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Onion Health Benefits

Onions are chock-full of healthy nutrients and plant chemicals, phytochemicals, that promote health and fight disease. One specific phytochemical group are polyphenols which contain a sub-group known as flavonoids. A specific flavonoid, quercetin, is among the most widely occurring polyphenols in nature.

Onion is known to have the highest quantity of quercetin. Quercetin has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic, and anti-viral properties. The molecule can cross the blood-brain barrier, (BBB) to protect against neurodegenerative diseases.

Onions and other members of the allium family (bulbous plant that includes onion and its relatives), such as leeks, shallots and scallions, may protect against the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and other conditions. Red and yellow onions have the highest flavonoid content.

Idea: Pickle them. Very thinly slice 1 red onion with a mandolin. Place them in a mason jar. Set aside. In a small saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp sea salt and 1 – 2 TB honey or sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a simmer. Pour the mixture over the onions, screw on the lid and shake to coat the onions. Let marinate for 30 minutes, occasionally pushing the onions down into the liquid with the back of a spoon.

Which is the best type of tea? The skinny on polyp...

What are polyphenols?

“Polyphenols are plant derived chemicals with superb antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and skin rejuvenating capabilities. Tea polyphenols, especially catechins, are potent antimicrobial and antioxidant agents, with positive effects on human health.”

White tea is one of the less studied teas but the flavor is more accepted than that of green tea in Europe. In a recent study, the concentrations of various catechins in 13 different kinds of infusion were determined by capillary electrophoresis (measuring the total polyphenol content and the inhibitory effect of infusions of each type of tea on the growth of some microorganisms). Five different infusions (black, white, green and red teas and rooibos infusion) were added to a model food system and the oxidative stability of each was observed.

The highest radical-scavenging activity observed was for the green and white teas.

Reference: Food Chemistry
Volume 108, Issue 1, 1 May 2008, Pages 55-63.