As a member of the allium family, onions are characteristically rich in sulfur compounds. These give this family of vegetables their pungent smell and taste. Onions have diverse health benefits and are so easy to include in our daily cooking.
Research suggests that regular intake of onions can help reduce the risks of some forms of cancer, in combination with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. It is also believed that that eating onion regularly supports the cardio vascular system. Onion is thought to have anti-clotting properties, which can prevent unwanted clumping together of blood platelets. Additionally, the sulphur compounds appear to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, providing protection for the blood vessels and the heart.
The high sulphur content appears to support connective tissue in the body and onion is also believed to protect our bone density. This is especially helpful for post menopausal women.
A unique sulphur molecule found in onion may help to reduce unwanted inflammation. Additionally, the many antioxidants present in onions provide further anti-inflammatory properties.
It is believed that onions are both antibacterial and anti fungal. However the strength of this activity varies depending individual varieties of onions.
Furthermore, onions contain prebiotic, which is a special fibre used as fuel by our good gut bacteria. This helps the good bacteria to flourish, which in turn provides us with many health benefits.
Onion can be included in almost any cooked savoury dish. Alternatively, raw onion can be combined with tomato and mozzarella to make a super salad or with avocado, tomato and chilli to create a spicy guacamole dip. You may even want to throw together a tasty rich onion soup.
To avoid destroying many of onions health benefits, try sauteing in a small amount of broth or water for approximately 7 minutes and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, ground black pepper and Himalayan salt.
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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