66 Views

The health benefits of onions You Need To Know

.

Onions

An introduction to onions…

The humble onion is found in every kitchen, but its curative powers make it an important medicinal plant too. Like garlic, it is a member of the lily family. There can be no doubting the power of the juices contained in onions; anyone who has ever sliced one and shed a tear is only too aware that they hold something special. Quite apart from its medicinal properties the onion is simply delicious. It forms the basis of so many dishes – whether raw, sautéed, baked, steamed or boiled, that it would be difficult to imagine the cuisine of any country without it.

White onionsAncient healing…

Onions were historically as a preventative medicine during epidemics of cholera and the plague. They were apparently eaten by Roman emperor Nero as a cure for colds, and its reputation has made onions a popular component in the diets of many countries.

…The onion’s revenge: The smell of onions can be a problem, both on the hands and on the breath. After chopping onions, try rinsing the hands with cold water, rubbing them with salt, rinsing again and then washing with soap and warm water. To remove the smell from breath, eat a few sprigs of parsley or an apple to help conceal the odour.

Nutritional highlights

More than just a tasty culinary plant, the onion contains natural sugar, vitamins A, B6, C and E, minerals such as sodium, potassium, iron and dietry fibre. In addition, onions are a good source of folic acid.

44 calories 1.4g fibre
100g serving of onions contains

The power of raw…

Raw onionThe reason that the onion is so much more active in its raw state than when cooked, is that it contains a variety of organic sulphur compounds, contained in a volatile oil, that provide the health benefits. These are partly destroyed by heat. When eaten raw, its juice can act as an irritant and some people find it difficult to digest. Those who are not tempted by the idea of eating raw onions can follow simple cooking methods that may make them more palatable. For people with sensitive stomachs, this is a far suitable way to enjoy the healthy benefits of onions. Onions baked in their skins, in a similar way to baked potatoes, are also delicious. This method of cooking keeps all the goodness inside, but the resulting flavour is milder and more aromatic than that of raw onions.

...Red onions: rubbed on warts or verrucas are thought by some to encourage them to disappear. In some Arab countries onions mixed with salt and pepper are applied to the scalp as a remedy for hair loss.

Research

Although not nearly as valued a medicinal agent as garlic, onion has been used almost as widely. Onions have been used in folk medicine for the relief of coughs, colds and catarrh, especially asthma, but more recently some of their curative properties have been attributed to a compound called allyl propyl disulphide, which is thought to have a similar effect to insulin in balancing blood sugar levels. This does not mean that the onion can be used as a substitute for insulin therapy; but it may be of help to those who suffer fromhypoglycaemia. If you suffer from hypoglycaemia consult your doctor if you have any nutritional queries.

ALSO READ  7 Health Benefits Of Drinking Pineapple Water Every Morning

Red onionTypes of onions

Onions differ in the size, colour and taste. Spring onions are grown in warmer climates and have a milder, sweeter taste. Storage onions are grown in colder weather climates and generally have a more pungent flavour and are usually named by their colour: white, yellow or red. Smaller onions come in many types, such as chives, leeks and shallots.

How to select and store

Globe onions should be clean and hard and have dry, smooth skins. Avoid onions in which the seen stem has developed. Also avoid those that show signs of decay. Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from bright light and in a well ventilated area. Those that are more pungent in flavour such as yellow onions, will keep longer than those with a sweeter tastes such as white onions, since the compounds that produce the sharp taste are natural preservatives as well. All onions should be stored away from potatoes, as they will absorb their moisture and ethylene gas, causing potatoes to spoil more easily. Do not store cooked onions in a metal bowl or storage container as this will cause them to discolour. Freezing chopped onions will cause them to lose much of their flavour.

Cry me a river…
…the compound allyl sulphate which is produced when an onion’s ruptured cells are exposed to air is responsible for producing tears. To reduce the production of this compound, chill the onions for half an hour or so before cutting to reduce the activity of the enzyme.

