Onions (Allium cepa) belong to the lily family, the same family as garlic, leeks, chives, scallions and shallots.There are over 600 species of Allium, distributed all over Europe, North America, Northern Africa and Asia. The plants can be used as ornamentals, vegetables, spices, or as medicine. Onions have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes since prehistoric times. The role of onions in your daily diet certainly depends on taste preferences, but they’re worth including for more reasons than flavor. Onions provide vitamin C and plant-based chemicals with a variety of health benefits.
They are excellent sources of sulfuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.
Here are some of its amazing benefits:
Onions contain a number of sulfides similar to those found in garlic which may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. In India, communities that never consumed onions or garlic had blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels substantially higher, and blood clotting times shorter, than the communities that ate liberal amounts of garlic and onions. Onions are a rich source of flavonoids, substances known to provide protection against cardiovascular disease. Onions are also natural anticlotting agents since they possess substances with fibrinolytic activity and can suppress platelet-clumping. The anticlotting effect of onions closely correlates with their sulfur content.
Regulates blood sugar
Onions are good for people who have diabetes. The sulfur compound called allyl propyl disulfide in onions helps increase insulin production and lower blood glucose levels in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, onion juice contains trace amounts of chromium, which helps improve the body’s glucose tolerance level.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food confirmed the antidiabetic effect of onions in diabetic rats. Onion extracts were found to be effective for lowering plasma glucose concentrations and body weight.
Diabetic people should include red onions regularly in their diet.
Soothe a sore throat
Onions have strong anti-inflammation properties and also act as a natural antibiotic. They also contain quercetin, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Onions are thus very helpful for a sore throat. To treat a sore throat with onions, chop six onions and place in a double boiler with 3/4 cup honey. Let heat for 2 hours. Strain and sip on the solution regularly throughout the day.
Enhances skin and hair health
The skin and hair derive their structure from a component called collagen. The phytochemicals in onion can help increase the intake of vitamin C in the body. The result is enhanced immunity. The presence of chromium in onion can help regulate blood sugar levels. Down the history, onion has been used to heal infections and reduce swellings.
Promotes gastrointestinal health
Onions packed with enormous flavonoids, these flavonoids help to reduce the risk of colon cancer. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in animals and to protect colon cells from the damaging effects of certain cancer-causing substances.
Manages good oral health
Onion is infamous for causing bad breath but they are also effective against tooth decay and for fighting against oral infections. As strange as it may sound but it has been found that chewing raw onion slices for 2 to 3 minutes can potentially kill all the germs of the oral area like teeth and gums, and also from the surrounding places like throat and lips.