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Disease prevention and treatment

Impressive Health Benefits of Onions


Because of their high nutritional value, onions have been linked to a number of advantages, including better heart health, better blood sugar regulation, and enhanced bone density.


All vegetables are beneficial to health, but some particular types have particular advantages.


Allium is a genus of flowering plants that contains garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives in addition to onions.


Many vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant chemicals found in these veggies have been proven to support health in a variety of ways.


In fact, onions' healing powers have been known since the dawn of time, when people utilized them to treat conditions including migraines, heart illness, and mouth sores (1 trusted source).


These are nine outstanding health benefits of onions.


1. Full of nutrients

Onions are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals since they are nutrient-dense foods.


While having only 44 calories per medium onion, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals (from 2 trusted sources).


Vitamin C, a nutrient important for maintaining immunological function, collagen synthesis, tissue healing, and iron absorption, is particularly abundant in this crop.


Moreover, vitamin C functions as a potent antioxidant in your body, guarding your cells from harm from unstable molecules called free radicals (3 Trusted Source).


Moreover, onions include a lot of B vitamins, like folate and vitamin B6, which are essential for metabolism, the synthesis of red blood cells, and neurological function (4 Trusted Source).


Finally, they are a rich source of potassium, a mineral that is deficient in many people.


In fact, people consume less potassium on average than they should, with the DV being 4,700 milligrams (mg) (5 trusted sources).


Potassium is essential for healthy cellular activity, fluid balance, nerve conduction, renal function, and muscle contraction (6 trusted sources).


2. Might improve heart health

Onions include anti-inflammatory and triglyceride- and cholesterol-lowering antioxidants and substances that may minimize the risk of heart disease.


Their strong anti-inflammatory effects could also lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.


The flavonoid antioxidant quercetin is found in high concentration in onions. Its strong anti-inflammatory properties could aid in reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure.


In contrast to a placebo, a daily dose of 162 Mg of onion extract high in quercetin was found to significantly lower systolic blood pressure by 3-6 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) in a trial of 70 overweight and hypertensive individuals (8 trusted sources).


It has also been demonstrated that onions lower cholesterol.


In comparison to a control group, 54 women with PCOS who consumed a lot of raw red onions (80–120 grams daily) for eight weeks saw a reduction in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (9 trusted sources).


Furthermore, data from animal studies suggests that eating onions may lessen heart disease risk factors like inflammation, excessive triglyceride levels, and blood clot formation (10 Trusted Source, 11 Trusted Source, and 12 Trusted Source).


3. Contains a lot of antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation, a process that damages cells and is linked to conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (13 Trusted Source).


One excellent source of antioxidants is onions. In fact, they contain at least 17 different forms of flavonoid antioxidants (14 trusted sources).


Anthocyanins, which are flavonoid-family plant pigments that give red onions their rich color, are especially present in red onions.


According to numerous population studies, people who eat more foods high in anthocyanin have a lower chance of developing heart disease.


For instance, a study of 43,880 males revealed a correlation between habitual intakes of anthocyanin of up to 613 Mg per day and a 14% decreased incidence of nonfatal heart attacks (15 Trusted Source).


Parallel to this, a 2018 study found that eating more anthocyanin-rich foods was linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease and dying from it (16 Trusted Source).


Anthocyanins have also been discovered to guard against diabetes and certain types of cancer (17, 18 trusted sources).


4. Include cancer-fighting substances.

Consuming foods from the Allium genus, such as garlic and onions, has been associated with a lower risk of developing some cancers, particularly colorectal and stomach cancer.


According to a study of 26 researchers, those who eat the most allium vegetables have a 22% lower risk of developing stomach cancer than those who consume the least (19 Trusted Source).


In addition, a 2014 assessment of 16 studies involving 13,333 persons found that those who consumed the most onions had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who consumed the least (20 Trusted Source).


Allium veggies include antioxidant sulfur compounds and flavonoid chemicals that have been connected to these anti-cancer abilities.


For instance, onions contain the sulfur-containing molecule A, which has been demonstrated in test-tube tests to reduce tumor formation and prevent the spread of ovarian and lung cancer (21 Trusted Source, 22 Trusted Source).


Fisetin and quercetin are flavonoid antioxidants found in onions that may slow the formation of tumors (23 Trusted Source, 24 Trusted Source).


5. Support blood sugar management

Consuming onions may aid in blood sugar management, which is important for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes.


In an older study, it was found that ingesting 3.5 ounces (oz), or 100 grams, of raw red onion for 4 hours dramatically lowered fasting blood sugar levels (25 Trusted Source).


