20 Health Benefits of Onions

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Onions are a quintessential part of almost any recipe especially if you are making varieties of Indian dishes. Their rich flavor is the starting point for dishes such as sauces, casseroles, and soups. But besides their flavor profile, they also have impressive nutritional benefits.

Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of folic acid and dietary fiber, and they also contain calcium, iron, and some amounts of protein. Additionally, they are also rich in quercetin, which is an antioxidant compound that may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Now, let's explore about 20 health benefits of consuming onions in our everyday balanced diet.

1. Lower The Risk Of Cancer

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Several studies have suggested that onion can help reduce the risk of developing ovarian, colon, and mouth cancer due to rich antioxidant compounds that prevent cell damage. The sulfur found in onions prevents the growth of tumors and cancer development by protecting cells from mutation.

All onion varieties at least consists 25 different flavonoid compounds that benefits in several condition including lowering the effects of histamines. Consuming fresh yellow onion also helps to lessen insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in breast cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.

2. Improve Digestive Health

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Onion is rich in prebiotics and also a fiber-rich food that promotes good digestion enhances gut bacterial balance, and maintains regularity. In addition to this, a special type of soluble fiber called oligofructose is found in onions, which promotes good bacteria growth in the intestines and improves overall digestive health.

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, oligofructose may help prevent and treat diarrhea. The phytochemicals found in onion fight with free radicals and reduce your risk of developing gastric ulcers. You can include onions in your everyday meals and reap the benefits that your body requires.

3. Strengthen Bone Health

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Onions are excellent in order to build a strong bone, which improves the overall well-being of an individual. Antioxidant properties lower oxidative stress, increase antioxidant levels, and reduce bone loss, which protects against bone-related disease and relieves joint discomfort. 

Similarly, a substance found in white onions called GPCS helps bone loss. A study on onions suggested that women who consume onions frequently had 5 percent more bone mass than those who did not. Moreover, eating onions also improves bone density in women who are above 50 years old. Onions can also reduce leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

4. Lower Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke

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Onions are a great source of thiosulfate and flavonoids because of which onions have strong flavor and odor. Despite containing strong flavor, thiosulfate helps maintain blood consistency, and sulfur present in onions is known to decrease cholesterol levels in your body.

The presence of these thiosulfates and flavonoid compounds helps to reduce the risk of stroke and heart-related disease. Health experts also suggest that consuming raw or cooked onions is the best way to acquire the most sulfur compounds. So, start adding onions to your everyday diet to reap all the benefits from it.

5. Control Diabetes

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Raw onions contain allyl propyl disulfide compound, which has been linked with reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This particular compound works by increasing insulin sensitivity, and the body utilizes insulin more effectively to regulate blood sugar levels.

Moreover, onions are also low in calories and fat, which makes them a great addition to any healthy diet. Onions can easily blend with several foods including chicken or vegetarian salads for lunch and dinner to boost flavor and nutrition. As a result, eating onion reduces blood sugar and manages diabetes if consumed regularly.

6. Contains Antibacterial Properties

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The antibacterial properties of onion help prevent the growth of bacteria inside our bodies. One recent study found that the antibacterial properties of onion can combat the growth of Vibrio cholerae, which is one of the most significant health concerns in various countries.

As discussed earlier, onions also contain a compound named quercetin, which helps to boast several powerful properties to kill bacteria. The related study showcased that quercetin found in onion prevents the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect different organs and parts of the body. Therefore, adding onions to your everyday snack or meal can be a great option to fight bacterial infections.

7. Boost Immunity

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The antioxidants and quercetin present in onions can help strengthen your immune system by reducing allergic reactions by eliminating histamine production. Selenium stimulates the immune system while minerals protect against an overactive immune response which can have negative effects.

Polyphenols protect your body against external viruses and microorganisms trying to enter the body such as cold, flu, etc. On the other hand, your gut health and immune system are directly related to each other, so if your gut is healthy, it directly makes way for a healthy immune system.

8. Promote Hair Growth

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The sulfur compounds in onions help in hair growth, the sulfur is also found in food that contains amino acids. Onions are also rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties that help to nurture hair, enhance its growth, and prevent harmful diseases that may affect your hair's health.

The rich sulfur content and antioxidants protect hair from thinning and breakage as well as premature greying. In addition to this, onions fight dandruff and assist in blood circulation which ultimately makes your hair longer and healthier. You can make onion juice or oil in your home and use it every week for a better result.

9. Benefits Eye Health

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By now we have got to know that sulfur in onions is extremely good for overall health. Researchers have also suggested that the presence of sulfur improves the health of the lens of the eye which helps to improve vision. 

Onion stimulates the production of a protein named glutathione, acts as an antioxidant, and reduces the risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts which are mostly seen among older people. Moreover, onion is high in selenium, which helps to support the vitamin E in the eye. The onion extracts can also aid in preventing the development of corneal haze onion juice can also be used in the form of eye drops.

10. May Cure Ear Disorder

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Onion juice can work wonder to relieve earache and has been a popular remedy since ancient time. However, you should know the exact way to use onion for ear problems. You can heat up the onion, extract the juice from it, and pour a few drops into the infected ear.

