It is not unusual to come across a vegetable that can satisfy all of your taste buds. However, it is rare to find one that can cater not only to the flavor and aroma of any of your dishes. And, yes, we are talking about onions.

As recently mentioned, if there is one vegetable that you can use in a variety of dishes, then that’s onion. It goes well and even elevates its taste to another level. 

Onions are perfect for cooking and for preventing diseases

Onion is not only famous for its taste, it is well known for its strong smell and if you cut it, it can make you fall into tears. Moreover, it has many other health benefits that are mostly unknown to a lot of people.

In this article, we will introduce to you the benefits of eating onion and how it can fight certain diseases to keep you healthy. 

Popular onion dishes to try for a healthier and more natural diet

Who says onions are only for flavoring and cannot be a main ingredient? 

There are various ways to prepare onions. It can be consumed raw, boiled, sauteed or even fried depending on how you like it. Since onion has been used for almost all dishes, at some point, it may start to feel bland and boring. 

To help you enjoy onion even more, we have listed other creative ways on how to prepare it. These onion dishes will surely spice up your meals that even the people who don’t like them will surely love. 

  • Creamed pearl onions
  • French onion soup
  • Baked vidalia onions
  • Green onion rolls
  • Onion kugel
  • Fried onions and apples
  • Onion Pie

Different types of onions you should know

Onions, similar to garlic, chives and leeks, belong to the same family of plants called Allium. Vegetables that belong to this family are known for its medicinal properties and strong pungent smell. 

Onions have been widely used so that virtually everything on the planet can add vegetables to the dish. It’s no secret that onions come in many varieties, and here we discuss some common types.  

  • Yellow onions 

Don’t know which onion to pick for your dishes? Then yellow onion is your best option. 

This type of onions are ivory white with thick brown skin that have an intense sulfury smell. What makes this onion a best pick is its versatility and balance of spiciness and sweetness.

  • Sweet onions 

If you are the type of person who hates the strong flavors of onions, this onion is a vegetable that you may like. Unlike other types of onion, sweet onions are lighter with softer skin.

Obviously, sweet onions are called by this name due to its high sugar content. It is a perfect ingredient to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite dishes like caramelized onions.

Compared to other onions, which can be stored for months, this type should be consumed immediately after harvest.

Here are some of the sweet onion varieties that you can purchase on you local grocery stores:

  • Vidalia
  • Bermuda
  • Maui
  • Walla Walla
  • White onions

White and yellow onions look the same but they are completely different. So don’t get confused. 

Compared to yellow onion, this variety has a much distinct spicy flavor and scent. Yellow onions also have a paper-white skin. It is commonly used for tacos, salsa, burgers and sandwiches.  

  • Red onions 

Red onions is one of the most famous varieties on this list. It is high in anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that is also responsible for its red color.

These sweet and mild vegetables have a good taste for raw consumption. Its surface and exterior skin are deep magentas. 

Red onions are crispier which makes it a great addition to salads, pizzas and tacos.

  • Pearl onions 

Pearl onions are the smallest type of onion that you can find. This type is significantly small in size which is around 1-4cm.  It is commonly known as button onion, picklers, baby onions, cocktail onion whatever you want to call it.

These tiny onions often come in a mild, less pungent and sweet flavor compared to normal sized onions. Pearl onions are juicy and have a crisp texture.

This onion is a great addition for soups and stews. Just don’t forget to cleanly peel them.

Nutritional value

If you are someone who hates eating onions, think again. You might be missing out on its highly nutritional value to boost your protection. It is not often that you can find a vegetable that is highly nutritional and has an exceptional flavor that you can grow at home. 

Onions have good nutritional value and contain a variety of beneficial properties including a reduced risk for cancer.

Onions are among the vegetables that contains a nutritional substance known as quercetin which is known for preventing the activity of cancer. Quercetin is also the compound that is responsible for onion’s sharp and intense flavor.

Onions contain a wide range of essential nutrients needed by the body

So what are the nutrients that you can get when you eat onions? Well, there is actually a lot of it. 

Listed below are some of the nutrient content of a 100g onion:

  • Carbohydrates – Raw and cooked onions contain about 9-10% of this nutrient. Consuming vegetables with carbs is a great source of sugar and fiber to give us energy. 
  • Vitamin C – It’s not just fruits that are a good source of vitamin C, vegetables like onions also contain enough of it. This vitamin is an important antioxidant and keeps our skin and hair healthy.
  • Vitamin B6 – B-vitamins are an essential part of the nutritional value of onion. The vitamin B6 it contains is beneficial for the red blood cells in the body. 
  • Folate – Consuming onion can also provide you another nutrient called folate or vitamin B9. Folate, which naturally occurs in foods, helps regulate cell growth and improve metabolism.
  • Sugar – As we have mentioned in this article, onions also contain sugar – especially sweet onions. Sugars are highly essential for our body as it acts to energize our organs and nervous system to perform its functions. 
  • Fiber – The fiber content of onions vary depending on its type and weight. Typically, you can get as much as 2.6% of fibers. Fibers are an important nutrient in order for the maintenance of your gut. 

