How Onions Help Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Excellent Source of (Daily Recommended): 

  • Vitamin C – 20%

Good Source of (Daily Recommended)

  • Vitamin B6 – 10%

Good Source of (Daily Recommended)

  • Folate – 8%
  • Thiamin – 5%
  • Riboflavin – 3%

Minerals

Good Source of (Daily Recommended): 

  • Manganese – 10%

A Source of:

  • Potassium – 7%
  • Phosphorus – 5%
  • Magnesium – 4%
  • Calcium – 4%
  • Copper – 3%

Other

Good Source of (Daily Recommended):

  • Fiber – 11%

Also a Source of:

  • Antioxidants – fisetin, quercetin, anthocyanins
  • Prebiotics – inulin, fructooligosaccharides

*All nutritional information found at (1)

How Onions Prevent Chronic Disease

Onions are loaded with nutrients that can help prevent a number of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more!

How Onions Prevent Cancer

  • Onions are loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to neutralize cancer causing free radicals.

  • Typically, cancer is caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, both of which assist cancer cells in spreading throughout the body. (2)

  • However, it has been shown that eating onions can reduce your risk of stomach and colorectal cancers, to name just two.

    • One group of studies showed that eating onions can reduce your risk of stomach cancer by up to 22%! (3)
    • Another study showed that onions could reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by up to 15%. (4)
    • These positive effects are primarily due to onions’ rich antioxidant capacity, sulfur compounds, and fiber.

  • Onions are rich in onionin A, a sulfur-containing compound that has been proven to slow the spread of cancer, including ovarian and lung cancer. Onionin A specifically reduces tumor development and increases apoptotic activity (cancer cell death). (5, 6)

  • Onions also are rich in fisetin and quercetin. These antioxidants promote tumor destruction. (7)

  • Onions, especially red onions, contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins reduce your risk of cancer through their apoptotic abilities and capacity to regulate the cell cycle. (8) These molecules are the same that give berries their strong anti-cancer properties.

  • Moreover, onions have a high vitamin C content. Vitamin C helps improve the immune system by increasing white blood cell count. As a result, you are able to fight against foreign agents more efficiently, including free radicals. In short, vitamin C helps decrease your risk of cancer. (9)

How Onions Prevent Diabetes

  • Onions are exceptional at regulating blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes. Onions are rich in quercetin, another sulfur compound. Quercetin has potent antidiabetic effects. (10)

    • In one study, researchers showed how quercetin, which interacts with cells in the small intestine, liver, and pancreas, regulates blood sugar levels. (11)
    • Another study showed that rats who were fed onion extract significantly decreased their fasting blood sugar and had lower fat than those that were not given the extract. (12)
  • Moreover, onions are rich in fiber. Fiber has been shown to help protect against type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels. Specifically, fiber keeps you fuller for an extended period and slows digestion, preventing overconsumption and large blood sugar spikes throughout the day. (13)

How Onions Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

  • Onions are loaded with compounds that can fight against inflammation and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • As mentioned previously, onions are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that reduces heart disease risk factors and blood pressure levels. (14)

    • One study showed that onion extract, filled with quercetin, reduces systolic blood pressure by up to 6 mmHg, compared to those that were not given the extract.

  • Onions have also been shown to reduce your bad LDL cholesterol levels. Anthocyanins and other antioxidants have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol clumping, thus reducing your risk of heart attacks and stroke. The antioxidants help lower triglyceride levels and blood clot formation. (15)

Onions Promote a Number of Health Benefits

How Onions Promote Bone Health

Onions promote bone health by increasing bone strength and density. Studies have shown that onions reduce oxidative stress and can prevent diseases such as osteoporosis. 

One study showed that older adults who ate onions reduced their risk of hip fracture by 20% compared to those that did not consume onions! (16)

How Onions Promote Digestion

Onions are filled with fiber and prebiotics, which are essential for gut health.

Prebiotics help feed the gut bacteria and create short-chain fatty acids. Studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids reduce inflammation. (17)

Onions are rich in inulin and fructooligosaccharides. These have been shown to feed the bacteria in your gut and promote proper gut health. (18)

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