Whether cooked or raw, onions add enormous flavor to a variety of healthy dishes, so they are a crucial ingredient to have around the house to make figure-friendly meals in your own kitchen every night.
The onion is a member of the allium family, which, as your nose will tell you, also includes garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. Egyptians worshiped the onion's many layers as a symbol of eternity. Today, the onion can be one of the most useful and flavorful ingredients in creating low-calorie, healthful dishes.
Dry onions are a surprising source of fiber and a rich source of healthy sulfur compounds, similar to those found in garlic. Research on onions has lagged behind garlic research, but onions appear to have similar cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, at least in the short term.
Onions also contain phytochemicals called flavonoids, which help vitamin C in its function, improving the integrity of blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. All this spells help for your cardiovascular system. One particular flavonoid, quercetin, may inhibit tumor growth and help keep colon cancer at bay.
In addition, a newly identified compound appears to rival the prescription drug Fosamax in inhibiting bone loss in menopausal women.
Onions also contain vitamin C and chromium. Chromium is a mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, ultimately assisting with blood glucose control. Green onions, because of their bright green tops, provide a wealth of vitamin A.