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The Outstanding Health Benefits of Onions

Updated on July 23, 2017

Onion provides your dish with amazing aroma, texture and color; but, its appeal goes beyond flavor; this widely used vegetable-bulb is chockfull of powerful health promoting nutrients.

Onions belong to the Allium family; they are packed with sulfur containing compounds which are responsible for the strong smell and for most of the health-promoting benefits. Onions proffer a host of medical and health benefits. Onions have been used extensively to treat colds, cough, asthma, infections, and cardiac ailments. They are loaded with polyphenols, especially flavanoids; and of the flavanoids, quercetin is the most important.

Onions have been cultivated since 5000 years and they are indigenous to Asia and the Middle East. The onion has been worshiped not only for its gastronomic use, but also for its medicinal properties. Onions were used as medicine in India as early as the 6th century. They were exceedingly popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans as well.

Onion Health Benefits

  • Asthma and bronchitis: Onions have a powerful therapeutic effect on the respiratory system. They effectively handle infectious conditions such as flu, pneumonia and tuberculosis and also manage asthma, bronchitis and pleurisy ably. Onions thin out the mucus, tone up the pulmonary tissue and clear the air passages. Most importantly, the herb perks up the defense and immune mechanisms of the body, making the body less vulnerable to infectious agents.
  • Cardiovascular disorders: Onions offer major defense against heart as well as vascular diseases. They prevent the deposition of cholesterol plaques and thereby thwart the development of atherosclerosis, help deal with elevated levels of blood pressure, and also prevent heart attacks. The onion is known as the blood thinner; and this asset of the onions is because of the presence of sulphur and the powerful flavanoids.
  • Prevents cancer: Clinical trials and studies state that people who eat onions on a daily basis decrease their risk of developing cancers appreciably.

Onions Treat Asthma, Keep the Heart Healthy and Prevent Cancer

Benefits of Eating Raw Onions

Raw onions provide better results. Research says consuming the juice of two raw onions every morning thins the blood successfully. Half ounce onion juice along with a spoon of honey works like a potent expectorant which eases out congestion of the chest and greatly allays sinusitis related discomfort.

The flavanoids present in the onion are in greater concentration in the outer layers of the flesh than in the inner. In order to make the most of the health-promoting benefits, peel off very little of the outer edible portion as possible. Over peeling results in an undesirable loss of flavanoids.

When onions are used in soup, the quercetin does not get lost; it gets transferred to the water part of the soup. Using low-heat technique to prepare soup, you can conserve the health benefits linked to this vital flavanoid. Consuming quercetin by eating an onion, instead of having a quercetin supplement provides a better shield from oxidative damage.


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love onions. It's great to now they are good for you.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I can't imagine drinking onion juice, but am tempted to find out especially as you have detailed so many health benefits. I tend to get mucous in my throat and it sounds like it might be helpful for this condition. Thanks for sharing.