Red Onions: From Regulating Blood Sugar, Heart Health and More

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Did you know that consuming red onions offer various health benefits?

Onions are nutritious whether you consume them cooked or raw. But, raw onions contain higher levels of sulfur compounds. The sulfur compounds in onions are formed via an enzymatic reaction whenever they are crushed or cut.

According to studies, these sulfur compounds contain many health benefits including promoting the breakdown of blood clots, which can help to lower your risk of developing stroke and heart disease. Also, these onion compounds can reduce the production of unhealthy cholesterol in your body.

To maximize the sulfur content of red onions, it is much better to consume them raw. Cooking onions will significantly decrease the quantity of the compounds that offer many health benefits.

If you can manage the taste of raw red onions, add them to dishes such as sandwiches or salads. If you choose to consume cooked onions, cooking them lightly will still offer various health benefits. You can serve roasted or grilled red onions as a side dish, or saute and dice them with some peppers to make a delicious and healthy relish for grains and lean meat.

5 Amazing Reasons You Should Eat Raw Red Onions:

1. Anti-inflammatory

Onions’ sulfurs may be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, as per a 1990 study in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology.

Quercetin has been reported to relax the airway muscles and may provide relief of asthma symptoms, as per a 2013 study in the American Journal of Physiology.

2. Boosts Your Immune System

“The polyphenols present in onions act as antioxidants, thereby protecting your body against free radicals,” according to Anne Mauney, a dietitian based in Washington, D.C. Eliminating free radicals can help to encourage a strong immune system.

As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, the quercetin present in onions also reduces allergic reactions by stopping your body from producing histamines, which are what make you cry, sneeze, and itch if you are having an allergic reaction.

3. Contains Anti-Cancer Properties

Out of all the various types of onions, the red ones are the most effective in fighting both colon and breast cancer cells. The outer layers of red onions contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals in your body. Also, red onions are rich in anthocyanin.

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These 2 compounds can make cancer cells “kill” themselves. Increasing your quercetin and anthocyanin levels can help hinder the growth of cancer cells in your body. Also, raw red onions can help in minimizing cancer risk by eliminating carcinogens from your liver, neutralizing free radicals, inhibiting inflammation, and repairing DNA and tissue damage.

4. Heart Health

Red onions contain flavonoids that help in promoting heart health. Also, red onions contain organosulfur compounds that can help to lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. While, the thiosulfinates present in onions act as natural blood thinners, which can help in reducing your risk of stroke.

Recently, health researchers have noticed a linked between high cholesterol management and messaging molecules called oxylipins. A 2016 study in the journal Redox Biology reported that consuming onions increases oxylipins, which help in regulating blood fat levels and levels of cholesterol.

Also, the quercetin present in onions may help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, which reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. But, since most of the studies focused on animals, more research is needed to fully understand its effects in humans.

5. Regulating Blood Sugar

The chromium present in onions help in regulating blood sugar. While, the sulfur in onions helps to lower blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production.

A study in 2010 in the journal Environmental Health Insights reported that this might be especially helpful to individuals with diabetes. Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who consumed red onions have shown lower glucose levels for up to 4 hours.

A 2014 meta-analysis in the journal Nutrition reported that patients with Type 2 diabetes have shown more normalized liver enzymes and lower glycemic levels when consuming sliced onions.


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  2. How to Use Raw Onions for Treating Colds and Stuffy Nose
  3. Onion Skins for Your Health and More

photo credit: pixabay

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