By now, most of you are probably well-aware of vegetables that contribute to smoother and clearer or superfoods that support your weight loss goals. But what about foods that are able to cleanse and detoxify the body, boost your overall health and, at the same time, prevent or treat existing ailments and conditions, such as heart disease and cancer?
Cue onions! This vegetable is a popular ingredient utilised in numerous dishes and cuisine around the world that provides that added flavour and fragrant aroma to the meals. While onions are notorious for their ability to bring tears and cause bad breath, they are in fact extremely beneficial is incorporated in your daily diet that is highly capable of safeguarding you from the onset of diseases.
Growing up as a child with acute asthma, I, for one, had been made to eat a string of bizarre food, such as the meat of crows and squirrels, as these meat sources were thought to raise the temperature of the human body, and as a result, prevent the likelihood of an asthma attack. Some may call it exquisite, others a delicacy, but I can assure you, it was not tasty at all. And now thanks to modern science, none of your taste buds will have to suffer the same fate as mine. Scientists have discovered that onions contain quercetin — a compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and produces antihistamine effects. In one particular test tube study, quercetin has exhibited its ability to stop immune cells from releasing histamines, which are essentially your natural body chemicals that trigger allergic reactions. Based on this observation, scientists are certain that the antioxidants and antihistamine properties in onions can be beneficial for asthma patients if consumed regularly. Additionally, a separate study has revealed that quercetin can result in the widening of the bronchi respiratory tract and alleviating asthma symptoms in patients.
When combined with turmeric, onions morph into the trailblazing, eyebrow-raising, jabroni-beating, pie-eating, heart-stopping, kick the door down, step up the brake, floor your foot on the gas candidate that will whoop the daylight out of cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers discovered that the combination of turmeric and onions produces a synergistic effect that significantly lowers both the size and number of precancerous hosts in your intestine and thereby, reducing the potential risk of colon cancer. Moreover, the regular intake of onions has been reported to effectively aid in detoxifying potential carcinogens which contributes to the production of cancer cells. Onions can potentially combat these carcinogens as they contain organosulfur compounds that are stored in the cell of onions and are released when the onion is chewed or chopped.
Scientists have found that a high intake of onions can possibly lower the glucose level in your body. Onions possess a unique essential oil known as allyl propyl disulphide. This oil efficiently lowers the blood sugar levels in your body by increasing the amount of free insulin that is available and inhabit the spots in the liver where insulin is idle or inactive. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinica Chimica Acta: International Journal of Clinical Chemistry in 1975, researchers found that the essential oil in onions resulted in a dramatic plunge in blood glucose levels and cause a substantial increase in the serum of insulin levels after being administered to a group of eight participants after a 12-hour fast.
4. Heart Disease
When we hear of superfoods, onions will probably be the last to flash across the mind. It comes as no surprise really, seeing that onions do not typically possess that authoritative presence in any dish. They do, however, contain a superior compound that we have already mentioned called quercetin that not only treats asthma but has been found to also lower high blood pressure levels in hypertensive adults by a significant amount, as reported in a 2007 study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition. There are several other studies that went on further to suggest that onions surpass the heart-protective properties of red wine, claiming that this zesty vegetable is highly beneficial in regulating blood pressure, preventing your arteries from hardening and keeping them flexible and elastic.
5. Tooth Decay
We all know of at least that one friend who downright refuses to devour anything that has onions in it, even if that is the last remaining dish on earth, for fear that their breath will stink. While it is true that raw onions can make heads turn the opposite direction when you speak, they compensate the unpleasant odour by improving your overall oral health. Yes, as ironic as it sounds, chewing on raw onions can actually fortify your teeth and eradicate the harmful bacteria that often leads to tooth decay. Briefly grinding your teeth on an onion for about three to four minutes can kill most germs in your mouth — just remember to gargle with a bit of mouthwash before heading into a meeting!