Onions — what we like to call Nature’s Ninja — are prized not only for their flavorful addition to meals, but for their value-added health components. See video here.
Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and contain only 64 calories per 1 cup serving. In addition, onion bulbs have a unique combination of three families of compounds believed to have valuable effects on human health – fructans, flavonoids and organosulfur compounds.
Here are some excellent reasons to add onions to your meals to help keep your heart healthy this February and beyond:
— The organosulfur compounds are primarily responsible for the taste and smell of onions (and garlic). This compound has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic activity, which means they may reduce the risk of blood clots associated with heart disease and stroke.
– The flavonoid quercetin is found in all onions. This flavonoid scavenges particles in the body known as free radicals which damage cell membranes. Studies have shown quercetin to protect against heart disease and several types of cancer with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
– Tip: To reduce the pungency, sharpness or aftertaste of a raw onion, cut them the way you plan to use them place onions in a strainer or sieve. Run cold water through onions for at least a minute.