Are Onions Bad for You?

Onions are a common ingredient in most types of cuisines. It is well known that onions are packed with necessary healthy nutrients, which makes them a preferable ingredient when cooking. Onions are rich in fibers, calcium, potassium, iron, protein, folic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Onions contain no fat at all. But, do onions have a negative effect on the human’s health? 

Are Onions Bad for You?

In general, onions are not bad for the human health due to the healthy ingredients described above. This is true especially if you eat onions in moderation. Known health benefits of onions are:

1. Onions Regulate the Level of Sugar in Blood

Onions contain the sulfur compound known as allyl propyl disulfide which increases the production of insulin and lowers the levels of glucose in the blood in both types of diabetes. Chromium in onion juice improves the tolerance level of the human body for glucose. For these reasons, diabetics should include red onions regularly in their daily meals.

2. Onions Boost Up the Immune System

Are onions bad for you? No, onions are very healthy and beneficial. Due to polyphenol, onions boost up the immune system. A regular consumption of onions can reduce the allergic response to different allergens due to decreased or blocked production of histamines. Onions have antimicrobial properties as well, preventing infections.

3. Onions Decrease the Risk for Heart Diseases

If onions are a part of your daily diet, they will decrease the risk for heart diseases such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. One onion compound, known as quercetin contains antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties which are very good for the human health. 

4. Onions Prevent Cancer

It has been estimated that onions can prevent many types of cancer such as lung cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. The antioxidant properties of onions, as well as, the flavonoid and phenolic content helps fight cancer cells.

5. Onions Help Treat Asthma

Are onions bad for you? No. According to a study, onions can help improve the signs and symptoms of asthma and other breathing problems as well. It’s again quercetin which is found to relax the muscles in the airways, relieving the signs of asthma. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, onions also help decrease the inflammation of the airways.

6. Onions Increase Bone Density

Onions are very healthy and should be part of the daily diet, especially among women who are in their menopause or already dealing with osteoporosis. Studies have shown that onions slow down the progression of bone loss, due to a peptide called GPCS. This peptide seems to have bone-helping potential. A research also showed that daily intake of onions reduces the risk of hip fractures by about 20% in women.

7. Onions Improve Oral Health

We all know that after eating onion, you will probably end up with a bad breath. However, did you know that onions can improve oral health? Raw onions are known for their antibacterial properties. For this reason, it is recommended to chew a piece of raw onions for a minute or two every day in order to eliminate any bacteria in the mouth, preventing gum disease and cavities.

Be Aware of the Possible Side Effects of Onions

As it is mentioned above, onions have many health benefits. However, too much of anything can just be bad for your health. The most common problems associated with onion consumption include:

  • Onions are known to lower the levels of sugar in the blood. However, in diabetics, they can sometimes lower the levels of sugar too much, causing various signs of hypoglycemia. Diabetics should check their level of blood sugar constantly and avoid onions when their sugar level in blood is lower than normal.
  • Onions are known to lower the levels of blood pressure. However, those who take medications for lowering the blood pressure, or people who have always a lower blood pressure than normal, should be more careful when consuming onions.
  • When consumed in large amounts, onions can have negative effects on the gastrointestinal system, even though it is known that when consumed in moderate amounts, onions have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal system.
  • Onions are known for their antiseptic properties and some people use them for the treatment of bruises, pimples or wounds. However, in others, onions can cause a skin irritation.
  • Are onions bad for you? No, But in pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, onions cause a heartburn or just make the heartburn even worse. For this reason, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume onions moderately or totally avoid them.
  • Onions have anti-coagulant properties as well. People who take anti-coagulant medications should be more careful when consuming onions as they have an increased risk for bleeding and bruising.
  • Allergies to onions are possible. If a person is allergic to onions, even smelling them can cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, etc. If a person allergic to onions consumes aspirin at the same time, the sensitivity to onions will be increased even more.
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