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Healthy Eating: Onions

Updated on June 11, 2016
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a newspaper editor, journalist and freelance ghostwriter and adjunct instructor.


Chop Like a Pro

No one really knows just how long onions have been with us. No one really knows their origin either. This is because onions leave behind no trace tissue evidence. Researchers hypothesize that, like garlic, onions originated in Central Asia. Some place their beginnings in Iran or Pakistan. The one thing for certain is that the commonality of onions led to their quick domestication.

A little onion history

Onions have been traced back to the 7,000 B.C. range in India, where they were documented as a diuretic, digestive aid, and good for the heart, eyes, and joints.

In 3,500 B.C., Egyptians used the vegetables as symbols of worship. The inner layers of circles represented eternity to the early Egyptians, who often incorporated them into burial rituals. Drawings of onions even appear on the inside walls of some pyramids.

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What's so great about onions?

Today, one of the onion's biggest benefits in our diets is that it can help increase bone density. An onion a day may keep the hip surgeon away! This vegetable also has anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies have discovered that onion consumption may also help in regulating blood sugar!

The onion has not been studied in terms of human cases as much as garlic has. Maybe because it is so common, we have overlooked its health properties. Regardless, they are easy to add to your daily menus.

Onions are high in quercetin, a flavonol. In some vegetables, the flavors cook out if they are boiled, baked, or steamed. That is not the case with the quercetin in onions. It simply cooks out and blends with other items. That's why onions are great in a sauté or roux. They are also great to infuse with chicken broth. The flavor stays in the broth.


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    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

      snlee -- that sounds good! I've never tried that. Jackie, the first time I had onions accidentally appear on a breakfast sandwich I ordered, I said, "Yuck." Now, I add them intentionally :D

    • snlee profile image

      snlee 4 years ago from Asia Pacific Regions

      We use to fry onion and then add in beaten up eggs. A good supplementary dish for rice.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very good, I love onions in about everything. ^