Onions have long been a popular ingredient in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of ways and add flavor and depth to many different dishes. Besides boosting the flavor, onions also have nutritional value. In fact, onions are considered to be one of the best vegetables for your overall health.
Onions contain a number of compounds that are believed to help lower the incidence of heart disease. The allyl disulphide and allium found in onions release nitric oxide, which can decrease the stiffness of blood vessels. This can inhibit clot formation and reduce blood pressure, which decreases stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease risks.
Onions also contain sulfur, which can help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and are considered to help prevent clot formation. Although all forms of onions can be beneficial, eating them raw may have even greater value.
Onions are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers. Flavonoids fight off free radicals and prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which is an ulcer-forming microorganism. Onion contains one of the flavonoids, quercetin that is responsible for a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, many types of cancer can be prevented by quercetin’s ability to prevent tumor formation and reduce the damage of DNA. The types of cancer that have been shown to decrease with the consumption of onions include gastric, breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, kidney, and lung. Because the outer layers of an onion contain the highest concentration of flavonoids, they should not be over peeled.
Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis
Studies have shown promising results in regard to onions and their beneficial role in bone health. The compounds in onion may increase mineral content and density by almost 20 percent, which helps decrease the incidence of osteoporosis. The sulfur found in onions help with protein synthesis, cell structure enhancement, and improves the strength of the connective tissues.
Improve Blood Pressure Levels
The sulfur in onions also contributes to lower blood pressure, which helps prevent a heart attack or stroke. Sulfur helps prevent platelets from collecting and clogging up, and it is a natural blood thinner. Although one should always discuss with their health care provider, eating onions on a regular basis may help people take fewer blood pressure medications.
Stronger Immune System
The aroma and sweetness of onions are due to the high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants aid in the delay of oxidative damage to body tissues and cells, and they help prevent cancer. The phytochemicals in onions also contribute to a healthy immune system.
Onions contain a high amount of biotin, which is also referred to as the vitamin for beauty. This essential nutrient helps maintain glowing, healthy skin and can also treat brittle nails and prevent the loss of hair. A number of skin conditions, such as eczema, conjunctivitis, leiner’s disease, and ichthyosis, have been shown to clear up when biotin levels increase in the body. Onions are one of the best sources of this nutrient.
Better Nutrient Absorption
Onions contain fructans (oligofructose and inulin), which have been shown to help improve the function of intestinal flora, which in turn helps improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Fructans can also prevent certain types of diarrhea.
Fight off Fungal and Antibacterial Infections
Onions have been used for years for their antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The allicin (an organic sulfur compound) in onions have been found to fight against a wide range of bacteria, including E. coli. It also helps fight fungal infections, such as Candida albicans, as well as viral and parasitic activity.
Prevention of Diabetes
Onions contain a prebiotic (inulin) that has been found to help control and prevent diabetes. Inulin also helps control glycemic levels, lower the risk of developing diabetes and increases the activity of antioxidants in the body. The biotin found in onions, in combination with chromium, may also help decrease insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar.
Decrease Stress Levels
Most people experience high levels of stress, and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues. Surprisingly, onions can play a role in stress relief. When you experience stress, cortisol is produced in your body, which can cause muscle damage and protein breakdown. The quercetin in onions actually suppresses the enzyme that is required for the release of cortisol, hence decreasing the harmful effects of stress.
The next time you cook with onion or order an onion-studded dish, you can feel great about yourself in that you are receiving a number of benefits that you maybe didn’t even know about.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation on the human body. It plays a central role in energy production, glycolysis, and synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Among other actions, magnesium is a co-factor for more that 300 enzymes and is essential to cell growth and function, energy storage and production, stabilization of cell membrane, nerve conduction, muscle contraction and the function of ion channels.
Despite magnesium central role in physiology and health, it is under consumed by most Americans, leading to chronic magnesium deficiency and increased risk for multiple serious health conditions, such as, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, bone disease, depression, hypertension, kidney disease, migraines and metabolic syndrome.
The main factors underlying reduced magnesium intake are the declining nutrient content of produce and refined grains and increased consumption of processed foods, sugars and saturated fats.
Dietary sources of magnesium include many whole foods, such as unrefined grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for human health. Deficiencies of magnesium increase risk for serious chronic diseases, whereas increased intake through improved diet and supplementation can improve health status and reduce disease risk. For many people, the addition of a magnesium supplement may be required to replete magnesium stores and maintain healthy levels over long term.
Food color and Phytochemicals!
The truth is that the more color your fresh produce has, the better it is for you. That’s because of one thing: phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are only found in plants. They act to protect us from inflammation. They’re also a good way to tell that a fruit or vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Here is an easy to remember trick to help you know which foods are most good for your body.
Carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are just a few of the orange foods that are known for their high levels of beta-carotene.
These foods are high in antioxidants and are good for our vision because they contain Vitamin A.
Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Most fruits and vegetables that are red contain lycopene.
Lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and improves the health of our tissues. Red foods also contain vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria from attaching to our cells.
Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens like spinach, and kale. These foods are high in lutein, which is good for eye health. Kiwi fruit is also high in vitamin C.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy and cabbage. Green may be the color we tend to think of most often when it comes to vegetables. There’s good reason for us to think that green is one of the healthiest colors a food can be.
