Love them or hate them, onions are everywhere. Although they are not often eaten alone, they are used to embellish or add flavor to an incredible array of foods. Preparing onions can be a little difficult due to their strong odor and ability to make the eyes water, but that’s just more evidence of the onion’s potency when it comes to fighting disease and improving health. For those that don’t care for the taste of onion, it can often be added to a recipe and not even noticed, particularly after being cooked. These are some of the health benefits onions have to offer.
1. Bug Killer
As both the strong taste and odor indicate, onions are pretty potent, and when it comes to the world of germs, onions are a powerful ally. Onions have antimicrobial properties that can kill off bacteria and viruses which may be helpful in keeping infections at bay.
Onions provide the body with a number of essential nutrients including vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, and sulphur. Onions also contain a lot of fiber and very low in fat and sodium.
3. Blood Sugar
Maintaining the proper blood sugar level is extremely important if you want to avoid diabetes. Onions contain a compound known as allyl propyl disulphide, which is what gives them that strong odor and can make tears stream down your cheeks when you cut them. The plus side to this compound is that it also helps lower blood sugar. Onions also contain chromium which is key to helping the body’s cells respond to glucose.
4. Heart Health
Eating onions can also improve cardiovascular health through their ability to help lower blood pressure and cut cholesterol. Both the allyl propyl disulphide and chromium contribute to the onion’s ability to improve heart health.
5. Cancer Fighter
With cancer responsible for the loss of so many lives, it’s worth paying attention to anything that might help prevent it. Onions have among their ingredients something called quercetin along with other flavonoids that act as antioxidants that can protect cells from damage that can result in cancer. Beyond the potential of just preventing cancer, quercetin has actually demonstrated the ability to stop the growth of tumors.
6. Bee Stings
Although this is probably not a use for onions that rivals the cancer-preventing or blood sugar-lowering properties of onions, this might be a useful tip for people who experience stings from bees, wasps, hornets or other stinging insects. Simply squeeze a little juice from a freshly-cut bit of onion and put it on the area of the sting and enjoy relief from the accompanying pain and swelling.
7. Immune System
Onions contain those amazing little compounds that are known as phytochemicals. They are available only in plant-derived foods, and can help vitamin C’s ability to charge up the immune system and better fight off all manners of infections and diseases.
8. Healthy Skin
Onions are a great weapon in the fight against aging. They contain vitamins A, C and E, which can help reduce the effects of UV rays on the skin, and protect skin cells from damage done to them by free radicals. Some people even apply fresh onion juice directly to the skin, and claim that it helps keep them looking more radiant and youthful.