Dark red onion is a versatile plant that can provide anyone with a health boost. Quercetin, chromium, allicin, and anthocyanin are some of the nutrients found in onions which have been said to have the ability to fight fungi and bacteria, promote cardiovascular health, reduce high blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. Moreover, in a latest study and research at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada the results showed that this culinary plant may also help fight off colon and breast cancer.
Abdulmonem Murayyan, a doctoral student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada said:
“We found that onions are excellent at killing cancer cells.”
Findings of the study revealed that dark red onions contain high levels of anthocyanin and quercetin, which is a plant polyphenol from the flavonoid group. Quercetin is mainly found in many veggies, grains, and fruits and has beneficial properties such as fighting allergies and lowering inflammation. On the other hand, anthocyanin enriches the scavenging properties of quercetin molecules. Findings of this study were published in the Journal Food Research International.
According to Murayyan:
“Anthocyanin is instrumental in providing colour to fruits and vegetables so it makes sense that the red onions, which are darkest in colour, would have the most cancer-fighting power.”
Conversely, in a first study which was conducted with the aim to know how successful onions are at killing cancer cells, it was found that not all onions are created equally. Researchers tested five onions types grown in Ontario and found that the Ruby Ring onion variety (that has a firm, hard, tall globe-shaped bulb with dark red colour) came out on top. Moreover, the study revealed that when breast and colon cancer cells were placed in direct contact with the quercetin extracted from the five different onions, they were effective at killing the cancerous cells.
Murayyan added that:
“Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.”
The present research and findings are based on a previous study by the researchers to find a new extraction technique that can remove the use of toxic and dangerous chemicals, thereby making the quercetin found in onions more suitable for consumption. This technique and method are important as it’ll make onions’ cancer-fighting properties available in pill form.
In Mediterranean cooking, the dark red onion has been a crucial vegetable for thousands of years, which could be used to explain the lower rates of cancerous diseases on Southern parts of Europe. Dark red onions are recommended to be eaten raw as any type of cooking can lead to essential nutrients in it being killed.
Murayyan further added that:
“The next step will be to test the vegetable’s cancer-fighting powers in human trials.”
This super food can be added to salads and burgers as a preventive measure. Researchers expect and hope that in the near future the onion extract will also be added to foods such as baked goods and juices as well as be available in form of pills to treat cancer in a natural way.