Onion is a super veggie in its’ own right, but sadly it is thought of as a flavor-enhancing condiment or appetizer, instead of a full-fledged vegetable. So, as a toast to creating a healthy lifestyle and to celebrate March being Nutrition Month, I wanted to share a few health facts about onions with you. Next week, I’ll share several easy ways you can incorporate more of this humble veggie into your diet.
Did you know onions are a significant dietary source of chromium, vitamin C, and fiber?
Did you also know onions have a unique combination of compounds believed to have positive effects on human health — fructans, flavonoids and organosulfur compounds?
Don’t panic if you aren’t into scientific words. I will explain what they do and how they may effect your well being. On the other hand, if you happen to be the kind of person who likes the science stuff, never fear! I’ve included a, link below so you can check out all the details.
Fructans are small carbohydrate molecules that help maintain gut health by “feeding” beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract.
Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity and scientists are interested in flavonoids for their medicinal properties, especially their potential role in preventing certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
A great deal of research has focused on the flavonoid, quercetin, which is found at particularly high levels in onions. Research studies show quercetin may:
– Reduce the risk of cancer tumor formation.
– Promote the healing of stomach ulcers.
– Inhibit the growth of cultured ovarian, breast, and colon cancer cells.
Organosulfur compounds are largely responsible for the taste and smell of onions. Research studies have shown organosulfur compounds to:
– Reduce symptoms associated with diabetes.
– Inhibit platelet aggregation (involved in blood clot formation).
– Prevent inflammatory processes associated with diseases like asthma and arthritis.
To read more about the health research with onions click here: //www.onions-usa.org/pdf_files/phytochemical.pdf