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10 Benefits of Onion That Will Surely Surprise You

10 Benefits of Onion That Will Surely Surprise You

“I cannot imagine a world without onions.”- Julia Child

The onion may not be everyone’s favorite vegetable, but it sure is beneficial. The next time you peel onions and start crying, just think of all the great health benefits you are getting. They contain lots of fiber and antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamins B and C, and are full of sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and manganese. Each 100 grams of onion contains about 45 calories.

Onions
    A Word About Tears

    Tears keep the eyes in great condition, by acting as a lubricant that also helps to kill bacteria and toxins. Without tears, our eyes would just not function at all! If cutting onions up really makes you cry buckets, you could try turning on the overhead ventilator on your cooker, if your work surface is nearby. This can redirect the tear jerking enzyme (allyl sulphate) away from your tear ducts.

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    Another trick is to freeze the onions for about 15 minutes before you start chopping or dicing them. The only problem here is that they will be harder to cut.

    Here are 10 surprising benefits of onions:

    1. Helps reduce pain after a bee sting

    When you are stung by a bee, it can be a painful and swelling experience. Applying ice and taking a painkiller can be useful. But, here’s a tip you may not have tried: Apply a freshly cut onion to the affected area to reduce pain, according to Dr. Eric Block of the State University of New York at Albany.

    2. Lowers bad cholesterol

    Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong show that onions (especially the red ones) can help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. Studies show that consuming half a raw onion daily can help to raise the good HDL cholesterol by 30%. Chives, garlic, and shallots are also effective. They all come from the Allium family.

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    3. Increases your supply of glutathione

    Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants. Our bodies produce even more of it by eating lots of onions and also other vegetables, such as cauliflower and broccoli. This antioxidant can ward off cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

    4. Stops colds in their tracks

    What do the Roman Emperor Nero and President George Washington got in common?  Both men were absolutely convinced that the best way to stop a cold and developing sore throat was to eat an onion!  Vitamin C is the responsible culprit.

    5. May help keep blood sugar under control

    Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide (oil of onion). This oil acts in a way similar to how insulin helps balance blood sugar levels. Limited research shows that it helps to reduce blood glucose.

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    6. Removes dark skin spots (melasma) from skin

    Mixing onion juice (obtained by chopping and then squeezing) with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar can remove dark spots on the skin, when applied twice a day. Melasma or hyperpigmentation is often caused by sun, contraceptives, or pregnancy. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘pregnancy mask.’ Both onions and the cider vinegar help to balance the pH of the skin.

    7. Onions are rich in quercetin

    It is now established in medical circles that the quercetin flavonoid is essential in helping to ward off, or cure, the following troublesome health conditions:

    • Blood clots
    • Bronchitis
    • Hay fever
    • Diabetes
    • Asthma

    8. Detoxifying with onions

    One of the most worrying aspects of our environment is how much we are exposed to some nasty metals (lead, cadmium, and mercury). These metals do a lot of harm in our bodies. We need to get rid of these by detoxifying. The best way of doing this is to find foods that have methionine and cystine, which are sulphur containing amino acids. These act as a magnet for those harmful metals, and help us excrete these. Guess what? Onions have plenty of these amino acids so they are really an excellent way of detoxifying.

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    9. Onions may help prevent cancer

    One of the most common cancers among men affects the prostate gland. Studies published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute show that regular consumption of the allium family type of vegetable (shallots, garlic, and onions) may help to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. Similar studies show that stomach and breast cancer rates may also be cut by eating onions.

    10. Helps to maintain brain health

    Who isn’t worried about memory loss and brain acuity? Studies show that the consumption of onions can help when the brain is damaged by a stroke or a clot. It seems to play an important role in our mental health.

    The next time you take a smelly onion in your hand, think about all the health benefits. Maybe you will cry less when you start to slice, chop and dice it! 

    Featured photo credit: Walmart Corporate via flickr.com

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    Robert Locke

    Freelance writer

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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