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The Health Benefits of Onions

Normally we think of onions as a tasty way to garnish a hamburger or part of a stir-fry.  Yet, onions have many health benefits too, as explained by the World’s Healthiest Foods.

Onions are a vegetable and belong to the Allium family, which also includes foods such as scallions, chives, and shallots. Originally from central Asia, onions are found all over the world, come in many different colors, and grow as a root vegetable in the ground that produces a bulb. In the United States, California produces the most onions with China, India, Iran, and Turkey being some of the other major world producers.

There are several nutrients in onions, such as:

  • Biotin
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Vitamins B1, B6, C.
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Fiber

There are several health benefits associated with onions. One potential benefit that has been studied in animals is blood clot prevention. This is due to the sulfur content found in onions.  Additionally, this sulfur can help lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels as well.

When we think of sources of vitamin C, we don’t necessarily think of onions. Yet they do contain this important vitamin, which helps protect the RNA and DNA in our bodies. Including onions in your diet each week can also lower your risk of developing certain cancers, such as ovarian, colorectal, and laryngeal cancer. Onions also appear to improve blood sugar levels, more research will reveal more.

The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends removing as little of the outer layers of the onion (minus the papery outermost layer) to get the most health benefit. It also says to keep exposure to heat and cooking time at a minimum as well as minimal exposure to cooking liquids.  This is in order to prevent losing the nutrients in the onions. Cook onions by sautéing with broth in a skillet.

Want to learn more about the health benefits of onions? You can read the full article here:  Onions.