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Health Benefits Of Onions

Published 5/16/13

What Are Onions?

Onions, also known as a bulb onion or common onion, is a popular vegetable around the globe used for its strong flavor and nutritional value. Onions are typically served in a cooked state as part of a dish or can be eaten raw or in a pickled state. Onions are well known for their ability to irritate the eye and make people cry when they are near an onion being cut.

Onion Nutrition

Onions are extremely high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, and dietary fiber while also containing beneficial amounts of manganese, phosphorus, and folate. ½ cup of onions contains only 30 calories, which makes onions a great option as a savory ingredient without significantly increasing the calorific content. Onions are also fat free and sodium free.

Onion Health Benefits

The main benefits that onions have to offer are a result of its high phenolic and flavonoid content. The high levels of these two types of natural food compounds prevent and reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, lower the risk of certain types of cancer, and detoxify the body by neutralizing dangerous free radicals roaming the body. The allyl propyl disulphide (APDS) compound in onions that is responsible for irritating the eye is also responsible for lowering blood sugar. ADPS competes with insulin found in the liver that stimulates the body to produce more insulin, helping transport glucose throughout the body and resulting with lower blood sugar levels. APDS also helps promote cardiovascular health by combining with chromium and vitamin B6 to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which lower the risks associated with heart disease and stroke.

Onion Warnings

While onions are perfectly healthy for humans to consume, they are toxic for animals and can result in death. Animals are not able to digest the highly toxic sulfoxides that are found in onions. The consumption of onions by animals results with anemia, stemming from the distortion and rupturing of red blood cells. 

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