Green vegetables get their color from chlorophyll, and foods that have a lot of chlorophyll are rich in isiothiocyanates. These help the liver move toxins out of our system. They also have vitamin K, folic acid and potassium.
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums and pomegranates. The dark blue and purple colors of these foods comes from anthocyanin. That’s a powerful antioxidant that is heart healthy and lowers high blood pressure. They also fight blood clots.
Black beans, chia seeds, lentils and mushrooms. Black foods are loaded with pigment, and that means that they are high in antioxidants.
Apple cider vinegar has long been known as a fix for whatever ails you. This kitchen staple is used to treat the sniffs and sneezes of common colds.
It’s also a cure for stomach cramps, hiccups, a sore throat and more. Its health benefits come from its high levels of proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria.
But what about Coconut Vinegar? How does it stack up against apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made by taking crushed apples or cider and adding yeast. This turns it to alcohol. Bacteria is added to the mix, and the whole thing turns into the acid that is vinegar. To make coconut vinegar, the same process is used. Instead of apples, coconut sap is used.
Both of these vinegars are cloudy when you buy the organic, unfiltered version. This is because of something called the “Mother”.
The “mother” is a bundle of proteins, bacteria and enzymes that is the source of both liquids’ health benefits.
It has many of the same health benefits as apple cider vinegar. These include:
- Both are great at fighting germs. Both contain an acid that kills bacteria. This means that they help you fight off colds and flu, as well as other infections.
- Both vinegars are low glycemic foods. This means that they lower blood glucose and cut the risk of heart disease.
- Both make you feel full, and that can cut the number of calories that you eat.
One study showed that obese people who added one tablespoon of vinegar to their daily diet lost 2.6 pounds over 12 weeks. They also lost belly fat and cut inches off their waists.
- Both are naturally fermented foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. These are good for your gut health.
So, when it comes to comparing the two, which is better for you?
Both are good, but the coconut vinegar offers a few more benefits.
The most important of these may be the easiest to understand – it just tastes better! Coconut vinegar is a bit sweeter. It also doesn’t have the same bite as apple cider vinegar. That makes it easier to add to your daily diet.
Plus, coconut sap has many more nutrients than apples. That carries over into the vinegar.
- It contains tons of potassium and B vitamins.
- It also contains all 9 essential amino acids and 8 nonessential amino acids.
Together these help your body make protein. They help the blood cells that carry oxygen and make antibodies that help boost your immune system.
When buying coconut vinegar, make sure that you choose organic, unfiltered vinegar made from coconut sap.
There are vinegars on the market that are made from coconut water, and they do not have the same nutritional value.
You can use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar for a sweeter, milder taste. You can also use it as a daily detox by adding one tablespoon vinegar to 2 tablespoon of water each morning.
Traditional use of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are vast. To name a few, it has been used to ease digestion, aid in flu prevention, reduce inflammation, regulate pH balance, alleviate allergic symptoms, ease nausea and heartburn, detox regimens, and for a number of skin conditions. ACV also does seem to show some potential for managing hunger and weight control.
A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that sipping on apple cider vinegar before a meal can help reduce the release of sugar into the blood and improve insulin sensitivity.
Also remember to only purchase raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s or Spectrum Naturals apple cider vinegar. Try mixing 2 tablespoon into a glass of warm water with some lemon juice, and drink everyday.
Inflammation can be good and bad for the body. If you have ever injured yourself, it becomes swollen and warm. That’s good/healthy inflammation as the immune system is healing the body. But when the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues that is bad and unhealthy inflammation. If inflammation is ignored it becomes chronic and can lead to debilitating conditions and diseases, like autoimmune, IBS, arthritis, and premature aging.
Common signs of inflammation include:
- Joint pains
- Bloating and digestive problems
- Skin issues- acne, rashes, dry patches, etc.
Top 8 Anti-inflammatory foods:
- Wild Salmon– has the omega-3 fatty acids. Wild caught salmon has shown most effective anti-inflammatory agents. Other sources of omega-3 to be added in your diet are herring, sardines, and anchovies.
- Turmeric– active component curcumin has been used for centuries in east medicine.
- Dark Chocolate (80% cacao or higher)- contains the phytonutrient resveratrol. Its also an antioxidant in red wine. Resveratrol has been shown to protect DNA, flight inflammation and protect cells from free radicals.
- Green Tea– an antioxidant has been very popular in Asia. It plays significant role in reducing cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer and lower rates of neurocognitive decline.
- Chili Peppers– The anti-inflammatory capsaicin in chili peppers has a bonus ability as a painkiller too.
- Coconut Oil– is full of healthy fats which helps burn body fat and improve brain function. It’s also anti-inflammatory so make it the cooking oil of choice.
- Ginger– provides boost to immune system and has healing properties. Ginger’s ability to modulate the immune system makes it powerful anti-inflammatory.
- Green Vegetables (Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy)- contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Green vegetables are high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and prevent and reduce inflammation in the body.
Your diet is important factor determining your level of inflammation and your overall health. Processed foods, sugar, fried foods and alcohol must be limited/ avoided in order to keep inflammation low.
Here is the list of Gluten free grains. Stay Healthy and away from GMO products.