Monday, October 27, 2008

Health Benefits of Onions

Onions had been widely used as an ingredient in various dishes for thousands of years all over the world. Here in the Philippines, almost all of the dishes have onions. There are many variations of onions; you can see red, yellow, and white onions each with their own flavor intensity. Onions can be eaten raw, fried, dried or roasted.

Onions are also known to have medical values. They are used to treat colds, coughs, and to repel insects. Dry onions are a surprising source of fiber and a rich source of healthy sulfur compounds, similar to those found in garlic. Research on onions has lagged behind garlic research, but onions appear to have similar cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, at least in the short term.

Onions also contain phytochemicals called flavonoids, which help vitamin C in its function, improving the integrity of blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. All this spells help for your cardiovascular system. One particular flavonoid, quercetin, may inhibit tumor growth and help keep colon cancer at bay.

Onions also contain vitamin C and chromium. Chromium is a mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, ultimately assisting with blood glucose control. Green onions, because of their bright green tops, provide a wealth of vitamin A.

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