Onions are a wonderful food, and raw or cooked, they can add so much flavor and nutrition to virtually any meal you whip up. There are many varieties of onions, including red, yellow, white, sweet and tangy or sharp and savory. All of these have some key things in common: they’re delicious, nutritious and above all, great for your health!
The Health Benefits of Onions
Onions have a variety of known health benefits. They are a major source of polyphenols and flavonoids which act as powerful antioxidants. They protect cells and body against damage caused by free radicals.
Onions are heart-healthy, good for regulating blood sugar, and have anti-inflammatory properties that make them useful on many levels. They’ve also been shown to lower the risk of some forms of cancer, making onions one of nature’s bona fide miracle foods.
Cardiovascular benefits – The acrid smell of the onion is due to its sulfur content—and this sulfuric aspect is what lends the onion its heart-health benefits. The sulfur in onions helps prevent blood clotting problems, making it one of nature’s blood thinners. Onions are also great for cholesterol management and lowered triglycerides in animal studies.
Anti-inflammatory properties – The sulfuric nature of onions wins again with regard to reducing inflammation. A key component in the bulbous portion of onions called “Onionin A” has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal diet addition for those who wrestle with inflammation issues on a regular basis. You can also add more foods that reduce inflammation to your daily nutrition.
Blood sugar regulation – Onions are high in the mineral chromium, which plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. In a 2010 study published in Environmental Health Insights, scientists found that the blood glucose levels of the study participants was significantly lowered for several hours after consuming a serving of red onion. You can find more foods to control blood sugar levels in my article about the best foods to control type 2 diabetes.