The impressive health benefits of onions include their role in substantially treating and preventing a number of diseases including cancer, heart disorders, and diabetes. They also treat the common cold, asthma, bacterial infections, respiratory problems, angina, and cough. Onions are also known to repel bloodthirsty insects too. In other words, you may say that these vegetables are a true gift of nature, even if they make you cry.
What are Onions?
Onions are vegetables, which have the scientific classification of Allium cepa. They contain a number of antioxidant compounds that are very effective in neutralizing the free radicals present in the human body. They have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia.
Onions have been a staple plant in the diet of humans for more than 7,000 years, and during much of that time, they were cultivated. There are still wild species in certain areas of Asia, but overall, onions are a globally grown and cultivated plant. Throughout history, they were worshiped by certain cultures, like the Egyptians, who buried them with their pharaoh. This fascination with onions could have stemmed from their versatility and availability or from their medicinal and beneficial properties.
The antibacterial properties of onion include extensive antifungal applications, which have made it a household name in antifungal relief. Onion plants can be grown in well-drained and moist soil. You can even grow it in your backyard or garden to reap its health benefits. Onions form an important part of many culinary preparations in cuisines around the world and they are also known as ‘companion plants’, which means that they grow well around other vegetables and plants.
Onions have been known to possess curative value since ancient times. Even the World Health Organization confirms that they are beneficial for people with a reduced appetite and those suffering from atherosclerosis. Health experts acknowledge the fact that onions provide great respite for patients with chronic asthma, allergic bronchitis, and common cold-related cough syndromes.
Onions Nutrition Facts
Onions have many valuable medicinal applications because of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds contained in them. These include the presence of sulfuric compounds and quercetin too. These vegetables also contain mineral components such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus, and they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber too.
Health Benefits of Onions
Onion, being such an adaptive plant, is a great source of essential nutrients our body needs. Let’s explore the most valuable and well-known health benefits of onions.
Onions are often used to prevent tooth decay and oral infections. Chewing raw onions for 2 to 3 minutes can potentially kill all the germs present in the oral area and surrounding areas like the throat and lips.
The phytochemicals present in significant amounts in onions act as stimulants for vitamin C within the body. Vitamin C boosts your immune system by fighting against toxins and various foreign bodies that can lead to diseases and illness.
Treat Heart Ailments
Onions act as anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, which prevent the red blood cells from forming clumps. These blocks and clots can lead to heart disorders or cardiovascular diseases.
Onions contain chromium, which is a relatively unusual mineral to be found naturally in food. Chromium helps the body manage blood sugar levels and ensures a slow, gradual release of glucose to the muscles and body cells. Therefore, eating them can help modulate the blood sugar levels, which is vital for diabetic patients.
Used as Insect Repellent
You can apply onion juice to reduce the pain caused by honeybee stings. Fresh onion juice or paste can be used for external applications on insect bites and scorpion stings. The smell of onions also causes insects to flee, which is why they can be used as insect repellents as well as a form of sting treatment.
Onions are rich in active compounds that successfully inhibit the development and spread of cancerous cells. They have a significant amount of quercetin, which is a very powerful antioxidant, consistently linked to the prevention or reduction of the spread of cancer.
Vitamin C, present in onions, is also a strong antioxidant that can reduce the presence and impact of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the chemical by-products of cellular metabolism, and they can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. Therefore, any food rich in antioxidants, which neutralize these free radicals, is beneficial for everyone.
A few drops of onion juice may prove immensely beneficial to individuals suffering from an acute earache. The ringing sound in the ear may be cured by applying onion juice through a piece of cotton wool.
Onion juice mixed with honey or olive oil is said to be the best treatment for treating symptoms or signs of acne. It is also anti-inflammatory in nature, so the active compounds can reduce the redness and swelling that is commonly associated with skin conditions like acne. Onions also help reduce the associated pain and inflammation of conditions like gout and arthritis.
Boost Sexual Drive
Even anemic conditions can be improved by eating onions along with jaggery and water because this adds to the mineral content of the body, especially iron, which is an essential part of producing new red blood cells. Therefore, anemia, also known as iron deficiency, can be prevented by including onion in your diet.
Relieve Stomach Aches
Onions have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can relieve an upset stomach and related gastric syndromes. This is due to the saponins that are found in them. These saponins have anti-spasmodic capabilities, which ensure that stomach disturbances do not continue and that your bowels are clear and smoothly functioning.
Treat Urinary Disorders
According to Peace Health, onions have long been used for treating various diseases such as tumors, persistent cough, and cold. Medical practitioners consider this plant form as a perfect home remedy for relieving various metabolic disorders and diseases. Peace Health further states that onion consumption can even help in the prevention of stomach and breast cancer.
Medical studies have revealed that these sulfuric compounds stop biochemical chain formations that possibly lead to asthmatic conditions. The sulfuric content of onions facilitates the melting of phlegm in a patient suffering from severe coughing. Fresh onion juice is recommended for patients, who have lost consciousness, because of its aroma and inhalant qualities, which can induce immediate vigor and energy.
In terms of the role of onions’ in various culinary delights, they have been used for thousands of years in many food preparations. They are especially used for preparing non-vegetarian food in order to cover up the harsh taste and smell of the meat. These bulb-like vegetables can be consumed raw, pickled in vinegar, fried in oil, baked or boiled.
They are certainly a boon to mankind and while they make us cry sometimes, the multiple health benefits make up for it!