ONIONS: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR THE BODY
What vitamins does onions contain, what medicinal properties does it have, and can it be harmful?
- Vitamin C is one of the strongest natural antioxidants that support the immune system, fight viruses and bacteria, slow down chronic inflammation in the body, and prolong youth.
- Vitamin A (retinol) is vital for the proper functioning of the body. Responsible for the immune system and eye health, involved in protein synthesis. It is especially important for women during pregnancy, as it plays a crucial role in the growth and development of the child.
- B vitamins are important for the functioning of the immune, nervous, and brain. Participate in the processes of cellular metabolism and the formation of energy.
- Cobalt is one of the most important minerals in metabolism: it synthesizes DNA and amino acids, breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Actively affects the body’s metabolic processes and plays a special role in hematopoiesis – stimulates the growth and development of red blood cells.
- Silicon is a vital trace element essential for bone hardness, joint mobility, skin, hair, and nails.
- Zinc – is needed for muscle growth and repair, promotes wound healing, helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses, improves digestion, and regulates hormone production. Scientists attribute increased cravings for sweets to zinc deficiency because this element improves the sensitivity of cells to insulin.
- Potassium is involved in the work of the nervous system and muscle contraction, which is why it is so important for heart health. Maintains the body’s water balance, normal blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
HOW ONIONS AFFECT HEALTH
Strengthens immunity. Surely you heard from your grandmother that onions are an excellent cold cure. Modern scientists have indeed found confirmation of this: onions contain chemical compounds that activate the immune system. Phytoncides prevent the reproduction of viruses and bacteria in the body, and antioxidants slow down inflammatory processes. This means that onions are rightly called natural antibiotic.
Reduces the severity of allergies. Again, it’s all about the rich antioxidant composition of onions. It has been proven that antioxidants (including quercetin) support the proper functioning of the body’s defense systems and normalize the immune response. Due to this, onion-based products can be effective in treating allergic asthma and rhinitis.
Normalizes digestion. Onions and green onions are rich sources of fiber. The body does not process these dietary fibers, but they activate all processes in the intestines, allowing you to get rid of processed substances effectively.
Moreover, the fiber becomes food for beneficial probiotic bacteria that live in the intestines and largely determine the processes of digestion but also the general condition of the body.
Important for hematopoiesis . Onions contain cobalt, which is necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, the proper metabolism of cholesterol, and the synthesis of vitamin D.
WHAT IS USEFUL FOR WOMEN
- Supports healthy skin, hair, and nails. Due to the rich composition of vitamins and trace elements, onions can be attributed to beauty products. Zinc, silicon, cobalt, vitamins A and C, B vitamins – all these elements are responsible for the youthfulness and radiance of the skin.
- Prolongs youth. Onions are rich in antioxidants. As you know, scientists associate the aging process with cell damage and chronic inflammation, which antioxidants can fight.
- Relieves swelling. Onions are rich in potassium and have a slight diuretic effect, thanks to which they can eliminate excess fluid in the body.
- Important during pregnancy. Onions contain vitamin A, which is very important for the proper course of pregnancy and fetal development.
- Reduces sugar cravings. It has been proven that micronutrient deficiencies increase the desire for desserts because the body is trying to compensate for the lack of energy, which is easiest to get from sweet and fatty foods. Particularly important are chromium, magnesium, and B vitamins – all of which are found in onions.
WHAT IS USEFUL FOR MEN
- Important for heart health. Onions are rich in anthocyanins, natural compounds in many plants that benefit the cardiovascular system. According to the study, those who regularly ate anthocyanin-rich foods were 32% less likely to have a heart attack than those who did not.
- Increases performance. The high potassium content keeps the brain active. Therefore, those who experience high loads should regularly include onions in their diet.
- Activates libido. In folk medicine, all varieties of onions are traditionally considered a good way to enhance male potency. There is indeed some truth in this: due to the high potassium content, onions benefit the functioning of the cardiovascular system. They can be one of the ways to prevent erectile dysfunction. Of course, you must understand that the bow alone is unlikely to save the day. For men’s health, a balanced diet, physical activity, and the correct mode of work and rest are necessary.
