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Vegetables / Onion

Onion - Fights Infections and improves wound healing

1. Onion Facts
2. Onion Types (Australia)
3. Onion Nutritional Value
4. Onion Health Benefits
 
 
 
 

Onion Facts

One of the most cultivated and widely used vegetables, the onion is a member of the Amarylidaceae family. The onions flesh or bulb is grown under ground and is know for its high nutritional value and sought after flavour. Used in more recipes that nearly every other vegetable.
 

History and Origin
Many archaeologists, botanists, and food historians believe onions originated in central Asia. Other research suggests onions were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan.

 

Most researchers agree the onion has been cultivated for 5000 years or more. Since onions grew wild in various regions, they were probably consumed for thousands of years and domesticated simultaneously all over the world. Onions may be one of the earliest cultivated crops because they were less perishable than other foods of the time, were transportable, were easy to grow, and could be grown in a variety of soils and climates. In addition, the onion was useful for sustaining human life. Onions prevented thirst and could be dried and preserved for later consumption when food might be scarce.

 

Types of Onions (Australia)

Types of onions grown and sold in Australia
• Brown Onion
• Red Onion
• White Onion

Brown Onion
 
This is the most widely used Australian onion. Has a brown to yellow completion with creamy white coloured flesh. Has a strong pungent flavour that becomes wonderfully sweet when cooked.
 
Choose firm, blemish-free onions and avoid onions that have green shoots.
   
Red Onion
 
Red onions have purplish red skin with white flesh tinged with red. They are often used in salads for their colour and mild sweet flavour
 

They can be stored 3 to 4 months under ideal conditions.

   
White Onion
 
White onions are the strongest in flavour after brown and red onions. Onions Australia state that our consumers on average buy less white and more brown and red onions.

Onion Nutritional Value

Vegetables " Onion " ( Nutritional value )
Nutritional value per 100 g
Onions, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Weight of Vegetable - 1 cup = 210 g
Nutrient ( Proximate's )
Unit
Value
Daily Value %
Energy
kcal
44
2.2%
Protein
g
1.36
2.7%
Total lipid (fat)
g
0.19
0.2%
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
10.15
3.3%
Fiber, total dietary
g
1.4
5.6%
Sugars, total
g
4.73
 
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg
22
2.2%
Iron, Fe
mg
0.24
1.3%
Magnesium, Mg
mg
11
2.7%
Phosphorus, P
mg
35
3.5%
Potassium, K
mg
166
4.7%
Sodium, Na
mg
3
0.1%
Zinc, Zn
mg
0.21
1.4%
Copper, Cu
mg
0.067
3.3%
Manganese, Mn
mg
0.153
7.6%
Selenium, Se
µg
0.6
0.8%
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
5.2
8.6%
Thiamin (B-1)
mg
0.042
2.8%
Riboflavin (B-2)
mg
0.023
1.3%
Niacin (B-3)
mg
0.165
0.8%
Pantothenic acid (B-5)
mg
0.113
1.1%
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.129
6.4%
Folate (B-9)
µg
15
3.7%
Vitamin B-12
µg
0.00
 
Vitamin A, IU
IU
2
0.04%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg
0.02
0.06%
Vitamin D
IU
0
 
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
µg
0.5
0.6%
Lipids
Saturated Fatty Acids
g
0.031
 
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
g
0.027
 
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
g
0.073
 
Trans Fatty Acids
g
0.000
 
Carotenoids
Beta-Carotene
µg
1
 
Lutein + zeaxanthin
µg
4
 

Reference Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie Intake, for Adults and Children 4 or More Years of Age. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Percentages are roughly approximated using (RDA) Recommended Dietary Allowances for adults. Source: USDA United States Department of Agriculture
Reference Values for Nutrition - FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Onion Nutritional Value
Onions have many health benefits. The Allium genus includes approximately 500 species


Onion Health Benefits

Onions have many health benefits. Add onion to your diet to reduce blood sugar levels, maintain bone health, protect against allergies, protect against infections, treat urinary disorders, stimulate hair growth, fight cancer, promote gastrointestinal health, give remedy to colds and influenza and to promote good skin.

 

Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and with only 45 calories per serving, add abundant flavour to a wide variety of food. Onions are sodium, fat, and cholesterol free, and provide a number of other key nutrients.

 

Studies have shown that consumption of onions may be beneficial for reduced risk of certain diseases. Consumption of onions may prevent gastric ulcers by scavenging free radicals and by preventing growth of the ulcer-forming microorganism.


