An onion a day, keeps the doctor away

An onion a day, keeps the doctor away

Who knows the health benefits of onions better than us Indians? Our tropical country suffers at least six months of scorching summer, coupled with fire-breathing heat waves, and onions are known to be the only natural remedy to relieve external inflammation as well as internal heat stroke immediately. 

In fact, more than for taste, onions have always been a critical part of Indian cuisine for their medicinal value, especially in the summer season.

Need more reasons to include onions in your diet?

Read on...    Onions have super effective anti-bacterial, insecticide and anti-fungal properties which can help you counter the consequences of having stale or decayed food in this weather. 

Nutritionist Prerna Chugh  of Fitness1 says, “Onions protect against bacteria, including Escherichia Coli and salmonella which easily develop on food in hot and humid conditions. Besides, onions are effective against tuberculosis and infections of the urinary tract like cystitis too.”

For those trying to detox the body, onions are the veggie to go for. They are rich in amino acids - methionine and cystine - and Vitamin C.

“What these amino acids do is latch on to heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and lead, and expel them out of the body. Vitamin C, on the other hand, escorts another heavy metal, arsenic, out of the system,” she informs.

Onions are a great source of organosulfur compounds which are proven to keep away breast, colon and oesophageal cancer.

“All vegetables in the onion family, namely, garlic, leeks, chives, scallions, even spring onions, are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Shallots especially have been shown to prevent blood cancer (leukaemia) in lab tests,” says Prerna.

For those fighting high blood sugar levels, onions are nothing short of a blessing.

Water-soluble Vitamin B3 in onions is mandatory to stabilise blood sugar levels, the genetic balance in cells and absorbing excess fats.

The pungency of onions increases blood circulation and the high iron content in onions is good news for those suffering anaemia.

Onions also help you take care of your heart. Mahima Sarna, dietician, HealthFirst Clinic, says, “Vitamin B3, a potent antioxidant flavonoid - quercitin, and organosulfur compounds in onions significantly help to correct thrombosis, slow down blood clotting, increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL).

Onions also prevent atherosclerosis, the hardening and thickening of the arteries due to plaque, thereby preventing heart attack.

”Diabetics can also find relief in this bulb. “Chromium in onion is extremely helpful in bringing down insulin level and improve glucose tolerance. At the same time, onions help increase urine production, flush out toxins and counter fluid retention, urinary gravel, arthritis and even gout,” informs the nutritionist.

Onions’ respiratory benefits are rather well-documented and widely-known.

A simple concoction of onion juice and honey helps fight common cold, liquefy mucus and prevents its further formation.

For people with asthma, onions are a God-send.