What would life be like without onions? The onion has been used as an ingredient in various dishes for thousands of years by many cultures around the world. World onion production is steadily increasing so that onion is now the second most important horticultural crop after tomatoes.
There are many different varieties of onion, red, yellow, white, and green, each with their own unique flavor, from very strong to mildly sweet. Onions can be eaten raw, cooked, fried, dried or roasted. They are commonly used to flavor dips, salads, soups, spreads, stir-fry and other dishes.
Onions (Allium cepa) belong to the lily family, the same family as garlic, leeks, chives, scallions and shallots.There are over 600 species of Allium, distributed all over Europe, North America, Northern Africa and Asia. The plants can be used as ornamentals, vegetables, spices, or as medicine. There are over 120 different documented uses of the Alliums.
Onion and other Allium vegetables are characterized by their rich content of thiosulfinates, sulfides, sulfoxides, and other odoriferous sulfur compounds. The cysteine sulfoxides are primarily responsible for the onion flavor and produce the eye-irritating compounds that induce lacrimation. The thiosulfinates exhibit antimicrobial properties. Onion is effective against many bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella, and E. coli. Onion is not as potent as garlic since the sulfur compounds in onion are only about one-quarter the level found in garlic.
Nutritive Values of Onions : Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A : 50 I.U.
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C : 9 mg.
- Calcium : 32 mg.
- Phosphorus : 44 mg.
- Potassium : 300 mg.
- Carbohydrates : 10.3 gm.
- Protein : 1.4 mg.
- Calories : 45
Onion is Benenificial in the following conditions:
- Reduce inflammation
- Slightly laxative
- High Blood Pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prolong longevity
- Helps destroy worms and other parasites.
- Bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tube)
- Neuritis (inflammation of the nerves)
- Vertigo (inflammation of nerves)
- Diuretic (increases the secretion of urine)
- Diabetes mellitus – lowers blood sugar.
- Valuable for the hair, nails of the fingers and toes, and for the eyes.
- Sinus conditions – helps to drain mucus from the cavities and loosen phlegm.
- Whether fresh or cooked onions have antiplatelet, adhesiveness, thus preventing thrombosis.