Onions, which are standard ingredients across most cuisines, have numerous health benefit claims associated with them. The bulb like vegetable is usually consumed in its mature form. However, young plants can also be used as a whole for consumption.

Onion - Wonder foods

Onion (Image Courtsey: FreeDigitalPhotos)

These plants which are harvested before the commencement of bulb formation are called scallions. Onions are available in three colors, viz. yellow, white and red.

Nutrient Content

The nutrients present in onions are:

  • Vitamins – Vitamin C
  •  Phenols and flavonoids like quercetin.
  • Minerals – Potassium

Health Benefits

Onions offer the following health benefits:

  • Onions help lower the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Onions reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
  • Disorders of the circulatory system are prevented.
  • Risk of developing cancer is reduced.
  • Compounds such as quercetin and allicin in onions are deterrents to inflammation, cancer and oxidation.
  • Onions are considered to possess the capability to destroy osteoclasts responsible for breaking of bones in osteoporosis and are thus beneficial for women undergoing menopause.
  • Onions are also believed to be effective against common cold.
  • The risk of developing bladder cancer in smokers is reduced by consuming onions.
  • Onions also have use in external applications. Raw onions are said to be useful in treating bee stings by reducing the swelling.
  • The juice of white onions with sugar and curd helps in treating acidity.

 Disclaimer: Any advice or information provided in this page should not be seen as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Your family physician knows better about your medical history and only they can provide you with personalized advice keeping in mind your unique needs.