Are Red Onions Good for You?
Red onions are also called purple onions which offer a healthy way to give your foods more flavor and provide nutrients without adding many calories. These onions also provide beneficial plant chemicals, that may help lower the risk for certain health problems. The research about purple onion is still preliminary, however, and it isn't clear just how much you should eat in order to achieve these potential benefits.
Basic Nutrition Facts
A tablespoon of chopped onion has just 4 calories, a large slice has 15 calories and a whole small onion has about 28 calories. 100g onion also provides 12% of the daily value for vitamin C, which your body need for forming collagen and healing wounds, and 5% of the daily value for manganese, a mineral essential for proper bone development and metabolism.
Red onion’s color because of the content of the beneficial plant chemicals called anthocyanins. Purple onions also provide you with sulfur compounds and quercetin, which is direct responsible for the smell of the onion, its flavor and the tears people often experience when cutting onions. Anthocyanin is a type of antioxidants that help protect cell, keep your heart healthy and may lower the risk for cancer. The sulfur compounds in onions may help lower your risk for cancer by minimizing the growth and spread of tumors, according to an article in the "Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention" in 2004. Quercetin acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, helping limit the risk for cancer and heart problem.
Potential Health Benefits
Eating purple onion may help lower your blood sugar level, according to the article in "Environmental Health Insights" in 2010. In the research, diabetics' fasting blood sugar levels were tested four hours after eating a 100g serving, or about three large onion slices, and found decreased obviously. An animal study which published in "Plant Foods in Human Nutrition" in Dec. 2006, found that eating onions may help lower triglycerides and improve other heart disease risk factors in those eating a high-fat diet. More research is needed to confirm these potential benefits apply to normal people also.
Tips and Ideas
If you often eat raw onions, an article in the "New York Times" in June 2010 recommends rinsing the onions after you cut it to get better flavor. For cooked onions, the article mentions that the more finely you chop the onions, the stronger onion flavor will be. You can pickle red onions and add them to sandwiches or eating them as a side dish, serve them raw in salads and salsas or as the topping of a pizza with other vegetables. Red onions can be used in place of white or yellow onions in most recipes.