The composition of onions may make it possess several health benefits, such as lower cancer risk, lower blood sugar rates, and better bone health.
However, these benefits are mainly due to their high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory properties, and compounds containing sulfur.
Onions (Allium cepa) are vegetables that develop underground in the form of bulbs. Also, they can be known as bulb onions or common onions. The chives, garlic, scallions, shallots, and leeks cultivated worldwide are closely related to them.
In this post, we will cover the composition of onions. So read on
Some facts about onions
Onions are used in preparing many cuisines. And it is usually used as a flavoring or side dish. They can be baked, cooked, grilled, roasted, sautéed, powdered, or consumed raw.
Onions vary in size, form, and color, but white, yellow, and red are the most common types. Also, depending on the variety and season, the flavor varies from moderate and sweet to strong and spicy.
Additionally, onions can be consumed while young, before the bulb reaches full maturity. These young ones are referred to as scallions, spring onions, or summer onions.
Composition of onions: Nutrition facts
As published on Wikipaedia, Onions are low in calories, containing only 40 calories (100 grams) every 3.5 ounces. Also, they are 89 percent water 9 percent carbohydrates, and 1.7 percent fiber by fresh weight, with tiny amounts of protein and fat. The principal nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw onions are:
• Water: 89%
• Sugar: 4.2 grams
• Fiber: 1.7 grams
• Protein: 1.1 grams
• Carbs: 9.3 grams
• Fat: 0.1 grams
Carbohydrates constitute around 9–10% of the composition of onions. ( Both raw and cooked onions).
However, onions mostly consist of simple sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose, and fiber.
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of onions comprise 9.3 grams of carbs and 1.7 grams of fiber. Therefore the overall digestible carbon content is 7.6 grams.
The composition of onions makes it a good fiber supply, containing 0.9–2.6 percent of fiber in fresh weight, depending on the type of onion.
Also, they are very high in fructans, which are prebiotic fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in your intestine.
Additionally, fructans are considered good soluble fibres. And onions are among the fructans’ major dietary sources. So, if you need more fructans in your diet, you know where to get them now.
Also, fructans contribute to the development of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate. Which can improve the health of the colon, reduce inflammation, and minimize the colon cancer risk.
However, fructans are also known as fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs). And FODMAPs in sensitive individuals, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may trigger undesirable digestive symptoms. Healthweakness staff has the Complete guide about FODMAP DIET for IBS.
Vitamins and minerals
The composition of onions comprises of proper amounts of different vitamins and minerals, including:
• Vitamin C. An antioxidant, this vitamin is essential for immune function and skin and hair maintenance
• Folate (B9) A water-soluble vitamin B, folate, is important for cell growth and metabolism, especially for pregnant women.
• Contains vitamin B6. The vitamin is present in most foods and requires the production of red blood cells.
• Potassium. This vital mineral may have lowering effects on blood pressure and is vital for heart safety.
Other plant compounds that make up the composition of onions
The health benefits of onions are due to their antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds. Similarly, onions are also one of the primary dietary sources of flavonoids in many nations, primarily a compound called quercetin. The most common plant compounds in onions are:
• Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and pigments only found in red or purple onions, which give these onions their reddish colour.
• Quercetin. Quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid, can lower blood pressure and boost heart health.
• sulfur compounds. They are mainly sulfides and polysulfides that may inhibit cancer.
• Thiosulfatum. Such compounds containing sulphur can hinder the development of harmful microorganisms and prevent blood clot formation.
Red and yellow onions contain higher amounts of antioxidants compared to other types. Yellow onions can, in reality, produce approximately 11 times more antioxidants than white onions. However, cooking can reduce the rates of certain antioxidants considerably.
The composition of onions makes it a root vegetable with several advantages. For instance, they are rich in antioxidants and substances that produce sulfur, some of which may have several beneficial effects.
While more research is needed, onions have been related to better bone health, lower levels of blood sugar, and reduced cancer risk.
Albeit, in some instances, they may induce digestive problems.
Onions can be a beneficial part of a balanced diet if you like them.
FAQs on the Composition of Onions
What type of onions have higher antioxidants compared to others?
Red and yellow onions contain higher amounts of antioxidants compared to other types.
What are some of the health benefits that have been attributed to onions?
Onions have been related to better bone health, lower levels of blood sugar, and reduced cancer risk.