 
ONION
 
REGULATES BLOOD SUGER
(Chromium and sulfur)
GOOD FOR DIGESTION
(Fiber called oligofructose)
   
MAINTAINS BONE HEALTH
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
(Onion sulfurs)
   

CANCER

(Quercetin and rich in organosulfur)

IMMUNE SYSTEM

(Polyphenols act as antioxidants)

   
PROTECTS FROM TOOTH DECAY
(Kills most germs in the mouth)
PROTECTS FROM HEART DISEASE
(Quercetin)
   
POTENT ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY
(Destroys disease-causing pathogens)
DETOX YOUR BODY OF HEAVY METALS
 
HEALTH
 

Allium vegetables in cancer prevention

The Allium genus includes approximately 500 species. Commonly used allium vegetables include garlic, onion, leeks, chives, scallions which are used all over the world in different delicacies. Some allium vegetables have been employed for millenia in the traditional medical practice to treat cardiovascular diseases. They have been shown to have applications as antimicrobial, antithrombotic, antitumor, hypolipidaemic, antiarthritic and hypoglycemic agents. In recent years, extensive research has focused on the anticarcinogenic potential of allium vegetables and their constituents, viz., allylsulfides and flavonoids (particularly quercetin which is present abundantly in onion). Epidemiological studies have shown that higher intake of allium products is associated with reduced risk of several types of cancers. These epidemiological findings are well correlated with laboratory investigations. Organosulfur compounds present in Allium vegetables, are considered to be responsible for the beneficial effects of these herbs. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the cancer-preventive effects of Allium vegetables and related organosulfur compounds. These include inhibition of mutagenesis, modulation of enzyme activities, inhibition of DNA adduct formation, free-radical scavenging, and effects on cell proliferation and tumor growth. Although there is a large body of evidence supporting these mechanisms, they are still speculative, and further research is needed to support causality between such properties and cancer-preventive activity in experimental animals. This article reviews current knowledge concerning allium vegetables and cancer prevention.

 
Regulates blood sugar
Onions – The high sulfur and flavonoid content of onions which when consumed at a level of 2 ounces per day by diabetics caused a significant reduction in blood sugar.
 
Onions can help prevent inflammation and maintain bone health
Onions aren’t just flavouring to your favorite dishes. They are low in calories, have virtually no fat and are loaded with healthful components that fight inflammation in arthritis and related conditions.
Onions are also one of the richest sources of flavonoids – antioxidants that mop up free radicals in your body’s cells before they have a chance to cause harm. One flavonoid found in onions, called quercetin, has been shown to inhibit inflammation-causing leukotrienes, prostaglandins and histamines in osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), reduce heart disease risk by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and help prevent the progression of cancer.
 
Help for inflammed joints, heart disease and cancer aren’t the only benefits neatly wrapped in an onion’s layers. One of its powerful compounds may also give a boost to bones. Known as GPCS for short, gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide was shown to inhibit the breakdown of bone in a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Researchers at the University of Berne, Switzerland, speculate that GPCS might work the same way as alendronate (Fosamax), which is used to treat osteoporosis and reverse corticosteroid-induced bone loss.
 
Anti-bacterial action of onion
In this study, the focus was on the antibacterial activity of onions. This study researched the activities of onion extracts on Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus, the main causal bacteria for dental caries, and Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, considered to be the main causal bacteria of adult periodontitis. The results showed that the onion extracts possess an effect on all test bacterial strains (S.mutans JC-2, S. sobrinus OMZ176, P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 and P. intermedia ATCC 25611), and the effects were bactericidal against cultured and resting bacterial cells. The activity of the onion extracts was stable even after 48 hours in the culture medium. This result suggests that no decomposition or volatility of onion extracts occurred in the culture medium. The antibacterial activity of onion extracts was not markedly influenced by cysteine (10 mM) treatment. However, activity significantly decreased with alkali treatment. Grated onion left to stand at 37 degrees C for 48 hours did not show antibacterial activity. Also, activity of steam treated (100 degrees C, 10 min.) onion was not observed. Using avicel plate by thin layer chromatography with the solvent of n-butanol:acetic acid:water (3:3:1), the main component of the substance (the substance which developes colour with ninhydrin) was observed at an Rf value of about 0.9.
 
Protect from heart disease
Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid (one category of antioxidant compounds). Antioxidants are compounds that help delay or slow the oxidative damage to cells and tissue of the body. Studies have indicated that quercetin helps to eliminate free radicals in the body, to inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation (an important reaction in the atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease), to protect and regenerate vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), and to inactivate the harmful effects of chelate metal ions.

 

References

Nutrient Database - USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
Reference Values for Nutrition - FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Types of varieties of onions - Onions Australia (Founded in 1966 as the Australian Onion Coordinating Committee).
History of Onions - National Onion Association (A Voice for the U.S. Onion Industry)
Nutritional Value of onions - USDA United States Department of Agriculture
Allium vegetables in cancer prevention - National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
Onions Can Help Prevent Inflammation and maintain bone health - Arthritis Foundation USA
Anti-bacterial action of onion - National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Onions contain quercetin (protects the heart) - National Onion Association (A Voice for the U.S. Onion Industry)
 

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