Onions are parts of the allium family of vegetables and herbs. They can vary in size, shape, color, and flavor. The most common types are red, yellow, and white onions. It is estimated that 105 billion pounds of onions are harvested each year worldwide and according to the food and agriculture organization of the united nations (FAO), China is the biggest producer of onions.
The phytochemicals in onions along with their vitamin C help improve immunity and onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar for centuries. Onions have also been used to reduce inflammation and heal certain infections
One particularly valuable flavonoid in onions is quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant that may be linked to preventing cancer. “It also might have heart health benefits, though more studies need to be done,” said Angela Lemond, a Plano, Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
Other important phytochemicals in onions are disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene and vinyldithiins. They all are helpful in maintaining good health and have anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
- Onions have been used as food for thousands of years in ancient egypt, they were worshiped and used in burial rituals.
- Onions have many possible health benefits including reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer.
- They are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle related health condition. Some of the health benefits of onions include the following
1. Prostate Cancer
In a paper published by the journal of the national cancer institute researchers used a population based, case controlled study to investigate the relationship between aliium vegetable intake and postate cancer. They found that men with the highest intake of allium vegetables had the lowest risk of prostate cancer.
2. Sleep and Mood
Folate, found in onions help reduce depression. Homocysteine prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain and folate prevents this chemical from building up. Excess homocysteine also interferes with the production of the feel- good hormones serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood but also sleep and appetite.
3. Skin and Hair
Onions are high in vitamin C which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen which provides structure to the skin and hair.
4. Improved Immunity
Onions contain vitamic C and other phytochemicals that increase the effectiveness of vitamin c in your body. Vitamin C helps to improve the bodies immune system against diseases and infections.
5. Aids Digestion
Onions are high in fiber, which is good for maintaining a healthy and regular digestive system. Fiber prevents digestive pain and break down food that can keep it moving.
Associated Health Risk
While not especially serious, eating onions can cause problems for some people. The carbohydrates in May cause gas and bloating, according to National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Especially if consumed raw, can worsen heartburn in people who suffer from chronic heartburn or gastric reflux disease, according to one 1990 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Eating a large amount of green onions or rapidly increasing your consumption of green onions may interfere with blood thinning drugs, according to the University of Georgia. Green onions contain a high amount of vitamin K, which can decrease blood thinner functioning.
It is also possible to have a food intolerance or an allergy to onions, but cases are rare, according to an article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. People with onion allergies may experience red, itchy eyes and rashes if an onion comes into contact with the skin. People with an intolerance to onions may experience nausea, vomiting and other gastric discomfort.
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