Health benefits of Onions

Onion is a bulb plant which is widely known as an ingredient in various types of dishes.  But aside from its ability to add flavor and aroma to the foods we eat, it has a number of health benefits that are worth noting of.

Onions contain sulfur compounds, quercetin, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, potassium, selenium and phosphorus which are essential substances for your nutritional health. For instance, Quercetin is a potent antioxidant which helps to protect you by neutralizing the free radicals that can cause damage to your cells.

This culinary gem also contains anti-bacterial properties which help to fight bacteria that are a major cause of infections. Food with antibacterial properties is beneficial to your health because it treats infections and prevents disease spread.

Here are some of the most common health benefits of onion that you should not miss out:

1. It promotes oral health.

Yes, we know it has a strong odor and flavor that sometimes lingers in your mouth for quite a while. But it is true that onions are beneficial to improve your oral health. 

Similar to your toothpaste, consuming onion, especially raw onion, has the ability to prevent germs that cause cavities. The anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties of onions kill germs that cause tooth decay and oral infections. 

Onions contain sulphides and thiosulfinates which are often used to prevent bacteria build up. These two components also works hand-in-hand to prevent the spread of other harmful diseases (i.e. E. coli and salmonella). 

You can try chewing chopped or sliced raw onions for two to three minutes to kill germs in your mouth. If you prefer a better way, you can try adding onion to salad or sandwich. 

Aside from this, onions offer other benefits as it can also support our oral health by strengthening the teeth. So if you love eating onion, you get to receive an additional layer of protection to your teeth. 

2. It helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Onions are a great source of antioxidants, which is needed by our body to fight free radicals and prevent harmful diseases. 

In fact, it can prevent certain heart related diseases. For instance, eating onions can reduce inflammation, triglycerides and cholesterol levels naturally. 

Onions also contain blood-thinning properties that prevent red blood cells from forming clumps which could block the arteries. It is one of the causes of cardiovascular diseases and other heart ailments.

Moreover, consuming raw onion has higher effects in lowering blood pressure levels. This property is due to the component called Quercetin. 

In a study, it shows that consuming raw onions regularly has shown to significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Onion flavonoids have the ability to lower bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein, which puts a person at risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. It helps to treat cough and sore throat. 

If you are prone to colds and sore throats, onion may be a vegetable you want to have on your shelf. 

Onions are easy to find in any grocery store or store near your home. It has a reasonably long shelf life. So getting some protects you from an unwanted  illness that you can treat right away.

eating onions is a great remedy for colds and sore throat

Onions are naturally rich with flavonoids – known for reducing risk of cancer development and inflammatory diseases. But the health benefits of onions goes beyond this. In fact, it contains vitamin C that is essential in boosting and strengthening the immune system. 

In addition, onions, along with garlic, also contain a compound known as organosulfur.  According to a study, consumption of organosulfur is beneficial to prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Consuming a mixture of onion juice and honey can also bring relief to cough and sore throat.

4. It helps to reduce pain caused by insect bites, bee stings and scorpion stings. 

Got stung by a bee or any insects? Grab an onion, cut it in half and use it.

Onion doesn’t smell pleasant but it can help to relieve the sting you just got. By applying onion juice directly to the area bitten by insects, pain will subside. Although it will not heal completely, it is a great remedy to temporarily ease the itchiness or pain. 

After a few minutes and the pain subsides, don’t forget to wash it. Make sure to also grab an ointment or any other cream to ensure that there you won’t get any infection from the insect bite.

5.  It is good for your bone health

Our bone health is one of the most important to our body. As we all know, bones play a crucial role in the structure of our body. It also protects the organs and, at the same time, provides support to the muscles and stores phosphorus and calcium. 

Without our bones, it will be difficult for us to move from one place to another and participate in physical activities. With that, it is essential for us to consume foods that are high in calcium and other nutrients that will benefit the bone’s health. 

Keep in mind that as we grow older, bones tend to grow weaker. Fortunately, there are a lot of vegetables like onions that can promote good bone health. 

According to a few studies, regular consumption of onion can help in the prevention of bone deterioration and development of osteoporosis

So if you want to have stronger bones, avoid skipping the onions on your meals. It’s really that healthy. 

6. It helps to treat anemic conditions.

As you grow older, you want to keep away from anything or avoid habits that can bring you health problems. Among the many illnesses that your unhealthy habits cause is a condition called anemia.

Anemia is a pretty common health problem that you will often hear. Just so you know, anemia is a condition where a person produces a much lower amount of healthy red blood cells. People with anemia appear to have pale skin and they may feel weak due to the lack of oxygen in their bloodstream.

