Onions: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Onions: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


It seems that onion is the only food which can make you drop some tears when cutting into it.

Despite a spicy taste and unpleasant smell, onion is still one of the most popular cooking ingredients all around the world.

More than a vegetable, onion is well-known for its curative value.

Almost all health benefits of onion result from its loading with antioxidants and sulfur-containing components.

Commonly, there are numerous ways to cook onions.

They are baking, boiling, frying, roasting, etc.

No matter what way you use to cook it, onion can still bring about many beneficial health effects.

That why it is often called as a true gift of nature.

This article is a collection of onions nutrition facts and top 7 Benefits of Onions.

Nutrition Facts

Onion - Nutrition Facts

People believe that onion was first grown in Asia as the earliest cultivated crop.

Onion’s size can range from small to medium and full size.

Similarly, there are many shapes and colors of onions.

However, the most common types of onion which people are familiar with are white, yellow and red.

Depending on the variety as well as season, onion can taste mild, sweet and typically spicy.

Since ancient time, onion has been used for medical purposes for its great content of valuable substances.

Water is the main component in fresh, raw onion as it accounts for 89% of this vegetable content.

Additionally, onion contains carbohydrates, fiber and a trace amount of protein and fat.

It is estimated that nearly 9-10% of onion is carbohydrates.

Glucose, fructose, sucrose and fibers are good examples of carbohydrates in onion.

Also, onion is a power house of fructans.

These components are healthy soluble fibers which are essential for the overall health (1, 23, 4, 5).

Unfortunately, fructans also belong to FODMAPs – groups of substances which people cannot consume (6).

FODMAPs goes for fermentable oligo-, di-,monosaccharides and polyols).

In reality, FODMAPs may result in digestive problems in people with bowel syndrome and many other digestive-related issues (7, 8).

Moreover, onions have decent amounts of vitamins and minerals .

Loading with antioxidants and sulfur-containing components, onion may result in many beneficial health effects.

Also, onion consists of quercetin – one of the most significant flavonoid compounds (9, 10, 11).

In comparison with other types of onion, red and yellow onions are greater house of antioxidants (12).

More importantly, antioxidant value of onion may reduce when it is cooked.

Bottom line: Loading with some essential nutrients, onions can bring many positive effects on a number of diseases.

Health Benefits of Onions

Here are top 7 benefits of onions which you may not know.

1. Anti-microbial Effects

Anti-microbial effects are unique thing which contributes to benefits of onions.

Obviously, there are some certain microorganisms such as bacteria and yeasts in the enviroment and inside the body system.

They may do harm to our health.

Interestingly, onion is promising food which can control the overgrowth of these harmful factors (13, 14).

Bottom line: The anti-microbial effects in onions make it ideal for controling the development of harmful bacteria in people.

2. Blood Sugar Levels

Onion - Blood Sugar Levels

One of the mechanisms behind benefits of onions is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels.

Undeniably, elevated blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes – a common disease nowadays.

By far, the most effective application of onions to date is in patients with type 2 diabetes.

A study in human showed that the daily raw onion consumption could reduce blood glucose rate in diabetics (15).

Also, several studies in animal supported onion’s ability to reduce blood sugar levels (16, 17, 18).

However, it is necessary that further research on human should be done for greater reliance.

3. Bone Health

The massive benefits of onions is a good solution of bone health improvement.

Clearly, functioning to lift the body, a healthy bone system is absolutely important.

Among many bone-related issues, osteoporosis can be the most popular.

Equally important, osteoporosis is a common dread for postmenopausal women.

According to scientific evidence, a healthy diet with onions can work against osteoporosis (19, 20).

A number of studies on animals have indicated that onion could neutralize bone deterioration and improve bone health (21, 22).

In addition, over-50-year-old women took part in an observational research.

The result was that onion could significantly improve bone density (23).

Moreover, onion intake might set limitation to bone loss in postmenopausal woman (24).

Bottom line: The onion intake may serve as natural way to improve bone health effectively.

4. Cancer

Undeniably, cancer is one of the biggest killers in the world.

It emerges when cells inside the body system grown out of control.

In fact, higher intake of onion can lower danger of stomach, breast, colon and prostate cancers.

These effects was supported by scientific-based evidence (3, 25, 26, 27, 28).

5. Oral Health

Another common health benefits of onion is improving oral health.

Despite having unpleasant smell, onions may effectively prevent tooth decay and oral infection (29).

Particularly, the habit of chewing raw onions in 2-3 minutes could kill germs inside the oral area.

Bottom line: The unpleasant smell doesn’t influence onion’s ability to improve oral health.

6. Skin Health

Onion - Skin Health

For sure, skin health is always the priority matter of concern for almost all people, especially women.

In fact, the mixture of onion juice and honey or olive oil can make a great contribution to the treatment of acne.

Serving as an notorious anti-inflammatory vegetable, onion can considerably cure redness.

Also, it address swelling sensation which goes together with acne (30, 31).

How to use:

  • Mix 1 egg yolk with a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Drop 2 tablespoons of onion juice and 1 tablespoon of cucumber juice into the mixture
  • Spread it into your skin
  • Leave it on 15 minutes
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water
  • Do like this 2-3 times a week

7. Anemia

Generally, anemia is a common disease which comes from iron deficiency.

Simply consuming onions with jaggery and water may help with anemia a lot.

This solution may add iron to the body system to foster new red blood cell formation.

Also, it can relieve annoying symtoms which accompany with anemia.

Thus, the appearance of onion in your diet can provide instant relief from anemia’s discomforts.

Take Home Message

In addition to these above benefits of onions, this food can help with many other cases.

However, sometimes people do not love onions because it may cause bad breath or even unpleasant body odor.

Additionally, there are also some issues, making onions unsuitable for a number of people.

For instance, some people may suffer from onion intolerance.

This phenomenon includes symptoms like upset stomach, heartburn or gas (32).

In other cases, people are unable to digest onions since they are loaded with FODMAPs (33).

In fact, this phenomenon may go together with bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea, which is really annoying.

Most typically, eye irritation and tear production can appear when people cut and prepare onions.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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Onions: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
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