Worth the Breath: Why You Should Eat Onions for Health

Onions have gotten a bad rap in the food world: sometimes the mere thought of that stinging sensation while you cut them is enough to put you off of them entirely. But did you know that onions actually have an incredible amount of health benefits?

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via Instagram user @cobbgrill

Onions are a part of the allium genus–which also includes garlic, shallots, chives, and more–which overall has been reported to reduce the risk of stomach and colorectal cancers. This is likely due to the presence of sulfur and sulfuric compounds in the vegetable. Onions’ cancer-reducing properties also stem (no pun intended) from their high selenium content. Selenium has been shown to “influencing cancerous tissue by interfering with cell growth and division, and influencing apoptosis, which can be thought of as a “self-destruct” mode for old and/or damaged cells,” according to this article in Designs for Health.

There are also different kinds of phytochemicals in various types of onions that have positive effects on health. For example, red onions contain a phytochemical compound called quercetin, which is good for heart health. What’s great, too, is that these health properties are not lost when you cook them so we don’t have to go around eating raw onions and breathing on people if we don’t want to.

Another of the big health benefits of onions is their ability to regulate inflammation. Onions have long been recognized for their ability to work against arthritis and clotting, not to mention their ability for regulating liver enzymes, which aid in the stabilization of glucose levels.

If onions aren’t a part of your regular diet, it’s definitely worth thinking about all the health benefits you might be missing before you toss those onions off of your salad or burger!

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