Healthy Option

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Healthy Option

Onions are members of the Allium family, and are rich in powerful sulphur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odours and for many of their health-promoting effects. Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide, and are very rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, plus vitamin C, and numerous flavonoids, most notably, quercetin which has been shown to halt the growth of tumours in animals and to protect colon cells from the damaging effects of certain cancer-causing substances.

Worldwide studies and published reports indicate that the inclusion of onions in the diet has a positive effect on the health of individuals.

The regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, both of which help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Onions lower the blood cholesterol by oxidising excess cholesterol. One teaspoon of raw onion juice first thing in the morning is beneficial in such cases.

Several population studies have shown an association between onion intake and reduced risk of stomach cancer. The regular consumption of onions, as little as two or more times per week, is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing colon cancer. These beneficial effects are likely due to onion's sulphur compounds, its chromium and its vitamin B6, which helps prevent heart disease by lowering high homocysteine levels, another significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

These health giving properties were recognised by the Egyptians and Greeks from around 1500BC - onions were consumed to help combat headaches, body weakness, throat disorders, old age, improving stamina, improving digestion, stimulates the heart, relieving eye disorders, diuretic and anti-rheumatic activity.

Onions contain allicin, which has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.  Onions can play a part in treating diabetes by normalising blood sugar levels.  The University of Berne, Switzerland, has carried out studies that show onions can help prevent bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.  Further trials are being carried out to confirm that including an appropriate amount of onions (and other vegetables) in the daily diet could be an effective and inexpensive way to decrease the incidence of osteoporosis.

Onion composition per 100g

Source - - The FDDB Food Database

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