Onions: Health Benefits, Health Risks & Nutrition Facts


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Turns out that onions are not anything to cry over — those flavorful bulbs are packed with nutrients.

“Onions are incredible-wholesome,” stated Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas on the University of Texas at Austin. “They are superb resources of diet C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.”

Phytochemicals, or phytonutrients, are clearly occurring compounds in end result and vegetables which can be capable of react with the human frame to trigger healthful reactions. Flavonoids are accountable for pigments in lots of culmination and vegetables. Studies have proven that they may help lessen the hazard of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disorder and stroke.

especifically precious flavonoid in onions is quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant that can be related to preventing cancer. “It also may have heart health benefits, though more studies want to be performed,” stated Angela Lemond, a Plano, Texas-primarily based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Quercetin has a bunch of different advantages, as nicely, in step with the University of Maryland Medical Center, reducing the signs and symptoms of bladder infections, selling prostate fitness and reducing blood stress.

Other important phytochemicals in onions are disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene and vinyldithiins. They all are beneficial in maintaining good fitness and have anticancer and antimicrobial properties, in keeping with the National Onion Association.


Partly because of their use in cooking round the sector, onions are many of the maximum sizeable sources of antioxidants within the human food plan, consistent with a 2002 record within the magazine Phytotherapy Research. Their excessive degrees of antioxidants supply onions their exceptional sweetness and aroma.

“Foods which might be excessive in antioxidants and amino acids allow your body to characteristic optimally,” stated Lemond. “Antioxidants help prevent damage, and cancer. Amino acids are the basic constructing block for protein, and protein is utilized in absolutely every important function within the body.”

Sulfides in onions contain important amino acids. “Sulfur is one of the maximum commonplace minerals in our body that assists with protein synthesis and constructing of cell systems,” said Lemond.

“I like to endorse ingesting onions due to the fact they add taste with out salt and sugar,” Jarzabkowski said. Onions are low in calories (45 per serving), very low in sodium, and contain no fat or ldl cholesterol. Furthermore, onions comprise fiber and folic acid, a B nutrition that allows the body make wholesome new cells.

Onions are healthy whether or not they’re uncooked or cooked, although raw onions have better stages of organic sulfur compounds that offer many benefits, in step with the BBC. A 2005 take a look at within the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry determined that there is a high attention of flavonoids inside the outer layers of onion flesh, so you’ll want to be careful to eliminate as little of the safe to eat a part of the onion as feasible while peeling it.

Here are the vitamins statistics for onions, in keeping with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling via the National Labeling and Education Act.

Nutrition facts
Serving length: 1 medium onion (five.Three oz. / 148 g)
Calories: forty five (Calories from Fat: zero)

Amount in line with serving (%DV*)
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based totally on a 2,000-calorie food plan.

Total fat: 0g (0%)

Total Carbohydrate: 11g (4%)
Dietary Fiber 3g (12%)
Sugars 9g

Cholesterol: 0mg (0%)
Sodium: 5mg (zero%)
Potassium: 190mg (five%)
Protein: 1g

Vitamin A: (zero%)
Vitamin C: (20%)
Calcium: (four%)
Iron: (four%)

Health advantages
Heart health


According to Jarzabkowski, onions inspire a wholesome heart in many approaches, consisting of “reducing blood strain and decreasing heart attack hazard.” A 2002 examine inside the magazine Thrombosis Research counseled that sulfur acts as a natural blood thinner and stops blood platelets from aggregating. When platelets cluster, the threat for coronary heart assault or stroke increases.

This research in addition helps a similar 1992 observe in Thrombosis Research that focused on sulfurs in garlic. Furthermore, a 1987 animal study inside the Journal of Hypertension proven delayed or reduced onset of high blood pressure with sulfur intake. However, the authors said greater research become had to decide if this gain is probably found in human beings.

Recently, fitness researchers have noticed a courting among messaging molecules referred to as oxylipins and high cholesterol management. A 2016 have a look at in the magazine Redox Biology located that ingesting onions increases oxylipins that assist modify blood fat degrees and cholesterol levels.

The quercetin in onions may additionally assist save you plaque buildup within the arteries, which reduces the threat of coronary heart assault and stroke, consistent with the University of Maryland Medical Center. But considering that maximum of the research on this regard have centered on animals, extra studies is needed to understand the consequences in human beings.


