Onions have been cultivated for over five thousand years and are native to Asia and the Middle East. Highly regarded by ancient Egyptians, onions were used as currency to pay their workers and were also placed in the tombs of their kings to carry with them in their afterlife. Onions were also widely held by the ancient Roman and Greeks as seasoning, but it was the pungency of onion that made it popular. Thanks to Christopher Columbus' introduction of onion to the West Indies that onions’ cultivation has spread throughout the Western world.
Onions are a member of the allium family and known scientifically as allium cepa. They produce a single bulb with several concentric layers. They are usually classified into two types, the spring onions that are grown in warm weather and has a mild sweet taste, and the summer (storage) onions grown in colder weather, they have a more pungent flavor and are dried out for several months for a crisper skin. It’s the rich sulfur compound that gives onion their characteristic odor and intense flavor, making them a favorite ingredient of different world cuisine.
This superfood’s nutritional profile includes a good amount of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. It is also an outstanding source of polyphenols, known for their potency in preventing diseases, as an effective antioxidant and anti-aging agent. Onions are especially rich in quercetin, a plant pigment that contain a very potent antioxidant to fight chemically reactive compounds that causes cell death. Quercetin also has an antihistamine effect that can give relief for swelling in the face and watery eyes. It can promote a balance blood pressure and suppresses the enzyme that releases cortisol and eases up your stress level.
Some other benefits you can get from this amazing veggie includes its ability to improve blood sugar level, relieve common cold, asthma, cough, angina, respiratory problems and help prevent bacterial infection. Chewing onion can kill germs to prevent tooth decay and oral infections. A Person who eats more onions (and other allium rich foods) have a much lower risk of developing several types of cancer. Mixing onion juice and honey are your best treatment for acne. Onion can also give relief to upset stomach and other gastric related issues due to the saponins it contains. Onion is so potent that its mere odor can drive mosquitoes away!
Taken as food in the right amount, onion is relatively safe for everyone, even by pregnant and nursing women.
Onion fun fact: An average American eats about 20 pounds of onion a year. In Libya, an average person eats 66.8 pounds per year!… Wow!
The best way to cut an onion without making you cry a river is cutting under a vent. A mini electric fan will also do the job.
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