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Health Benefit Of Onion
1. Packed With Nutrients

Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re
low in calories but high in vitamins and
One medium onion has just 44 calories but
delivers a considerable dose of vitamins,
minerals and fiber ( 2).
This vegetable is particularly high in vitamin
C, a nutrient involved in regulating immune
health, collagen production, tissue repair
and iron absorption.
Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant
in your body, protecting your cells against
damage caused by unstable molecules called
free radicals ( 3).
Onions are also rich in B vitamins, including
folate (B9) and pyridoxine (B6) — which
play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell
production and nerve function ( 4).
Lastly, they’re a good source of potassium, a
mineral in which many people are lacking.
In fact, the average potassium intake of
Americans is just over half the
recommended daily value (DV) of 4,700 mg
( 5).
Normal cellular function, fluid balance, nerve
transmission, kidney function and muscle
contraction all require potassium ( 6).

2. May Benefit Heart Health

Onions contain antioxidants and
compounds that fight inflammation,
decrease triglycerides and reduce
cholesterol levels — all of which may lower
heart disease risk.
Their potent anti-inflammatory properties
may also help reduce high blood pressure
and protect against blood clots.
Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that’s
highly concentrated in onions. Since it’s a
potent anti-inflammatory, it may help
decrease heart disease risk factors, such as
high blood pressure.
A study in 70 overweight people with high
blood pressure found that a dose of 162 mg
per day of quercetin-rich onion extract
significantly reduced systolic blood pressure
by 3–6 mmHg compared to a placebo ( 7).
Onions have also been shown to decrease
cholesterol levels.
A study in 54 women with polycystic ovarian
syndrome (PCOS) found that consuming
large amounts of raw red onions (40–50
grams/day if overweight and 50–60 grams/
day if obese) for eight weeks reduced total
and “bad” LDL cholesterol compared to a
control group (8).
Additionally, evidence from animal studies
supports that onion consumption may
reduce risk factors for heart disease,
including inflammation, high triglyceride
levels and blood clot formation (9, 10, 11).

3. Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit
oxidation, a process that leads to cellular
damage and contributes to diseases like
cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Onions are an excellent source of
antioxidants. In fact, they contain over 25
different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants
Red onions, in particular, contain
anthocyanins — special plant pigments in
the flavonoid family that give red onions
their deep color.
Multiple population studies have found that
people who consume more foods rich in
anthocyanins have a reduced risk of heart
For example, a study in 43,880 men showed
that habitual intakes as high as 613 mg per
day of anthocyanins were correlated to a
14% lower risk of nonfatal heart attacks
( 13).
Similarly, a study in 93,600 women observed
that those with the highest intake of
anthocyanin-rich foods were 32% less likely
to experience a heart attack than women
with the lowest intake 14).
Additionally, anthocyanins have been found
to protect against certain types of cancer
and diabetes ( 15, 16).

4. Contain Cancer-Fighting

Eating vegetables of the Allium genus like
garlic and onions has been linked to a lower
risk of certain cancers, including stomach
and colorectal.
A review of 26 studies showed that people
who consumed the highest amount of
allium vegetables were 22% less likely to be
diagnosed with stomach cancer than those
who consumed the least amount ( 17).
Moreover, a review of 16 studies in 13,333
people demonstrated that participants with
the highest onion intake had a 15%
reduced risk of colorectal cancer compared
to those with the lowest intake ( 18).
These cancer-fighting properties have been
linked to the sulfur compounds and
flavonoid antioxidants found in allium
For example, onions provide onionin A, a
sulfur-containing compound that has been
shown to decrease tumor development and
slow the spread of ovarian and lung cancer
in test-tube studies ( 19, 20).
Onions also contain fisetin and quercetin,
flavonoid antioxidants that may inhibit
tumor growth.

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