Health Benefits of Onion (Allium cepa)
by: Arlene Gentallan
Onion has been grown since the ancient times both for it's culinary use and medicinal benefits. It has a history dating back to several thousands of years ago from civilization such as the Egyptians, Chinese, Sumerians and Indians. It is a member of the genus Allium and contains sulfoxides (which is oxidized from sulfides), a compound responsible for their distinct odor.
Nowadays, onion is as useful and indespensable as it has been since the old times. But do you ever wonder what's with onion that makes it so popular?
Onion contains quercetin, a flavonoid which eliminates damaging free radicals that can otherwise cause damage to the body. This antioxidant is found mostly in the ourter portion of the onion skin.
Good for the blood and circulation
It contains allicin (an organic compound that contains sulfur) which is responsible for it's anti-coagulant property. This leads to thinning of the blood which helps prevent thrombus formation that can lead to fatal conditions such heart attack and stroke.
Those with gouty & rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other condition involving inflammation may benefit from onion. This vegetable has been shown to reduce or even stop the activity of mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandin, histamine, and leukotrines.
Lowers blood sugar & reduces weight
Onion lowers blood sugar (glucose) level thanks to it's sulfur content. This compound also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides which aids with weight loss. Onion has very low calories and virtually no fat.
Onion contains compound that prevents the growth of heliobacter pylor, a bacteria primarily responsible for gastric ulcer.
Furthermore, onion also contains other essential trace vitamins.
According to USDA, 1 tbsp chopped onion (10g) contains:
= 14.6mg Potassium
= 0.4mg Sodium
= 1mg Magnesium
= 0.7 mg Vitamin C
= 4 Calories
= 0g Fat
Good to know, onion is more than just a vegetable you find on the kitchen counter.