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Why an onion is more than a spice?

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Why an onion is more than a spice?

Onions are more than just a spice

Onions are more than just a spice

Never mind the tears from your eyes as you cut them- onions are far more than just a spice! Onions are incredible at fighting disease and keeping your body at its best. With the many nutrients in onions, a wide variety of maladies can be prevented, controlled and treated. Here is a glimpse at the many health benefits of the onion.

Oral Care

Onions are used to prevent oral infections and tooth decay.Personal experience shows that chewing raw onions for 2 to 3 minutes not only removes the bad odor in the mouth but also potentially kills all the germs present in the oral area and surrounding places like the throat and lips.

Skin and Hair care

Onion juice mixed with honey or olive oil treats symptoms and signs of acne. It is anti-inflammatory in nature and so reduces the swelling and redness associated with acne.Dr Natukunda Sheilla, a lecturer of Nutrition at Makerere University asserts that the vitamin C in onions is required for the building and maintenance of collagen, which forms the skin and hair.

Prevent Cancer

Scientific research carried out at Makerere university has shown that onions are rich in active compounds that effectively inhibit the development and spread of cancerous cells. Quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant, exists in considerable amounts in onions. Quercetin is linked to the prevention or reduction of the spread of colon cancer, prostate cancer, esophageal and stomach cancer.

Onions are rich in Vitamin C which is also an antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals in the body and food.  Radicals are the chemical byproducts of cellular metabolism and can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.

Relieves Asthma

Medical studies have revealed that the sulfuric compounds in onions stop biochemical chain formations that may lead to asthmatic conditions. The sulfuric content of onions brings about the melting of phlegm (mucus) in a patient suffering from severe coughing. Mr Kabazi Morris, a university student, told me that he and his neighbours use fresh onion juice onpeople who lose consciousness or faint because the aroma and inhalant qualities of onions revive the patient’s vigor and energy.

As an Insect Repellent

Have you been stung by a bee? Apply onion juice to reduce the pain. Fresh onion juice or paste can be used for external applications on insect bites and stings. The smell of onions also causes insects to flee.

Relief from Stomach Aches

Onions have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that relieve upset stomach and related gastric syndromes. This is because of the saponins in onions. These saponins have anti-spasmodic capabilities, which stop stomach disturbances and ensure that your bowels are clear and smoothly functioning.

Sleep and Mood

Folic acid in onions might help reduce depression. Homocysteine prevents blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain, and folic acid prevents this chemical from building up. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the hormones serotonin, dopamine and nor epinephrine, which regulate not only mood but also sleep and appetite.

Manage Diabetes

Onions are a natural source of Chromium.Dr Natukunda Sheilla says that Chromium helps the body manage blood sugar levels and ensures a slow, gradual release of glucose to muscles and body cells. Eating onions can therefore help moderate the blood sugar levels which is vital for diabetic patients.

Treat Anemia

Onions, when eaten along with water improves the condition of anemia. This is because onions contain iron which is essential in producing new red blood cells.

Onions also reduce risk of developing gastric ulcers, lower production of bad cholesterol in the body, boost sexual drive and relieve earaches.

With all these invaluable health benefits, it’s no wonder that we enjoy onions with incredible tears of joy!

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