If you can name one ingredient that is most common in almost all the cuisines in the world then it must be onions.
Onion is rich in many essential vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are vital for your wellbeing.
It has been used in ancient medical practices for centuries to cure various ailments like headache, cardiovascular diseases, and canker sores.
If you are doubtful about including onions in your regular diet, here are some worthy reasons why you must.
1 It may improve your heart health
One of the major reasons for cardiovascular diseases is inflammation. Onion contains compounds that fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, and also reduce inflammation.
Studies have shown that onion can reduce triglycerides, and bad cholesterol levels, which can greatly improve your heart health.
Onions contain a chemical compound called quercetin, which is a potent antioxidant that helps to prevent inflammation and also decreases the factors that contribute to heart diseases, such as high blood pressure.
2 Might Reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer
Being a rich source of antioxidants, onions potentially inhibit the factors that lead to cellular level damage, which is a primary reason for various types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.
Anthocyanins, a special plant pigment found in red onions which gives its characteristic color has been found to reduce the risk of heart diseases that are caused due to inflammation.
Additionally, preliminary studies have shown that anthocyanins also prevents certain types of cancer and diabetes.
3 Rich in cancer-fighting compounds
Although onions are rich in many antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress in your body, it contains a particular compound allium, which is well known for its stomach and colorectal cancer-preventive properties.
A recent review of 26 studies on allium has shown that people who consume onions or diet rich in allium regularly reduce their risk of stomach cancer by nearly 22 percent.
Another review of 13 studies which involved 13,333 people showed that those who intake onion regularly reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by around 15%
Additionally, onion is also a good source of a sulfur-containing compound that is known to slow down the growth of ovarian and lung cancer.
Fisetin and quercetin are a couple of antioxidants found in good quantities in onions which are found to inhibit the tumor growth.
4 Helps to regulate blood glucose levels
Regulating blood sugar levels is vital for both prediabetic and diabetic patients. One of the best ways to keep it in check is by regularly including onions in your diet.
Health experts believe quercetin and sulfur compounds present in onions is responsible for its anti-diabetic effects.
Some studies have shown quercetin interacts with cells present in intestines, pancreas, fat tissues, liver, and skeletal muscle, and effectively regulates the blood sugar levels.
5 May improve your bone health
Being a rich source of antioxidants, onions effectively reduces oxidative stress, decreases bone loss, and prevents bone-related conditions like osteoporosis by boosting bone strength and density.
A scientific study which involved 507 premenopausal and postmenopausal women found that women who regularly consumed onions reduced their risk of hip fracture by 20 percent over those who did not consume onions.
Additionally, the study also showed that onion consuming group increased their bone density by around 5 percent over those who did not eat onions.
6 It has antimicrobial properties
Onions do not just taste good, it can also fight harmful bacterias such as E.coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus.
Additionally, studies have found that certain compounds found in onion extract can hinder the growth of Vibrio cholerae, a harmful bacteria which is responsible for many health conditions in developing nations.
Quercetin, a powerful antibacterial compound found in onions has been found to inhibit the growth of H.pylori, a bacteria that major contributes to the occurrence of stomach ulcers, and digestive cancers.
7 May improve digestive health
Onions are a rich source of fiber and prebiotics, which are very vital for strengthening your gut.
Fibers help to add bulk to the stools, regulates the bowel movements, and prevents constipation.
Prebiotics are nothing but a non-digestible type of fiber, which gets broken down by the good and beneficial bacterias present in the gut.
The good bacterias in your gut will break down probiotics, and create short-chain fatty acids, which strengthens your gut and improve your digestive health.
Consumption of prebiotics has shown to improve the absorption of minerals like calcium, which in turn helps to improve the bone strength.
Increase in the number of good bacterias in your gut helps to improve and strengthen your immune system.