Friday, September 26, 2014

Health Benefits of Onions

The health benefits of onions are many. Research studies have shown that onions may prevent or reduce the risk of some diseases. In additions to its health benefits, onions add to the taste of a range of dishes. Before we find out some answers to the question, “What are the health benefits of onions?” let’s take a look at how onion is used in some Indian vegetarian food.

Onions in Indian Dishes – A Quick Overview

Onions are a common ingredient that many Indians use in their everyday cooking. This vegetable is almost necessary to prepare a seasoning. It is also a main item in dishes like sambars and many of the curries. From masala rice roti to masala dosa curry, rava upma to masala vada, onions are a must-have ingredient in a countless number of Indian recipes.

As raw onions are crunchy and have a special taste, these vegetables are a key part of many of the salads too. These include sprouted moong salad and onion raita.

The links to recipes for some of the dishes that use onions are given at the end of the article.

Onions Health Benefits

It’s now time to take a peek into the medicinal storehouse of onions.  Here is a snapshot of the health benefits of onions:


Onion powder in the diet may help in the management of diabetes. A research study found that 3% onion powder, in the diet fed to diabetic rats, reduced much the high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. The researchers also found a significant decrease in blood cholesterol.

Stomach Cancer

A research study has found that eating allium vegetables like onion may reduce the risk of stomach cancer. The research has found an inverse relationship between the consumption of onions and the incidence of stomach cancer.

Stomach Ulcer

A compound called quercetin found in onions are said to aid the healing of stomach ulcers. This compound, among others, is believed to reduce the start of cancerous tumors.


Onions are said to prevent the breakdown of bones and, therefore, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Chronic Prostatitis

Thanks again to quercetin, the wonder compound found in onions. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, quercetin is said to decrease inflammation in the prostate.

Vascular Disease

Certain quantity of white blood cells may thicken the artery wall, resulting in the arteriosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD).  A research study has found that onion extract may reduce the risk of ASVD, because of the extract’s anti- arteriosclerotic effect.


According to The Free Dictionary, cataractogenesis is “the process of cataract formation.” Onions, through their compounds quercetin, may reduce the risk of cataractogenesis.

Because of the health benefits of onions, you would want to make it a part of your everyday diet and reduce the risk of some diseases.

Here are the links to some of the recipes that have onions as an ingredient:

Sambar Recipe for Idli 

Masala Dosa Curry

Onion Curry 

Chawal ki Roti 

Masala Vada

Vegetable Upma

Onion Raita

Onion Samosa 

Onion Pakoda

Onion Chutney


Influence of dietary capsaicin and onion on the metabolic abnormalities associated with streptozotocin induced diabetes mellitus, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry,

Consumption of onions and a reduced risk of stomach carcinoma, Gastroenterology,

Onions – Phytochemical and Health Properties,

A γ-Glutamyl Peptide Isolated from Onion (Allium cepa L.) by Bioassay-Guided Fractionation Inhibits Resorption Activity of Osteoclasts, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,

Current treatment options in the management of chronic prostatitis, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, accessed through the US National Library of Medicine,

Onion extract (Allium cepa L.), quercetin and catechin up-regulate paraoxonase 1 activity with concomitant protection against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in male Wistar rats subjected to oxidative stress, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture,

Quercetin inhibits hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidation of the rat lens, Free Radical Biology & Medicine, accessed through the US National Library of Medicine,