Onions are easily one of the most prevalent foods in cuisines all over the world. These root vegetables are known for their intense flavor, pungent odor, as well as their ability to make a grown man cry (during preparation.
The good news about onions is that while they’re great for building any dish with deep, rich flavor; onions also include a number of nutrients that can help to improve your health.
3 Benefits of Onions
1 – They May Lead to Improved Heart Health
Onions contain sulfuric compounds which help to form one of the most important antioxidants in the body, glutathione.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant in its own right but also helps the body recycle other antioxidants which are used to help fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels.
These three benefits are known to lower the risk of cardiovascular incidents.
Onions also contain quercetin, another well-known antioxidant. Quercetin is known to exhibit strong anti-inflammatory properties which studies have shown may help to improve blood pressure which is a great way to protect the heart.
Studies of individuals taking an extract of 162 mg of a quercetin-rich onion extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3–6 mmHg compared to a placebo.
2 – Could Help Fight Cancer:
Vegetables like onion (and garlic) also could help boost your chances of fighting the formation of cancer as well as helping to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells already in the body.
“A review of 26 studies showed that people who consumed the highest amount of allium vegetables were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer than those who consumed the least amount.
Moreover, a review of 16 studies in 13,333 people demonstrated that participants with the highest onion intake had a 15% reduced risk of colorectal cancer compared to those with the lowest intake
These cancer-fighting properties have been linked to the sulfur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants found in allium vegetables.
For example, onions provide onionin A, a sulfur-containing compound that has been shown to decrease tumor development and slow the spread of ovarian and lung cancer in test-tube studies.
Onions also contain fisetin and quercetin, flavonoid antioxidants that may inhibit tumor growth “
3 – May Keep Blood Sugar Under Control
Issues related to blood sugar regulation are tied to several health problems. These problems include the formation of diabetes type 2, obesity, metabolic syndrome and many more.
Onions may help to control blood sugar and prevent the onset of these kinds of conditions.
The opinion of health professionals is the presence of quercetin could play a role in the blood sugar improving benefits.
In a study of 42 people with the inability to manage insulin properly, it was discovered the inclusion of roughly 100 grams of fresh, red onion could help to reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
Four hours after eating the 100 grams of red onion the participants fasting blood sugar levels were reduced approximately 40 mg/dl after four hours.
Animal studies have also demonstrated effective blood sugar control based on the intake of red onion.
“A study showed that diabetic rats fed food containing 5% onion extract for 28 days experienced decreased fasting blood sugar and had substantially lower body fat than the control group (24).
Specific compounds found in onions, such as quercetin and sulfur compounds, possess antidiabetic effects.”
Observations about quercetin indicate the antioxidant has an effect on several organs, including the pancreas, the small intestines, skeletal muscle, fatty tissue as well as the liver to help the body better control blood sugar.