Among the various vegetables grown in different parts of the world, onion is the most popular among them and is available worldwide and consumed by all for the innumerable benefits that it offers.
Fact 1 How it all began
In the medical treatise, Charaka Samhita, one of the oldest writings of India as early as the 6th century B.C. onions were mentioned and celebrated as a medicine for the heart, eyes and joints. Prehistoric people ate wild onions long before they were cultivated properly as crops. Onions also grew in Chinese gardens nearly 5,000 years ago. In Europe, onion production was continued in Italy after the decline of the Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires. Gradually, onion cultivation spread throughout Europe and thereafter around the world. Since then the cultivation of onions increased for consumption as well as for trade and today the largest producers of onions are India, China, United States and Egypt producing more than 74 million tons a year.
Fact 2 What Onions contain
Research has made it possible to know the innumerable nutritional elements present in onions. It is a known fact that fresh vegetables and fruits possess great nutritional value that helps to maintain good health as well as ward off various diseases.
Nutritional facts about onions
- Onions are high in Vitamin C.
- They are a good source of fiber.
- Onions contain complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, folate, and beta carotene.
- They are free of cholesterol, fat and sodium.
- Calorie content in onion is about 30 to 45 per serving.
- The outer layers of onions contain flavonoids.
Fact 3 Healing powers of onions
Onions are one of the oldest vegetables that were considered to be extremely useful as medicinal aids. In ancient Egypt, the spherical structure inside the onion was believed to be a symbol of eternal life. Healers have been using onion juice as a medicine for thousands as a strong antiseptic and used during wars to heal wounds of soldiers. The juice is also said to increase blood circulation when applied to the skin. Greek soldiers and athletes of ancient times used onion as their source of power. They rubbed the onions on their skin and consumed a lot of onions too in order to increase strength and speed in their movements especially gladiators. Onion contains flavonoids especially in the outer layers of the flesh. These protect from oxidative stress and several servings of onion weekly is great in lowering risks of various types of cancers including colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer to a great extent.
Fact 4 Best ways to utilize this amazing vegetable
Onions are packed with nutrients that care of health at every step. They may be eaten raw, boiled or steamed or lightly fried also. When used in soups the juices mix with the water content and so the nutrients are not lost. Another important aspect of onions is that they should never be over-peeled. The outer-most portion contains various essential elements that should not be lost during peeling. There are many varieties of onions available. The colors vary and also the size. You will get yellow, white, red, brown and pickling onions.
Fact 5 Why onions make you cry?
Onions contain sulphur-based gas and when it comes in contact with water of the eyes, sulfuric acid is formed that creates the fiery irritation. Wash the onions in running water or cool them before cutting them to avoid this problem.
You can get rid of bad-breathe caused by raw onion consumptions by eating fresh parsley. But do not hesitate to consume onions in every possible to stay healthy and fit.