Raw onions can be dangerous for those diagnosed with gastritis, pancreatitis, or peptic ulcer. The fact is that fresh onions increase the acidity in the stomach and can cause an attack. To avoid unpleasant consequences for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, onions should be eaten cooked – baked, boiled, and fried onions will not cause exacerbations.
Another possible unpleasant effect is flatulence. Raw onions contain quite a lot of fructose, which, when split, can provoke increased gas formation in some people. Follow the reaction of the body!
In addition, onions are known for their ability to increase blood pressure, so eating them in large quantities is not recommended for people with hypertension.
WHY DO WE CRY WHEN WE CUT ONIONS?
The thing is that when the onion cells are damaged, a substance is released that irritates the mucous membrane of the eye. This substance cannot harm, but it is quite capable of causing a lot of discomfort. To avoid tears, chefs have a few professional secrets.
- Cut with a very sharp knife and as quickly as possible. First, with this approach, fewer onion cells are damaged; second, with rapid cutting, the pairs do not have time to cause severe mucosa irritation.
- Rinse the knife frequently with cold water. Thus, you wash away aggressive substances that cause lacrimation.
- Chill the onion in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing to slow the chemical reaction. This will not affect the beneficial properties of the onion in any way, but it will become easier to cook it.
WHICH BOW TO CHOOSE?
Red. 100 g contains approximately 40 kcal, 1.4 g of proteins, 9.1 g of carbohydrates, and fats in the composition of chlorine, iodine, phosphorus, boron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It has a spicy, mild taste. This variety should be eaten fresh because when cooked, it loses its beautiful color, turning gray-blue, and can ruin the look of the dish. Add to salads, sandwiches, burgers, and salsa, perfect for pickling.
White. 100 g contains 40–42 kcal, 1.43 g of protein, 9.87 g of carbohydrates, and 0.1 g of fat. It contains vitamins of group B and vitamins C, E, H, PP, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and zinc. This variety is one of the leaders in terms of intensity of taste. And thanks to the high water content, the flesh of white onions remains juicy and crispy for a long time. Very good, both raw and cooked. Add to white sauces, pasta and potato salads, stews, and complex meat and vegetable dishes.
Onion (yellow). 100 g contains 41 kcal, 1.4 g of protein, 0.2 g of fat, and 8.2 g of carbohydrates. Contains vitamins B1–B6, B9, E, H, K, PP, potassium, calcium, silicon, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, cobalt, copper, nickel, citric and malic acids. The most affordable and versatile variety that can replace less common types of onions in recipes. It isn’t easy to eat it raw, but it perfectly tolerates long-term heat treatment. Add to any stew, boiled, and fried dishes.
Green (feather). Its calorie content is the lowest. 100 g contains 20 kcal, 1.3 g of protein, 0.1 g of fat, and 3.2 g of carbohydrates. Contains vitamins B1-B6, B9, E, H, K, PP, potassium, calcium, silicon, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, cobalt, copper, and nickel. Green onions are best eaten raw: add to salads, soups, and any prepared vegetable and meat dishes just before serving.
Shallot. This is the most high-calorie type of onion; it is also the leader in the content of proteins and carbohydrates. 100 g contains 72 kcal, 2.5 g of protein, 0.1 g of fat, and 13.6 g of carbohydrates. It contains vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, and zinc. These onions are much more expensive than ordinary onions but are indispensable in French cuisine because they add a delicate taste and aroma to sauces and gravies. Add to sauces, salad dressings, hot meat and fish dishes, and barbecue. Whole onions are baked in the oven and then fried with honey and olive oil for a great side dish.
In conclusion, both onions and green onions offer a wide range of benefits for the body. These flavorful vegetables are not only culinary staples but also powerful sources of essential nutrients and health-promoting compounds.