Raw onions are certainly pungent, and can even cause painful tears when they’re cut, but they are incredibly healthy to eat. Onion is so versatile that it is used as flavoring in thousands of dishes, features prominently in thousands more, and can even be a standalone snack.
#1 Better Cardiovascular Health.
Onions are highly nutritious, with a healthy dose of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid, as well as calcium and iron. But what really makes onions special is the antioxidant quercetin, which works to slow the progress of oxidative damage to our cells and tissue. When it comes to heart health, the quercetin in onions helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure and keep the arteries elastic and soft.
#2 Lower Cancer Risk.
Regularly consuming onions is thought to detoxify carcinogens that we get in our diets. The organosulfur compounds more specifically stop potentially cancer-causing agents from metabolizing in a dangerous way. Even moderate consumption of onions provides some benefit, but researchers suggest that the more you eat, the better.
#3 Lesser Food Poisoning Risk.
Onions have certain compounds that are antibacterial. In fact, the juice released when an onion is cut can kill or seriously slow the growth of several types of microorganisms known to cause food poisoning. Therefore, eating onions with your meals means that you are less likely to get sick, not more.
#4 Enhanced Immune Function.
Quercetin is also great for blocking certain inflammatory compounds. But when it comes to immune function, the quercetin in onions gets a boost from the selenium content. Selenium is a trace mineral found in greater concentration in onions than in other foods. Onions appear to help keep immune function in balance.
#5 Allergy Relief.
Due to the fact that quercetin blocks certain allergy-causing and inflammatory compounds, it can also be extremely helpful for seasonal allergy sufferers. Rather than run straight for an antihistamine tablet, try eating some onion to stop the production and release of histamines.
#6 Reduced Risk Of Blood Clots.
We need our blood to clot around the site of an injury, but clots that form within veins or arteries block blood flow and can be deadly. More human studies are necessary, but rutin may one day soon be used to create inexpensive medicine for blood clots. In the meantime, keep eating those onions.