We are all fully aware of one quality that onions possess. They make you cry and whenever we think about onions, a strong smell invades our minds. Onions belong to the allium family with garlic. It is exported in middle-east and largely grown and used within China. It is also commonly used in India and USA for domestic consumption. Onion is a famous kitchen ingredient. It also helps to bring out the taste in food. Its Sulphur content provides it with the strong smell and flavor. Onion is a bulb and like any other allium vegetable grows underground. As it produces a green shoot and similar white flowers.
One of the basic characteristics of onions is that it can make your eyes teary. However, backed with scientific justifications as to why it happens and what causes it. Syn-propanethial-S-oxide is a chemical irritant that is produced by onions which stimulate the lachrymal glands in the eyes, hence the tears. Furthermore, Scientists believe that the enzyme allinase is the reason behind the instability of the chemicals inside a cut onion.
Researchers from Japan discovered an enzyme known as lachrymatory-factor synthase. When an onion is cut, lachrymatory-factor synthase converts the amino acids sulfoxides into sulfenic acid. The sulfenic acid, being unstable arranges into syn-propanethial-S-oxide and is released into the air. This then gets in contact with our eyes causing them to become teary.
So now that the mystery of why do your eyes tear after slicing onion is clear, there are a number of other mysteries that still need to be. Onion is also a key ingredient in cooking, there are a number of other factors that make onion an extremely healthy and beneficial vegetable. It also promotes the treatment for various diseases and its consumption lowers their risk of occurring.
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- CANCER: Allium vegetables are known helpful in combatting cancer. Hence, onion being an allium is rich in vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant. It helps to fight free radicals, which may grow to become cancer cells. It also inhibits the growth of tumors and helps prevent prostate, stomach, colon and esophageal cancer.
- HEART DISEASES: The flavonoids in Red Onions help to reduce the risk of heart disease. The organosulfur compounds present in onions, according to a study, contribute to lowering down the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Quercetin present in onion is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It also contains thiosulfinates which help in thinning if the blood and hence reduce the risk of heart strokes.
- DIABETES: The recent research also suggested that onions are quite effective in the treatment of diabetes. As they help to lower the blood sugar level in the body. However, a few types of research show that onion extracts are only helpful when taken along-side antidiabetic medicines.
- ALLERGIES: Onions help prevent inflammation with the help of quercetin. It also helps get rid of congestion and sinuses. Eating a raw onion at night helps in opening up blocked noses and reduces nasal congestion since it is a sulfur-containing bulb which helps cut down the mucus. Besides that, onions also contain anti-bacterial properties, which helps fight bacteria. In a study, it showed that onions were highly effective in acting against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus which are bacteria responsible for dental caries.
- INDIGESTION: Oligofructose, a soluble fiber found in onions help prevent diarrhea and gastric ulcers. It also contains natural prebiotics, which helps to treat constipation. Hence proving itself as a food source for the good bacteria present in the intestines.
Onions prove to be as efficient in the beauty world too. As it can easily be a part of your daily skin and hair care. Onion also called a beauty guru because of its diverse qualities, to treat skin and hair.
- GLOW: Onion bulb is full of vitamins, namely, vitamin A, C, and E. All combine and contribute to improving skin conditions. Onions, being an antiseptic help cleanse the skin and get rid of harmful bacteria which may cause trouble to the skin. Vitamin C, however, helps in bringing out a natural glow. Onion combined with milk not only brings radiance to the face but also exfoliates.
- ACNE: Onion possesses key characteristics which help it prevent the eruption of acne and pimples. These are; its anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Since it is an antiseptic it fights acne-causing bacteria. Toping application of onion extracts or consuming it orally can give, miraculous results on your skin.
- PIGMENTATION: A wide range of phytonutrients and antioxidants present in onions, remove impurities and provide nourishment to your skin. Pairing up onion juice with yogurt and massaging it gently on your face will help get rid of dark spots. Besides treating pigmentation, onion juice helps remove moles too. The acidity in onion extract can heal moles and get rid of them.
- HAIR GROWTH: Onions enhances hair growth. The main reason for this is that it is rich in sulfur and so is the keratin protein which structures our hair. Applying onion juice to the scalp stimulates the blood circulation in the area which leads to the growth of voluminous hair. The sulfur present in the onion juice also enables collagen production which helps produce healthy skin cells.
- TREAT DANDRUFF: Onion also helps treat dandruff by killing the bacteria that causes dandruff. Applying onion juice to the scalp hydrates the skin and prevents it from drying up and causing flakes to appear.
There are numerous benefits that onions provide us with, from treating major diseases to treating our skin and also improving our sleep and our moods. Although onions make our eyes teary, onions are nothing to cry about!