We can’t imagine a life without onions. Allium cepa belongs to the lily family. It has been used in various dishes for several thousand years across the world. It is the second important crop after tomato.
Various types of onions include white, green, yellow and red with each having a unique flavor. Onions can be eaten fried, cooked, roasted, dried and raw. Onions are mainly used to flavor salads, spreads, soups, dips and other dishes. More than 600 species of onions are available in North America, Asia, Europe and Northern Africa.
Onions are rich in sulfoxides, sulfides, thiosulfinates and other odoriferous sulfur compounds. Onions are very effective against bacteria such as Salmonella, Bacillus subtilis and E. coli. Onions are anticlotting agents.
Chinese have used onions to cure bacterial infections, coughs, angina and breathing problems. Americans have used onions to cure asthma, coughs and colds. They have also used onions to keep away insects.
Onions can be used to avert atherosclerosis, in addition to cure poor appetite. Onions can also be used to treat bronchitis.
Onion extract is useful to minimize bronchial constriction in patients suffering from asthma.
Onions are rich in fructo-oligosaccharides, which helps to suppress harmful bacteria growth in the colon and encourages healthy bifidobacteria growth. The oligomers also help to prevent the development of tumors in the colon.
Sulfides present in Onions help to reduce blood pressure and minimize blood lipids. People, who eat more onions and garlic, are likely to have lower levels of blood cholesterol as well as triglyceride.
Flavonoids present in Onions help to protect from cardiovascular disease.
Sulfides present in Onions helps to suppress the growth of tumors. We need to consume more garlic, onions and other allium herbs to prevent stomach cancer. Intake of more onions and other allium herbs would help to reduce stomach cancer by 40%.
Northern Red, New York Bold and Western Yellow onions are rich in Phenolics and flavonoids.