They might convey tears to your eyes and a stench to your breath. But onions additionally add a number of taste to dishes. Whether you want this root vegetable uncooked or cooked, there are lots of well being advantages to consuming onions.

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Why onions are wholesome

Onions are a part of the Allium household, a gaggle of spicy, sharp root greens that features garlic, leeks and chives. They’re particularly excessive in organosulfur compounds. These chemical substances give onions their sturdy odor and style (and make you cry). They even have many well being advantages. “People have used onions for medicinal purposes for centuries,” says registered dietitian Gillian Culbertson, RD, LD.

Surprising well being advantages of onions

With a whole bunch of sorts — from tangy white onions to candy Vidalias — it’s simple so as to add onions to your meals. Getting extra of this veggie into your weekly weight-reduction plan might assist to:

1. Lower most cancers danger

Initial laboratory studies recommend that organosulfur compounds might cease most cancers cells from multiplying and rising, inflicting the cells to die. (Please observe that this examine hasn’t but been reproduced in people, so whereas the outcomes are promising, we will’t know for certain if the impact would be the similar in people.)

A 2019 study discovered that consuming 35 kilos of onions and different allium greens yearly might decrease your danger of colorectal (colon) most cancers by nearly 80%. Most Americans devour about 22 kilos of onions in a 12 months, in response to the National Onion Association.

Additional research recommend that an onion-rich weight-reduction plan might decrease your danger of:

2. Fend off power circumstances

Onions have greater than 25 completely different flavonoids — pure plant substances which have antioxidant properties. They’re additionally excessive in vitamin C, one other necessary antioxidant that helps a wholesome immune system. “Antioxidants protect against free radicals that cause inflammation and contribute to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease,” explains Culbertson.

For most antioxidant advantages, select colourful purple onions, which have flavonoids referred to as anthocyanins that give the vegetable their colour. Because research reveals an onion’s outer layers have the very best focus of flavonoids, attempt to preserve as a lot of that half as doable when eradicating the pores and skin.

3. Protect in opposition to coronary heart illness

Another flavonoid present in onions — quercetin — presents many heart-healthy advantages, particularly for individuals experiencing weight problems and metabolic syndrome. “Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors, including excess weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, that increases your risk for heart disease,” says Culbertson.

Onions additionally seem to have blood-thinning talents, which can assist forestall blood clots that trigger coronary heart assaults and strokes.

Because quercetin builds up in your bloodstream over time, persistently consuming onions can result in better antioxidant advantages. Different research point out that consuming extra onions might enhance coronary heart well being by serving to to:

4. Strengthen bones

The antioxidants in onions can also cut back bone loss and osteoporosis that usually happens with getting older. “Antioxidants minimize the stress that damages healthy cells and speeds up the aging process,” notes Culbertson.

Sipping on onion juice might sound unappetizing. But a 2016 study discovered that wholesome individuals in center age and postmenopause who drank 3 ounces of onion juice on daily basis for eight weeks had much less bone loss and stronger bones. Another study suggests that girls and folks assigned feminine at start (AFAB) over 50 who eat an onion a day might:

  • Improve bone density by 5%.
  • Reduce their danger of hip fracture by 20%.

5. Fight micro organism

There’s some proof that quercetin has antibacterial properties, and storing onions for no less than three months will increase quercetin ranges. A 2018 systematic study discovered that consuming onions might sluggish or cease the expansion of micro organism that trigger:

6. Aid digestion

Onions are a wealthy supply of prebiotics and fiber. “Gut bacteria break down insoluble or undigested fiber, causing fermentation,” says Culbertson. “In this way, onions serve as a prebiotic or food source for the bacteria, which aids digestion.”

Unfortunately, this fermentation also can trigger fuel and bloating. “Cooked onions are easier to digest and less likely to cause digestion problems than raw onions,” shares Culbertson.

What vitamin is in an onion?

A medium 5.3-ounce onion has roughly:

Nutrient-wise, a medium onion has:

  • 34 milligrams of calcium.
  • 28.5 micrograms of folate.
  • 0.31 milligrams of iron.
  • 0.2 micrograms of manganese — 10% of your each day worth.
  • 190 milligrams of potassium.
  • 0.26 milligrams of vitamin B6.
  • 12 milligrams of vitamin C — 20% of your each day worth!

Should you attempt onion dietary supplements?

You can purchase onion dietary supplements, together with onion juice, on-line and at native shops. But Culbertson cautions that you just’ll get extra well being advantages from onions for those who eat the precise vegetable. “It’s always best to get nutrients from foods when possible.”

While your physique would possibly admire the quite a few well being advantages of consuming onions, these near you would possibly flip up their noses. The sulfur compounds could make your breath and sweat slightly rank. Eating cooked onions as a substitute of uncooked ones can assist. Sauteing, caramelizing, frying or cooking onions lowers the sulfur content material. You also can attempt mints or gum to freshen your breath after a meal.

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