Not only prized as a great addition to our cuisine, but onions are also loaded with important nutrients and health-promoting phytochemicals that greatly benefit our health.
Being low in sodium and contain no fat, onions are high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron, protein, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids, and phytochemicals. Studies revealed that flavonoids may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke while phytochemicals react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. According to the National Onion Association, some of the important phytochemicals in onions such as disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene, and vinyldithiin are helpful in maintaining good health and have anticancer and antimicrobial properties.
Onions and Digestive Health
Present in this popular superfood is a high amount of fiber and prebiotics, two ingredients that are crucial for a healthy digestive system.
Prebiotics — a fiber that is nondigestible – is processed and broken down by good gut bacteria. These gut bacteria feed on prebiotics and form short-chain fatty acids (including acetate, propionate, and butyrate) which in return help boost immunity, strengthen gut health, reduce inflammation, enhance digestion, and regulates bowel movements.
In addition to these effects, eating foods rich in prebiotics may also help in increasing probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains, which benefit digestive health and also help improve the absorption of important minerals like calcium, which may improve bone health.
Onions, in particular, are full of inulin and oligofructose. These are prebiotics that assists in increasing the population of good bacteria in the gut to improve immune function.
In a 2005 study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers have found that oligofructose may help prevent and treat types of diarrhea. Also, according to the National Onion Association, phytochemicals in onions may help reduce our risk of developing gastric ulcers.
Tips On How To Add Onions To Our Diet:
- Use onion and garlic as a base for stocks and soups.
- Add thinly sliced red onions to salads.
- Combine cooked onions with other vegetables for a healthy side dish.
- Try adding cooked onions to egg dishes, such as omelets, frittatas or quiches.
- Top meat or chicken with sautéed onions.
- Blend raw onions with fresh herbs, vinegar, and olive oil for a tasty homemade salad dressing.
- Make a fiber-rich salad with chopped onions, chickpeas, and red peppers.