Onion is a popular vegetable that’s used as spice in cooking across different climes.
Onion has been known for cooking for thousands of years, and it’s used in making different delicacies across Asia, Europe, America and Africa.
Not only can it make your meal or soup tasty, it’s loaded with important minerals and vitamins that can benefit our body.
Health benefits of Onions
There are different health effects of eating onions regularly, both fresh onion and cooked one.
Effects on Blood and cholesterol
Eating medium-size raw onions every day has a beneficial effect on the blood and protects the heart from ordinary ravages of blood cholesterol and heart attacks.
Usually, blood cholesterol responds rapidly to drugs and changes in diet. Dr. Gurewich, a professor of medicine and a director at the vascular laboratory at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Hospital in Boston (Massachusetts, USA) was discouraged over the blood profiles of his patients who had suffered heart attacks.
Most came in with extremely low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) blood cholesterol; that is the good type that acts as a scavenger in the blood, scarfing up and carrying cholesterol to the liver, where it is destroyed.
People with high HDL cholesterol levels enjoy protection from cardiovascular heart diseases.
Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly a routine among the nation’s leading Cardiologists, chaktty said.
But Dr. Gurewich with impeccable medical credentials knew that onions lack the risk of serious side effects common In therapeutic drugs, therefore, his patients started eating a medium-size raw onion every day.
Later, some preferred to take onion juice in capsules. A striking result was obtained with the onion therapy, their HDL levels went up on an average of thirty percent, sending most of them into the formal range.
Onion triggered a shift in the ratio of good to bad cholesterol, replacing a substantial amount of the destructive LDL (bad type cholesterol) with heart-protective HDL cholesterol. The HDL boost is greatest from raw onions, and lessened with cooking.
The active ingredient is the one that gives Onion its strong taste. The major effect comes from the hotter white and yellow onions; mild red onions don’t work nearly as well.
The stronger the onion taste, the shaper the elevation of HDLs. Onions contain Adenosine that keeps platelets from sticking together or blood clot dissolving systems.
Onions promote clot breakup
Just as some onion chemicals keep platelets from sticking together, others actively work to dissolve clots as they form.
This clot-dissolving chemical is not destroyed by heat, thus onions both cooked and raw contain chemicals that promote clot breakup.
A string of subsequent healthpally studies showed that boiled, raw and dried as well as fried onions also partially cleared blood of the effects of dietary fat.
That’s why it makes good sense to top your hamburger with a slab of raw onion or stir up a few onions with your steak.
Onion as a natural detoxifier
Onions play a major role in the detoxification of putrefactive bacteria in the intestine and the stimulation of juice which helps digestion.
When Onions are dehydrated (dried,) they lose about 96% of their moisture. Onions that are dehydrated without heating do have their flavour preserved.
Dried onions are marketed as onion flakes ( large pieces of dried onions), minced onions (small pieces of dried onions), Onions powders( grind dehydrated onion), and onion salt powder and salt usually contain an anti-caking agent such as tricalcium phosphate, which helps in preventing the powder from absorbing moisture and clumping.
Why do cooked Onions taste good and raw cut onions hurt the eyes?
Onions are members of the Lilly family whose flavour comes from sulphur compounds activated by the enzyme alliinase, released when you peel or slice the onion bulb.
Heat converts these sulphur compounds to sugars, that’s why cooked onions taste sweeter than raw onions.
Thiopropanal s-oxide contained in the onion bulb becomes exposed to air when onions are peeled, and this compound reacts with the lysozyme, an enzyme in the eye, thus producing a weak sulphurous acid. This causes the burning effect on the eye thus producing tears.
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