Recipe suggestions

Onions feature as the basis of many classic recipes worldwide. Here are just a few ideas:

Cheese & onion is a partnership not just for crisps:
Easy cheese & onion slice
Cheese & onion pork chops
Caramelised onion & feta pizzas
Cheese & onion soufflé tart

Onion transforms gravy:
Sausages with sticky onion gravy
Sausages with quick onion gravy

Raw onions for the brave and the bold:
Tuna & red onion salad
Tomato & onion salad

Onion soups:
Pea, mint & spring onion soup with Parmesan biscuits
Caramelised onion & barley soup with cheese croutons
Onion soup with herby garlic cheese bread

And let’s not forget the classic onion ring!
Crispy Cajun onion rings

Jo Lewin holds a degree in nutritional therapy and works as a community health nutritionist and private consultant. She is an accredited member of BANT, covered by the association’s code of ethics and practice.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

What You Should Know About The Shaku Shaku Dance
Entertainment
52 views
Entertainment
52 views

What You Should Know About The Shaku Shaku Dance

PH - January 22, 2018

If you’re familiar with Nigerian music,  you’ll have noticed there is a long history of being able to make a hit musically when you have a good…

“I Can’t Hangout With Someone That Doesn’t Eat Amala” – Dj Cuppy
Entertainment
56 views
Entertainment
56 views

“I Can’t Hangout With Someone That Doesn’t Eat Amala” – Dj Cuppy

PH - January 22, 2018

Billionaire Daughter, DJ Cuppy, who recently went on Social media to complain about how she’s been battling with throat pain, has revealed the kind of people that…

See Inside Ex-President Jonathan’s Sitting Room In Abuja That Can’t Accommodate 10 People
Politics
63 views
Politics
63 views

See Inside Ex-President Jonathan’s Sitting Room In Abuja That Can’t Accommodate 10 People

PH - January 22, 2018

A retired Permanent Secretary and an associate of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ambassador Godknows Igali, says the immediate past president may be the poorest former leader in…

See How Jim Iyke Rips Apart A Follower Who Urged Him To Marry
Entertainment
61 views
Entertainment
61 views

See How Jim Iyke Rips Apart A Follower Who Urged Him To Marry

PH - January 22, 2018

Nollywood Actor, Jim Iyke has lashed out at one of his followers who flogged him and urged him to marry asap, as age is not on his…

Simi Adeagbo, First African Female Skeleton Competitor in Winter Olympics featured in Nike’s “Forever First”
Featured
71 views
Featured
71 views

Simi Adeagbo, First African Female Skeleton Competitor in Winter Olympics featured in Nike’s “Forever First”

PH - January 22, 2018

Nike’s new short film ‘Forever First’ celebrates the power and mindset of Simidele Adeagbo, who is Africa’s first ever female athlete to compete in the winter sport…

SEE Photo Of Two Men Arrested With Counterfeit N8Million Cash In Niger State.
Shocking
58 views
Shocking
58 views

SEE Photo Of Two Men Arrested With Counterfeit N8Million Cash In Niger State.

MT - January 22, 2018

Following intelligence at the disposal of the Niger State Police Command in connection with the circulation of money suspected to be counterfeit, the operatives of the Command…

Goodluck Jonathan Is Broke, In Debts Over 2015 Election – Ex Diplomat, Boladei Igali Reveals
Politics
51 views
Politics
51 views

Goodluck Jonathan Is Broke, In Debts Over 2015 Election – Ex Diplomat, Boladei Igali Reveals

MT - January 22, 2018

While speaking during an interactive session with some journalists over the weekend in Abuja, former Career Diplomat and retired Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Godknows Boladei Igali, has said…

Relationship Expert, Joro Olumofin Shares 24 Qualities Of A Wife Material That Got Ladies Talking
Entertainment
58 views
Entertainment
58 views

Relationship Expert, Joro Olumofin Shares 24 Qualities Of A Wife Material That Got Ladies Talking

MT - January 22, 2018

Popular relationship expert, Joro Olumofi, has shared qualities of a wife material on his Instagram page. According to him, for men looking for wives, a lady must…

