Onions (Allium cepa L) are a member of the Liliaceae plant family, which also includes other flavorful allium vegetables like garlic and leeks. Allium vegetables contain therapeutic oils that hold sulfur compounds (cysteine sulfoxides), which are partially responsible for their signature smell and taste.

Onions are the pungent allium vegetables that are packed with numerous health benefits in addition to their very obvious flavor. They come in many types or colors as you must have seen while grocery shopping: white, red, yellow etc. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants including flavonoids and polyphenols — onion can help you maintain better blood sugar levels, facilitate in building stronger bones, alongside their anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have shown that onions are linked to cancer and heart disease prevention, plus lower risks of developing arthritis, asthma, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.

Quercetin, in onions, is considered an antihistamine phytonutrient that’s often found in allergy products because it can lower the effects of histamines on the immune system. And anthocyanins, the same type of antioxidants found in red berries, are responsible for giving red onions their deep color.

While chopping an onion, your eyes tend to water because cutting onions punctures their cell membranes that store ‘ACSOs’, which are alkenyl cysteine sulphoxides (ACSOs). These are sulfur compounds that have been reported to have a range of health benefits, including anti-carcinogenic properties, anti-platelet activity, anti-thrombotic activity, anti-asthmatic and antibiotic effects.

One cup of raw, chopped onions has about 64 calories, 2 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 8 milligrams vitamin C, 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6, 0.2 milligrams manganese, 22 milligrams folate, 234 milligrams potassium, 46  mg phosphorus and 0.07 mg vitamin B1 thiamine.

Here are some of its health benefits:

1. Fights Cancerfight cancer

Onions help reduce the risk of developing colon, ovarian and mouth cancers through their rich supply of antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Onion’s sulfur compounds have been found to prevent the growth of tumors and cancer development by protecting cells from mutation and inducing apoptosis.


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