Onions

Onion

Onions ★

Onions and Garlic are very close cousins. Some other members of this family include Shallots, Leeks and Scallions. The members of this family are very powerful anti inflammatory foods and excellent cancer fighters. They have been shown to stop cancer growth in the stomach, colon, brain, lung, prostate and breast.7

Onions can help the body absorb iron and zinc from foods.1 Because of this, it may help increase bone density in both pre and postmenopausal women. This is especially helpful for Caucasian and Asian women, who tend to have lower bone densities than women of African American or Hispanic descent.2 The effect may possibly be enhanced when onions are eaten with herbs that have certain essential oils like sage, rosemary and thyme.3

Onions contain a flavaoid called quercetin. Quercetin can improve brain function and lower blood pressure as well as lower the risk for developing atherosclerosis and strokes.5 Interestingly enough, the onion’s skin contains even more quercetin than the part we usually eat. You can simmer the onion with the skin in a soup and then throw away the skin before eating.

onions

Cooking onions releases even more of the quercetin from them but cooking for more than five minutes will begin to break down its nutrients. Red and yellow onions have more flavanoids than white ones.4

It turns out that a combination of flavanoids and quercetin can really help reduce your risk of heart disease. The combination helps keep your arteries healthy while helping to normalize your blood pressure. Apples are a great source of quercetin.

Onions also contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, which has been shown to lower the risk for ovarian cancer.6 In this case, eating the onion raw or lightly cooked is best since kaempferol breaks down easily.

Onions are also a great source of prebiotics. They help boost your immune system by firing up the good bacteria in your gut so they produce more immune boosting compounds for your body.

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Red Onions

These onions have all of the health benefits above. In addition, they are great at lowering your LDL cholesterol levels and helping to lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
 

 

References:

  1. Gautam S, Platel K, Srinivasan K. Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. July 28, 2010;58(14):8426-8429.
  2. Matheson E, Mainous A, Carnemolla M. The association between onion consumption and bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older. Menopause (New York, N.Y.) [serial online]. July 2009;16(4):756-759.
  3. Bicknell K, Priestley C, Williamson E. Natural products as alternative treatments for metabolic bone disorders and for maintenance of bone health. Phytotherapy Research: PTR [serial online]. February 2007;21(2):99-112
  4. The Dr. Oz Show
  5. The Dr. Oz Show
  6. The Dr. Oz Show

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