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MEDICINAL USES OF ONION

WHY ONION Onions are indispensable vegetables found in any functioning kitchen. It’s globally known for its curative, medicinal and culinary benefits. Apart from its medicinal properties the onion is simply delicious. It forms the basis of so many dishes irrespective of the method of cooking used. It would be difficult to imagine the cuisine of any country without it. WHY ONION IS POWERFUL IN RAW FORM The reason onion is so much more active in its raw state than when cooked, is that it contains a variety of organic sulphur compounds, contained in a volatile oil, that provide health benefits. These are partly destroyed by heat when cooked. Also, the Flavonoid in onion tends to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh. Flavonoid (an anti-oxidant) is the substance that helps to protect blood vessels from rupture and protect cell from oxygen damage. To maximize onion’s health benefits, peel off as little of the fleshy, edible portion as possible when removing the outermost paper layer. Even a small amount of over peeling can result in loss of Flavonoid. ONION AS ANTIOXIDANT When soup containing onion is simmered, their Quercetin does not get degraded. The Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals. Free radicals are chemical compounds present in the body that damage cell membranes and DNA and also cause cell death. By using a low-heat method for preparing soup, you can preserve the health benefits of onion especially those associated with Flavonoid. Several servings of onion each week are sufficient to statistically lower your risk of some types of cancer which includes ovarian cancer, oral and esophageal cancer. FIGHTS COUGH AND CATARRH Onions are also used as remedy for coughs, colds and catarrh especially asthma. Although not as medicinal as garlic, onion has been used almost as widely. LOWER BODY SUGAR LEVEL Onions are also beneficial in balancing blood sugar levels. Recently, some of onion’s curative properties have been attributed to a compound called Allyl Propyl Disulphide, which is thought to have a similar effect to insulin in balancing blood sugar levels. This however does not mean that the onion can be used as a substitute for insulin therapy. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE Also, eating raw onion helps to lower blood pressure. This is a very fast remedy in lowering blood pressure. The juice from onion does this wonder. When you eat a handful of onion with your breakfast, or before lunch, your high blood pressure against the walls of your arteries would have been better than what it was in the morning .Try this today if you are suffering from high blood pressure. There is no side effect compared with the thousand and one side effects in tablets. HOW TO KNOW THE BEST ONION AND HOW TO STORE IT Globally, onions should be clean and hard and have dry, smooth skins. Avoid onions in which the stem has developed. Also avoid those that show signs of decay. Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from bright light and in a well-ventilated area. Those that are more pungent in flavour (e.g. red onion) will keep longer than those with a sweeter taste (e.g. white onions). Onions comes in different sizes, colour and taste. Smaller onions come in many types, such as chives, leeks and shallots. MY ADVICE Until this year, I have never tried eating raw onion. I can’t figure out why. However, after discovering the wealth of health benefits it offers, I couldn’t help but give it a trial. The happiest part is that my girls also enjoy it. They even request for it if not served with their food. I tell you, eating raw onion isn’t that difficult afterall. I don’t just eat it alone, I chop it up and serve it with our lunch. I have it as 1 part of my 5 a day. The NHS, UK advices that a medium onion counts as 1 of your 5 a day. As you enjoy the numerous benefits of onion, do send me your comment via flourishcaterers@yahoo.com or SMS ONLY – 08066633815.

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