What are the benefits of onions?
Onions are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants and are related to garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. Onion is used popularly all over the world in a variety of dishes because of its diversity and dimension it adds to many foods. It adds both flavor and extra texture to the dish and creates a pleasant aromatic experience. There are many different varieties of onions to choose from; such as red, white, yellow, and green onions. Next time you are chopping an onion and feel a tear coming on, do NOT worry as they produce a chemical irritant known as sys-Propanethial-S-oxide that stimulates the eye's lachrymal glands to release tears. Note: this is totally normal and using a well sharpened knife may help reduce the tear-jerking gas to spread in the air.
Onions are a great source of prebiotics and fiber, 1/2 cup of diced onions contains 1 gram of fiber. These are known to be a supporting factor in good gut health. Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber that helps feed the good gut bacteria. These bacteria will create short-chain-fatty-acids, which have been shown to strengthen one’s gut health, reduce inflammation, enhance digestion, and boost immunity. They are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. Due to the onion being a fructan, inulin-type fructans can aid and improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Onions are low in calories and may help reduce cholesterol levels, allowing the risk for heart disease to also be decreased. Although there are many benefits to the consumption of onions, too many onions can cause indigestion or symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Onions are very versatile and can be enjoyed many ways; give this #goodgut recipe a try!
Ways to eat it
Onions create a strong flavor base for a number of dishes, but can also be the star of the show
Try them in soups, stews, stir-fries, wraps, bowls, and more!
Use them to add flavor to homemade beans
Try pickled onions for a bright, bold color and flavor on top of tacos or sandwiches!
Recipe: Pickled Red Onions
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1 red onion
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1-2 tsp iodized salt
Bay leaves (optional)
Chili flakes (optional)
Thinly slice onions.
Combine vinegar, salt, water, and spices.
Add onions to a container and pour liquid to the top.
Store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.
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Griffiths, G., Trueman, L., Crowther, T., Thomas, B., Smith, B. (2002). Onions--a global benefit
to health. Phytother Res; 16(7):603-15. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1222. PMID: 12410539.
Roberfroid, M., (2007). Inulin-type fructans: Functional food ingredients. The Journal of
Nutrition, 137. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.11.2493S