Stop those annoying waterworks by using a sharp knife which causes less damage to the cell walls of an onion, releasing fewer irritants. Keep the exposed cuts away from you and position your cutting board near the stove so the exhaust fan can pull some of the irritants away. Chilling the onion before chopping it can also help.
Now that you’ve reduced the tears you can begin to enjoy the onion’s many benefits to your health:
Onions have been eaten for centuries in order to decrease inflammation in the body and heal infections. Their powerful anti-inflammatory agents help reduce the symptoms of many inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout.
Fighting bacterial infections
Onions are considered to be antiseptic, with the ability to fight bacteria, including salmonella and E.coli as well as treat urinary tract infections such as cystitis. Along with its sulfur-containing compounds, onions contain the flavonoid quercetin which offers potent antibacterial benefits that have also been linked to battling gum disease. This same compound is known to play a major role in preventing cancer too.
Preventing heart attacks
Consuming one-half of a medium raw, organic onion each day is said to significantly lower cholesterol, encourage higher “good,” or HDL cholesterol, and prevent heart attacks. Numerous studies have shown onions to offer protection for the heart and blood vessels, especially when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet that includes plenty of other vegetables and fruits.
Strengthening the immune system
The anti-inflammatory properties in onions help boost the immune system, and their pungency increases blood circulation which can help ward off infection, reduce fever, and even help one to “sweat out” a cold or flu. The phytochemicals contained in the vegetable also help the body to run more efficiently in addition to being a rich source of vitamin C, adding yet another immunity boosting benefit.
Supporting bone health
Research has found that onions can help increase bone density, providing special benefits to menopausal women who are at risk of developing osteoporosis and are experiencing loss of bone density. There is also evidence that women who have passed the age of menopause may be able to lower the risk of hip fracture by regularly consuming onions.
Regulating blood sugar
Onions contain chromium which helps to regulate blood sugar. It can also aid a diabetic’s cells to respond appropriately, bringing down the insulin level and improve glucose tolerance. A compound known as allyl propyl disulphide, or APDS, is also contained in onions and is believed to stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, lowering blood sugar.
You’ll get the most nutrient benefits from raw onions; add chopped or sliced raw onions to a salad or just slice them thin, add a squeeze of lemon juice on top and enjoy!