Nutritional Benefits of Onions and Garlic

The nutritional benefits of onions and garlic are well known in most cultures. Many people cook with these spices because of the flavor that they give to food. While numerous health benefits are attached to eating onions and garlic, they are often used in dishes just because they give an extra zest to meals.

Onions and Potatoes- Dinkum via Wikimedia

Onions contain a number of important nutrients. In fact, they contain several of the nutrients that we need to build healthy bones and teeth, as well as improve functioning in other parts of the body. The following nutrients can be found in abundance in onions:

Chromium, which is present in onions, has a vital role in regulating insulin. This means that people who are diabetic may benefit by eating onions in their meals. Chromium is a trace mineral and it helps the cells in the body to respond properly to insulin. In this way, the chromium which is present in onions helps persons with diabetes to control their blood sugar level. Onions are used to treat anemia because of their high iron content.

Onions- USDA via Wikimedia

Onions contain very little fat. There are 67 calories in 1 cup of chopped onions. Generally there are about 40 calories in 100 grams of onions. Onion rings dipped in batter and fried have about 93 calories per ounce. 10 medium sized onion rings give about 165 calories.

The allyl propyl disulphide which is present in onions is responsible for many of its antibacterial properties. Allium is also present in onions and, like allyl propyl disulphide, helps to protect us from cancer and diabetes.

Allicin is a product of allium and allyl propyl disulphide. Allicin is produced from these compounds when onions are crushed or cut. Allicin helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol present in the body. It does this by inhibiting the production of bad cholesterol. Allicin is a strong antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral.