The health benefits of onions have been known for well over 5000 years and they have been used to treat or cure almost anything! In last few decades, a lot research has went into studying this wonderful food; so much so, that there is now tens if not hundreds of published scientific journals shedding light on the many health benefits this "superfood" has to offer. Onions posses many active compounds that have been proven beneficial for many health problems, including, keeping the common cold away. Along with its ability to keep you from picking up a cold, onions also help with detoxifying your body, aid in the prevention of cancer, and assist in maintaining a strong functioning heart.
Onions are a great source of vitamin C, B6 , biotin, chromium, calcium, a good amount of folic acid, and vitamin B1 and K. A 100 gram serving of onions provides 44 calories (mostly complex carbohydrates), with 1.4 grams of fiber. Like many other plants in the allium family, onions contain an enzyme called alliinase , which is released when an onion is cut, thereby making one's eyes water. Onions also contain flavanoids, which is a pigment that gives vegetables their colour. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a direct antitumor effect, and have immune-enhancing properties.
Onions (white, purple or shallots) have strong antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties which are the primary co-factors in keeping the bugs away. For any years, families would strategically place whole onions around the household. They would simply place a whole, unprocessed onion in each room of the house. Traditionally, most homes were equipped with one or two rooms, so limited onions were used. Today, however, since most homes are much bigger (especially in many parts of the developed world), there is a need to have a few more onions around the house so that the onions can effectively absorb the microbes, bacteria and viruses that perpetually circulate the house. Essentially, all you need to do is place one full (medium sized) onion in every room of your dwelling. You will know the onions are doing their job by simply looking at them periodically. If they have changed colour (particularly black or have black spots present) then you know they have absorbed many of the microbes in your home. It is encouraged to replace the onion with a fresh one, once they have gone "mouldy" (black).
Unfortunately some people succumb to bacteria and viruses when they are away from their home (usually from work or other public places). When a cold or virus sets in, the onion can also be summoned to help your body battle the foreign invaders out of your body. In essence, all you need to do is cut an onion on both ends, place in a jar and set the jar beside your bed as you go to sleep. When you arise in the morning your symptoms should be remarkably better and the onion should be all discoloured or completely black. This is a good indication that the onion has successfully absorbed some of the bacteria or virus that has been dwelling in your body. Give it a try next time you come down with a cold or flu.
Other Great Health Benefits
- The onion is the richest source of dietary quercitin: Quercitin in onions also thins the blood, lowers cholesterol, raises good-type HDL cholesterol (preferred dose: half a raw onion a day), wards off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections. It's also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. Quercitin is also a sedative. So far, there is no better food source of quercitin than onion skins.
- Onion help protect your heart: Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly routine among cardiologists. But Harvard's Dr. Victor Gurewich advises all his patients with coronary heart disease to eat onions daily. Onions help boost your beneficial HDL cholesterol, thin he blood, slow blood clotting, lower triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.
- Cancer Prevention: The antioxidant content in onions can protect you from cancer by reducing DNA damage caused by free radicals. All onions and their relatives are rich in organosulpur compounds which have been shown to prevent cancer in lab animals. In fact, an onion extract was found to destroy tumour cells in test tubes and to arrest tumour growth when tumour cells were implanted in rats. The onion extract was shown to be unusually nontoxic, since a dose as high as forty times that of the dose required to kill the tumour cells had no adverse effect on the host. In addition, shallots have been shown to exhibit significant activity against leukemia in mice.
Onions have also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and have been historically used to treat asthma. With their potent antimicrobial activity, onions have the ability of destroying many disease-causing pathogens, including E, coli and slamonella. Just another reason (among others) to eat plenty of onions, especially during cold and flu season. Always look to mother nature for support; she is always willing to help.
Your question: How often do you eat onions and what other foods do you eat to help you overcome a cold or flu? (post your comments below)_________________________________________________________________________
About the Author : Jordan Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. He has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist.