Onions are a tasty and healthy vegetable and a great way to add flavour to your meals while you are on the Paleo diet. Onions are full of polyphenols and flavanoids, which have anti-cancer properties and can boost your immune system. Who knew that something that tastes so good can be so beneficial to your health?
The Health Benefits of the Onion
Onions offer several health benefits:
- Blood sugar regulation the chromium in onions helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, so that you have more energy and are less tempted to snack during the day.
- Immune system boost the phytochemicals found in onion can help your body to use vitamin C more effectively.
- Cholesterol regulation eating onion stimulates the production of HDL cholesterol. This is the “good” kind of cholesterol and is important for heart health.
- Anti-aging and anti-cancer properties the anti-oxidants found in onion can help to reduce your risk of cancer and slow the general effects of aging.
A 160 gram serving of onion contains around one-fifth of your RDA of vitamin C, one-tenth of your RDA of fibre, molybdenum, manganese and vitamin B6, seven per cent of your RDA of folate and six per cent of your RDA of potassium and tryptophan. All of those nutrients are crammed into a serving of just 64 calories, making onion a filling, tasty and nutritious food.
Onions are a lot like garlic, since they are a part of the allium family. They offer many of the same health benefits, including cardiovascular and immune-system benefits. Eating onion on a daily basis can help to boost your bone density and can also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Unfortunately, if you eat onion only occasionally, you will not enjoy all of those benefits. Daily consumption of fresh onion is optimal for cancer prevention and improvements in your bone density and the health of your connective tissues.
Fitting Onion into the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet involves eating foods in as close to their original form as possible. Organic, raw onions are the best kind to eat, but that does not mean that you cannot cook onion on the Paleo diet. Caramelised onion is a tasty, tangy and slightly sweet treat and is a perfect addition to any meaty dish.
If you want to get the maximum health benefits out of eating onion, then you should try not to over-peel them. The outer layers of the onion contain the most flavonoids and if you remove too many of them, then you will end up losing as much as 20% of the quercetin from the onion and as much as 75% of the anthocyanins. Remove the paper-like outer skin and consume the rest of the onion. Don’t neglect the greener parts at the tip of a fresh white onion, because these contain a lot of vitamin A.
Adding onion to salads is an easy way to boost your intake of this nutritious vegetable and will add flavour to your meals without you needing to use processed artificial salad creams and dressings.