Saturday 6 June, 2020

Botanical Roots: Why you should eat onions

Part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, escallion and leeks, onions are very good for you.

Onions can vary in size, shape, colour, and flavour, which can be sweet and juicy to sharp, spicy, and pungent, often depending on the season in which they are grown and harvested.

The most common types are red, yellow, and white onions. They have been used as food for thousands of years; in ancient Egypt, they were worshiped and used in burial rituals.

Onions are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  

Among the reported health benefits of consuming onions is that it lowers the risk of several types of cancer.

Indeed, allium vegetables have been studied extensively in relation to cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancers.

In a paper, published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers used a population-based, case-controlled study to investigate the relationship between onion intake and prostate cancer. They found that men with the highest intake of onions had the lowest risk of prostate cancer.

Frequent intake of onions has been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal and stomach cancer. Several survey-based human studies have demonstrated the potential protective effects of consuming alliums, as well as reports of tumor inhibition of allium compounds in animal experiments.

Other benefits of onions include improving mood, and maintaining the health of skin and hair. Many studies have also suggested that increasing consumption of onions decreases the risk of overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease.

Folate found in onions reportedly may help to reduce depression. Homocysteine prevents blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain, and folate prevents this chemical from building up.

Onions are high in vitamin C, which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.

Onions are known to make you cry when chopping or cutting them. This is due to the presence of a gas called syn-Propanethial-S-oxide.

Some of this content was taken from

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