Health Benefits of Onions (Allium cepa)

When you think of onions, you might not think they are full of nutritional benefits. However, it has become quite obvious that this little vegetable is good for more than just making you cry. Onions have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and can be effective for ailments from atherosclerosis to asthma.

Health Benefits of Onions

No matter red, white, yellow, sweet, or other, onions have some pretty impressive health benefits, which are discussed in detail below.

1. Improve Oral Health

While they may leave a particular odor on your breath, onions are actually effective in preventing tooth decay and oral infections. Since brushing rarely eliminates all of the bacteria in our mouths, chewing on onions for 2-3 minutes on a regular basis isn’t such a bad idea.

2. Cardiac Support

Onions have the ability to thin the blood and prevent clots. This anticoagulant property of onions reduces your chance of suffering from deep-vein thrombosis, a heart attack, or a stroke.

3. Diabetic Aid

Chromium is an important mineral needed to regulate blood sugar naturally. Fortunately, chromium is found in onions and helps your body regulate the release of glucose throughout the body. Especially if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, try incorporating onions into your diet more often to keep your blood sugar where it should be.

4. Rich in Iron

Iron is a crucial mineral that many of us don’t get enough of. When someone consistently does not get enough iron, they are considered to be anemic (usually temporary and can easily be rectified). To prevent and treat anemia, incorporate more onions into your diet, as onions are rich in iron, among other vitamins and minerals.

5. Fights Cancer

Onions contain compounds that are able to prevent and stop the growth of cancer cells. One of these compounds is called quercetin, which is found in high amounts in onions and has been linked numerous times to slowing the spread of cancer. Onions also contain antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body, reducing the damage that they can cause to our cells.

6. Ear Pain

A tried and true remedy for an earache requires just a few drops of fresh onion juice to relieve the pain.

7. Improves Appearance of Skin

Onion juice can be a powerful ingredient for treating acne. Simply combine some onion juice with a little bit of honey or olive oil and apply to the affected area; leave on overnight (if you can) or for about 1 hour and then rinse off. Onions have long been recognized for their anti inflammatory properties, which is important when fighting acne.

8. Cough Suppressant

Drinking some onion juice mixed with honey and a dash of lemon can soothe a sore throat and reduce the urge to cough.

9. Soothes the Stomach

Onions can reduce inflammation in the GI tract, therefore reducing bloating, cramps, and upset stomach. Onions also contain saponins, which ensure smooth sailing within your bowels.

10. Insect Repellant

While this may seem to be an odd perk, it is true that onions will discourage certain insects to come near you. Onions are also used to treat various stings and bites, such as bee stings and scorpion stings; simply apply fresh onion juice or paste to the area that was bitten/stung.

As one can see, onions can deliver some powerful health benefits. In addition to the benefits listed above, onions are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, fiber, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6. Try adding onions to your sandwiches, sauces, or salads as often as possible to start reaping the many benefits derived from consuming onions.


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