Onions are very healthy: Here are 3 benefits of onions
Onions are very good for you, and adding this nutrient-packed, aromatic vegetable into your meal rotation is a smart and tasty move. They are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Thanks to its nutritional value, accessibility, and delicious flavor, it's no wonder this versatile bulb is a staple in cuisines across the world and forms the flavor base for a wide variety of dishes.
Walk into your grocery store's produce aisle or stroll through the local farmers market and you'll likely see a plethora of onion options—there are actually 21 different types! Onions are a vegetable species within the genus allium, along with similar aromatic bulbs like garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots.
Here are some of the top nutritional benefits that onions provide. If you're looking for more reasons to pick up an onion or two next time you're at the store, you're in the right place.
Onions help improve heart health.
Eating onions can have a healthy impact on your cardiovascular system. Specifically, research has found that the polyphenol called quercetin that's found in onions helps reduce high blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Darker colored onions, like red onions and chartreuse onions, contain the highest amounts of quercetin. Research from the American Chemical Society has also found that the "tearless onion" can help protect against heart disease.
Onions are rich in antioxidants for immune health, anti-inflammation, and more.
Onions are packed with disease- and free-radical-fighting antioxidants, which help repair and protect damaged cells in your body. They're one of the best sources of flavonoids (including quercetin), phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant properties.
According to a review published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, onions contain at least 25 different flavonols. "Red and yellow onions are richer in those antioxidants than other types of onions. In fact, yellow onions may contain almost 11 times more antioxidants than white onions.
A diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and thwart free-radical damage, which leads to a strong immune system and better overall health.
Onions may reduce cancer risk.
There's been some interesting research conducted on how onions may play an important role in helping to prevent cancer. A study out of the University of Guelph concluded that red onions, specifically, are the most effective at reducing colon and breast cancer cells.
This is once again due to the high levels of quercetin and anthocyanin (another type of antioxidant flavonoid). Another study published in Cancer Prevention Research found that one to seven servings of allium veggies, like onions, is rich in organosulfur and flavonols—compounds that have been found to have tumor-inhibiting components.