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Beneficial Consume onions for better health
Beneficial Consume onions for better health

Regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high BP

Many plants in the genus Allium are known by the common name onion, but used without qualifiers, it usually refers to Allium cepa. Allium cepa is also known as ‘garden onion’ or ‘shallot’. Available year round, onions are easily propagated, transported and stored.

Evidence suggests that onions are effective against the common cold, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anti-cancer, and antioxidant components such as quercetin.

Onions, like garlic, are rich in sulphur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odour. They are also rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, vitamin C and flavonoids. The higher the intake of onion, the lower the level of glucose found during oral or intravenous glucose tolerance tests. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that allyl propyl disulfide, found in onions, is responsible for this effect. It does this by competing with insulin, which is also a disulphide, to occupy the sites in the liver where insulin is inactivated. This results in an increase in the amount of insulin available to usher glucose into cells causing a lowering of blood sugar.

Regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, both of which help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Onions are a staple food in India, and are therefore fundamental to Indian cooking. They are commonly used as a base for curries, or made into a paste and eaten as a main course or as a side dish. Onions are low in calories yet add abundant flavour to a wide variety of foods. With only 30 calories per serving, onions are sodium, fat and cholesterol free, and provide dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and other key nutrients.

Onions are known to cause eye irritation. It can be avoided by cutting onions under running water or submerged in a basin of water. Rinsing the onion and leaving it wet while chopping may also be effective.

Now for a recipe.

Pickled Onions Ingredients

Shallots (small onions), peeled: 250 gm

Beetroot: one small

White vinegar: 300 ml

Sugar: 2 tbsp

Rock salt: 1 tbsp

Green chillies: 2

Juice of half a lemon

Method: Mix white vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and rock salt together and keep it aside. Peel the beetroot and slit the chillies. Add it to the previous mixture and let it stand for two hours. Now add the shallots and keep it in the sun for two days consecutively. Spoon the mixture into hot, sterilised jars, leaving a quarter-inch headspace, and seal.

RISHI MANUCHA

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