Onion: properties, benefits, and nutritional value
Without a doubt, the most negative aspect of onion is that it makes us cry. Otherwise, it is a true nutritional treasure and an essential part of our gastronomy. It is a very old food, and among its layers, it hides numerous nutritional and medicinal properties. It is rich in minerals and trace elements (calcium, magnesium, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, phosphorus, iodine, nickel, potassium, silicon, zinc, sulfur, and bromine); and also in vitamins (A, B, C, and E).
The onion plant contains volatile sulfurous essences that give it its characteristic spicy flavor. One of these components dissolves quickly in water and produces sulfuric acid, which is why it makes us cry when we cut it.
Furthermore, onion contains a volatile substance called allyl, with bactericidal and fungicidal properties. It is interesting its content in glucokinase, a substance that lowers blood sugar. Which is why it is also known as “vegetable insulin”. For all these reasons, we recommend its consumption and highlight its diuretic and antiseptic properties.
In the kitchen, it is very versatile and the best way to take advantage of the benefits of onion is to consume it raw. Thus, it stimulates the functioning of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder better, although when cooking it. There are no great losses in its nutritional properties.
At the time of purchase, choose onions that have a firm bulb, without sprouts and that keep the skin intact. To preserve them, they must be stored in a dry and ventilated place, without piling up.
Nutritional value of white onion
Fibers in onion
White onion is a source of fiber, which contributes to the intake of soluble fibers. The type of fiber present in onions can reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart failure, and heart attacks. Also, it helps reduce cholesterol.
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Vitamins in onion
100 grams of onion provide us with 11.5% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin B6. This makes onions a good choice for cognitive and nervous functions. Since vitamin B6 helps the body make serotonin and myelin. Also, with a portion of onions, we get 5.9% of the recommended daily intake of folic acid and 3.9% of the vitamin C that our body needs.
Minerals in onion
100 grams of onion provides us with 8.5% of the calcium we need daily to have strong bones and teeth. Besides, onions also provide us with manganese.
Properties and benefits of onion
Good for circulation of blood
It prevents the formation of blood clots, promotes blood circulation, and helps fight diseases related to poor circulation.
It favors the elimination of body fluids, so it is highly recommended in patients with kidney failure, gout, kidney stones, or edema.
Bactericidal and expectorant
Due to its content in compounds rich in sulfur, it is, along with garlic, one of the best natural remedies to combat infectious processes of the respiratory system (influenza, bronchitis, pharyngitis, etc.). A widely used remedy is to place a halved onion next to the bed at night.
Digestive and depurative
It favors digestion, by stimulating the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas although it should be avoided in cases of heartburn. The onion is capable of eliminating toxins and enzymes that are produced in the stomach after digestion.