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Onion

Can you imagine a recipe without the onions in it? this wonderful bulb-vegetable, one of the oldest edible food sources known to humankind,ais found in a bewildering array of recipes and preparations, be it your favorite salad, or mouth-watering gravy or curries. It has also been in used in traditional medicines since ancient times for its health promoting and curative properties. Botanically, the vegetable belongs to the alliaceaeafamily, in the genus, allium and known scientifically as: allium cepa.
Onion are more an article of diet. As to medical properties, they are the same as , yet much milder. They act as a stimulant, promoting appetite, easing the bowels, and disposing to sleep. A roasted onion cut in two, is a domestic remedy for boils, as it hastens their breaking. They kill worms in children, if they drink the water fasting in which they have been steeped all night. Roasted and eaten with honey, or sugar and oil, they relieve an inveterate cough, and expectorate tough phlegm. The juice snuffed up the nostrils purges the head, and removes lethargy. It has been regarded as a preservative against infection, to eat onions fasting with bread and salt. An onion made hollow, fulled with treacle, and then roasted, and beaten together, is a sovereign salve for sores, or a putrifying ulcer. The juice of onions is good for scalds and burns, and used with vinegar, takes away blemishes, spots, and marks in the skin. Figs and onions beaten together, ripen and break and other sores.
The onion plant grows about 2 feet tall and bears an underground globular stem, which consists of modified leaves arranged in whorls. There are many cultivar onions grown around the world. The average crop takes about three to four months time. Top greens or scallions and flower headsaare also eaten all around the world. Sharp, pungent smell of onions is due to its sulfur compound, allyl propyl disulphide. Spanish red onions are generally less strongly flavored than white or brown varieties, which makes them ideal for use in raw salads.
Shallot (allium cepa l. Var. Aggregatum) is a variety of the onion that produces a cluster of small-elongated bulbs from a single planted bulb. Shallots are relatively smaller and tastes sweeter than onions.
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Health benefits
Onions are very low in calories (just 40 calories per 100 g) and fats; however, rich in soluble dietary fiber.
Phyto-chemical compounds allium and allyl disulphide in the onions convert into allicin by enzymatic reaction when its modified leaves are distorted (crushing, cutting, etc.). Studies have shown that these compounds have anti-mutagenic (protects from cancers) and anti-diabetic properties (helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetics).
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the hmg-coa reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.
In addition, allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by releasing nitric oxide (no) and thereby bring a reduction in the total blood pressure. Further, it blocks platelet-clot formation, and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels. Altogether, it helps decrease in overall risk of coronary artery disease (cad), peripheral vascular diseases (pvd), and stroke.
Onions are rich source of chromium, the trace mineral that helps tissue cells respond appropriately to insulin levels in the blood. It thus helps facilitate insulin action and control sugar levels in diabetes.
They are an also good source of antioxidant flavonoid quercetin, which is found to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic functions.a
They are also good in antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-c and mineral manganese. Manganese is required as a co-factor for anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. In addition, isothiocyanate anti-oxidants in them help provide relief from cold and flu by exerting anti-inflammatory actions.
Onions are also good in b-complex group of vitamins like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folates and thiamin. Pyridoxine or vitamin b-6 helps keep up gaba levels in the brain, which works against neurotic conditions.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications