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10 Surprising Ways Eating Onions Are Good For You
We all know that eating fruits and vegetables are good for us. Many of us may not have taken into consideration that eating onions was part of the plan. Onions have a very strong odor and many times when you are peeling them they can make your eyes water so that others think you are crying.
Onions have been around for thousands of years in other countries. Many people who lived in prehistoric days in Asia were said to have eaten raw wild onions straight from the farm. As recently as 5,000 years ago they grew in China and were recognized for their medicinal properties as a diuretic, an aid for digestion, and their help with the heart.
There are several different colors of onions and a few offshoots. There are currently yellow onions, white onions, and red onions in America. Besides regular onions, there are green onions and scallions as well as shallots. They are usually added to salads and sandwiches raw but can also be sautéed or even stuffed and baked whole as a side dish.
Besides their distinctive flavor used in cooking, they offer a number of ways they can assist our health. Here are 10 reasons you should add onions to your regular diet.
1. Increase your immunity
Onions have polyphenols in them which serve as antioxidants and keep them from having to deal with free radicals. This in turn helps to keep the immune system at its optimum level. If you have allergies, onions could help prevent your next sneezing attack as it stops your body from creating histamines.
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2. Regulate your blood sugar
Onions have chromium in them that is successful in keeping blood sugar levels even and the sulfur they contain actually reduce the blood sugar levels while it increases the production of insulin. A study that was conducted in 2010 and printed in the Environmental Health Insights journal confirmed that this was especially beneficial to those who suffered from diabetes. Another study in 2014 reported that those with type 2 diabetes had reduced glycemic levels and their liver enzymes were more normal when they ate onions that were sliced.
3. Prevent cancer
If you eat onions up to seven times each week, you will lower your chances of getting ovarian, laryngeal, and colorectal cancers. When you eat them a couple of times every day you will lower your chances of getting esophageal or oral cancer. Onions contain quercetin which is a very strong anti-cancer benefit. They can reduce the chances of getting tumors for ovarian, prostate, breast, colon, lung, and endometrial cancers. In addition to preventing certain types of cancer, they have been known to assist with side effects of chemotherapy that leave patients with hyperglycemia and insulin resistance.
4. Eaten raw they help lower your cholesterol (LDL)
When it comes to helping us with our cholesterol levels, onions take care of things on both ends. Consuming onions raw can help reduce your bad cholesterol or LDL, and they increase the amount of good cholesterol, or HDL which keeps you healthy.
5. Ease the stress in your life
Quercetin, which is found in onions, helps your body deal with stress. Cortisol is produced by our bodies whenever we get stressed out. A small amount is okay but too much cortisol results in the protein in the body breaking down and the tissue in muscles become damaged. The quercetin in the onions release an enzyme that prevents the release of the cortisol.
6. Reduce blood pressure
Onions contain sulfur which serve as a blood thinner in the body. This keeps blood platelets from sticking together and the quercetin in onions ensures that there is no buildup of plaque in your body. If you have hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, you are always at a greater risk of cardiovascular conditions. Keeping your blood pressure under control will keep you from suffering a stroke or a heart attack.
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7. They are anti-inflammatory
Whether you suffer from arthritis or chronic joint pain, onions can help ease your inflammation. Onions contain betalain and it is helpful in treating joints that are swollen, chronic inflammation, and arthritis. Make sure to check out all the foods you can find that have anti-inflammatory properties.
8. Help to keep the heart healthy
Onions help to keep the heart healthy in several ways. They reduce the risk of a heart attack by lowering your blood pressure. They greatly cut down on heart attacks and strokes as the sulfur they contain serve as blood thinners in a natural way. They are able to keep the blood platelets from accumulating. When platelets gather together, you have a larger chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. More research is in the works to confirm that onions are responsible for reducing the amount of plaque that can clog the arteries.
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9. Aid in digestion
Onions play a big part in several areas of digestion. They contain a good amount of fiber so they help to keep you regular and help create good digestion. Onions also have a special kind of fiber that is called oligofructose that helps you grow good bacteria in your intestines. This is what also keeps you from having certain kinds of diarrhea. And the phytochemicals that are in onions are always at work preventing you from getting gastric ulcers.
10. Improve bone density in women
After a 2009 study regarding women who have completed menopause, or those who are just going through it, researchers found that women who ate onions on a regular basis reduced their risk of breaking a hip by 20%. They also found their bone density was improved because of eating onions.
Next time you are at a restaurant, make sure you try the French onion soup, have some onions in your salad, and ask for some grilled onions on your steak. It’s easy to add more onions to your meals.