Oxford Dictionaries defines an onion as an edible bulb with a pungent taste and smell, composed of several concentric layers, often used in cooking. This post will tell you all about onions and their anti-inflammatory benefits.
Onions belong to the Allium genus of plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. And although the definition states that onions and their family members have a pungent taste and smell, many onion-loving fans will disagree. Some will say that onions are sweet. Others will put them into every recipe they prepare because they’re versatile and can be used to enhance the flavor of any savory dish.
And storage is a breeze. Onions do not need to be refrigerated. You can store them in a dry spot in your kitchen or basement for months. The Spruce Eats has a great article on The Best Ways to Store Onions.
Anti-Inflammatory Health Benefits
So, other than being anti-inflammatory, let’s talk for a minute about a few other health benefits of onions – these benefits are nothing to cry over. Onions:
- are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals
- are a good source of potassium
- have anti-inflammatory properties to help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce high blood pressure, decrease levels of cholesterol and sugar in the blood, support strong bones, and protect against blood clots
- may have a protective impact against certain cancers, being an allium vegetable
- reduce lung tightness in people with asthma
- have been shown to hinder the growth of potentially harmful bacteria like coli
- help boost digestive health, improve the bacterial balance in your gut and benefit your immune system because they are a rich source of prebiotics
And onions come in many varieties. You will see white, yellow, red, and green onions. Other variations include leeks, chives, shallots, and pearl onions. And if you’re not a seasoned cook, how do you know which onion to use and for what dish? SeriousEats.com has a great Beginner’s Guide to Onions.
Adding Onions to Your Diet
Now, you’re probably wondering how to add onions into your diet. Here are a few ways to get those health benefits every day:
- Combine cooked onions with some of your favorite vegetables for a healthy side dish or stir fry
- Add cooked onions to egg dishes, such as omelets, frittatas or quiches
- Top your protein with sautéed onions – see our recipe for Steak and Onion Skillet
- Add thinly sliced red onions to your favorite salad or lettuce wrap
- Use onion and garlic (or shallots) as a base for stocks and soups
- Top tacos, fajitas, guacamole,and other Mexican dishes with chopped raw onions
- Make a homemade salsa (see recipe below) with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and fresh cilantro
- Blend raw onions with vinegar, olive oil, and fresh herbs for a delicious homemade salad dressing
To have onions on hand, did you ever think about growing onions in your garden? It’s pretty simple. The Farmer’s Almanac has some great tips on planting, growing, and harvesting onions. Click here for more information! Because anti-inflammatory is the core of our business, at Vitality Consultants, we grow onions right in our window sills.
Finally, here’s a little tidbit about the onion plant. The bulb (from the ground) is used to make medicine and is commonly used for scarring. Most research shows that applying a gel containing onion extract to the skin, alone or with other ingredients, for at least ten weeks improves the appearance of scars.
Looking for an anti-inflammatory recipe that include onions? Here is one of our favorite dips!
Oven-Roasted Onion Dip
- 2 lbs onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups plain Greek or coconut yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, combine onions, oil, salt, parsley and garlic. Toss until well combined. Transfer to baking sheet, place in oven and cook, stirring every 20 minutes, until onions caramelize, about 1 hour.
- Transfer onion mixture to a cutting board. Squeeze garlic cloves from their peels and smash into a paste. Finely chop onions. Add onions and garlic to a bowl.
- Stir in yogurt and lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Serve with veggies of your choice or Nut-Thins crackers.
#AntiInflammatory #EasyStorage #NothingToCryOver #EatWellBeWell
Want free anti-inflammatory recipes, downloadable resources and efficiency tips and tricks from a professional chef? Of course, you do! Click here for the secret sauce!