HEALTH BENEFITS OF ONIONS- by Chinyere Eyinnaya

 Onions (Allium cepa), or also known as the bulb onion, is a vegetable that belongs to genus Allium, the same family as chives, garlic, leeks, scallions and shallot. The onions are believed to be originated in central Asia, possibly in the Iran-Pakistan region. Today, they are probably the most widely cultivated species in the lily family, Allium.

Some health benefits of Onions are as given below:

1. Fight Cancer

Onion extract is rich in  a variety of sulfides, which provides some protection against tumor growth. Some studies have showed, regular consumption of onions helps to reduce the risk of several cancers such as colorectal cancer, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, and ovarian cancer. It is suggested to consume one onion serving per day (approximately ½ cup).

2. Cadiovascular Benefits

 The regular consumption of Onion has been shown to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. This is attributed to the sulfur compounds, chromium, and vitamin B6 in onions which helps prevent heart disease by lowering high homocysteine levels, another potential risk factor for attack and stroke.

3. Reduce blood sugar levels

  The regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. A study found out that  onions contain allyl propyl disulfide that helps to reduce the glucose levels by increasing the amount of insulin.

4. 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.

5. Good for Skin

 Onions helps in stimulating the circulation of blood in the mucus membrane. It can be applied as poultice to boils, bruises, wounds, etc. Onions juice mixed with honey also can be best home remedy for acne.

6. Stimulates Hair growth

Onions is rich in sulfur which is one of the essential nutrients in promoting hair growth. A study has shown that applying onion juice on the scalp twice a week for two months will stimulate hair re-growth.

7. Treats Cholera

Onions is  an effective remedy for cholera. Grind about about 30grams of onion with 5-7 black peppers. Have 2-3 times of a mixture a day. On the other hand , this also helps to lessen diarrhea and vomiting.

8. Maintain Bone Health

  A study published in the journal of Agriculture and food Chemistry revealed that Onions also possess the ability of building connective tissue and bone health due to a newly identified substance in it called growth plate chondrocytes (GPC’s). Hence Onions are very beneficial  for women who are at a risk for osteoporosis. There is also evidence to suggest that the risk of hip fracture in menopausal women may be lowered through regular consumption of onions.

9. Remedy for Cold and Flu

Onion is also a great remedy for cold and flu. The native American used them to ward off the common cold and flu. The World Health Organization has even recognized the onion for its ability to help relieve flu symptoms such as coughs, bronchitis, congestion,and respiratory infections.

10. Relieve Tooth Disorders

Recent research shows that onions may kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and other dental problems. chewing a raw onion for two to three minutes could kill all the germs in the mouth. placing a small piece of onion on the  affected tooth or bad tooth can also help in relieving tooth ache.

11. Treat urinary Disorders

Onions has diuretic properties, which are useful in treating urinary disorders. For those suffering from burning sensation during urination, drink water boiled with 6 to 7gm of onion, this may relieve the symptom.

12. Prevents Blood Clot

Onions are considered as  natural anti- clotting agents. The sulfur content in onion can suppress clumping of platelets, thereby help in preventing  blood clot.

13. Improving Digestive Function

 Onions are good source of dietary fibre and prebiotics that encourage the growth of good bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive system, thereby improving digestive function

14. Protect against Allergies

The Onions such as red onions are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant which is known to have  anti- inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. Flavonoid contained in them blocks the allergy creating histamine and other substances. According to a recent study,eye symptoms associated with hay fever are greatly reduced by quercetin. Suggested dosage is 200-400mg thrice a day.

15. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

 The quercetin found in Onions, along with other substances act as anti-inflammatory agent, which reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

When buying Onions, choose the fresh ones that are clean, well shaped, and have no opening at the neck. Avoid those that show sprouting or have signs of black molds as they indicated the items are old. In addition, poor quality bulbs often have soft spots, moisture at the neck, and dark patches, which may all be indications of decay.

           

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s