The onion is to be found in every kitchen, but for me it’s far more than that. I can’t imagine life without onions. I can crave onions as much as I can crave my healthy chocolate creations. But did you know that onions are not only delicious, but also an important medicinal plant too?
Onions used to be a preventative medicine during epidemics of cholera and the plague. They were apparently eaten by Roman emperor Nero as a cure for colds. Ever since onions are a popular food in the diets of many countries. Onions go back at least 3,500 years making them one of the oldest of cultivated plants.
To date, onions have shown their beneficial properties.
I would not know how to cook without onions, but besides being a kitchen staple, onions are a world-class (cheap) superfood. We’re probably way too much used to it to label it a superfood or maybe most of us don’t like raw onions? Because compared with high-quality foods such as red wine and green tea, the onion offers great benefits for both the prevention and treatment of multiple common diseases. Onions act also as a powerful antibiotic and are helpful in reducing food-borne illnesses.
Hundreds of scientific studies published show that onions are highly protective for our nerves and the cardiovascular system (even better than red wine) and they enhance immune function, help to promote healthy hormone function and much more. Onions lowers cholesterol, inhibits hardening of the arteries, enhances elasticity of blood vessels and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Polyphenols are plant compounds known for their disease prevention, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties. Onions have a particularly high concentration, with more polyphenols than garlic, leeks, tomatoes, carrots, and red bell peppers.
Onions are especially rich in polyphenol flavonoids called quercetin. Quercetin is an antioxidant that may prevent histamine release—making quercetin-rich foods “natural antihistamines.” As reported by The World’s Healthiest Foods:
“…on an ounce-for-ounce basis, onions rank in the top 10 of commonly eaten vegetables in their quercetin content. The flavonoid content of onions can vary widely, depending on the exact variety and growing conditions.
Although the average onion is likely to contain less than 100 milligrams of quercetin per 3-1/2 ounces, some onions do provide this amount. And while 100 milligrams may not sound like a lot, in the United States, moderate vegetable eaters average only twice this amount for all flavonoids (not just quercetin) from all vegetables per day.”
The onion contains natural sugars, vitamins A, B6, C and E and minerals such as sodium, potassium, iron and fibre. In addition, onions are a good source of folic acid. And so much more…
Do you also like to eat onions? Raw or baked? I would love to know!
photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)