What would life be like without onions? The onion is such a staple of the kitchen that many of us hardly give it a second thought. Like flour, milk and eggs, it is always on hand, ready to complement a variety of foods, from a simple hamburger to a fine pate.
Onions can be sauteed, grilled, roasted, braised, pickled, stuffed, deep-fried and cooked into a savory jam. They are the workhorse vegetable in the kitchen, for there’s hardly a dish that doesn’t begin with onions.
An average American consumes around 21pounds of fresh and processed onion every year. According to the National Onion Association, onion consumption in the U.S. has increased approximately 50% over the past 20 years.
Nutritional Benefits :
- Onions are low in calories (30 calories per serving) and are free of cholesterol, fat and sodium. They also provides essential dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and other key nutrients.
- Onions contain generous amount of a flavonoid called Quercetin which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that help delay damage to your cells and tissues. Studies have shown that Quercetin protects against cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Interestingly, white onions contain very little quercetin, so it’s better to stick with the yellow and red varieties
- Onion also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to varied naturally occurring sulfuric compounds.
- The juice of one yellow or white onion a day can raise HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) by 30% over time, according to Dr. Victor Gurewich, director of the Tufts University Vascular Laboratory at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston. Red onions don’t provide the same effect.
Some interesting ways to use onions:
*1 The idea of using onions to ward off diseases hails back thousands of years ago. It is believed that sliced raw onions, when placed in our homes or rooms, can help absorb bacteria or germs in the air, therefore preventing it from entering our bodies. Although it has not been scientifically or medically proven that onions can, in fact, prevent colds, it is definitely worth the try.
*2 Onions have been used to help treat scurvy and they can help treat diarrhea and colds. They may help you if you have gallstones as well. If you are cold, you may want to think about eating some onions. Why? Because they can increase your body heat.
Onion plants have been used medicinally for centuries to treat everything from constipation to hair loss. Today, we know that onions have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, in many parts of the world, onions are used topically to reduce the swelling from bee stings, blisters, and boils.
*3 According to Lifehackery, rubbing a half-onion onto an insect bite will ease the pain because of anti-inflammatory properties in the onion’s enzymes.
*4 Apparently, insects don’t like onions. Which is interesting, because neither do humans–you know, when it’s rubbed all over your body. Onions are good insect repellents.
*5 To cure baldness, rub head with the onion. The onion juice is supposed to cause hair to grow “thick as thistles.” Note: You may have to sleep alone, but at least you’ll have hair!
*6 Onions may help remove a wart. Mix onion slices with crushed aspirin and a little water. Apply the solution to the wart. The onion’s chemical content and the aspirin’s active ingredients will gradually soothe the wart and make it subside.
To maximize the solution’s effect, apply some to a piece of duct tape. Stick the tape on the wart. After several hours, the lesion will be nothing more than a distant memory.
*7 Use an onion to clean your grill. Start by heating your grill very hot to burn off all of the extra grit and grime. Then, when the grill is off but still warm, rub the grill with a half-onion to loosen any detritus left on the metal.
*8 Rub your windshield with an onion. It will keep your car windshield frost-free.
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Yours truly for great health, mind and body,
Michelle, natural health advocate
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