Onions are one of the most heavily consumed vegetables. They are used in almost every fried dish and are versatile enough to be consumed in raw salads. For this reason, it is easy to discount the nutritional value they add to our meals. It turns out onions have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia and were used in ancient times to treat ailments like headaches, heart diseases, and mouth sores. Here are some health benefits of onions:
Onions are low in calories but packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They are a good source of vitamins C and B as well as folate and potassium among others. Vitamin C is involved in regulating immune health, collagen production, tissue repair, and iron absorption. Vitamin B plays a key role in red blood cell production and nerve function. Potassium is involved in normal cellular function, kidney function, and muscle contraction.
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2. Stronger immunity
The vitamin C present in onions boosts immunity. Vitamin C boosts your immune system by fighting against toxins and various foreign bodies that cause diseases and illness.
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3. Lowers risk of cancer and moderates blood pressure
Onions contain elements that help fight cancer. They contain a nutrient called quercetin which is known to prohibit the activity or creation of cancer-causing elements. The sulfur in them has also been shown to decrease tumour development.
Quercetin has also been linked to lower blood pressure when researchers administered it as a supplement.
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4. Benefits heart health
The sulfur compounds present in onions are responsible for the sharp, strong taste and smell of onions. The organic sulfur compounds help reduce the level of cholesterol in your body and may also break down blood clots lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. Onions act as natural anticoagulants or blood thinners, preventing your blood cells from forming clumps or clots. You get the most sulfur out of onions by eating them raw.
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5. Aids in antioxidant production
Free radicals are compounds that can harm you when their levels rise too high in your body. Antioxidants are molecules that fight these free radicals. Onions are an excellent source of antioxidants and they also help the body produce its own antioxidants.
6. Manage diabetes
Quercetin and sulfur compounds in onions are known to promote insulin production making them an especially beneficial vegetable choice for people with diabetes.
Onions also contain chromium which is unusual to find naturally in food. Chromium helps the body manage blood sugar levels and ensures a slow gradual release of glucose to the muscles and body cells. A study found that when people with diabetes were given onion juice with their food, it effectively helped control hyperglycemia (high blood pressure).
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7. Bone health
Onions can be helpful in treating bone loss. They also have compounds that help rebuild connective tissue. They may play a role in preventing osteoporosis. Research among menopausal women found that those who ate onions daily had greater bone density.
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8. Relieve earaches
A few drops of onion juice may prove immensely beneficial to people suffering from acute earaches. It may also be beneficial to people suffering from a ringing sound in the ear by applying onion juice through a piece of cotton wool.
9. Boost sex drive
It turns out onions are linked to healthy sex life. Here’s a simple recipe: one tablespoon of onion juice, plus one spoonful of ginger juice taken three times a day. Libido and sex drive effectively boosted. Here are 7 Things That Will Kill Your Sex Drive
Onions have numerous benefits beyond those enumerated including being used to treat coughs, treat anaemia, treat urinary disorders, relieve stomach aches and even improve the skin by treating symptoms or signs of acne and more. If you ever needed an excuse to consume more onions, you got it and you’re welcome.
Check out this piece on the nutritional benefits of bell peppers (capsicum) and the Health And Nutritional Benefits of Leeks