What You Didn’t Know About Onions!

Onions is one of the most widely used ingredients in the World today. I for one, can’t cook without adding Onions to my food. The flavour, the aroma and taste it gives to my food cannot be ignored!

Now, besides the use of Onions in cooking, there are other benefits that it provides. Most of these benefits are unknown to its users.

Here are some of those benefits:

1. Improves Heart Health. The flavonoids in red onions can contribute to heart health. Onions are also rich in organosulfurs, which can help prevent heart disease. According to one Argentine study, intake of the organosulfur compounds found in onions can cut the risk of cardiovascular disease. Onions contain thiosulfinates that act as natural blood thinners and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The quercetin in onions also has the potential to fight heart disease. It offers both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote heart health. Onions are also a part of the French Paradox – they are an important part of French cuisine and are thought to be responsible for the low incidences of heart disease among the French despite their high-calorie diet.

Onions can also improve cholesterol levels, and this ultimately benefits the heart. As per a report by the Cambridge University Press, the flavonoids in onions help lower the levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) in obese people.

2. Fights Cancer. Red onions are the most effective in destroying breast and colon cancer cells. These onions have high levels of quercetin and anthocyanin – two compounds that contribute to this characteristic. Onions activate the pathways that provoke the cancer cells to kill themselves. They make the environment unfavorable for cancer cells to communicate, and this inhibits their growth.

It was also found that people with the highest consumption of onions had the lowest cancer rates. As a preventative measure, you can have your burgers garnished with red onions.

3. Prevents Inflammation And Other Allergies. We have already seen quercetin (and other flavonoids) in onions can help prevent inflammation. Onions also treat allergies by preventing the cells from releasing histamine.

Cooking with onions can help open and drain your sinuses. And the antihistamine properties of quercetin can also aid in reducing nasal congestion. Even eating a raw onion at night can help relieve congestion – the sulfur-compounds in the onion can break down the mucous.

Onions also possess antibacterial properties. As per one study, onion extracts acted against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus, the bacteria responsible for dental caries and other allergies. Onions also possess antibiotic effects that can accelerate wound healing.

7. Improve Immune System. Onions contain selenium that stimulates immune function. The mineral also prevents excessive immune response, which can have adverse effects. Immune cells deficient in selenium develop and reproduce inefficiently, and here’s where onions come into the picture. Such cells also have difficulty in producing the important proteins and transporting calcium.

Onions are also considered herbal medicine in Russia, where they are used to treat cold and flu.

8. Cure Ear Disorders. As per one report, though research is limited, most parents swear by onions to cure ear ailments. They insist that onion juice can work great to relieve earache. One way to do this is to heat up the onion, extract some of the juice, and pour a few drops into the infected ear. And this remedy goes back to the 19th century.

All you need to do is place the onion in an oven at 450oF. Let it be for 15 minutes or until it becomes soft. Take out the onion – once it’s cool, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. You can strain the juice once, and using a medicinal dropper, pour a few drops of the juice into your infected ear.

An alternative is to place onion packs on the infected ear. Though the remedy is not scientifically proven, some people believe they might work.

9. Aids Sleep. Onions contain prebiotics, which, as per a study, can improve sleep and even reduce stress. When the beneficial bacteria in the gut digest the prebiotic fiber, they multiply and improve gut health – and more importantly, release metabolic byproducts. These byproducts can influence brain function and induce sleep.

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