Onions are part of the same genus as garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives, which is known as the Allium genus of plants. As such, onions share some similar properties while possessing their own unique flavor and benefits. Lets explore some of the health benefits of onions.
Onions are featured in all kinds of cooking from all over the world. They are available virtually everywhere year round and are very inexpensive. Onions are delicious raw or cooked and can add a depth of flavor to any dish. They keep well for long periods of time without refrigeration. Keeping onions around and using them in a variety of dishes frequently is a no-brainer on The Kaufmann Diet.
Onions are loaded with nutrients, including, vitamin C, B vitamins like folate, and potassium. Onions are also rich in a variety of antioxidants, including over 25 flavonoid extracts and heart-protecting anthocyanins (which are found specifically in purple onions). Onions are a good source of fiber and probiotics like inulin––nutrients that feed probiotics––and are thus good for gut health and support healthy intestinal flora. Onions provide all this nutrition while being quite low in calories, only 44 calories per serving.
Health Benefits of Onions Vs. The Big 3
Onions might possess some key benefits against the three big diseases that we hear about the most: cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- Onions contain compounds that are known to protect against cancer. Specifically, onions might provide protection against stomach cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Similar to garlic, onions contain nutrients that are known to promote heart health, as well. Onions contain compounds like quercetin that reduce inflammation, support healthy cholesterol, and might lower blood pressure, all of which are important factors in heart health.
Finally, onions might be beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels. Simply eating 3.5 ounces of raw onions per day showed a noteworthy drop in fasting blood sugar levels.
Onion’s Anti-fungal Properties
Onions have been studied for their anti-fungal properties. Similar to garlic, onions exhibit anti-fungal activity––due in part to the presence of allicin in the onions, a nutrient that garlic is well-known for. Onions performed on par with garlic in a test of anti-fungal activity. This makes onions a great option for The Kaufmann Diet. Given the links between fungi and disease, it is possible that all the other benefits associated with garlic stem from its anti-fungal capabilities and rich inherent nutrition.