Red Onion

IMG_1570I’m a big fan of the red onion.  There are always red onions in my pantry.  Not to say that I don’t also use yellow or Spanish or green onions.  I do.  But the red onion is my favorite of all of them.  I try to incorporate red onion into our diet each and every day whether it be in a cooked vegetable recipe or raw in a salad.  One notation about using red onion is when slicing it you don’t get those onion tears.  That’s nice.  I don’t like slicing regular onions and having to stick my head outside to get rid of those stinging onion tears.

Onions are long standing medicinal foods in the treatment of illness from fungus, bacterial infections, viruses etc. dating back 100’s of years.  They are the member of the allium family known for their sulphur content.  Of all of the different kinds of onions, the red onion is the best source of nutrients known to help fight cancer cell growth.

Red onions are high in antioxidants which stimulate the production of glutathione in the liver, which is the master antioxidant in the body.  Glutathione inhibits inflammation and reduces free radicals, detoxifiying the liver of carcinogens.  This is good news.  Detox, detox, detox……..

Onions are rich in quercetin which is a bioflavonoid.  Bioflavanoids help remove excess estrogen from our bodies.  This is definitely a good anti-cancer boost.  We don’t want high amounts of estrogen in our bodies as that stimulates the breast, ovaries, uterus and prostate in men potentially promoting cancer cell growth.  Quercetin is also a strong anti-inflammatory agent.

Red onions, over all other onions, contain compounds that boost our immune systems.  One of these compounds is called allicin and it is heavily concentrated in red onions.

Red onions are low on the glycemic index scale.  This helps to keep your blood glucose level in check.  These kinds of foods are beneficial in the prevention of diabetes type 2.  Also keeping your blood glucose in a low range helps to maintain healthy insulin levels.  This low glycemic rating of the red onion helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

Studies have shown that the high guerciten levels in red onions help protect against digestive related cancers as well as reproductive related cancers.

Let’s not forget that red onions also contain biotin, mangancese, B6, C, fiber, potassium and folate to name a few vitamins and minerals.

Getting the most from your red onion eating is important.  Eating raw red onion is best as heating degrades the many antioxidants….which is true with most vegetables.  Chopping red onion brings out the allicin.  Try to slice and dice your red onion at the last minute and then add it to your salad or recipes.

Its barbecue season and cold salad and soup season.  Some great places to put red onion in your day-to day nutrition to get the most bang for your buck is to use it raw in salads, guacamole, cold soups, sliced raw on burgers or in sandwiches, soaked in cider vinegar and eaten raw as a side dish, or add to cooked dishes like chile as a raw garnish on top of each serving.

Happy Canada Day.  Enjoy your long weekend barbecue and don’t forget to add the RED ONION!


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