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It may surprise you to know how the nature has found various ways to enrich our lives with the gift of bounties that it provides. One such gift on nature is onion and the benefits it imparts our bodies. Enough of all the tears you’ve shed while chopping this vegetable. It’s time the nutritional value in it brings you a smile so as to ensure you that all those tears have not been wasted in vain.
Cultivation of Onions:
Onions are bulbs. They are that kind of a vegetable that are grown on the earth and need to be pulled out from the soil upon maturity. It grows in loamy soil, under full sunlight. The best season to plant them is the onset of spring. It matures in and around when the days begin to get colder during autumn. It needs a well-drained soil for growth. For increasing the quality of soil, it is best suited to add nitrogen fertilizer before planting the seeds. Onion seeds are very tiny in size, black in colour. You could use these seeds, easily available in the market to plant them in your garden and have your personalized stock if onions.
Characteristics of Onion:
Onions have a typically sharp taste. Some even find it spicy. They have a pungent smell. They can be eaten raw or cooked. In order that the taste of onion is neutralized, most people prefer eating it cooked than raw. You will find the farmers in India, consuming onions with the Indian bread, also known as roti. It constitutes their meal for the hardwork of the day. One can even make pickle of the onions. Their taste blends well when kept to stand for some days. It can be grown under a wide range of climatic conditions.
What makes you cry when cutting an onion?
When we cut an onion, a gas called Propanethiol S-oxide is released. This gas creates sulphur when mixed with certain enzymatic fluids in onions. This sulphur gas is the cause of irritation to our eyes which automatically induces tears. Thus, you would notice that your eyes either become red or start to shed out water when exposed to onion chopping.
There is a solution to this problem. You could soak the onion in water for some time before you begin to chop it. This will reduce the effect of gas emitted and your eyes could find some, if not much, comfort while doing this awful task.
Types of Onions:
There are some varieties of onions which are commonly used for consumption. They are as hereunder:
- Yellow Onions: Their flesh is ivory in colour and the skin is brown.
- Sweet Onions: they have a less opaque skin on the exterior with large, fat body of vegetable
- White Onions: They are milder to taste than the yellow ones and have a white skin.
- Red Onions: They are sweeter to taste and can hence be eaten raw. They are also mild and magenta in colour from the exterior.
- Shallots: They are tiny and brown-skinned with a purplish center. They need not be cut or chopped due to their size.
- Green onions: They are immature onions that have been plucked before forming into a bulb. They have long green leaf like structures.
- Leeks: they have been shaped like overgrown scallion. They are usually used in sauces and soups.
It is rare that you would want to grow onions until you know why to grow them. They are a great source of sulfur, fiber and copper. They also contain Vitamin A,C,E, ribloflavin, come amount of iron, calcium, sodium, potassium and various other nutrients which interplay in order to yield maximum health benefits. Here are a few health benefits that onions have:
Health Benefits of Onions
- Onions Improve Heart Health:
The presence of flavonoids in red onions is effective in promoting heart health. Their property of being rich in organosulfurs which fight various heart diseases. Onions also have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties making them an effective tool against cardiovascular diseases. They also prevent blood platelets from sticking to each other thus preventing blood clots. It will be mandatory to mention here that blood clots are leading reasons of cardiovascular diseases.
- Onions can fight cancer:
Red onions have been observed to give marvelous results in fighting breast cancer and colon cancer. The presence of quercetin and anthocyanin makes it feasible for onions to defeat cancerous cells in the body. Onions help in inhibiting cancer cells from growing by creative an environment adverse to their growth.
- Controls Blood Sugar levels:
The sulfur compounds help in controlling blood sugar levels amongst people with diabetes. This shows effect when consumed raw and made strong with a good diet and a healthy work out regime.
- Onions contain Calcium:
The calcium content in onions has been beneficial in controlling problems like osteoporosis and low bone density problems. Pick up white onion in order to avail this benefit. It contains compounds that support the bone health.
- Prevents inflammation and other allergies:
Just as we discussed above, onions have anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents allergies by preventing the cells from releasing histamine. It has been noticed that sinus can be controlled on consuming onions. It also helps to prevent nasal congestion when eaten raw. Consuming onion tea has also been beneficial to treat congestion due to cold. Just boil the onion in some water and drink that water. You could try honey-onion combination to treat your cold as well.
- Onions improve Immune system:
Onions contain selenium that stimulates immune system. Onions are also used for purposes of making herbal medicines in Russia due to their anti-bacterial property. You may have heard that keeping a raw, cut, onion in the room occupied by a person who is ill can provide positive results on that person’s health. It attracts all the bacteria and germs from the environment thus keeping them away from our body. This is also a reason why you must not consume already chopped, cut onion.
- Good for respiratory health:
Patients with respiratory problems like asthma and allergies causing respiratory issues.
- Onions cure ear problems:
There is limited scientific evidence in this regard. However, you could try using few drops for your infected ear for some benefits.
- Enhance Eye Health:
The sulfur in onions is great for our eyes. Even the anti-oxidative properties in onions are great for the vision. Selenium in the onions is also important for supporting the Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for the eyes. It could also treat common eye infections like conjunctivitis. Haven’t you heard the elders saying that shedding tears while chopping onions is a sign of eye purification? Well, there isn’t any scientific ground for that, but you may never know if your elders are indeed correct!
- Onions are good for Oral Health:
The sulfur compounds in onions are great for the health of your teeth. The tooth decay is prevented. The presence of Vitamin C also works wonders for our bones.
- Boosts Energy:
The fiber levels in this vegetable enhance the energy of your body. The insulin levels in the vegetables aids better performance. It enhances the sexual libido. It improves problems of erectile dysfunction and sexual impotence. Try consuming onion juice with honey to improve your situation.
- Enhance Brain Health:
The toxins in the body are destroyed by onions. The anti-oxidative properties enhance the concentration power and attention span. The sulfur compounds fight against age-related brain problems as well. Problems like vertigo, epilepsy, migraine can also be effectively dealt with on consuming onions.
- Benefits for the Hair:
Now here’s your recipe for a natural hair loss treatment which also works for having strong and shiny hair. Take an onion and grate it. Squeeze out the juice from grated onion. The image shows use of a fine cloth in order to squeeze the juice out of onions. Use this juice along with your hair oil. If you feel it too strong for your scalp to handle, dilute it with more oil and less onion juice. Apply this to your scalp twice a week. You will notice how the vitamin E in onions strengthens the roots of your hair. It also increases the blood supply to the hair and stimulates the hair follicles. It has been noticed that the hair not only grow in size and volume, but also become silkier and have a lot of lustre.
- Benefits to the Skin:
Mixing onion juice to gram flour and applying on the skin help prevent acne, pigmentation and spots. Over here also, Vitamin E shows wonders. Also mix it with honey if you have a sensitive skin. That way, you will dilute its effects on your skin gaining all benefits from the onion water.
The best thing about onion is that it can be dried and stored for a long time.
With all these benefits, it’s difficult to avoid onions. Though consuming raw onions could give you a bad breath but they are best in order to gain ample benefits from onions. You could beat your bad breath problems with a mouth freshener.