Onion or spring onion is a widely cultivated vegetable that belongs to the genus Allium and is available in many varieties like red onion, yellow onion, and green onion, etc. Due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc, onion provides several health and beauty benefits.
Health Benefits of Onions
Some of the major health benefits of onions are as follows.
(1) Promotes Oral Health
Because of its anti-microbial properties, chewing few raw onion slices for 2-3 minutes can potentially kill all germs of the oral area like teeth and gums. It fights off oral infections and tooth decay.
(2) Strengthens Immune System
Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols and flavonoids, etc in onion protect our immune cells or the white blood cells from free radical damage, and thus strengthens our immune system.
The Immune system is the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats various microbial diseases, infections, and as well as injuries, and wounds.
Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells, and further strengthens our immunity.
With stronger immunity, we are at a lower risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C also benefit against respiratory problems like cough and cold.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, and magnesium, etc in onion also contribute to better immune health.
(3) Minimizes Risk of Several Cancer(s)
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and quercetin, etc in onion protects our cells from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of various cancers like skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, intestinal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer, etc.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
(4) Manages Cholesterol Level
Onion contains dietary fibers that reduce LDL cholesterol in our body and thus minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits within the arterial walls and is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, and coronary artery diseases.
(5) Regulates High Blood Pressure
Potassium, a vital mineral in onion is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem that affects millions of people around the world and is a leading cause of health problems such as severe headaches, nosebleed, fatigue, vision problems, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, heart attack, and heart stroke, etc.
(6) Improves Cardiovascular Health
Onion improves our cardiovascular health and keeps our heart healthy.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in onion protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in it reduce LDL cholesterol and thus minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis which is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems.
Onion also contains potassium that relaxes blood vessels and provides relief from hypertension, a common health problem that increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and irregular heartbeat, etc.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate, etc also improves our cardiovascular health.
(7) Aids In Managing Diabetes
Onion is beneficial for people with diabetes and for those who are at risk of developing diabetes.
With a low glycemic index of 10, it slows down the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream, prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level, and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers and chromium in the onion slow down the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream and helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
Consume onion in moderation as overeating it may drop the blood sugar to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypoglycemia with symptoms like shakiness, dizziness, excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, confusion, and irritability or moodiness.
If you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding onion to your diet to avoid the risk of food-drug intolerance.
(8) Promotes Weight Loss
Because of its low calorific value onion makes it an excellent food for individuals who are on a weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.
Eating 100 grams of onion provides 40 calories of energy which means one can enjoy it without worrying too much about calorie overload.
Dietary fibers in onion provide stomach satiety, controls our urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating which is a prime cause of obesity.
The abundance of water (around 89 percent) in onion also contributes to weight management as it reduces calorie overload, controls overeating, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
(9) Relieves Inflammation of Insect Stings
Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound present in onion provides relief from pain and inflammation caused by the insect bites such as honeybee stings and as well as scorpion stings.
To get relief from insect stings, apply some freshly squeezed onion juice or paste to the affected area.
After this elementary care, visit your doctor for further treatment.
(10) Provides Relief From Pain And Inflammation
Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound in the onion provides relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma and bronchial asthma, etc.
(11) Relieves Acute Earache And Ringing Sound Of Ears
Onion aids in treating acute earache and minimizes ringing of the ears.
To minimize earache and ringing sound of ears, put few drops of freshly squeezed onion juice into the ears using a cotton dab.
(12) Improves Sexual Health
Because of its aphrodisiac properties, onion is well known for boosting libido and improving sexual health.
Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols and flavonoids, etc in onion protect the sperm cells from free radical damage.
Iron and potassium in it improves blood circulation and make erections stronger.
Other nutrients like zinc, folate, and magnesium, etc in onion also contribute to better sexual health.
For boosting libido, take one tablespoon of freshly squeezed onion juice and one tablespoon of ginger juice together thrice a day. If the spiciness of this mixture makes you uncomfortable, avoid the use.
(13) Helps In Treating Anemia
Eating onion along with jaggery and water helps in the prevention and treatment of iron-induced anemia.
Iron-induced anemia is a blood disorder mainly caused by the deficiency of iron in the body and gives rise to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, and cold hands or feet, etc.
