Nutritional Information for Onions
This pungent vegetable is part of the Allium family and contains potent cancer fighting compounds. The red onion may be the healthiest variety of onion based on its brightly colored purplish-red phytonutrient compounds.
Benefits of Onions
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Consuming onions and other allium veggies (garlic, shallots, leeks) may reduce the odds of developing prostate cancer. Garlic appears more potent, but there is no reason to go shy on the onions.
A large set of data from European population studies has found some associations with allium vegetable intake and the risk of various cancers. Apparently, eating more allium vegetables may reduce the odds of developing cancers of the prostate, mouth, throat, breast, ovaries, colon, rectum and kidneys.
Women who ate onions during chemotherapy for breast cancer were shown to have lower tumor markers.
Men's Health Benefits
Onions and garlic have been shown to help men reduce prostate enlargement, known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Onions have have also been known to help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure in obese patients. So there may be some heart healthy benefits to eating more onions.
Onions and garlic have the ability to enhance the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc. It’s a good idea to add onions and garlic to whole grains, beans, and other foods containing phytates – non-nutritive substances that are health promoting but tend to block absorption of certain minerals.
Onions may help neutralize the impact of environmental toxins. Take dioxins for example, a large group of toxins found in the environment that can get into the food supply. One tablespoon of red onions was found to cut dioxin exposure in half.
Ways to Use Onions
+ Add cooked or raw onions salads, burritos, sandwiches.
+ Toss into soups, stir fry, curries.
+ Roast or sauté onions to make them caramelized.
+ Grill onions with other veggies, such as peppers, zucchini, mushrooms.
+ Add raw onions to homemade salsas and guacamole.
Resources for Onions
American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org
Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org
Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org
USDA Nutrient Database: Onion
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