Onions are a popular member of the allium family which includes other vegetables like leeks, garlic, shallots and spring onions. We’ve peeled back the layers and have 5 reasons you’ll want to make sure you’re incorporating onions in to your diet.
As the name suggests, ‘Fight-O Chemicals’ play a major role in fighting inflammation, cancer, aging and some neurodegenerative diseases. Onions contain a number of these phytochemicals including disulfides, trisulfides and vinyldithins which act as scavengers and bind cancer causing chemicals, making them inactive.
Onions contain adenosine, a compound shown to play a role in preventing clot formation thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. Some evidence also suggests that onions can increase the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol found in our bodies and in doing so prevent the artery clogging damage of ‘bad cholesterol’.
Rather than heading for the salt shaker, why not boost the flavour of your meal by adding onions? Using onions to naturally flavour your food will help to reduce your salt intake. A high salt intake can lead to high blood pressure which can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Keep in mind that it may take up to 4-6 weeks for your body to adapt to a lower sodium intake and appreciate the natural flavours of food.
Onions are a great source of folate (folic acid), a B group vitamin essential for good health. Folic acid plays a vital role in growth and cell development. Consuming a diet rich in folic acid is especially important for women of childbearing age.
Our guts are home to millions of ‘healthy’ bacteria known as probiotics, which help us to ward off infection, digest food and produce vitamins. In order to keep our digestive systems healthy, we need to feed the healthy (probiotic) bacteria living in our guts. Onions are a rich source of prebiotics, a special type of fibre which passes undigested through the stomach and small intestines. When prebiotics arrive in the large intestine they act as food for the healthy (probiotic) bacteria that live here. In short, including onions in your diet will boost the healthy bacteria in your gut.