Top 8 Health Benefits of Onions, Kanda
Onions are a part of Allium family along with garlic and leek. Onions are known as Kanda in India. Whether eaten raw in salad or sandwich, sautéed, roasted or as a part of gravy, onions lend their strong flavour to the dish they are added to. Amongst the yellow white and red onions, the red variety are most commonly used. Always found tears in your eyes while chopping onion right? That’s due to the presence of Sulphur compounds in them. Find out how to handle onions and stay steer away of tears while chopping them...
Nachni and Onion Roti
8 Reasons to have Onions!
1. Antioxidant Benefit : Yes, it’s a source of many antioxidants, the most important one amongst them being Quercetin. This antioxidant exhibits anti-inflammatory properties to ward off the free radicals which would otherwise harm our healthy body cells. This in turn prevents the onset of various chronic diseases like cancer, heart diseases etc.
Health Tip : It is suggested to eat at least half onion daily , preferably in it raw form to gain its antioxidant benefits. Use it innovatively and make Mint and Onion Chutney and serve it with all the healthy snacks you make.
Mint and Onion Chutney
2. Immunity Enhancer : Raw onions are a very valuable source of vitamin C – the immune building vitamin. Along with other phytonutrients from onions, it helps to build WBC (white blood cells) which serves as a line of defense against illness.
Health Tip : Vitamin C is quite volatile when exposed to air. So to get the maximum vitamin C from onions, use it immediately on peeling. Instead of fried onions, Sliced Onions with Lemon Juice and Green Chillies is one of the tasty and delcious way of consuming raw onions.
Sliced Onions with Lemon Juice and Green Chillies
3. Lower Cholesterol : Raw onions are said to be one of the best friend of your heart. It’s again the quercetin which promotes production of HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers total cholesterol in the body. This helps you to maintain arteries which are free of clogging.
Health Tip : Try and include one salad bowl to your meals daily which has onions definitely. Include this simple recipe for lunch - Onion Tomato Koshimbir. All the fiber from the bowl will assist in lowering cholesterol.
Onion Tomato Koshimbir
4. Regulate Blood Pressure : The sulfur in onions act as a blood thinner and prevents blood clotting too. This in turn would lower blood pressure and reduce the chances of heart attack.
Health Tip : Do keep an eye on the salt intake too. Excessive sodium from salt can make managing normal blood pressure difficult. Always measure the amount of salt being used in cooking as we have done in the recipe of Low Salt Cabbage and Onion Roti. Know More on Diet for Hypertension.
Cabbage and Onion Roti, Low Salt Recipe
5. Manage Diabetes : Specific sulphur compounds and quercetin present in onion are known to enhance the insulin effect and thus help control blood sugar levels. Moreover, its glycemic index is also as low as 10, which makes it a super healthy addition to diabetic menu. Half serving of Toovar Dal with Onions is a wise choice for diabetics. Made with onion, wheat flour and basic spices it can be mad ein minutes. Ensure you do not use excess oil for cooking.
Health Tip : Make a list of all other veggies which can be paired with onions to manage diabetes. Preferably avoid the root veggies and choose fiber and antioxidant rich vegetables. Learn how to cook Diabetic-friendly subzis and salads here.
Toovar Dal, Toovar Dal with Onions
6. Support Skin Health : The vitamin C from onions helps in collagen synthesis, which gives the skin its elasticity and smoothness. Onions thus help prevent ageing too.
Health Tip : Kick off the junk foods and include healthy nutrients to keep your skin soft and supple. Try Onion Thyme Soup, which will help you make up a part of your day's water requirement too.
Onion Thyme Soup
7. Hair Growth : The Sulphur compounds in onions and antioxidants also reduce dandruff and greying of hair. Combine avariety of ingredients to make simple recipes like Carrot Onion Soup. They assist in blood circulation that helps in hair growth too.
Health Tip : Work on hair care tips and team it with a healthy diet for Shiny and Bouncy Hair
Carrot Onion Soup
8. Eye Care : The sulphur in the onion which makes you get tears is actually good for your eye. The sulphur activates a protein glutathione which acts as an antioxidant which in turn reduces the macular degeneration and delays the onset of cataracts.
Health Tip : Protein, vitamin B, zinc, iron, vitamin E and vitamin A are key nutrients needed for bright vision. To take care of your eyes, try and include a variety of grains, flours, fruits and veggies to your diet. Bajra Carrot and Onion Uttapa has all of these nutrients in one recipe.
Bajra, Carrot and Onion Uttapa
Nutritive Information for Onions:
½ Cup of chopped onions is about 132 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Energy - 66 calories
Protein – 1.5 g
Carbohydrate – 14.6 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Fiber – 0.8 g
See full nutritional details of onions in Onions glossary click here.
Versatile Ways To Use Variety Onions in Cooking
1. Red onions
2. Spring Onions
3. Baby Onions