#HealthBytes: The many benefits of onions
Onions are an important part of our food. Whether it is in the form of staple, or in curries, they are often on our plates, no matter what. These flavorful bulbs, which make you cry, are, in fact, filled with many nutrients. Interestingly, onions also have properties that can help your skin and hair. To find out the important benefits of onions, read on.
Onions contain a flavonoid antioxidant called quercetin, which is anti-inflammatory in nature, and may help control the blood pressure. The other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components in onions may decrease triglycerides, reduce cholesterol levels, protect against blood clots and of course, fight inflammation. All of these can reduce the risks of many heart diseases.
The relationship between allium vegetables like onions and cancer prevention has been under research for many years. Luckily, studies have shown promising results. A study focused on colorectal cancer found that the risk of this cancer was 79% lower in those who regularly consumed allium vegetables like onions. Onions also have organosulfur, which can potentially suppress some aspects of tumor growth.
While the chromium in onions helps in regulating blood sugar, the sulphur in it brings down the blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production. This is why regular onion consumption might prove beneficial for people with diabetes. A 2014 study conducted on patients with Type-2 diabetes saw more normalized liver enzymes and lower glycemic levels after the consumption of sliced onions.
Even though it is a pungent vegetable, onions are used in many face and body packs. That's because they are packed with Vitamins A, C, and E, which are all important for skin health. These nutrients can lead to a natural glow, and protect the skin from free radicals. Apart from its anti-aging effects, onions also have anti-septic properties that can prevent harmful bacteria.
Onion hair masks have been in use for a long time, even before the term was coined. As we just mentioned, onion juice contains sulphur, an important component for hair growth. Even the hair strengthening component, keratin protein is sulphur-rich. Sulphur is great for hair because it stimulates collagen production, which aids in the development of healthy skin cells, and helps in hair growth.