“Today Is A Very Special Day My Daughter”- Peter Okoye Celebrates Daughter, Aliona As She Turns 5
Entertainment
56 views
Entertainment
56 views

“Today Is A Very Special Day My Daughter”- Peter Okoye Celebrates Daughter, Aliona As She Turns 5

MT - January 22, 2018

Peter Okoye aka Mr. P and Lola Omotayo's daughter, Aliona turned 5-year-old today and the musician celebrated her via his Instagram page. "Today is a very special…

Meet The Soldier Who Ladies Love To Be Around With In Borno State. Photo
Inspiring
58 views
Inspiring
58 views

Meet The Soldier Who Ladies Love To Be Around With In Borno State. Photo

MT - January 22, 2018

An average Nigerian is always scared to come close to a soldier but this down-to-earth soldier who serves in Ngala of Borno – has won the hearts…

Why Rivers People Will Vote For Me In 2019 – Governor Wike
Politics
43 views
Politics
43 views

Why Rivers People Will Vote For Me In 2019 – Governor Wike

PH - January 22, 2018

Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, has said he would never ask people of the state to rig election in his favour. Speaking during a Thanksgiving service…

Inspiring: Meet The Lady Who Makes Furniture With Used Tyres Gotten From Dumpsites. [Photos]
Best of Nigeria
66 views
Best of Nigeria
66 views

Inspiring: Meet The Lady Who Makes Furniture With Used Tyres Gotten From Dumpsites. [Photos]

MT - January 22, 2018

This is really encouraging. Here’s an inspiring photo-story featuring a young entrepreneur who started making waves for herself during her teenage years. The young graduate of the…

Man Who Proposed To His Girl Friend At SARS Headquarters Finally Weds. [Photos]
Best of Nigeria
45 views
Best of Nigeria
45 views

Man Who Proposed To His Girl Friend At SARS Headquarters Finally Weds. [Photos]

MT - January 22, 2018

Last year December, A man proposed to his girlfriend of many years at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. The man proposed…

How Okada Rider Dumped His Wife And Got Married To Police Woman Who Helped Him
Romance and Love
56 views
Romance and Love
56 views

How Okada Rider Dumped His Wife And Got Married To Police Woman Who Helped Him

MT - January 22, 2018

A motorcycle operator identified as Essien has dumped Grace his wife of many years, and married a police woman who showed him love during his travail in…

Herdsmen Killings: ‘Why I’ll Hold Fulani Leaders Responsible For Any Attack’ – Gov. Fayose Sounds Warnings
Politics
82 views
Politics
82 views

Herdsmen Killings: ‘Why I’ll Hold Fulani Leaders Responsible For Any Attack’ – Gov. Fayose Sounds Warnings

MT - January 22, 2018

The outspoken Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has sounded a warning to Serikin Fulani in the state, Muhammed Abashe, that he will be held responsible for…

Seven Banking Ideas For Students
Business
51 views
Business
51 views

Seven Banking Ideas For Students

MT - January 22, 2018

College season is near, which means that millions of freshmen from around the country will leave the snug confines of their childhood home for a room with…

Watch Banky W and Adesua Etomi at their Special Thanksgiving in England
Entertainment
52 views
Entertainment
52 views

Watch Banky W and Adesua Etomi at their Special Thanksgiving in England

PH - January 22, 2018

Arguably one of the biggest events last year, Banky W and Adesua Etomi‘s wedding, #BAAD2017, grabbed headlined for weeks on end in 2017 as the whole nation was practically watching in awe.…

“My Song ‘Science Student’ Is Not Encouraging Drug Abuse” – Olamide Responds To Critics
Entertainment
52 views
Entertainment
52 views

“My Song ‘Science Student’ Is Not Encouraging Drug Abuse” – Olamide Responds To Critics

MT - January 22, 2018

  Following thereactions that his recently released song, “ Science Student,” has sparked; Olamide has made a counter-reaction on Instagram. The musician took to Instagram to correct…

Loading...