Onions!

The next Super Food that should be part of our diets is the Onion.

  Onions, along with leeks, garlic, shallots, and scallions, are part of the Allium family of vegetables.  They are characterized by their rich content of thiosulfinates, sulfides, sulfoxides, and other odoriferous sulfur compounds. These compounds are released when onions are chopped, which is also what makes our eyes water when we chop onions!

The phytochemicals in onions, namely allium and allyl disulphide, can protect us from cancer (namely gastric and prostate cancer) as they detoxify carcinogens, halt cancer cell growth, and block the formation of blood vessels to a tumor (angiogenesis) (1).  They protect us from diabetes as they help lower blood sugar levels.  They also help reduce cholesterol and have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Additionally, the phytochemicals in onions reduce blood pressure, and block platelet clot formation, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.  (2)  Onions are also a rich source of chromium which also helps control blood sugar levels.

They are also good source of quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid, which has anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic functions.

Onions are also a good source of B vitamins and vitamin C

So how much onion should we eat?  Studies have shown that for colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancer, between 1-7 servings of onion has been shown to provide risk reduction. But for decreased risk of oral and esophageal cancer, we’ll need to consume one onion serving per day (approximately 1/2 cup). (2). So cut them up and throw them in soups and add them to other vegetable dishes daily.

Sources

  1. http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/gombbs.aspx
  2. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/onion.html
  3. http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=45&tname=foodspice
  4. http://www.fatburningfurnace.com/blog/onion-nutrition-facts-%E2%80%93-health-benefits-of-onions
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11 responses to “Onions!

  1. Pingback: Mexican Stir Fry with Tofu | Let's Get in Shape Together

  2. Last year, I told everyone I know that I wanted onion goggles for Mother’s Day. Quite a few people responded with, “you must eat a lot of onions!”. Yes, yes I do. Along with garlic, they are the basis of 99% of everything I cook. We should cry with joy at all the goodness in onions … assuming we don’t have a pair of the bright pink onion goggles I received as a gift last year 🙂 thanks for an excellent post promoting the value of adding onions to recipes not just for flavor but for nutrition, and in this economy, they are an inexpensive staple to keep in your kitchen.

  3. findingourwaynow

    I love onions. They just don’t like me when they’re raw. However, I use them whenever possible, in just about everything I cook. I like knowing that by eating them it is really good thing for me on so many levels. Thanks for sharing.:-)

  4. Allium — the wonder vegetables. They protect us from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and goodness knows what else.

    Does this mean that all those stories about wearing garlic around your neck to protect yourself from vampires and werewolves turns out to be true? 🙂

    Kay in Hawaii

  5. I love onions pure and simple and while I knew they are good for you, I did not fully realize that they have phytochemicals ( I had to look that word up) that protects us from cancer.

    I have just one question…most kids I know will not eat onions, they will go out of their way to pick the onions out of any given meal, so how the heck are we supposed to get kids to eat them?

    I guess I will just have to get more inventive!

  6. Pingback: Another Super Food — Mushrooms! | Let's Get in Shape Together

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