Also, a number of studies on animals have suggested that eating onions may help with blood sugar regulation.


According to a study, diabetic rats fed a diet containing 5% dried onion powder for eight weeks saw a decrease in fasting blood sugar levels as well as reduced levels of triglycerides and cholesterol compared to the rats in the control group (26 Trusted Source).


Particular onion constituents with antidiabetic properties include quercetin and sulfur compounds.


For instance, it has been demonstrated that quercetin interacts with cells in the liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and small intestine to regulate blood sugar levels throughout the body (27 Trusted Source).


6. Might increase bone density

Although dairy is largely credited with improving bone health, many other foods, such as onions, may also contribute to healthy bones.


In comparison to a control group, 24 middle-aged and postmenopausal females who drank 3.4 oz (100 milliliters) of onion juice daily for eight weeks had enhanced bone mineral density and antioxidant activity (28Trusted Source).


Another older study of 507 perimenopausal and postmenopausal females indicated that daily onion consumption was associated with a 5% increase in total bone density compared to monthly or less frequent consumption (Trusted Source).


Another older study of 507 perimenopausal and postmenopausal females indicated that daily onion consumption was associated with a 5% increase in total bone density compared to monthly or less frequent consumption (Trusted Source).


Also, the study found that elderly people who ate onions the most regularly had a 20% lower risk of hip fracture than those who never did (29 Trusted Source).


Onions may help prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density by reducing oxidative stress, increasing antioxidant levels, and reducing bone loss (trusted source).


7. Possess antibacterial qualities.

Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas ferruginous, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Bacillus cereus are just a few of the potentially harmful bacteria that onions can combat (31 Trusted Source).


The growth of Vibrio cholera, a bacterium that represents a significant public health risk in several regions of the world, has also been found to be inhibited by onion extract (32-Trusted Source).


It appears that extracting quercetin from onions is a particularly effective technique to inhibit bacterial development.


According to several test-tube studies, the growth of numerous bacterial strains, including Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a type of bacteria linked to stomach ulcers and some types of digestive cancer, may be inhibited by quercetin (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).


Another experiment in test tubes revealed quercetin harms the cell walls and membranes of S. aureus and E. coli (35 Trusted Source).


8. May improve GI health

Fiber and prebiotics, which are essential for optimum gut health, are abundant in onions.


Prebiotics are nondigestible fiber types that the good bacteria in your stomach break down.


Short-chain fatty acids like acetate, propionate, and butyrate are produced by gut bacteria as a result of their feeding on prebiotics.


These short-chain fatty acids have been found to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, promote immunity, and strengthen the stomach (Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).


Also, eating foods high in prebiotics promotes the growth of prebiotics that are good for the digestive system, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains (38 Trusted Source).


Prebiotic-rich foods may enhance the absorption of crucial minerals like calcium, which may enhance bone health (trusted source).


Inulin and fructooligosaccharides are two prebiotics notably abundant in onions. These aid in boosting immune system function and the amount of beneficial bacteria in your stomach (40Trusted Source).


9. Simple to include in your diet

All across the world, chefs use onions frequently.


They can be eaten raw or cooked and provide flavor for savory recipes.


You can increase your consumption of fiber, vitamins, and minerals with them as well.


These are some suggestions for including onions in your diet:

1. To give your guacamole recipe a flavor boost, use raw onions.

2. To savory baked goods, add caramelized onions.

3. To make a nutritious side dish, combine cooked onions with other vegetables.

To egg dishes like omelets, frittatas, or quiches, try adding cooked onions.

4. Add sautéed onions on top of the meat, chicken, or tofu.

Your favorite salad will taste great with thinly sliced red onions.

5. Combine red peppers, chopped onions, and chickpeas to make a salad that is high in fiber.

Stocks and soups can be made with onions and garlic as a foundation.

6. Include onions in stir-fry recipes.

Add chopped raw onions to tacos, fajitas, and other Mexican foods.

7. Prepare a homemade salsa with fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and onions.

8. Make a hearty vegetable and onion soup.

9. To give chili recipes more flavor, add onions.

10. For a tasty homemade salad dressing, combine raw onions with fresh herbs, vinegar, and olive oil.



The conclusion

The advantages of onions for health are rather striking.


These nutrient-dense vegetables contain potent substances that could reduce your risk of developing heart disease and several types of cancer.


With their ability to fight bacteria and support digestive health, onions may also strengthen the immune system.


They can also be utilized to enhance the flavor of any savory dish because they are adaptable.


It's simple to improve your general health by eating more onions.



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