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Everything You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Onions

Onions are a vegetable (widely cultivated species of the genus Allium) that add flavor to our meals, and according to Medical News Daily they have been used for thousands of years, and in Ancient Egypt, they were even worshiped and used in burial rituals. But onions don’t just taste good, they are also beneficial to our health thanks to the vitamins and minerals found within them that can potentially reduce the risks of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

Onions are very healthy, and nutritionist Victoria Jarzabkowski told LiveScience that they are an excellent source “of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids, and phytochemicals." The latter refers to compounds that are able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions, while flavonoids (which includes quercetin, found in onions) have been found to reduce the risk of certain diseases, including cancer.

According to StyleCraze, quercetin can also fight inflammation, and even when onions are cooked within broths and soups their quercetin value is not lessened. In addition, onions are also rich in magnesium, which can help our bodies to fight off colds and flu, and while it’s clear that the health benefits are many, the publication claims that even the essential oils found in onions contain antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Many people regularly cook with onions because they are so versatile and can easily be added to a number of different dishes, and for this reason, they are reportedly also one of the most important sources of antioxidants in the human diet. But should you be eating raw or cooked onions?

Both cooked and raw, onions offer health benefits, but one thing raw onions have that cooked don’t, is higher levels of an organic sulfur compound, and according to Natural Food Series, sulfur compounds can help in fighting the effects of cancer.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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