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8 Benefits of Onions That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

8 Benefits of Onions That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

To put it simply, onions are a staple in our diets. It seems like they manage to find their way into the recipe for many of our favorite dishes. This is by no means a new trend; it is known that onions have been part of the human diet for more than 7000 years, and were likely used to feed the builders of the Pyramids of Egypt!

Onions are widely used because of their ability to enhance the flavor of many recipes, but are you aware of the health benefits they provide? After all, they are a vegetable! Onions are a bountiful source of vitamins (specifically C, B6, B1, K, and H), folic acid, fiber, sulfur and flavonoids. They also contain important minerals like chromium, magnesium, phospherous, potassium and calcium. This wealth of substances has numerous health benefits for our bodies.

Let’s explore 8 health benefits of onions that may surprise you!

1. Onions can prevent blood clots

Quercitin, a flavinoid which is a major source of the many benefits of onions, is a natural blood thinner. It prevents platelets in the blood from forming clots. Onions also contain sulfur, which also prevents blood clotting.

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2.  Onions can lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol

Quercitin not only helps prevent blood clots, it can also regulate our cholesterol. It has been shown to reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while also helping our bodies produce ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This antioxidant makes heart health one of the key benefits of onions.

3.  Onions can prevent tumor growth

Onions are rich in antioxidants, which are known for their anti-tumor properties. Many of the antioxidants found in onions and other foods are capable of preventing cancerous tumor growth. Onions have been specifically linked to lower risks of colon, esophageal, prostate, and stomach cancer!

4.  Onions can improve mood and sleep

Onions are rich in folic acid (also known as folate). This amazing component helps the brain receive blood and important nutrients. It can also help increase the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which helps to improve our mood, quality of sleep, and appetite.

5.  Onions promote healthy hair and skin

Onions are a bountiful source of Vitamin C, which helps our bodies produce collagen. This is a crucial component for our bodies to maintain strong, healthy skin and hair.

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6.  Onions can remove toxins

Onions contain amino acids that can help our bodies remove toxic substances. These amino acids carry toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and arsenic out of the body to detox the liver. The buildup of these toxins in the liver is associated with a slew of diseases that can be prevented by adding detoxifying foods like onions to your diet.

7.  Onions promote colon health

In addition to preventing colon cancer, onions can help promote overall colon health. Onions are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes good bacteria growth in the intestine. It is also well known that dietary fiber help prevent diarrhea. Perhaps most impressively, the fiber in onions can help prevent painful (and serious) gastric ulcers from forming in the intestines!

8.  Onions help lower blood sugar

Good news for diabetics! Chromium, a mineral found in onions, helps our bodies regulate blood sugar. In addition, the sulfur found in onions helps lower blood sugar by promoting insulin production. This makes onions a very healthy choice for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike!

5 delicious recipes that can help you enjoy the many benefits of onions:

Roasted Stuffed Onions

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onion5

    Via Smitten Kitchen

    Easy Onion Rings

    onion4

      Via Food.com

      Vegetable Shish-Kabobs

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      onion3

        Via Damn Delicious

        Caramelized Onion Quiche

        onion2

          Via SimplyRecipes

          Sauteed Kale and Red Onions

          onion1

            Via I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

            Featured photo credit: Africa Studio via shutterstock.com

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            8 Benefits of Onions That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

            More to Help You Feel Relaxed

            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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