One of the absolute best smells in the world has to be when someone is sautéing up a pan of onions! Admittedly, our breath may not smell all that nice after we’ve eaten said onions, but whatever we ate was most likely delicious!
Onions are one of the most used vegetables on the planet. We know they add flavor to pretty much any dish. But most people don’t know that onions also offer some pretty amazing health benefits.
Here are 6 reasons you may want to start eating more onions this year:
- They’re Loaded with Nutrients
Did you know that onions are what is called “nutrient-dense?” This means they are low in calories but offer a lot in the way of vitamins and minerals. Onions are particularly high in vitamin C, which is important for keeping your immune system humming. Vitamin C is also necessary for collagen production, tissue repair and iron absorption.
Onions also contain a lot of B vitamins, including folate, which play important roles in metabolism, red blood cell production and nerve function. And finally, onions also boast high amounts of potassium, a nutrient important for regulating blood pressure.
2. Good for Your Heart
Onions are loaded with antioxidants, like quercetin, that help decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of developing heart disease. In addition, some of the anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce blood pressure and protect against blood clots.
One study following 70 overweight people with high blood pressure discovered that a dose of 162 mg a day of quercetin-rich onion extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3–6 mmHg compared to a placebo.
Another study of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) found that eating large amounts of raw red onions a day for 8 weeks reduced their total “bad” LDL cholesterol.
3. Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds
Onions, along with garlic, belong to the allium genus of vegetables. These have long been linked to a lower risk of developing certain cancers such as stomach and colorectal. In fact, a review of 26 studies found that those individuals that consumed the highest amount of allium vegetables were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Another review published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that participants with the highest onion intake had a 15% reduced risk of colorectal cancer compared to those with the lowest intake.
It is believed that the cancer fighting properties in garlic and onions are because of the sulfur compounds (the stuff that makes garlic and onions stink) along with their rich flavonoid content.
4. Good for Bone Density
If you’re like a lot of people who are “getting up there in age,” you probably focus on eating a lot of dairy foods to ensure you get enough calcium each day for strong healthy bones. But there are actually many foods that are good for bone density, and onions are one of them.
A study published in the journal Food & Function reported that in 24 middle-aged women and postmenopausal women, those who consumed 3.4 ounces of onion juice each day for eight weeks saw improved bone mineral density compared to the control group.
Another study in 507 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women found that those who ate onions at least once a day had a 5% greater overall bone density than individuals who ate them once a month or less. This study also found that older women who most frequently ate onions decreased their risk of hip fracture by more than 20% compared to those women who never ate onions.
5. Good for Digestive Health
If you want optimal gut health, you’ve got to make sure to eat enough fiber and prebiotics. Prebiotics are a source of nondigestible fiber that are broken down by beneficial gut bacteria. It so happens that onions are an excellent source of both fiber and prebiotics.
Gut bacteria feed on prebiotics and create short-chain fatty acids — including acetate, propionate and butyrate. Research has shown that these short-chain fatty acids strengthen gut health, boost immunity, reduce inflammation and enhance digestion.
Studies have also shown that a diet high in prebiotics may help to improve the absorption of important minerals like calcium. So again, eating onions can help that bone density.
6. Help Control Blood Sugar
And finally, eating onions may be a natural way to help control your blood sugar. A study of 42 people with type 2 diabetes found that eating 3.5 ounces of fresh red onion reduced fasting blood sugar levels by roughly 40 mg/dl after four hours. Numerous animal studies with diabetic rats have also found that eating onions may benefit blood sugar control.
Those are 6 compelling reasons to start eating more onions and to start carrying around more breath mints!
By the way, if you’re looking for more natural ways to not only manage your type 2 diabetes but completely REVERSE the disease, then you will DEFINITELY want to take a few moments to watch the following video where you’ll meet one doctor who has helped countless patients completely reverse their type 2 diabetes.