You don’t see too many people eating into a raw onion like you would an apple, but it wouldn’t be too farfetched if you found out about the health benefits. Onions have several different types, though the ones that we see most commonly are the Spanish onion and the yellow onion. No matter what type of onion you are eating, you can get some of those health benefits. Even if you’re eating them on top of other foods, onions are going to help you tremendously.
People tend to not think about the benefits that they can get from eating onions, instead focusing on the texture and the taste. You might need some gum to get rid of the scent of onions on your breath after eating them, you’ll likely get a craving for onions when hearing what they can do for your body. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional value, and the health benefits you get from adding onions to your diet.
Nutrition of Onions
For an entire cup of sliced onions, you won’t be getting a lot of calories with just 46 in an entire serving. Onions carry a small amount of protein, while also giving you around 10 percent of your daily recommendation of fiber. Even though onions aren’t high in one particular vitamin or mineral, you can find just about every one of them in some capacity. Vitamin C is the most abundant, making up 14 percent of your daily recommendation. Manganese and vitamin B6 are also significant, with seven percent of your daily value.
The others that are present and in smaller amounts include thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, magnesium and potassium. You can even find some omega-3 fatty acids in small amounts. You’ll be getting almost no fat at all in each serving of onions, and no cholesterol. What’s interesting is that instead of cholesterol, there are 17 grams of phytosterols.
With diabetes becoming a much more common problem in today’s society, many of us have taken to monitoring our blood sugar and avoiding foods that could damage that balance. Onions are a great way to go, as they contain a lot of bioton. Biotin has been shown to help your body regulate blood sugar, and increase the insulin in your body.
Controlling your blood sugar helps you avoid a lot of health problems down the road. Everything from weight management to heart health is linked directly to your body’s blood sugar and insulin. Onions are toward the bottom of the glycemic index list, so even if you already have diabetes, you can see a huge benefit from eating them more often to help control blood sugar levels.
When you think of vitamins, you probably think of fruits that can help produce a lot of vitamin C in your body. After seeing the nutritional value of onions, you now know that even onions have a solid vitamin C count. Increasing your vitamin C level boosts your immune system (which you probably already knew), allowing you to prevent and get through a lot of minor diseases much easier.
Vitamin C isn’t the only thing found in onions that can help your immune system. Phytochemicals also give your immunity a boost. If you are looking to through an illness faster, onion juice gets you all the nutrients that you need. It might not taste the best, but if you hate having a sore throat or fever, you just have to suck it up and take a swig of onion juice.
Onions have many layers (as we learned in the movie “Shrek”), just like your brain. You have to take good care of your brain throughout your entire life, and eating onions can actually do that. Onions are known to have a flavonoid called quercetin, which helps regulate the amount of cortisol in your system. So what is cortisol exactly? It’s the hormone that is released when you are feeling stressed, and too much can do some long term damage to your body.
Not only can it help you to relax, but onions can even help those that suffer from epilepsy. Studies have shown that black onion seed are related to a reduced amounts of seizures in epileptics. The same seeds can also prevent lead poisoning in the brain by attacking lead through the power of thymoquinone.
Good For the Heart
Your heart is just as important as your brain, and onions give you a benefit in both departments. Onions are filled with anti-inflammatory properties (that can even help alleviate joint pain), which is beneficial for your blood stream. Onions have been shown to help you raise the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol in your bloodstream, tearing away at plaque buildups.
In turn, you will be able to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Onions are a natural blood thinner, as well, which can reduce your blood pressure. When your cholesterol and blood pressure are at normal levels, you are much less susceptible to heart disease and heart attacks.
You might not be in a rush to pour onion juice all over your skin, but eating onions can help your skin look better. Onions contain biotin (which we touched on earlier) that has the ability to help your skin, hair and nails. However, you might have to grab the onion juice if you want to get over a sunburn or insect bite. The antioxidant properties can help your skin get back to normal much faster. It will sting and smell for a little bit, but you’ll thank yourself the next day when your skin is cleared up.
Summing it Up
When it comes to the negatives of eating onions, the obvious thing that people always think about is what it does to your breath. While the breath problem is temporary and can be wiped away with some mouthwash or brushing your teeth, you might get actual bad breath from eating too many onions. Because of the fructose in onions, eating them too much can cause intestinal discomfort that creates heartburn and too much gas, which in turn makes for bad breath.
Some minor digestive problems and temporary bad breath are the only things you really have to worry about with onions, though, unless you happen to have allergies or drugs that interact with onions. Other than that, you are pretty much free to eat onions whenever you want, even if the chance that you won’t be eating them raw is pretty high. They make for a great addition to any meal, so add more onions to your diet today!