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Health Benefits of Onions Everyone Should Know

Onions is a member of the Allium genus of flowering plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks and chives. Onions are commonly found in so many meals, is a great source of minerals. Often times onions is classified as a vegetable, which provides flavor, they also provide important nutrients and health-promoting phytochemicals.  

So many studies proves that onions helps regulate the blood sugar of the body because it is a great source of chromium, it also increases the production of good cholesterol and helps keeps your heart in shape. In fact, the medicinal properties of onions have been recognized since ancient times, when they were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease and mouth sores.

What is the Best Way to Eat Onions?

Onions are healthy both cooked and raw, but raw onions have higher levels of sulfur compounds, which may help protect your body against cancer, reduce “bad” cholesterol production, and lower your body's blood sugar.

Health Benefits of Onions

Below are some of the top nutritional benefits that onions provide. In case you love onions or hate them. But if you fall into the latter category, you might want to reconsider because of the following reasons;

Onions are Good for the Heart: Eating onions is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. The polyphenol also called quercetin that's found in onions helps reduce high blood pressure and triglyceride levels. 

Flavonoids in red onions can contribute to heart health. Onions are also rich in organosulfurs, which can help prevent heart disease. Onions contain thiosulfinates that act as natural blood thinners and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Fight Cancer: The high levels of quercetin and anthocyanin (another type of antioxidant flavonoid), helps to prevent the risk of cancer. Also, onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. 

They promote an unfavourable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.” The researchers have also recently determined onions are effective at killing breast cancer cells.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: The sulfur compounds in onions (S-methylcysteine) together with quercetin have proven to beneficial on blood sugar regulation. This result is effect only when taken along with metformin, an antidiabetic drug. Polyphenols (especially the ones in onions) were found to play a role in glycemic control also. 

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation (quercetin and other flavonoids).Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.

Prevents Allergies: The presence of quercetin in onions also help in treating allergies by preventing the cells from releasing histamine.

Though some people are allergic to onions itself, the best way to treat this allergy is to avoid them.

Activates the Immune System: Onions contain selenium that stimulates immune function. The mineral also prevents excessive immune response, which can have adverse effects. Immune cells deficient in selenium develop and reproduce inefficiently, and here’s where onions come into the picture. Such cells also have difficulty in producing the important proteins and transporting calcium.

Also you use onion tea for treating colds. This tea gives you an immunity boost and helps prevent ailments. Making the tea is as simple as cutting an onion, boiling it in water, and drinking the juice. This acts as a quick remedy for your cold and other illnesses. You can also add other ingredients like ginger for taste.

Aphrodisiac Functions: Onion is known as one of the greatest aphrodisiac foods, onion helps increase libido, and also strengthens the reproducing organs. Onions also increase the testosterone levels in the body and can help in increasing the sexual stamina.

Good for the Eyes: The eye lens benefits from the sulfur present in onions. It stimulates the production of a protein named glutathione, which acts as an antioxidant. Higher levels of glutathione mean a reduced risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

The selenium in onions supports the vitamin E in the eye (which protects the cells in the eye). In a study, onion juice was used as eye drops, and it inhibited the growth of normal eye flora. This highlights the possibility of onions being a potential cure for common eye infections like conjunctivitis and blepharitis. It is advised to consult your doctor before use.

Supports Bone Health: Frequent eating of onions is associated with improved bone density. This may be because of their antioxidant properties, which reduces oxidative stress and appears to reduce bone loss.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, quercetin in onions can inhibit the activity of leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamines (all of which cause inflammation) in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Onion intake was also found to help treat joint pains.

Improves Oral Health: Thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates (the sulfur compounds) present in onions, help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. And eating them raw is best – as cooking might destroy some of the beneficial components. The vitamin C present in onions also keeps the teeth healthy. Onions causes bad breath, so it's important to brush properly after eating.

Supports Gut Health: Onions are rich in fibre, especially the non-digestible type that is needed to maintain gut health. Although we can’t digest prebiotic fibre, the bacteria that live in our gut do and they use it as fuel to help increase their numbers and produce by-products called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

In summary, eating onions has so much health benefits. Few people may be sensitive to onions, as a result, those who are allergic may experience digestive issues, including heartburn and wind. the best way to prevent this allergy is to avoid them.

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