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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

    Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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