Iron in this mixture increases the production of red blood cells that carries oxygenated blood to cells and tissues and provides nourishment to them. This minimizes the risk of anemia.
Vitamin C in the onion enhances iron absorption in the body and is beneficial against anemia.
(14) Improves Digestive Health
onion improves our digestive health and is good for the stomach.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in onion protect our digestive system from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, intestinal cancer, and stomach cancer, etc.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in onion improves bowel movement, aids in stool elimination, and thus relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal issues like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating and flatulence, etc.
The anti-spasmodic properties of the saponins in onion minimizes stomach disturbances and improves bowel movement.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate, etc also improves our digestive health.
(15) Is An Excellent Source Of Sulfur
The high level of sulfur present in the onion is responsible for the onion’s infamous bad and pungent smell.
However, sulfur also provides several benefits like inhibits the formation of biochemical chains responsible for asthmatic conditions, aids in treating severe cough by facilitating melting of phlegm, strong aroma, and energy boost provided by onion juice can bring a person out of the unconscious.
(16) Increases The Production Of Glutathione In Our Body
Consuming onion increases the production of Glutathione in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells and tissues from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
It also provides several other benefits like stronger immunity, better cardiovascular health, improved respiratory health, better neurological health.
(17) Aids With Detoxification
Because of their detoxifying properties, dietary fibers in onion eliminates toxins, pollutants, impurities, and other unwanted substances from our body.
By helping with the detoxification, it minimizes the burden of detoxification from our vital organs like the liver and kidneys, allowing them to focus on other functions they need to perform.
Sulfuric compounds like methionine and cystine in onion remove toxic materials like lead and cadmium from the body and prevent these toxins from causing damage to our health.
Beauty Benefits Of Onion For Skin
Some of the major beauty benefits of onion for skin are as follows.
(1) Provides Anti-Ageing Benefits
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in onion protects our skin cells from the free radical damage, and keep various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc at bay.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and in doing so they cause oxidative damage to them.
Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and saggy skin.
(2) Aids Acne Treatment
onion helps in the prevention and treatment of skin problems like acne and pimples.
Acne is a common skin problem that affects millions of people around the world and is mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, dirt, impurities, and other unwanted substance within the skin pores.
The dietary fibers in onion eliminate toxins, pollutants, and other impurities from our system.
When there are fewer toxins, they are less likely to accumulate in skin pores, and thus minimizes the risk of acne and pimples.
Dietary fibers also control the secretion of excess oil from skin glands and prevent acne from worsening.
Not just consuming onion but the topical application is equally beneficial for acne treatment.
For treating acne, mix one tablespoon of onion juice and one tablespoon of olive oil, and gently apply it to the affected area using a cotton dab. Let it dry for 20 minutes and then wash off with water.
Discontinue the use, if you feel any pain or discomfort while using this mixture.
(3) Lightens Skin Complexion
onion improves our skin health due to essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc.
These nutrients nourish our skin, improves skin health, and make it soft, supple, and radiant.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds in onion protect our skin from free radical damage and helps in bringing out the natural glow of the skin. It improves skin pigmentation and lightens skin tone.
Both consuming onion and as well as topical application are beneficial for lightening skin complexion.
For this, mix one and a half teaspoons of fresh onion juice, two tablespoons of gram flour, half teaspoon of milk, and a pinch of nutmeg to form a thick paste. If required, add more milk.
Add few drops of lavender oil to improve the aroma of the mixture.
Gently apply this paste to your face, let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the pack using a milk-soaked cotton ball in a gentle circular motion.
(4) Reduces Dark Spots And Skin Pigmentation
Onion improves skin pigmentation and minimizes dark spots from the skin because of its rich nutritious profile.
Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc in onion provide nourishment to the skin and keep it healthy.
Onion contains antioxidants and relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols that protect the skin from free radical damage and minimizes skin spots, dark spots, and other signs of premature aging.
To get rid of dark spots, mix 1 tablespoon of onion juice, 1 tablespoon of yogurt, and few drops of lavender oil, and massage it on the face in a gentle circular motion for 10-15 minutes. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and then wash off with water.
This face pack softens our skin and minimizes dark spots.
