Whilst the onion may not be the hero ingredient of many meals, it definitely stands out in terms of its health attributes. From supporting gut, heart and brain health to fighting free radical damage, onions are a reliable, versatile and affordable pantry staple.
Beneath the layers of the humble onion lie many nutrition benefits, but not everyone knows just how healthy onions really are.
We have reviewed the latest nutrition research into onions and have prepared the Onion Health and Nutrition Report. This report summarises the nutrition and health benefits of onions, including conditions ranging from gut health, heart and brain health to emerging research for bone health, fertility, cancer prevention and healthy ageing.
The report also covers usage tips so more Australians can reap the benefits from adding more onions to their diet.
Onions are rich in bioactive compounds and have been found to help prevent various chronic diseases, including obesity. A systematic review and meta-analysis of five clinical trials (using onions and onion peels) found body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and triglyceride levels were all significantly reduced in those who consumed onions compared with the placebo group who did not. The authors concluded onion intake had an anti-obesity effect which reduced body weight and body fat, and this effect was particularly pronounced with onion peel.
The protective role of onion against neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease can be attributed to active ingredients such as flavonoids, and quercetin in particular. Quercetin is a phytochemical that possesses antioxidant properties and has a protective effect against ageing – it has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic and anti-viral properties.
Onions are a nutritious vegetable with many health benefits, however, fresh onions are high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols), which may be problematic for people with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). Eating fermented onions may reduce FODMAP problems and increase the availability of bioactive compounds, especially quercetin.
Join us as we take groups of health professionals to onion farms across Australia.
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