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Onions

Background

Humans have eaten onions for over 5000 years, as they are easily cultivated and transportable. Onions can be yellow, red, or white, with most onions being yellow. Yellow onions are ideal in soups, while red onions are ideal for roasting or sliced thinly in salads. White onions are ideal cooked into sauces and Mexican cuisine.  

Benefits

  • A great source of quercetin, an antioxidant compound found in some plants. This has been shown to potentially have anti-cancer effects, particularly for gastric, colorectal, and esophageal cancer. 
  • Onions also contain other antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and may benefit heart health. This has been shown through animal studies where a reduction in blood pressure was observed after being fed onions. 
  • Onions are a source of fructooligosaccharides, which are prebiotics. Prebiotics increase the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, which can improve calcium absorption and help strengthen the immune system.  

Nutritional Value of ½ cup (80 g) of chopped onion

  • 32 calories 
  • 7.5 g carbohydrates
  • 1.4 g fibre 
  • 1.0 g protein 
  • 0 g fat 

Did You Know

Cutting onions can cause you to cry because of the sulphuric compounds in onions. Tips to stop the crying include refrigerating the onion, cutting into the root end last, and cutting them in a sink of water or running them under water. 

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