(5) Wonderful Skin Exfoliator
onion is a wonderful skin exfoliator that removes dead skin cells and brings out the natural glow of the skin.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect the skin from free radical damage.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, B vitamins, and magnesium in onion, etc nourish the skin and improves skin radiance.
For improving skin pigmentation, mix one teaspoon of fresh onion juice, one teaspoon of gram flour, and half a teaspoon of milk cream to form a paste. Apply it on the face and let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with water. Follow the remedy at least for four weeks to see the result.
Rubbing freshly cut onion slices on the elbows can lighten their pigmentation.
(6) Make Your Lips Softer
Because of its moisturizing effect, onion prevents dryness of lips and makes them soft and healthy.
For this, add few drops of vitamin E oil to freshly squeezed onion juice and gently apply it to the lips at bedtime.
Regular use will remove dead skin from lips, and make them soft and healthy.
(7) Onion Face Mask For Skin Rejuvenation
Onion is a wonderful skin rejuvenator that provides nourishment to the skin and keeps it healthy.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in onion protect the skin from free radical damage and minimizes signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
The abundance of water in onion keeps our skin moisturized.
It also contains zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, etc that nourishes the skin and keeps it healthy.
For this, mix one teaspoon of fresh onion juice, half teaspoon of yogurt, and some flour to form a fine paste.
Gently apply it to the skin and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
Beauty Benefits Of Onions For Hair
Following are the major beauty benefits of onion for hair.
(1) Aids In Treating Thinning Of Hair
Onion keeps our hair follicles and scalps healthy, and aids in treating hair thinning.
For this, add some fresh onion juice, half a teaspoon of honey, and few drops of lavender oil to form a mixture.
Apply it onto the hair before bedtime and leave it for the night. The next morning, shampoo your hair.
Repeating the same, thrice a week for four to five weeks will treat hair thinning while providing nourishment to the hair.
(2) Effective Against The Treatment Of Dandruff
Onion helps in treating dandruff, a common scalp problem that affects millions of people around the world and is mainly caused by poor scalp health.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in the onion protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and make them healthy.
Vitamins and minerals in the onion nourish our hair follicles and scalp and minimize the risk of scalp problems like dandruff etc.
For treating dandruff, mix one teaspoon of raw onion juice, one teaspoon of dried lemon peels, and one scoop of yogurt to form a thick paste.
Gently apply it on the hair follicles and scalp, and let it dry for 20-30 minutes, and then wash off with water.
(3) Promotes Hair Growth
Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, etc in onion nourish our hair follicles and scalp and keep them healthy.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and improves scalp health.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, folate, and potassium in onion improve blood circulation in the scalp, nourishes our hair follicles and scalp, and promote the growth of new hair follicles.
For promoting hair growth, grind an equal amount of fenugreek seeds and onion pods together to form a fine paste, and add some rose water to it.
Apply this paste on the scalp, let it dry for 30 minutes, and then rinse off with water.
(4) Helps In Maintaining Hair Color
Onion aids in maintaining the natural color of the hair and is a better alternative to chemical-laden hair dyes etc.
For this, mix some onion juice and mustard oil, and apply it to the hair to bring back the natural color of the hair.
To give coppery shade and shine to the hair, apply few drops of lavender essential oil to fresh onion juice, and apply the mixture to the hair.
(5) Good For Scalp
Because of its rich nutritious profile, onion aids in treating damaged scalp.
For maintaining a healthy scalp, mix some raw onion juice and coconut oil, and gently massage the mixture on your scalp for 5-10 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water.
(6) Minimizes Hair Loss
onion contains several essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, etc that nourish and strengthens our hair follicles.
With stronger hair follicles, the risk of hair loss diminishes automatically.
It also contains several antioxidants and antioxidantal compounds that protect our hair follicles from free radical damage.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, B vitamins, and folate, etc also contribute to scalp health and minimizes the risk of hair fall.
For minimizing hair loss, take fresh onion juice and add an equal portion of olive oil or coconut oil to it.
Apply it on the hair and scalp, and cover your head with a shower cap for 2 hours. Rinse off with shampoo.
Regular use will promote hair growth, minimizes hair loss, and will make your hair strong and lustrous.
This article provides general information about the topic, and should not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice treatment or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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