Saturday, November 14, 2015

Why Is Onion Skin Good For Health?

Being a vegetable, onion is an indispensable ingredient in cooking as it adds a baseline of sweet and earthy flavor, and contributes a spicy accent when served raw. But onion can be useful in other aspects, too. 

Historically, onion has been used as a preventative medicine during epidemics of cholera and the plague. It contains chromium that helps regulate blood sugar and phytochemicals that improve the working of Vitamin C in the body for improved immunity. Raw onion also encourages the production of good cholesterol (HDL) for heart disease prevention.

People might wonder why there is a low incidence of heart disease among the French, who favor relatively high-calorie diet. While some has often attributed the phenomenon to the antioxidants in the red wine they often consume, others suspect that onions, which are very popular in French cuisine, might play a role.

The skins are usually peeled and thrown away before use. But for years, onion skins have been used to create a natural dye. People have been dying Easter eggs purple using red onion skins. Onion skins can also be utilized to dye all sorts of things including cotton and paper. Moreover, onion skins can be a good ingredient in making all sorts of soup stocks or bases.

Recent research even confirms that the outer skins of onions provide an exceptionally rich source of quercetin. Quercetin, which is a flavonoid, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Quercetin is under study as an agent for lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and blood pressure, fighting allergies, reducing inflammation, enhancing muscle growth and function, treating depression, some forms of cancer, and other conditions.

Sulfur in onion skin can also lower the accumulation of platelets, and improve cardiovascular functioning and blood flow. It controls cholesterol and blood pressure, too.

As a matter of fact, skins of many produces are good for the health. According to scientists, plants have to manufacture what they need to protect and heal themselves because they cannot move around. The compounds they produce to respond to stress would actually help human under similar circumstances. Many of these protective compounds are in the outer coverings, say skins, where most environmental attacks would likely occur.

Onions, on an ounce-for-ounce basis, rank in the top 10 of commonly eaten vegetables in their quercetin content. The flavonoid content of onions can vary widely, depending on the exact variety and growing conditions. The average onion is likely to contain less than 100 milligrams of quercetin per 3-1/2 ounces, but some onions do provide this amount. 

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