“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.
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.Advertising
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.Advertising
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.Advertising
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
- Hay fever
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.Advertising
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
Last Updated on November 11, 2019
How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower
Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!
To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.
Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:
1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving
Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.
Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.
2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed
Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.
If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.
Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.
3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps
Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.
Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.
4. Feed Your Brain
Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.
This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.
Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power
Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.
5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg
According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.
Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.
Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings
6. Write it Down
If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.
You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.
7. Listen to Music
Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.
8. Visual Concepts
In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.
Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.
Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.
9. Teach Someone Else
Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.
Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.
10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards
Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.
So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.
Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!
More About Boosting Memory
- How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter
- 11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory
- 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation
- Is Memory Enhancement Possible? 12 Ways That Actually Work
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com