Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of eating onions?

Although all vegetables have important health giving properties, onions have more than most. Onions are high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. They act as a powerful antioxidant due to their high concentration of Quercetin. This can help reduce cholesterol levels which may lower the risk of heart disease. Red onions in particular contain high levels of anthocyanins, the pigment that gives the onions their red colour. Studies show that consuming higher levels of anthocyanins have a reduced risk of heart disease.

The suphur compounds in onions and garlic have also shown to have cancer fighting properties. The flavanoids Quercitin and fisetin found in onions have been proven to inhibit tumour growth.

It's not just milk and dairy products that contribute to healthy bones. Studies show that consuming onions improves bone mineral density. Onions may also help prevent osteoporosis through reducing oxidative stress.

Onions have also been shown to have antibacterial properties, inhibiting the growth of harmful bacterial such as E. coli and S. aureos.

Finally, the consumption of onions helps people suffering from diabetes by controlling blood sugar. Sulfur compounds and quercetin found in onions possess antidiabetic properties.

So to answer the question, is eating onions good for you, the simple is answer is yes! Try and get them into as many meals as you can and live a long and healthy life.

What are the side effects of eating onions?

Onion Allergy
Some unfortunate people are allergic to onions. If you are, you may experience an itchy rash or itchy eyes when you come into contact with an onion. Although there are no serious allergic reactions reported, if you experience difficulty breathing,, swelling to the throat or severe redness to the skin, you should seek advice from your doctor.

If you regularly suffer from heartburn, eating raw onions can worsen your symptoms so they are best limited in your diet.

Onions contain fructose, a sugar which is not easily digested by the gut. Fructose will pass into the intestine to be broken down which in turn, for some people, can produce gas. Gas production can lead to abdominal bloat and increased flatulence.

Do onions burn fat?

Onions are a great source of soluble fibre. This makes them a powerful prebiotic food. Soluble fibre promotes a healthy gut and is crucial for belly fat loss.

How long have people eaten onion for?

Onions have been part of the human diet for over 7,000 years. Traces of onions have been discovered by archaeologists which date back to 5000 B.C.

Are onions safe for dogs?

Onions can weaken a dog's red blood cells, leading to anaemia. In severe cases, this could result in death. Symptoms of anaemia in your dog include weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite and breathlessness.

Can onions help you sleep?

Counting sheep not working for you? How about eating onions? Onions contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid which is a natural sedative. The effect of lowering the blood sugar levels, lowers your activity level, making onions great for insomnia.

Why do onions make you cry?

One of the most commonly asked questions of the humble onion. How can they be so good for us but also make us cry? Before they are cut or damaged in any way, onions are no more likely to make you cry than any other vegetable. However, once they are chopped and the cells are damaged, amino acid sulphoxides are released. Enzymes are released in your eyes do to your brain thinking your eyes are under attack. The enzymes react with the sulphoxides to form sulphonic acids. This in turn brings on the tears as your bodies natural defence to these compounds.

Do onions cure colds?

It's a popular misconception that placing a cut onion in your room will absorb the bacteria and viruses associated with the common cold. Unfortunately, it isn't scientifically possible for an onion to absorb germs from a person. In fact onions have antibacterial properties which even if it were possible, would make them a bad host for any cold causing nasties.

Are raw onions good for you?

Onions contain folic acid and fibre, helping your body make healthy new cells. Raw onions have a higher level of organic sulphur compounds but the health benefits are there whether eaten raw or cooked.

Do onions attract bacteria?

You will find many examples on the internet of cut onions being put in the bedroom while people sleep and them turning black by the morning, supposedly absorbing bacteria from an ill person while they sleep. This happens because the cells start to break down as soon as the onion is cut and eventually the onion will rot. It is not because it is absorbing bacteria.

How should I store onions?

Onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing onions in the refrigerator as it can make them go soft and damp. If you bought the onions in a plastic bag, do not store them in the bag. Onions like airflow around them. Keeping them confined to a plastic bag can lead to moisture build up inside the bag. This in turn can lead to mould growth.

Are onions toxic to dogs?
Yes, onions are toxic to dogs and should not be ingested. Onions contain a toxic principle known as N-propyl disulfide. This compound causes a breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anemia in dogs. The toxin causes oxidative damage to your dog's red blood cells by attaching to the oxygen molecules in those cells.
Can onions cause bad breath?
Yes, onions can cause bad breath. This is due to the sulphur compounds in onions, which are released when they are cut or eaten. To reduce onion breath, try chewing on fresh parsley or mint leaves, or drinking lemon water.
Do onions have health benefits?
Yes, onions are a nutritious vegetable that is high in vitamins C and B6, as well as antioxidants. They may also help to lower the risk of certain types of cancer and improve heart health.
How do I use onions in cooking?
Onions are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, including soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and stir-fries. They can be sautéed, caramelised, roasted, or grilled.
How do I caramelise onions?
To caramelise onions, slice them thinly and cook them slowly in a pan with butter or oil over low heat until they turn a deep golden-brown colour. This process can take up to 45 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
Can I freeze onions?
Yes, you can freeze onions. Simply chop the onions and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Frozen onions are great for adding to soups, stews, and casseroles.
Are there different types of onions?
Yes, there are many different types of onions, including red onions, brown onions, white onions, and sweet onions. Each variety has its own unique flavour and culinary use.
How do I cut onions without crying?
To reduce tears while cutting onions, try refrigerating the onion for 30 minutes before cutting, cutting the onion under running water, or using a sharp knife to make clean cuts. Alternatively, use Sunions, the tearless onion!
Can I eat onions raw?
Yes, you can eat onions raw. They can be sliced thinly and added to salads, sandwiches, or used as a garnish. Raw onions can also be pickled or used to make salsa.
How do I choose the best onions?
Look for onions that are firm and have dry, papery skins. Avoid onions that are soft, sprouting, or have signs of mould.
How should I store onions?
Onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, such as a pantry or cellar. Avoid storing onions in the refrigerator as it can make them go soft and damp. If you have bought the onions in a plastic bag, ensure you remove them from the bag to store them. Onions keep best with they are dry and well-ventilated so keeping them in plastic packaging can encourage mould as the onion respires and gives off moisture.

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