Top 10 Onion Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Onions are often used to improve the flavors of different dishes all over the world. Some varieties of onions have sweet and juicy flavors, while others have a pungent and spicy flavor that most people like. Nutritionists agree that onions are not only great for cooking, but it also has a multitude of health benefits. Onion nutrition includes an amazing mix of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and sulfuric compounds that are definitely good for your health. There are also numerous health benefits of onions, which makes it an essential part of everyone’s daily diet.
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Health Benefits of Onions
Encourages Healthy Heart
Onion is a heart-friendly food because it lowers the risk of heart attack and reduces high blood pressure. Garlic is rich in sulfur, which has a blood thinning ability that prevents the platelets from clustering together. When the blood platelets cluster, there is a higher risk of stroke or heart attack. Furthermore, a study regarding the sulfurs in onion showed that it can delay or reduce the incidence of hypertension in animals.
Onions contain quercetin, which is a flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant. This quercetin has the ability to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke. However, more research is still needed to fully prove these findings.
Alleviate Your Stress
Next time you’re stressed out, try to eat dishes that are rich in onion or snack on a raw onion. The quercetin found in onions has the ability to suppress the enzymes that release cortisol. When you are experiencing stress, your body automatically produces cortisol. However, too much cortisol in the body can damage your muscle tissues and even break down proteins. This is where onions can help alleviate the effects of stress, by suppressing the release of cortisol.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Onions contain polyphenols that act as antioxidants to protect the body from harmful free radicals. If these free radicals are eliminated from the body, it will have a positive effect on the immune system. Onions are also rich in vitamin C, and they contain phytochemicals that increase the effectiveness of vitamin C. This means that a stronger dose of vitamin C always leads to a stronger and healthier immune system.
Several research and studies have been done regarding the anti-cancer properties of onions. Much attention was given to onions because they have high levels of organosulfur compounds. It has been observed that these compounds can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and prevent the formation of free radicals. Onions also contain vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals. According to experts, eating onions regularly can significantly reduce the risk of ovarian, colorectal, and laryngeal cancer. Consuming onions every day can lower the risk of esophageal and oral cancer. Onions have very high amounts of quercetin, which is considered by many experts as a powerful anti-cancer agent. Consuming onions on a regular basis can prevent the development of cancer cells.
Promotes Good Digestion
The health benefits of onions extend to your digestive system. Onion is rich in fiber, which is good for your digestion and allows you to have regular bowel movement. Onions contain a soluble fiber that is called oligofructose, which promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. A study has found that oligofructose can treat diarrhea. Also, the phytochemicals in onions can fight free radicals, which helps in lowering the risk of gastric ulcers.
Combats the Symptoms of Diabetes
An onion contains a rich amount of biotin. Just one single serving of onion already provides about 27% of your daily recommended intake of biotin. Early studies have suggested that biotin, together with chromium, can help regulate the blood sugar and decrease the insulin resistance. This definitely helps in combating the aggravating symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Improves Mood and Sleep
If you are experiencing mood swings and difficulty sleeping at night, then you better add more onions in your diet. The main reason why onion can uplift your mood and help with your sleeping problems is that it contains high amounts of folate. Folate can inhibit the excess formation of homocysteine in the body. When there is excess homocysteine in the body, it can interfere with the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are feel-good hormones that regulate both sleep, mood, and appetite.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Another benefit of biotin in onions is its ability to help promote a healthier skin. Biotin is being used by popular skin care products to treat brittle nails or prevent hair loss. If you need to improve the condition of your skin, just add more onions in your diet.
Onions are also rich in vitamin A, C, and E, which can definitely contribute to the health of your skin. Vitamin C can get rid of free radicals in the body, thus preventing premature skin aging. Onion is a powerful antiseptic, which means that it can protect the skin from any bacteria that can cause damage. You should also remember that onion is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory, which makes it very effective in protecting the skin from bacteria that can cause acne and pimples. You can create your own onion skin mask, which you will apply to your face and neck. This will add a lot of glow to your skin and help with the exfoliation process. You can easily find an onion skin mask recipe online and make sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Onion is not as popular as garlic when it comes to antibacterial benefits. However, onions are still effective in preventing bacterial infection. Onion contains sulfur-containing compounds and quercetin that can act as an antibacterial. In one study, onions provided antibacterial activity against periodontal disease or gum disease.
Helps Maintain Stronger Bones
It may be surprising for most people that onion can help keep your bones strong and healthy. There have been researches made showing that onions can prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Another research also has very promising results that white onions can have the potential to reduce bone loss. One study revealed that a group of women had more bone mass when they consumed onions regularly compared to the other group who ate fewer onions. It was found that onion can help increase the bone density in women who are older than 50 years old. Regular intake of onions can prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Onions are rich in quercetin, which helps treat and prevent inflammation that can cause these joint pains and bone problems.
Helps Improve Respiratory Health
Onions can help improve respiratory health and cure any respiratory ailments because of its anti-inflammatory properties. According to one study, people with respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis can benefit from onion nutrition and other fruits and vegetables.
Improves Eye Health
Onion is rich in sulfur, which can help improve the health of your eyes. Sulfur can boost the production of glutathione, which as an antioxidant. More glutathione can help lower the risk of macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Also, onion contains selenium, which supports the vitamin E in your eyes, thus improving the protection of the eye cells. In one study, it was discovered that onion may be capable of curing common eye infections such as blepharitis and conjunctivitis. The extract of the onions may also prevent the formation of corneal haze. However, before using onions as a treatment for eye infections, you should first consult your doctor or healthcare provider.
Onion Nutrition Facts
Onion nutrition profile is definitely something to check out, especially if you want to get healthier and improve your dietary nutrition. Onion has so many medicinal applications because it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. It contains sulfuric compounds and quercetin, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, selenium, and phosphorus. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Here are the onion nutrition facts that will show you why it is one of the healthiest allium vegetables today.
Nutritional Profile Onion
1 cup or 210 grams of cooked and chopped onions:
- Vitamin C – 10.92 mg or 15% DRI
- Vitamin B6 – 0.27 mg or 16% DRI
- Vitamin B1 – 0.09 mg or 8% DRI
- Biotin – 7.98 mcg or 27% DRI
- Manganese – 0.32 mg or 16% DRI
- Copper – 0.14 mg or 16% DRI
- Fiber – 2.94 grams or 12% DRI
- Potassium – 348.60 mg or 10% DRI
- Phosphorus – 73.50 mg or 11% DRI
- Folate – 31.50 mcg or 8% DRI
1 medium-sized onion or 148 grams
- Calories – 64 or 3% DRI
- Carbohydrates – 11 grams or 4% DRI
- Fat – 0
- Dietary fiber – 3 grams or 12% DRI
- Protein – 1.6 grams or 3% DRI
- Sugars – 9 grams
Other Onion Nutrition Facts
- Onions are made up mostly of water, fiber, and carbohydrates. The main fiber found in onions is called fructans, which can feed the friendly bacteria in the intestines.
- Onions can provide a decent amount of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B9 or folate, vitamin B6, and potassium.
- Onions have high amounts of plant compounds such as anthocyanins, quercetin, sulfur compounds, and thiosulfinates.
- Sometimes, the richness of the onion nutrition may depend on its color. The yellow and red onions contain more antioxidants than the white onions.