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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.
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