Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Onions Are Awesome


Potato Pierogi with Onions

Last night was the official night to purge the fridge of unused ingredients. With Fresh Direct en-route, space would need to be made. We ended up with a dinner of pierogi covered in sauteed red and white onions, snow pea-carrot-basil stir fry and wheat rolls. My husband is a vegetarian, but he doesn't really care much for colorful vegetables. I explained that green and orange are the best colors you can eat. Although I know this somehow already, I think the Fresh Direct website told me like 50 times as a marketing tactic. "Are all these onions healthy? What's do you get from those?" he asked me. Clearly he'd prefer to live on those alone. Hmmm. I know they've got "stuff" in them that's good for you, otherwise why would they be a staple in the holy trinity of garlic-onion-ginger that is a base for dishes from so many cultures? Today I've got the answer. And yes, onions are healthy.

-VITAMIN C, QUERCITIN & ISOTHIOCYANATES combat inflammatory conditions associated with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and even the congestion of a common cold.
-FLAVANOIDS reduce the risk of cancer in the colon colon, prostate, oral areas, ovaries and breasts.
-GPCS (gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide) contributes to bone health, so post-menopausal women reap the biggest benefits.
-QUERCITIN, FLAVANOIDS & VITAMIN C kill bacteria (good for colds). The THIOSULFINATES battle bad bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella, and E. coli.
-ALLYL PROPYL DISULFIDE increases insulin levels, thus regulating blood sugar levels.
-CHROMIUM also helps the body regulate insulin and glucose levels, lowers cholestorol and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol (good). Many Americans have a chromium deficiency, probably related to eating refined sugars and white flour, and lack of exercise.
-SULFUR COMPOUNDS, CHROMIUM AND VITAMIN B6 lower risk of heart attack and stroke

So are all onions equal? No. Generally, the stronger the onion smells and tastes, and the more tears you shed, the more sulfur compounds and other good stuff it contains. This means yellow and red onions would be a better choice, from a health perspective, than a mild and sweeter Vidalia onion. But overall, onions are awesome. Eat a lot!

More scientifically specific articles here and here.

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