Aside from being a staple in many dishes, onions are good for our bodies. Consumption of this superfood has been associated with lowering the body’s risk of various diseases. Its medicinal properties have been known since ancient times when onions were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease, and mouth sores.
Onions are excellent sources of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids (particularly quercetin), and phytochemicals like disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene, and vinyl dithiins. Flavonoids may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke (1).
Onions And Heart Health
Our heart is central to overall good health. Having a healthy lifestyle at any age can help us prevent heart disease and lower our risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Diet plays a major role in heart health that’s why it’s important for us to consume heart-friendly foods and one of them is the onion.
Results of a study suggest that sulfur compounds in onions act as a natural blood thinner and prevents blood platelets from aggregating. Our risk for heart attack or stroke increases when platelets cluster (2).
Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels — all of which may lower heart disease risk. Its quercetin content is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help lower down heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure (3).
In a study, researchers found that a dose of 162 mg per day of quercetin-rich onion extract given to overweight people with high blood pressure has significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3-6 mmHg compared to a placebo (4).
Meanwhile, in a separate study, consumption of large amounts of raw onions (40–50 grams/day if overweight and 50–60 grams/day if obese) for 8 weeks by women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been found to reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol compared to a control group (5).
Easy Ways To Add Onions Into Our Diet
- Combine cooked onions with other vegetables for a healthy side dish.
- Make a homemade salsa with onions, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.
- Blend raw onions with fresh herbs, vinegar, and olive oil for a tasty homemade salad dressing.
- Use onion and garlic as a base for stocks and soups.
- Add thinly sliced red onions to your favorite salad.