You can hear a lot about super-foods nowadays, and the term is applied to many foods, and it always means the same thing: a natural food that is incredibly healthy and can improve your health in many ways. Some of the most common items considered super-foods are berries, green tea, garlic, turmeric etc., however rarely does one think of onions when talking about these nutritional gems.
The fact is that the health benefits onions offer are what makes them a powerful health-booster. Most of the benefits coming from onions are due to a compound known as quercetin. It is a potent flavonoid, a type of antioxidant, which provides lots of benefits to your body by protecting the cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
Onions are one of the best food sources of this potent compound. Onions also have a high content of vitamin C, vitamin B6, sulfur, manganese, folate, fiber and potassium., This combo of compounds adds up to a multitude of health benefits. For the past few years, nutrition scientists have started to uncover all the secrets this layered vegetable hides. Some of the benefits they have found include:
1. Decreased risk of cancer:
there have been several studies that have connected quercetin with decreased risk of developing cancer. One study has found that onions mixed with turmeric work in synergy which decreased both the quantity of pre-cancerous lesions in the intestines, which decreased colon cancer risk. Another study found that women who consumed more onions and garlic had a decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
2. Improved oral health:
despite common sense being that eating onions causes stinky breath, which wrongly implies that it can’t be great for the teeth, chewing raw onions has been shown to improve teeth strength and kill the problematic bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
3. Cardiovascular benefits:
eating onions provides a lot of these. Scientists have found that quercetin has the potential to significantly decrease high blood pressure in hypertensive adults. The sulfur found in onions might also be able to decrease bad cholesterol levels and improve red blood cell health.
4. Anti-inflammatory properties:
quercetin, onions’ key compound, has been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. According to Arthritis Today, this is the main reason why it can help tremendously in the treatment of arthritis. These anti-inflammatory properties can also help combat other inflammatory diseases such as diabetes.
Onions have also been shown to help in relieving clogged sinuses, the pain of a bee sting, soothing ear pain and overall body detoxification. As an added benefit, they are pretty versatile when it comes to cooking and can be cooked with almost any dish or added as a raw ingredient in a salad.