Onions are one of the most commonly found kitchen spice items in every home. They are often used for cooking purposes owing to the fine aroma and taste it adds to food. In some parts they are also used for medicinal purposes. They can be added to almost every dish to spice it up. Onions are cultivated and used around the world. As a food item, they are usually served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can also be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when chopped and contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes. However Onions do more than spicing up food or making our eyes teary, In this article we will be delving into some very important and unknown facts about onions as well as its possible side effects.
There are three main and widely known varieties, they are : The Yellow ,The Red and the White Onions
Health and medical benefits;
- Lowering blood pressure and lowering heart attack risk.
- Relaxing the airway muscles and may also provide relief of asthma symptoms due to its anti inflammatory properties.
- Reducing gastric cancer risks- Studies have proven that a regular intake of allium vegetables, including onions, were associated with reduced gastric cancer risks, They may also help with some side effects from cancer treatments, as well. Consuming fresh yellow onion helps lessen insulin resistance and hyperglycaemia in breast cancer patients undergoing a form of chemotherapy known to cause insulin resistance
- It also prevents diarrhoea and reduces risks of gastric ulcers- They posses fibre content which promotes good digestion.
- Regulates blood sugar.
- Improves bone density during menopause in women.
- Improves overall eye health.
- Improves fertility-Taking onion juice with honey is known to increase fertility in men.
Skin and beauty benefits
- Protects skin from premature aging and also reverses the effects of aging on the skin.
- Treatment for acne.
- Removes dark spots and treats pigmented skin.
- Helps rid moles.
- Promotes hair growth.
- Helps get rid of dandruff.
- Maintains hair colour.
- Rids hair of lice.
Other benefits also include
- Repelling insects.
- Treatment for stings and bites.
- Onion tea helps relieve sore throats.
- It helps ease burns and remove splinters.
- Helps get rid of unpleasant smells/odours in the home.
- Place an onion on your burnt rice it absorbs the burnt odor and makes it edible again.
Effects of over consumption
Onions, especially if consumed raw, can worsen heartburn in people who suffer from chronic heartburn or gastric reflux disease.
Green onions contain a high amount of vitamin K, which can decrease blood thinner functioning.
People with onion allergies may experience red, itchy eyes and rashes if an onion comes into contact with the skin. People with intolerance to onions may also experience nausea, vomiting and other gastric discomfort.
Pregnant and nursing women should limit the amount of onion consumption as it often causes heartburn during these stages.
Onion juice can be extracted from fresh onions and used as face mask, it can also be combined with other masks for an improved results. The juice can also be massaged into the hair for some time and rinsed out for hair maintenance purposes, it can also be consumed for medicinal purposes and used while cooking also. They are readily available in food and vegetable stores and markets worldwide.