When it comes to flavour and health benefits, the humble onion delivers the goods.
Onions are highly nutritious and have been associated with several benefits, including improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and increased bone density.
Though all vegetables are important for health, certain varieties offer unique benefits.
Onions are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives.
These vegetables contain various vitamins, minerals, and potent plant compounds that have been shown to promote health in many ways.
In fact, the medicinal properties of onions have been recognized since ancient times, when they were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease, and mouth sores.
There are specific areas where onions make other vegetables weep with envy.
Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.
One medium onion has just 44 calories but delivers a considerable dose of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
This vegetable is particularly high in vitamin C, a nutrient involved in regulating immune health, collagen production for tissue repair, and iron absorption.
Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body, protecting your cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Onions are also rich in B vitamins, including folate and vitamin B6 — which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production, and nerve function.
Lastly, they’re a good source of potassium, a mineral which many people are lacking.
2. Heart health
Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides, and reduce cholesterol levels — all of which may lower heart disease risk.
Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.
Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that’s highly concentrated in onions. Since it’s a potent anti-inflammatory, it may help decrease heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure.
Onions have also been shown to decrease cholesterol levels.
3. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a process that leads to cellular damage and contributes to diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Onions are an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, they contain at least 17 different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants.