Onions are a perfect addition to so many dishes that you need to have them in your home at all times. They keep for several weeks before sprouting and are extremely healthy for you. The best part about onions is that they are easy to grow and you can grow a nice row of them in your garden, harvesting as they develop or all at once depending on your needs. Onions are better stored in a cool, dry place where you can use them for a long period. One of the health benefits of onion is full of fiber that helps your digestion and with smooth passage of stool.
Onions are related to scallions, chives, leeks, and garlic and are of the Allium family of vegetables. They have been grown in gardens for many centuries where they have been used both for medicinal properties and for cooking.
Types Of Onions
There are many types of onions. There are green onions, in which the onion and offshoots themselves are used in cooking. There are also yellow onions, purple onions, red onions, white onions, and leeks.
They can have a somewhat sweet flavor or can have a spicy, pungent, and sharp flavor, depending on the variety and on when you harvest them in the year. Young onions tend to be sweeter so if you like that, select the youngest onions possible.
Health Benefits of Onions
Onions are so ubiquitous in cooking that it’s hard to remember that they can be used for medicinal properties, too. Here are the best health benefits of onions:
- Onions are low in calories so you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight.
- Onions are full of fiber so that they help your digestion and with smooth passage of stool.
- They have about 15 grams of plant carbohydrates per onion and no raw sugar.
- Onions have no fat in them.
- Onions contain no cholesterol.
- They contain several kinds of minerals, including iron, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
- Onions are high in antioxidants, including sulfur and quercetin.
- They are known to improve mood when consumed and are healthy for your hair and skin.
- They reduce colon cancer risk.
- As one of the Allium vegetables, onions can fight obesity and can help you live longer.
- As they have no cholesterol, eating onions, whether they are green onions or bulb-like onions, can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
- You can gain energy by eating onions, whether they are cooked in a dish or eaten raw as part of a salad.
It is the organosulfur component of onions that reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancers. They inhibit cancer through several different methods. They can prevent oxygen free radical formation by being a potent antioxidant. They can directly block the growth of tumors and can prevent normal cells from mutating into cancer cells.
Onions are rich in vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. Antioxidants are important for cellular health as they can stop the cascade of oxygen free radicals that happens as a part of cellular metabolism. Oxygen-free radicals ultimately damage many molecules within the cell unless they are neutralized by an antioxidant.
Your skin and other tissues that rely on the presence of healthy collagen need vitamin C contained in onions in order to stay healthy. Use vitamin C-rich onions in your salads or other dishes for the best in connective tissue health.
The Power Of Allium Vegetables
Onions seem to be preventative against prostate cancer. Men who ate many Allium vegetables such as onions have the lowest chance of getting prostate cancer. The same is true of Allium intake and both esophageal and stomach cancer. There are animal and human studies indicated that Allium vegetables inhibit tumor growth and reduce the risk of stomach cancer and esophageal cancer.
Folic Acid For Mood And Sleep
Onions have a beneficial effect on your mood and sleep habits. This is because onions are rich in folic acid, known to reduce the risk of depression by decreasing homocysteine levels in the body. Too much homocysteine is known to conflict with the making of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which are essential for depression prevention. Your appetite improves when these levels of neurotransmitters/hormones are elevated.
Where is the best place to get onions?
Onions, like many vegetables, have the most nutrition in them when they are freshly picked and you can’t really say that about the green or bulbous unions you find at the store. This means it is best to start your own organic garden, incorporating a row of onions you can pick all season long.