Lets talk onions! OK- maybe you can’t think of much to say but that is why I am here. They seem ordinary and nondescript but this superfood is packing powerful stuff!
Because onions are small and their tissues leave little or no trace, there is no conclusive opinion about the exact location and time of their birth. Many archaeologists, botanists, and food historians believe onions originated in central Asia. Other research suggests onions were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan.
It is presumed our predecessors discovered and started eating wild onions very early on long before farming or even writing was invented. Very likely, this humble vegetable was a staple in the prehistoric diet.
Most researchers agree the onion has been cultivated for 5000 years or more. Since onions grew wild in various regions, they were probably consumed for thousands of years and domesticated simultaneously all over the world. Onions may be one of the earliest cultivated crops because they were less perishable than other foods of the time, were transportable, were easy to grow, and could be grown in a variety of soils and climates. In addition, the onion was useful for sustaining human life. Onions prevented thirst and could be dried and preserved for later consumption when food might be scarce. While the place and time of the onion’s origin is still a mystery, many documents from very early times describe its importance as a food and its use in art, medicine, and mummification.
Some of the health benefits of onions include their role in substantially relieving a number of diseases including the common cold, asthma, bacterial infections, respiratory problems, angina, and cough. Onions are also known to repel bloodthirsty insects. In other words, you may say that onions are a true gift from nature, even if they do make you cry.
Even the World Health Organization confirms that onions are beneficial for people with a reduced appetite and those suffering from atherosclerosis. Health experts acknowledge the fact that onion provides great respite for patients with chronic asthma, allergic bronchitis, common cold-related cough and cold syndromes. Are you getting more impressed with onions?
Onions have so many valuable medicinal applications because of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds contained in them, including the presence of sulfuric compounds and quercetin in traces of the essential oils. They also contain mineral components such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium and phosphorus, and they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber!
Here’s a quick glimpse at their incredible health benefits:
- The phytochemicals in onions along with their vitamin C help improve immunity.
- Onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar.
- For centuries, onions have been used to reduce inflammationand heal infections.
- Do you enjoy sliced onions with your food? If yes, rejoice! Raw onion lowers the production of bad cholesterol (LDL), thus keeping your heart healthy.
- A powerful compound called quercetin in onions is known to play a significant role in preventing cancer.
- Got stung by a honeybee? Apply onion juice on the area for immediate relief from the pain and burning sensation.
- Onions scavenge free radicals, thereby reducing your risk of developing gastric ulcers.
- Those bright green tops of green onions are rich in Vitamin A, so do use them often.
Which type of onions are the healthiest? Researchers from Cornell studied 11 onion varieties, and found that shallots and Western yellow onions were the healthiest for their phenolic and flavonoid content.
My favorite way to enjoy onions is to slice them really thin, squeeze some lemon juice on top and add a little salt. Sprinkling a few freshly washed cilantro leaves adds fragrance and flavor to this simple, quick salad.
If you don’t want to do the work, we have done it for you!
This week you can try so many dishes with onions it will make your head spin!
Try our Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Brown Rice or our Fiesta Soup just to name a few. Hurry over though- they won’t last!
Happy Healthy Eating!