Onions—you either like them or you hate them. Well, the jury is in and according to a 2010 Business Wire survey, 87 percent of American adults like them!
While there are many types of onions—sweet, Spanish, yellow, white, red, to name a few—in general, onions are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Onion Are Made Of…
Some might even say that it’s the onion you should be eating every day to “keep the doctor away.”
Onions are also very rich in polyphenols, which play an important role in preventing and reducing the progression of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, as well as various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
In fact, onions contain more polyphenols than garlic or leeks. These polyphenols also play a huge role in increasing the ratio of beneficial bacteria in your gut—which we now understand from studies to be significant for your overall health, weight, and immune system.
The Power of Onions
One of the major health components in onions is the flavonoid quercetin.
Studies show that quercetin is not only a powerful antioxidant with significant anti-inflammatory properties, but it can also help prevent and treat chronic diseases such as heart disease and even cancer.
According to studies conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, quercetin is also shown to help prevent the release of histamine—chemical in your body that causes allergic reactions, which makes onions the perfect natural antihistamines (1).
In addition, onions are shown to:
1. Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth
According to the National Onion Association, onions are considered a dietary anti-carcinogen.
“In a review on the effects of quercetin…persons in the highest consumption category versus the lowest had a 50 percent reduced risk of cancers of the stomach and alimentary and respiratory tracts.” (2)
In addition, another study showed that onions are full of organic sulfurs, which are known to inhibit a variety of cancers (3).
2. Regulate Diabetes
Research suggests that onion extract can lower high blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels.
3. Prevent Ulcers
Eating onions may prevent gastric ulcers by scavenging free radicals and by preventing the growth of Heliobacter pylor (H-pylori)—an ulcer-forming microorganism.
4. Improve Oral Health
Onions are often used to prevent tooth decay and oral infections. Chew raw onion for 2 to 3 minutes and the natural antibacterial properties in onions will kill any germs in your mouth and throat.
5. Boost Immunity
The phytochemicals in onions supercharge your immune system against toxins and various foreign bodies that can lead to disease and illness (4).
6. Treat Respiratory Issues
Raw onion mixed with honey and brown sugar and set overnight, will form a powerful syrup. After 24 hours, remove the onion and you are left with a powerful cough syrup that will help reduce phlegm and congestion.
7. Stop Nose bleeds
Cut a slice of raw onion and put directly under your nose—the acrid fumes from the onion will help to clot the blood. And thus stop the bleeding.
You can also soak cotton balls in onion juice and place one in your nostrils for 3-4 minutes and the bleeding should stop.
8. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Quercetin in onions has been shown in studies to helps to eliminate free radicals, inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation—a significant reaction in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and coronary heart disease.
It also helps to protect and regenerate vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant known to be beneficial for heart health.
9. Detoxify Your Body
The high levels of sulfur-containing amino acids in onions have a powerful detoxifying effect on the body, according to Dr. James J. Slaga, author of The Detox Revolution.
Studies show that these compounds, called organosulfides, form glutathione, a powerful antioxidant your liver uses for detoxification purposes.