Part of the Charleston flavor comes from onions, so let’s see what they can add to our recipes and what some health benefits that they can provide. We all know that onions may make your breath stink or make your eyes tear up while you try and cut them, but this is no reason to avoid them. They actually contain a fair number of nutrients that can help benefit your body in many ways. Using a food processor can help keep you from crying while trying to dice them, and having a mint after you eat them can help with the strong odor that may linger, so there really is no reason not to increase your daily intake of this wonderful vegetable. Just about every recipe calls for onions because they add so much to the flavor of any meal. Below are some of the ways in which onions can have a positive impact on your overall health.
Potential Health Benefits of Onions
Onions are major source of potassium, copper, phosphorus, vitamins such as B6, dietary fiber and manganese. If you have a habit of separating onions in your food because you do not like them, then it is the high time to change that habit.
Help Prevent Disease
Onions and onion relatives help to boost the immune system and prevent the development of tumor. According to several studies, combing onions with various vegetables can help to prevent colon cancer. It also helps to reduce the size and the number of precancerous lesions found in the human intestinal tract.
It may seem old because most people believe onions can cause bad health. However, chewing raw onion is known to increase the strength of the teeth and fight off bacteria that can cause tooth decay. In fact, chewing raw onions can kill most germs in your mouth.
Another major benefit of onions is to prevent formation of blood clots by letting blood to circulate smoothly. With less clogs and clots in the blood arteries, heart diseases and heart attacks risks will drop significantly. Additionally, sulfur compounds that are found in onions can increase red blood cell membrane function and also lower cholesterol levels. Onions have flavonoids such as quercetin, which are known to lower blood pressure and boost cardiovascular health.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Eating a diet containing onions makes the body healthier by lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the body. They increase good-type HDL cholesterol assisting in control and prevention of atherosclerosis, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke. Onions also contain sulfides which can be able to lower blood pressure as well as the level of blood lipids.
Help Diabetic Symptoms
Onions are beneficial to diabetic patients since they are rich in allyl propyl disulfide, a substance that increases the amount of free insulin in the body thus lowering blood sugars. Thiosulfinates also contained in large quantities in red or yellow onions play a major role in decreasing diabetes symptoms. To get most health benefits out of onions, eat them raw or just cook them lightly since exposing them to a lot of heat reduces thiosulfinates. Please note that onions also contain chromium mineral, which plays a vital role in assisting cells to efficiently respond to insulin.
Help Your Airways
The extracts are very good at lowering bronchial spasms and relieving colds, coughs, bronchitis and asthma. They also reduce allergy-induced bronchial constriction common in asthma patients. They effectively fight harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella thanks to their antimicrobial properties. They also have antibacterial and anti-septic properties which help in fighting various forms of germs.
Digestion and Weight Management
Onions play a major role in weight management and digestion since they contain high fiber content. For smooth food digestion, fiber is very important. The body requires more vitamins and minerals in order to lose weight. Onions are rich in Vitamin B6 and vitamin C and iron.
In order to enjoy maximum health benefits of onions, eat them in moderation and take the necessary safety precautions. In some people, taking too much of onions may cause diarrhea or nausea as a result of gastrointestinal irritation or stomach distress. To avoid eye irritation or watering, you may cut your onions under cold running water. If you need to store your cut onions, ensure that you keep them in a sealed tin or wrap them tightly in a plastic tin before refrigerating them. For whole, uncut onions, store them in a dry, cool and dark place.