There is very little research on this particular concern, but most parents swear by onions to cure ear issue that is mostly seen in children. As we know, this home remedy technique is not a scientifically proven method, so make sure you consult your doctor when you see any problem related to the ear.

11. Helps Fight Respiratory Infections

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Onions are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the symptoms related to respiratory health including asthma. Their antioxidants help to dilate bronchitis which improves the overall health condition of the individual.

This remedy has been used for thousands of years, people around the world have been using onions in one way or another to promote their respiratory health. You can make onion juice and directly consume it or you can try adding it to varieties of American, Indian, or Spanish dishes or you can sprinkle chopped onions above your other favorite dish.

12. Improve Fertility

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The presence of flavonoid quercetin in onion has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a key factor in protecting sperm and egg DNA from free radical damage.

Several studies have shown that vitamin C-rich foods reduce sperm clumping and improve the motility of sperm. Moreover, taking vitamin C along with vitamin E improved the number, mobility, and sometimes DNA integrity of sperm in men. Selenium in onions is also needed for the proper functioning of the sperm, fertility power, and maintaining the ability to swim.

13. Provide Better Sleep

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Apart from all these good benefits, onions also contain essential nutrients that improve the quality of your sleep. This superfood includes prebiotics, and a few studies also suggest they may provide better sleep and reduce stress.

Onions are also loaded with L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid that acts as a natural sedative. It also manages stress hormones and lowers the level of sugar in your body which in return results in a reduction of activity in the human body. This vitamin C-rich food also provides several benefits and fights the insomniac problem.

14. Helps Treat Scars And Keloids

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If you have a scar that reminds you of your past incident and want to remove it from your body then onion extract gel can be the best option for you. However, the onions cannot fully remove the keloid scar but they will certainly reduce the size, pain, and inflammation.

Onions contain an abundance of flavonoids and antioxidant properties that have been used for treating scars and marks from the ancient ages. Studies have suggested that the juice of the onion is extremely effective in reducing keloid and other scars. To apply the extract, squeeze out onion juice directly onto the keloid 3-4 times a day to reduce the size and symptoms.

15. Remedies For Hypertension

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Beyond adding its strong flavor to several delicacies, onions are treasured due to their positive role in maintaining good health. Onions are a quercetin-rich food that lowers high blood pressure which positively impacts hypertension. 

The flavonoids help avoid heart-related disease by preventing blood clots and cholesterol from sticking to arteries wall. Over time, quercetin in onion can also help raise levels of healthy cholesterol in the blood. It also contains heart-healthy fiber which is good for regulating blood pressure levels. According to the health expert, you should try consuming onion raw as cooked onions may lose their effects.

16. Might Increase Testosterone Production

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Consuming onions might boost your testosterone levels, which is primarily responsible during puberty as well as your reproductive health. Studies on onions have shown that eating raw onions or taking onion extract may help boost the luteinizing hormone, which controls the secretion of Testosterone.

Onions have powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can contribute to a healthy diet. So far, most studies are conducted in animals and further research is necessary to find an exact link between onions and testosterone in humans.

17. Contribute In Glowing And Ageless Skin

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Onions are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, all of which contribute to skin health. The nutrient present in onions protects the skin from premature aging that is caused by free radicals. Moreover, this powerful vegetable shields the skin from bacteria that cause several infections.

The antioxidants also fight against the damage caused by harmful UV rays and prevent free radicals that cause premature aging of our skin. The quercetin in onions keeps your skin wrinkle-free, vitamin and sulfur. The antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities work as a powerful antiseptic that protects your skin from acne-causing bacteria.

18. May Treat Menopause Symptoms

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Menopause is the time in your life when menstruation stops and is considered a normal part of the aging process. Man people have a variety of symptoms in years before, after, or during menopause. The slowing amount of estrogen and progesterone during menopause can cause hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, irritation, and more. 

For many people, the symptoms are mild and go away on their own but for some, it is extremely painful. According to the Journal of Breast Cancer, eating raw onion every day helps in treating postmenopausal symptoms due to the presence of calcium. It also helps during menopause as it maintains a healthy liver and gets rid of the hormones that are needed for the body.

19. Great For Oral Health

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Onions fall under the list of superfoods that offer plenty of health benefits. But most people don't know that they are also equally good for their teeth. Consuming raw onion may make your breath less appealing, but its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are beneficial for oral health.

A raw onion, when chewed, can help strengthen your teeth and kill harmful bacteria that may have lived in your mouth for a long time. Additionally, onions can help detoxify the body and fight osteoporosis and inflammation. If you don't like to chew raw onion, you can try adding the slice of onion to your healthy chicken salad recipes for optimal taste.

20. Used As An Insect Repellent

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Bugs and mosquitoes can be a real problem when you are trying to enjoy the outdoors. They not only give you itchy bites but also carry diseases. While there are varieties of commercial repellents available on the market, you can try using natural methods.

You can use onion peels as mosquito and bug repellent. They are rich in sulfur compounds, which can amazingly work against mosquitoes and bugs. To use onions as repellent cream, collect onion peels, dry them, and later burn the peels. The sulfur compounds in the onion peels will be released into the air and will act as a repellent.

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