Onions are bulbs and belong to the Allium family of vegetables. This family also has garlic, chives, leeks and scallions in them. It is the most common ingredient found in homes and used in almost most of the dishes. Onions come in varied shapes, sizes and colors. They vary in taste too. Some are sweetish, while others tasting spicy and pungent too. They come in colors of white, pink, yellow and red. There are a number of health benefits of onions which many of us are not aware and just eat it for its taste.
Nutritional Composition Of Onions
One cup of chopped onions contains the following compounds and contains 64 calories.
- 10% of daily vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B-6
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 7 grams of sugar
- 0 grams of cholesterol and fat
- 2 grams of proteins
- 3 grams of fiber
- Small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, phosphorous and potassium
- Small amounts of antioxidants like quercetin and Sulphur.
Find Below The List Of Health Benefits of Onions.
Health Benefits of Onions
1. In Prevention Of Ulcers
Onions contain the prebiotic inulin which helps in providing good gut bacteria. Inulin is water soluble type of dietary fiber. Digestive health is maintained and absorption of nutrients is also enhanced in the body. It inhibits H.pylori bacteria which is the cause for ulcers in the body.
2. In Maintenance Of Good Heart Health
The Sulphur content in onions serves as anti-clotting agent and reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. The blood vessels are also kept clean and clear by the release of nitric oxide. This reduces blood pressure which in turn reduces risks of vascular diseases, strokes and coronary artery diseases.
3. In Controlling Of Cancers
Onions are supposed to be ant carcinogenic. These allium bulbs contain organosulfur compound which have preventive action against cancers. It stops growth of tumors and free radical movement. The vitamin C content in onions inhibits free radical movement. People who consume a good amount of allium vegetables like onions are supposed to have lower incidences of prostrate and colorectal cancers.
4. Providing For Good Sleep
Folate found in onions helps in alleviating symptoms of depression and lowering levels of homocysteine in the body. High levels of homocysteine reduce blood flow and other nutrients to the brain. Homocysteine also affects the feel good hormones and affect sleep patterns and mood.
5. Health Benefits of Onions – Good Skin and Hair
Since onions contain a good amount of vitamin C it aids in building collagen which is necessary for the growth of healthy skin and hair on the body.
6. For Enhanced Immunity Levels
Onions contain vitamin C and some phytochemicals. These phytochemicals increase the effectiveness of vitamin C in the body. This results in increased immunity levels.
7. Helps In Reduction Of Stress
When you are tense and stressed out, cortisol is produced in the body. Generally, when cortisol is within acceptable levels it is fine. When levels increase and prove to be dangerous muscle tissues get damaged and protein is broken down. If you eat onions during these times the following happens. Quercetin present in onions inhibits the enzymes from producing cortisol and hence reactions to stress are reduced.
8. In Controlling Type 2 Diabetes
Onions contain biotin DRI. Biotin provides for many health benefits. It regulates blood sugar levels in the body. A cup of onions contains about 27% of biotin. It also aids in reducing insulin resistance.
9. In Controlling Blood Pressure
Quercetin in onions ensures that there is no plague buildup in the arteries. Eating onions regularly makes the blood thin and blood platelets from collecting. This inhibits clogs in the blood vessels and risks of heart attacks and strokes are reduced.
10. Maintains Bone Density
Older women have lower bone density which is the cause for fractures and falls. By consuming onions regularly they can have 20% less risks of diseases related to bones.
11. Health Benefits of Onions Aids In Digestion
Onions contain a good amount of fiber. This helps in good digestion in the body. Fiber helps the food to move easily through the intestines without causing issues of constipation.
12. For Its Anti-Inflammatory Property
Increased inflammation in the body could result in joint pain and swollen joints. Betalain present in onions help to reduce inflammation in the body. Arthritis could also be caused due to inflammation. The same can be brought under control by eating onions.
13. Against Effects Of Sunstroke
Application of onion juice on the chest and temples helps to reduce the effects of sunstroke. Eating onions too brings about a cooling effect in the body.
14. In Curing Sleeplessness
Drinking the juice of red onions helps in treating insomnia. Juice could be made from raw, steamed or boiled onions. Drinking 4 teaspoons of the same before going to bed would surely help.
15. As a Deworming Agent
Consuming onion juice every 2 hours in a full day would get rid of worms in the digestive tract. This is due to the antibiotic and antiseptic properties of the onions.
16. Used In Treatment Of Colds and Flu
Eating raw provides for some relief if you have continuous sneezing and running nose. Consuming 4 teaspoons of onion juice mixed with honey brings the flu symptoms under control.
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17. In treatment of Anemia
Eating raw onions or drinking its juice, ups the hemoglobin content in the body. Onions have a good amount of iron which helps in this process.
18. In Treating Bites Caused By Poisonous Insects
Ground onion paste can be put in a poultice and applied on bites caused by insects. This will reduce the sting effect of the insects. Eating raw onion with salt will also help in treating bites caused by honey bees, scorpions and other insects.
19. Health Benefits of Onions In Treatment Of Abscess
In the case of pus-filled boils, you can do the following. Take ground onions, turmeric, wheat flour, ghee and cook on fire. While it is warm take the mixture in a poultice and apply on the boils. The boil will burst and the healing process would be advanced.
20. In Removal Of Kidney Stones
Consuming onion juice early morning helps in breaking of kidney stones. Also adding sugar to onion juice and consuming it at regular intervals will also help in breaking of kidney stones.
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21. In Reducing Vomiting Bouts
Take equal quantities of onion and ginger juice if you have vomiting symptoms.
22. Health Benefits of Onions In Relieving Acidity
Take 60 grams of cut white onions and add to 30 grams of curds. You need to consume this 3 times a day for a week to relieve you from symptoms of acidity.
Different Types Of Onions
1. Yellow Onions
These are the sweetest of the lot. They have a golden outer skin and are pale yellow inside. They are commonly used in cooking.
2. Red Onions
They are the most pungent of the lot. They are red in color outside and inside. They are normally eaten raw as in sandwiches and as well as cooked.
3. White Onions
These are least pungent of the lot. Typically they are eaten raw rather than cooked.
4. Green Onions
These are tender onion shoots used in Chinese dishes. They can also be eaten raw. They are also known as spring onions.
Though a lot of people eat onions on a daily basis they are not aware of its health benefits or rather its health benefits are taken for granted. For some people, consuming onions causes headaches, gas or bloating. In which case, they should wash it with salt water before using it. This would bring down some of the allergic reactions.
To conclude in a nutshell-
- Onions have good amounts of iron, fiber, phytochemicals and a number of other nutrients. Thus they help in maintaining digestive and overall health.
- Onion juice can be used on open wounds and insect bites because of its antiseptic property.
- Its use as medicine is found in Ayurveda treatments and herbal therapies.
- It is also used in dyeing industry for generating colors.
- Since it has cooling properties it helps in curing ulcers, acidity and from effects of sunstrokes.