More than just a tasty culinary plant, onion contains natural sugar, vitamins A, B6, C and E, minerals such as sodium, potassium, folate, magnesium, iron and dietary fibre. In addition, onions are a good source of folic acid. They have anti-allergen, cancer-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
The ancient origin of onions spans the western and eastern parts of Asia. Ancient Egyptians were known to revere the vegetable, considering its spherical shape and concentric rings a symbol of eternal life. In fact, onions were also used in ancient Egyptian burials.
Onion is so widely used that any culinary dish from almost any part of the earth has the vegetable added to it. And not just the vegetable, even the essential oil from onions has benefits. The oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Onions, when combined with garlic, could have greater benefits. The two, together, are known to be effective antidepressants, painkillers, anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory.
Whether raw or cooked, onions are super healthy. However, raw onions have higher levels of organic sulfur compounds that offer numerous benefits. Boiled onions also have benefits, they serve as a good source of fiber and copper. Fiber helps keep digestive issues at bay while copper aids brain communication.
One study has found that the outer layers of onion flesh have the highest concentrations of flavonoids – hence, ensure you remove as little of this part as possible while peeling the vegetable.
Allium and allyl disulphide, two phytochemicals in onions, are converted into allicin post ingestion. Allicin, according to certain studies, has properties to fight cancer and diabetes. It can also reduce the stiffness of blood vessels and lower blood pressure levels. Onions also contain quercetin, another antioxidant that fights inflammation.They have been used in folk medicine for the relief of coughs, colds and catarrh, especially asthma.
Turns out there is one variety of onions that is better for you than the others. A 2017 study published in Food Research International found that red onions were most effective at killing human cancer cells compared to other onions. Thanks to their higher levels of the antioxidants quercetin and anthocyanin.
Here are some health benefits of onions:
1. Onions have antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and carminative properties to ward off infections.
2. Onions are rich in sulphur, fibers, potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C and they are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
3. Good for fever, common cold, cough, sore throat, allergies etc. A mixture of onion juice and honey can ease these problems easily.
4. A small piece of onion when inhaled can stop or slow down bleeding through the nose.
5. Good for insomnia or sleeping disorders. This will surely give you a good night sleep.
6. Onions can improve digestive system.
7. Onion juice can take care of burnt skin or an insect bite or bee sting.
8. Onions can be used to prevent cancers.
9. You can protect yourself from Osteoporosis and Atherosclerosis by consuming onions daily.
10. Onions control sugar levels in the blood.