onions is the ability to solve multiple hair problems. Many experts and researchers have demonstrated the positive effects of consuming or applying onion on hair. Be it hair fall, dandruff, thinning of hair, dull hair or even baldness. The multiple nutrients in onion work in many various ways to provide you long and lustrous locks.
The sulfur compounds in onions help facilitate the formation of keratin for hair, which is the primary building blocks. Their antimicrobial properties fight against dandruff like fungi that disrupt the healthy growth of hair. It also fights hair lice effectively. When applied along with other herbs it can also act as a hair conditioner or moisturizer.
There are many ways to apply onion. An effective way is to mix onion juice with various herbs for specific problems and then apply it as a mask. After a few hours, rinse the hair with a mild shampoo. Onions stop premature graying of hair, hereditary hair loss, and other hair infections.
12. Prevents Asthma
Onions contain nine compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. The Quercetin in onions prevents immune cells from releasing histamine that causes allergic reactions. Onion acts as a powerful antioxidant against histamine and other allergy-causing chemicals; thus, keeping a person away from asthma attacks. Onions are safe for asthma treatment, as they cause no side effects.
13. Good Food For Diabetics
Regular consumption of onions lowers glucose levels in the blood. The sulfur compounds in onions lower blood sugar levels by increasing the proportion of free insulin available. The oil found in onions, allyl propyl disulphide, competes with insulin to occupy the sites in the liver where the insulin in not activated. It also increases significantly in the serum of insulin levels. The proper maintenance of insulin is the ultimate way to treat diabetes naturally.
The regular inclusion of onions in the diet has positive health effects. For many of us who never knew that onions are just another vegetable, this article will now have completely changed your perception towards the red bulb. After knowing the nutritional value and various health benefits of onions, you may now feel happy that those tears were not shed for nothing.
Now that you know the health benefits of onions, you can increase the intake of onions. Make sure to include as much raw onion in your diet as possible, because heating and cooking often lead to the loss of the nutrient value of onions, which you will miss out on.