Before we get down on how onions can help treat anemia, let’s look at some of its causes. 

Causes

Anemia can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the factors that cause anemia that you should be aware of are listed below.

  • Deficiency on iron 
  • Previous cases of infection and blood diseases
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Problems with red blood cell production
  • People aged 65 above are more prone to anemia

Onion has high iron content which makes it a potent agent in preventing and treating anemia. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin or the protein found in red blood cells. This helps in the transportation of oxygen to our lungs and other parts of the body. 

So without iron, it will be difficult for the body to properly carry enough oxygen due to low red blood cells. By eating onions and drinking water laced with whole cane sugar, anemic conditions can be improved.

7. It contains anti-inflammatory properties

There are harmful viruses everywhere. As a result, it is critical that we eat nutritious foods and vegetables that can provide us with an extra layer of protection and keep us from contracting it.

We experience inflammation when we are infected with bacteria, germs, or viruses. It is our body’s natural response in order to fight and prevent them. Fortunately onions are rich in components that have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Anti-inflammation can help with stomach upset and gastric pains. Simply put, eating onions allows us to maintain and properly regulate our digestive health. According to Gaucher Disease, improved gut health is also important for reducing inflammation in our bodies.

8. It helps to treat urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) frequently occurs when a bacteria enters the urethra. When this happens, it causes urinary irritation, which causes a burning sensation in the person.

So how do onions relate to UTI? Well, other than onion being rich in various essential nutrients, it is also rich in water. And we all know that water is essential for us to naturally flush out the toxins in our system. 

With the water content in onions, along with its antibacterial and inflammatory properties, you can expel the harmful bacteria and substances that cause the infection. Drinking water boiled with six to seven grams of onion can help to treat people who are suffering from a burning sensation during urination.

Onions can also be used as prebiotics to improve your gut health. Improved digestive health is also necessary to prevent the buildup of bacteria that causes UTI.

9. It is good for a smooth and glowing skin

Who doesn’t want a smooth and glowing skin? Besides the nutritional benefit and its flavorful taste, onions can offer more to you. 

using onion extracts can prevent breakouts giving your skin an excellent glow

According to a study, onion extracts have shown a significant benefit in preventing acne breakouts. This is due to its antiinflammatory and antibacterial function which helps prevent the swelling and redness by fighting the bacteria. 

Onions also contain sulfuric acid that are used to treat acne. It also has a significant amount of vitamin C which boosts the collagen production.

Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, onion is also a good source of biotin. If you are unfamiliar with biotin, it is called vitamin B7 and can be found in eggs, oats, milk and bananas. It is a compound that aids in the preservation of skin health and restores nails and hair loss.

10. It helps to boost the immune system.

Keeping our immune system is one of the most important parts of having a healthy lifestyle. It is our defense system that keeps us away from viruses, bacteria, germs and other harmful microorganisms. 

Given that, the antioxidant content of onions play a huge part in helping to regulate and boost your immune system. Antioxidants are important as they fight free radicals that bring oxidative stress and harm the cells.

Aside from that, antioxidants also provide support to the body to prevent the development of certain cancers. 

Onions help to improve circulation and stimulate sweating.  This is very useful in reducing fever and sweating out colds and flu, especially during cold weather.

11. It helps to alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Arthritis is frequently associated with advancing age. It can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are numerous ways to prevent it.

Onions contain anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and gout. The sulfur compounds found in quercetin, which occurs naturally in onions, can reduce damage to the cartilage.

These are some of the known health benefits of onion.  Use it as a regular part of your daily cooking; it can help to keep you healthy and protected from many ailments.

Is it better to eat onions raw or cooked?

Regardless whether you eat onions raw or cooked, you still get a certain amount of nutrients to benefit your health.

raw or cooked onions provide sufficient amount of nutrients

Nevertheless, raw onions contain greater amounts of the organic sulfur compounds that provide several beneficial effects. The outer layer is high in flavonoids so remove as much of the outer layer as possible before peeling vegetables.

Onion has many advantages including fibers and copper. Fiber helps control digestion and copper assists in brain communication.

In addition onions are rich in fiber as well as folic acid, which helps to create healthy cells in our body. Onions can be good for gastrointestinal health, whether cooked or fried, onions are high in organic sulfur compounds.

An onion a day keeps you healthy

There are numerous reasons why you should eat onions, including their health benefits. If you want to boost your immunity, protect yourself from harmful diseases, or have better skin, add onions to your favorite recipes

As onions are widely grown, we should take advantage of this to stay healthy. It is wonderful that onions are frequently used in our dishes. We get to easily receive its prized nutrients while enjoying it.

You can learn more about the health benefits of onions and other nutritious vegetables by browsing through our food blogs posts.