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The Health Benefits And Nutrition Of Onions And Growing Your Own
Onions are a perfect addition to so many dishes that you must have some in your home at all times. They will keep for several weeks before germinating and are extremely healthy for you. The best part about onions is that they are easy to grow and you can grow a nice row of them in your garden, harvesting them as they grow or all at once depending on your needs. Onions are best stored in a cool, dry place where you can use them for a long time.
Onions are related to green onions, chives, leeks and garlic and belong to the Allium family of vegetables. They have been grown in gardens for many centuries where they have been used both for their medicinal properties and for cooking.
Types of onions
There are several types of onions. There are green onions, in which the onion and the offshoots themselves are used in cooking. There are also yellow onions, purple onions, red onions, white onions and leeks.
They can have a mildly sweet flavor or a spicy, tangy, pungent flavor, depending on the variety and when you harvest them in the year. Young onions tend to be sweeter, so if you like that, select the youngest onions possible.
Health Benefits of Onions
Onions are so ubiquitous in the kitchen that it’s hard to remember that they can also be used for their medicinal properties. Here are the best health benefits of onions:
Onions are low in calories, so you can eat plenty of them without gaining weight.
Onions are full of fiber to aid your digestion and make it easier to pass stool.
They contain about 15 grams of plant carbohydrates per onion and no raw sugar.
Onions do not contain fat.
Onions do not contain cholesterol.
They contain several types of minerals, including iron, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Onions are high in antioxidants, including sulfur and quercetin.
They are known to improve mood when consumed and are healthy for your hair and skin.
They reduce the risk of colon cancer.
As an Allium vegetable, onions can fight obesity and help you live longer.
Since they have no cholesterol, eating onions, whether scallions or bulbous onions, can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
You can gain energy by eating onions, whether cooked in a dish or eaten raw in a salad.
It is the organosulphur components of onions that reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer. They inhibit cancer by several different methods. They can prevent the formation of oxygen free radicals by being a powerful antioxidant. They can directly block tumor growth and prevent normal cells from mutating into cancer cells.
Onions are rich in vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. Antioxidants are important for cellular health because they can stop the cascade of oxygen free radicals that occur as part of cellular metabolism. Oxygen free radicals end up damaging many molecules in the cell unless neutralized by an antioxidant.
Your skin and other tissues that depend on the presence of healthy collagen need the vitamin C found in onions to stay healthy. Use vitamin C-rich onions in your salads or other dishes for better connective tissue health.
The Power of Allium Vegetables
Onions seem to have a preventive effect against prostate cancer. Men who ate many Allium vegetables such as onions have the lowest chance of developing prostate cancer. The same goes for Allium intake and esophageal and stomach cancer. Animal and human studies have indicated that Allium vegetables inhibit tumor growth and reduce the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer.
Folic acid for mood and sleep
Onions have a beneficial effect on your mood and sleep patterns. This is because onions are high in folic acid, which is known to reduce the risk of depression by lowering homocysteine levels in the body. Too much homocysteine is known to interfere with the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, all of which are essential for preventing depression. Your appetite improves when these neurotransmitter/hormone levels are elevated.
Where is the best place to get onions?
Onions, like many vegetables, are most nutritious when freshly picked and you can’t really say the same for the green or bulbous unions you find at the store. This means it’s best to start your own organic garden, incorporating a row of onions that you can pick throughout the season.
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