The Health Benefits of Onions

I’m obsessed with onions. And there’s a good reason:  not only do they bring lots of flavor to my food, but also onions are chock full of health benefits.  Although they may make me cry in the kitchen, they are my best friends. Here’s why.

Onions and the heart
The more onions in a person’s diet, better signs of cardiovascular health and anti-heart disease factors were seen in their blood. Eating raw onions increases levels of HDL cholesterol, considered the “good” type of cholesterol. Even a small amount of onion daily can drop total blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides. They can also lower blood pressure. Onions, cooked or raw, serve to work as an anticoagulant, preventing unwanted blood clots and thinning the blood.

Onions and detoxification of the body
Organic sulfur compounds in onions can be used to detoxify the body, especially heavy metals, like mercury. The Vitamin C in onions can remove the lead, arsenic and cadmium from the body.

Onions and cancer
The stronger flavored onions, such as New York bold and western yellow, contain more antioxidants than other onion types, which provide additional benefits. Preliminary studies have shown that these types of onions can eliminate free radicals, which have been known to increase our susceptibility to diseases, especially cancer. In a test tube study, onion extract destroyed tumor cells and in another study implementing rats, stopped tumor cell growth.

Onions and bones
Studies with rats have shown that onions help maintain and can even increase our bone density.  This is especially good news for those women suffering from bone density loss while in the menopausal age. The sulfur in onions helps in the production of the connective tissues, tendon and cartilage. Tendons are particularly important as they attach bones to muscles. Onions are also a great source of flavonoid polyphenols, which aid in the increased production of oesteoblasts, or bone-building cells.

Other onion health benefits
The chromium in onions regulates and lowers blood sugar, while prolonging the life span of insulin. It has also been known to treat asthma by helping to relax the bronchial muscle. Due to the presence of allicin and the flavonoid quercetinin in onions, they contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti fungal properties. The antimicrobial qualities on onions have been seen to prevent bacterial infections related to gum disease and tooth cavity formation. To see the anti-inflammatory properties of onions in action place onion juice or raw slices on a bee sting or minor kitchen burn and it will stop the swelling and reduce the pain.

Onion magic at work. Now that you’ve been informed on the wonderful benefits of onions, try to eat some daily!