Cutting an onion will leave you teary and eating it will give you offensive breath – apart from these two drawbacks, onions are a treasure house of health and beauty benefits.
Onions have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic qualities. These are also rich in vitamins A, B6, B-complex and C, as well as iron, folate and potassium. They are excellent sources of sulfuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.
Probably one of the oldest cultivated herbs, onions have a special place in the culinary world because they go well with almost all dishes.
You can include onions in your salad, soup, pizza toppings, curries, stir-fries, casseroles and much more. Onion pickles are also popular.
1. Promotes Hair Growth
Onion juice is effective in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth. The sulfur in onions helps promote blood circulation to the scalp and boosts production of collagen necessary for new hair growth.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of Dermatology found that people suffering from alopecia areata saw significant hair regrowth after applying onion juice to their scalp twice daily for two months.
- Extract the juice of 1 onion.
- Mix it with 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Massage it into your scalp.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight or at least for 1 hour.
- Rinse your hair with water, then shampoo as usual.
- Repeat this treatment 2 or 3 times a week until you get the desired result.
2. Regulates Blood Sugar
Onions are good for people who have diabetes. The sulfur compound called allyl propyl disulfide in onions helps increase insulin production and lower blood glucose levels in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, onion juice contains trace amounts of chromium, which helps improve the body’s glucose tolerance level.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food confirmed the antidiabetic effect of onions in diabetic rats. Onion extracts were found to be effective for lowering plasma glucose concentrations and body weight.
Diabetic people should include red onions regularly in their diet.
3. Prevents Cancer
Onions are found to have beneficial and preventive effects on various cancers, such as lung, ovarian, stomach, bladder, breast, colorectal, prostate, oral, liver and brain cancer. The phenolic and flavonoid content of onions with antioxidant activities help fight cancer cells.
A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows a positive connection between the frequency of use of allium vegetables (onion and garlic) and reduced risk of several common cancers.