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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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            Last Updated on December 2, 2018

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

            The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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            The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

            Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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            Review Your Past Flow

            Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

            Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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            Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

            Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

            Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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            Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

            Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

            We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

            Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

              Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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