Health Benefits of Onions, Past and Present

Onions are healing foods.  With ever increasing medical costs, sometimes it’s good to know we have natural medicines right in our own refrigerators. Great on a hamburger, onions have a wide array of medical benefits too. Onions were used by early American colonists to treat a host of ailments including colds, coughs and bacterial infections. These same settlers also used it ward off insects. Ancient Chinese medicine took advantage of the onion’s healing power, using them to treat angina, coughs, breathing issues and bacterial infections.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) sees the health benefits of onions for use in treating a poor appetite and hardening of the arteries. WHO also recognizes relief of colds, coughs, asthma and bronchitis by onions due to onions known ability to decrease bronchial spasms. Onions are also known to help reduce the risk of tumors developing in the large and small intestines.

Because onions are in the same family as garlic, it’s no wonder they possess many of the same healing features. Like garlic, onions have been shown to help lower blood lipids and blood pressure. In India, regions were compared where neither onions nor garlic is consumed to another area where the people of the area ate substantial amounts of garlic and onions. In the communities that did not consume onions, the people of the area suffered from substantially higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels than the onion eating areas.

Onions are also a great source of flavonoids, an ingredient known to help protect the heart from diseases. Due to their sulfur content, onions also act as anticlotting agents, preventing platelets from clumping together.

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Among other disorders, onions have also been shown to offer some protection against tumor growths in the body. Statistics from Vidalia, GA, where the Vidalia onion is grown show death rates from stomach cancer at about one-half the level of the rest of the country. Similar statistics and studies in Greece, where there population traditionally consumes onions and garlic in great quantities, show similar findings. In China, where garlic and onions are also liberally consumed, the risk of contracting stomach cancer is 40% less than those who ingest it sparingly.

So while onions may never replace penicillin as the medicine of choice, they are still a great item to include as part of your daily diet. You’ll never “cry” over the results!

About the Author

Steven Matthews grew up in a Southern family, food was always a source of comfort and love for him. As a result, much of Steven's family has suffered from weight related health issues. He lost his father due to complications with hypertension. He was only 48. Soon after, Matthew's mother had her right foot amputated due to diabetes. Since then, Steven has worked to create awareness in others on how to avoid these tragic diseases. He still loves good food, and spends a lot of time creating new recipes to continue the tradition of showing love through family meals... without the negative health effects. Steven resides in Buckhead, Georgia, located just outside of Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.