Raw onion is an essential ingredient found in most cuisines all over the world. Notably, onion comes in various colors such as yellow, white, and red. It is a popular vegetable due to its unique flavor and nutritious content.
Although some individuals may dislike its pungent taste and acrid scent, consuming raw onion has numerous benefits. Incorporating raw onion into your diet might improve your overall health.
So what are the benefits of eating raw onions? In this article, we list ways in which raw onion can help boost your overall health.
An onion (Allium cepa L., from Latin cepa meaning "onion"), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium.1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion
The shallot is a botanical variety of the onion which was classified as a separate species until 2011. Its close relatives include garlic, scallion, leek, and chive.
This genus also contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion Allium fistulosum, the tree onion Allium × proliferum, and the Canada onion Allium canadense.
The name wild onion is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is exclusively known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions.2https://www.healthshots.com/healthy-eating/superfoods/10-health-benefits-of-eating-raw-onions/
The onion is most frequently a biennial or a perennial plant but is usually treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season.
The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached. The bulbs are composed of shortened, compressed, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale (leaves) that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem.
In the autumn (or in spring, in the case of overwintering onions), the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become more dry and brittle. The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage.
The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases, particularly the onion fly, the onion eelworm, and various fungi which can cause rotting. Some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs.
Onions are cultivated and used around the world. As a food item, they are usually served raw, as a vegetable, or part of a prepared savory dish, but can also be eaten cooked or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when chopped and contain certain chemical substances that may irritate the eyes.
So, What are the Health Benefits of Eating Raw Onions
1. Boosts immunity
Raw onions are an excellent source of vitamin C, which aids in enhancing the body's immunity. Vitamin C assists in generating white blood cells that defend the body against bacteria and viruses, making raw onions essential in preventing common ailments like the cold and flu.
2. Promotes cardiovascular health
Onions are rich in antioxidants like quercetin, which assist in decreasing bad cholesterol levels in the body, leading to improved cardiovascular health. Consumption of raw onion also aids in enhancing blood circulation, reducing high blood pressure, and preventing the risk of heart disease.
3. Aids in digestion
Raw onions contain dietary fiber, which is crucial for proper digestion and elimination of waste from the body. The fiber enhances the absorption of nutrients and prevents various ailments like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids.
4. Reduces inflammation
Quercetin-rich raw onions have anti-inflammatory properties that assist in reducing inflammation levels in the body. It aids in managing conditions like arthritis, asthma, and bronchitis.
5. Enhances bone health
Onions are an excellent source of sulfur-rich compounds that contribute to enhancing bone health. These compounds aid in promoting calcium absorption and preventing the risk of osteoporosis.
6. Boosts brain function
Raw onions contain sulfur compounds, which increase the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to improved memory, attention span, and concentration levels.
7. Prevents cancer
Raw onion contains sulfur-rich compounds and antioxidants that assist in preventing cancer. Sulfur compounds like quercetin, flavonoids, and allicin have anti-carcinogenic properties that hinder cancer cell growth in the body.
8. Promotes skin health (glowing and ageless skin)
Raw onions contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, which contribute to improving skin health. Consuming raw onions aids in reducing wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentation levels, leading to healthy and glowing skin.3https://www.ndtv.com/health/benefits-of-consuming-raw-onion-4115299
9. Regulates blood sugar levels
Raw onions contain chromium, a mineral crucial in regulating blood sugar levels. Chromium assists in improving insulin efficiency, leading to controlled blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
10. Promotes weight loss
Raw onions have low calorie and high fiber content that contribute to weight loss. The fiber helps keep one full and satisfied, reducing the chances of overeating, leading to a calorie deficit, and ultimately weight loss.
11. It is great for those with respiratory problems
Onion is an anti-allergen and in most cases, allergies play a major role in giving us respiratory problems. According to a study published in the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, eating onion has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the isolated trachea which helps the patients of asthma breathe easily. This happens due to the presence of flavonoids.
12. Onions can give you good vision
Conjunctivitis during this time of the year is very common. The selenium in onion helps in the production of vitamin E, which in turn keeps this painful eye problem at bay. In fact, some natural eye drops also contain extracts of onion juice.
13. It can improve your oral health too
Who would have thought right? Many of us avoid eating onions because of the bad breath it leaves us with. But it turns out that this bulb is good for oral hygiene, thanks to its vitamin C content.
14. It improves sexual health
In case your partner is dealing with erectile dysfunction then make him eat onions because according to a study published in the journal Biomolecules, it can help in correcting that. The study also says that it also helps in increasing the level of testosterone in men.
15. It can bestow you with healthy hair
Although there is not much scientific evidence to prove this, many Ayurvedic hair products use onion juice for hair growth. Also, due to its antibacterial properties, onion helps in keeping dandruff and lice away from your scalp.
16. Helps in easing menopause symptoms
According to a study published in the Journal of Breast Cancer, consuming raw onion helps in easing postmenopausal symptoms due to the presence of calcium.
You can check the video below to know more on the benefits of eating raw onions:
Does Eating Raw Onions Have any Side Effects? - Is Too Much Onions Eating Good for the Body System?
Raw onions, with their pungent aroma and distinct flavor, are a kitchen staple that adds depth to countless dishes.
But as we dive into the world of onion consumption, one question lingers: Are there any side effects to indulging in these flavorful bulbs in their uncooked state?
Let's peel back the layers and discover the truth:
- Breath Matters: It's no secret that raw onions can leave a lasting impression on your breath. The sulfur compounds in onions can lead to not-so-pleasant odors. However, this issue can be mitigated with simple oral hygiene practices like brushing your teeth or chewing gum.
- Gastrointestinal Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience digestive discomfort after consuming raw onions. Gas, bloating, or heartburn can be side effects for those with sensitive stomachs. In such cases, moderation is key. Start with smaller portions and gradually build your tolerance.
- Allergies and Skin Reactions: In rare instances, individuals may be sensitive or allergic to onions. Skin reactions like itching or redness, or even more severe allergies, could occur. If you suspect an onion allergy, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: For those monitoring blood sugar levels, raw onions should be consumed in moderation. Onions have a moderate glycemic index, which means they can affect blood sugar. However, their potential benefits, such as reducing blood sugar spikes, may outweigh any negative effects for many people.
- Medication Interactions: If you are taking blood-thinning medications, consult your healthcare provider before significantly increasing your raw onion intake. Onions contain vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting, and an abrupt dietary change can impact medication effectiveness.
Note: It's important to note that these side effects are typically mild and affect only a small percentage of individuals. For the majority, the numerous health benefits of raw onions, such as their potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and immune-boosting qualities, far outweigh the potential downsides.
While there are a few side effects associated with eating raw onions, they are generally manageable, especially when consumed in moderation. The key is to be mindful of your own tolerance and, if necessary, make necessary adjustments to your diet.
Raw onions can undoubtedly be a flavorful and nutritious addition to your meals, enhancing both taste and well-being. So, enjoy them in your salads, sandwiches, and salsas, and relish the incredible benefits they bring to your table.
So, Cooked or Raw: What’s the Best Way of Eating Onions?
Well, this is a million-dollar question, and according to clinical nutritionist, Dr Lovneet Batra. And the answer to this is that eating raw onions is better because it has more sulfur and antioxidants to bestow.
From better libido to acne-free skin, the health benefits of eating raw onions will make you peel, eat, and repeat. Not just a salad, eating raw onions can do a world of good to your health.
Consuming raw onion has numerous health benefits as discussed above. It is essential to note that excessive consumption can lead to digestive problems and bad breath.4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion Therefore, moderation is key to reaping the benefits of raw onions.