Onions – Potent smelling veggie


It’s the vegetable that can make you cry. Onions are part of the Allium genus of flowering plants which includes garlic, leeks, and chives. A medium onion only has 44 calories, so they’re super low for your daily budget, but are nutritionally packed. Onions are loaded with Vitamin C and B, plus potassium.

Not only nutritionally good for us, onions are good for our hearts. The breath from eating onions might not be the way into someone’s heart, but they could help it beat longer. Onions have antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation. They particularly have Quercetin which is a flavonoid antioxidant that is considered “potent” when it comes to reducing inflammation. There are actually 17 different types of antioxidants in onions. Red onions contain plant pigments that may protect against heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes. Plus, they can help lower triglycerides. Because of these heart healthy factors, onions have been said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Onions are said to ward of bacteria too, such as E coli. They’re good for digestion because of the fiber which helps your gut health.

So, if onions are so good for us, then they must be making us cry happy tears, right? Onions contain sulfur and when they’re chopped up enzymes and sulfur are released. The eyes are irritated by Sulfenic acids which produce syn-propanetriol-S-oxide gas. As a response, the eyes tear up. It is this same sulfur that makes your breathe stink from onions. Upon digestion, the sulfur gets absorbed in the bloodstream and then gets exhaled via the lungs. Hence, when you exhale the smell is not nice. It is said that drinking green tea with lemon can ward of the stinky breath, but brushing your teeth is the ideal method.

There are a multitude of ways to enjoy onions. There are different flavors to white and red types. Our taste buds sometimes can tell the difference, but when eating out, we don’t always know which type of onion we are having. On a salad or in a sandwich, or just to add flavor, onions are a vegetable that are good for our health, but bad for our breathe. Pros and cons of course.

Onion (Allium cepa L.) is potentially a good source of important antioxidants – PMC (nih.gov)

Recent Advances in Bioactive Compounds, Health Functions, and Safety Concerns of Onion (Allium cepa L.) – PMC (nih.gov)

Full article: Growth and bulb yield of some onion (Allium cepa L.) varieties as influenced by NPS fertilizer at Dambi Dollo University Research site, Western Ethiopia (tandfonline.com)

Agriculture | Free Full-Text | Phenolic Components and Health Beneficial Properties of Onions (mdpi.com)

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY's Fit. She has a Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, and she's an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She's also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor. She has 6 books on Amazon too,.