Onions’ sulfurs can be powerful anti inflammatory dealers, in line with a 1990 study within the journal International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology.

Quercetin has been located to loosen up the airway muscle tissue and might provide relief of allergies symptoms, in keeping with a 2013 study inside the American Journal of Physiology.

Immune system

“The polyphenols in onions act as antioxidants, protecting the frame in opposition to free radicals,” stated Anne Mauney, a dietitian based in Washington, D.C. Eliminating loose radicals can assist encourage a robust immune gadget. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the quercetin in onions also reduces allergies with the aid of preventing your body from producing histamines, which can be what make you sneeze, cry and itch if you’re having an allergy.


A 2015 meta-analysis discovered that intake of allium greens, together with onions, had been related to reduced gastric most cancers chance. According to World’s Healthiest Foods from the George Mateljan Foundation, consuming between one and seven servings of onions in keeping with week may additionally assist reduce the hazard of colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian most cancers. Eating several servings of onions an afternoon can also assist decrease the risk of oral and esophageal cancer.

Quercetin may be a effective anti-cancer agent, in keeping with Jarzabkowski. The University of Maryland Medical Center said that quercetin can also mainly inhibit cancer cells in “breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lung tumors.”

The National Onion Association mentioned a current examine from the Netherlands that showed that folks that ate onions absorbed two times as lots quercetin as those who drank tea, and greater than 3 instances as a whole lot quercetin as people who ate apples, which are other excessive-quercetin sources. Red onions are specially excessive in quercetin, in step with the association. Shallots and yellow onions are also appropriate options. White onions incorporate the least quantity of quercetin and other antioxidants.

Onions may also assist with a few facet outcomes from most cancers remedies, as properly. A 2016 take a look at posted in Integrative Cancer Therapies observed that ingesting sparkling yellow onion helped reduce insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in breast cancer patients present process a form of chemotherapy recognised to purpose insulin resistance.


The fiber in onions promotes accurate digestion and facilitates hold you normal. Additionally, onions incorporate a special form of soluble fiber referred to as oligofructose, which promotes precise bacteria increase on your intestines. One 2005 look at in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology discovered that oligofructose might also assist save you and treat sorts of diarrhea. The phytochemicals in onions that scavenge free radicals can also reduce your chance of developing gastric ulcers, consistent with the National Onion Association.

Regulating blood sugar

The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulfur in onions allows lower blood sugar by means of triggering extended insulin manufacturing. One 2010 examine in the magazine Environmental Health Insights revealed that this might be particularly helpful to human beings with human beings with diabetes. People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who ate pink onions showed decrease glucose levels for up to 4 hours.

A 2014 meta-analysis inside the magazine Nutrition discovered that patients with Type 2 diabetes noticed extra normalized liver enzymes and decrease glycemic ranges whilst eating sliced onions.

Bone density in older girls

A 2009 take a look at inside the journal Menopause observed that each day consumption of onions improves bone density in ladies who’re going through or have finished menopause. Women who ate onions regularly had a 20 percent lower chance of hip fracture than those who by no means ate onions.

Health risks
While not mainly extreme, consuming onions can reason problems for some humans. The carbohydrates in onions may additionally cause gas and bloating, according to National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Onions, specially if ate up raw, can get worse heartburn in folks who be afflicted by chronic heartburn or gastric reflux disorder, consistent with one 1990 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Eating a massive quantity of green onions or unexpectedly increasing your consumption of inexperienced onions may additionally intrude with blood thinning drugs, in line with the University of Georgia. Green onions incorporate a excessive quantity of vitamin K, that could decrease blood thinner functioning.

It is likewise feasible to have a food intolerance or an allergy to onions, but instances are uncommon, according to a piece of writing inside the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. People with onion allergic reactions might also experience red, itchy eyes and rashes if an onion comes into touch with the pores and skin. People with an intolerance to onions may additionally revel in nausea, vomiting and other gastric discomfort.

Lastly, Jarzabkowski encouraged human beings to make certain their onions are fresh. “Onions keep for a long term,” she said, “however they nevertheless smash.” Onions spoil plenty faster if they may be chopped or sliced. If you narrow up your onions for later use, make certain to refrigerate them in a closed field. A 2015 examine located that unrefrigerated yellow onions confirmed capacity increase of E.Coli and salmonella, even though refrigerated ones did no longer.

