Part of the lily family, onions not only add an exquisite flavor to your cooking, but they also have a wide array of medicinal properties that can fight many health issues. The teary eyes they give you are nothing compared to what this powerful vegetable can do for your health. And, best of all, onions are easily available at any grocery store and cost near to nothing.
Possible health benefits of consuming onions
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables are undeniable. Consuming these foods on a regular daily basis can reduce the risk of and even prevent a number of health issues. For instance, several studies have found that increased intake of plant foods like mangoes can reduce the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease, while promoting healthy complexion and hair, more energy, and less body fat.
Cancer: Allium vegetables, like onions, are abundant in organosulfur compounds, which have repeatedly been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancers. Health experts believe that the medicinal properties of onions are mostly due to their high content of organosulfur compounds, which fight free radicals in the body and prevent tumor growth and mutagenesis. Onions also contain plenty of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that counteracts the effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are one of the many causes of cancer development.
Colon cancer: Onions are rich in fiber, and increased consumption of plant fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Prostate cancer: As found in a case-controlled study that examined the linked between allium vegetables and prostate cancer, men with the highest intake of these vegetables had the lowest risk of prostate cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Esophageal and stomach cancer: Allium vegetables have also been found effective in reducing the risk of esophageal and stomach cancer. A number of studies have revealed that alliums have anti-cancer and cancer-fighting properties.
Sleep and mood: Onions are beneficial for fighting depression as well due to their high content of folate, which prevents an excess production of homocysteine in the body. Excess homocysteine not only reduces blood and other nutrient supply to the brain, but also affects the secretion of the hormones of ‘happiness’ – serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which influence your mood, sleep and appetite.
Skin and hair: Good hair and skin quality largely depends on sufficient intake of vitamin C, which is essential for the secretion and maintenance of collagen. Collagen gives structure to skin and hair.
How to incorporate more onions into your diet
Health experts advise to include at least one serving of allium vegetables, such as onions, in your diet on a regular daily basis. If you decide on onions, one-half of a medium-sized onion equals one serving, and including 1-2 medium onions in your cooking will actually make 2-4 servings a day. A couple of onions, numerous health benefits!