Onion records
According to the National Onion Association:

Onions possibly originated in relevant Asia, in modern-day-day Iran and Pakistan. Prehistoric humans in all likelihood ate wild onions lengthy earlier than farming become invented. Onions may additionally have been the various earliest cultivated vegetation.

Onions also grew in Chinese gardens as early as 5,000 years ago, and they’re mentioned within the oldest Vedic writings from India. As early as the sixth century B.C., a clinical treatise, the Charaka Sanhita, celebrates the onion as medicinal drug, a diuretic, right for digestion, the heart, the eyes and the joints.

A Sumerian textual content dated to about 2500 B.C. Tells of a person plowing over the governor’s onion patch.

In Egypt, onions have been planted as a long way again as 3500 B.C. They were taken into consideration to be items of worship, and symbolized eternity due to the circle-within-a-circle shape. Paintings of onions appear at the inner partitions of pyramids and different tombs.

Onions were buried with mummies. Some Egyptologists theorize that onions may were used because it become believed that their strong scent and/or magical powers might spark off the lifeless to respire once more.

Onions are noted within the Bible. In Numbers eleven:five, the kids of Israel lament the meager desolate tract eating regimen enforced by way of the Exodus: “We bear in mind the fish, which we did devour in Egypt freely, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic.”

The Greeks used onions to enhance athletes for the Olympic games. Before competition, athletes might devour kilos of onions, drink onion juice and rub onions on their our bodies.

The Romans ate onions often. Pedanius Dioscorides, a Roman physician of Greek foundation in first century A.D., referred to several medicinal makes use of of onions.

Pliny the Elder catalogued Roman beliefs that onions should treatment terrible vision, result in sleep, and heal mouth sores, dog bites, toothaches, dysentery and lumbago. Pliny wrote of Pompeii’s onions and cabbages, and excavators of the doomed city determined gardens where, just as Pliny had said, onions had grown. The bulbs had left in the back of cavities within the ground.

By the Middle Ages, the 3 predominant vegetables of European delicacies were beans, cabbage and onions. Onions have been prescribed to alleviate complications, snakebites and hair loss. They were also used as lease payments and wedding ceremony presents.

The Pilgrims brought onions with them on the Mayflower. However, they found that Native Americans have been already the use of wild onions in a ramification of approaches: consuming them uncooked or cooked, as a seasoning or as a vegetable. Onions had been extensively utilized in syrups, as poultices, as an ingredient in dyes, and whilst toys.

Onion facts
Slicing onions makes you cry due to the fact while you chop into it, the onion produces a sulfur-based totally gasoline. The gasoline reacts with the water in your eyes and bureaucracy sulfuric acid. To rid your eyes of this fiery irritant, your tear ducts paintings additional time. For no greater (or fewer) tears, attempt moving your face farther faraway from the onion so the gasoline disperses earlier than reaching your eyes.

Another concept for decreasing tears is to first chill the onions for half-hour. Then, reduce off the pinnacle and peel the outer layers leaving the root cease intact.

Bulb onions are yellow, pink or white. In the United States, yellow onions make up about 87 percentage of the economic onion crop; purple onions are 8 percentage; white onions, five percent.

Onions range in length from much less than 1 inch to extra than 4.Five inches in diameter. The most common sizes bought in U.S. Markets are 2 to a few.Seventy five inches.

Scallions, or inexperienced onions, are honestly immature yellow, crimson or white onions, harvested before the bulb starts to form. “Spring onions” and “salad onions” are different aliases for immature onions.

A scallion isn’t a shallot. This misnomer possibly takes place because “échalion” is every other name for the shallot, derived from the French échalote. Shallots have a distinct taste, but the flavor is towards that of mature onions than to that of scallions.

The biggest onion ever grown weighed 10 lbs. 14 oz. (about five kilograms), in step with the Guinness Book of World Records.

U.S. Farmers plant about a hundred twenty five,000 acres of onions each year and produce about 6.2 billion kilos a yr. The top onion-generating areas are Washington, Idaho, eastern Oregon and California.

The main onion production international locations are China, India, United States, Turkey and Pakistan.

The average American eats 20 lbs. (9 kg) of onions per yr.

To keep away from “onion breath,” eat a spray of parsley, or rinse your mouth with identical parts lemon juice and water, or chew a citrus pee


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