Onions clad by the vernacular names bulb onion or common onion are by far one of the healthiest vegetables flooding the market and are a staple in almost all Indian kitchens. Be it eaten as a food or as a medicine, it extensively helps in boosting immunity and in preventing diseases.
Onion goes by the botanical name Allium cepa and is cultivated in various forms and sizes depending upon its usage. Be it yellow onions, sweet onions, white onion, red onions, scallions and shallots, each and every variety can be used for cooking different types of cuisines.
Onion powder is used as a type of seasoning and is the concentrated flavoured powder obtained from dehydrated onions. The dehydrated form is made of finely ground, dehydrated onions, usually from the bulb onions, and has a strong pungent odour. As it is completely dehydrated, it has a longer shelf life.
Onion powder health benefits
Though one might tear up while slicing onions, it can easily be considered owing to its umpteen health benefits. Enriched with the goodness of essential vitamins like vitamin B and C, minerals like manganese, calcium, iron and potassium, and a myriad of antioxidants, onion powders hold high significance in treating a host of ailments including mouth sores, heart problems, headaches, high blood sugar and even cancer.
Being versatile in nature, onions are widely available in the market as fresh, chopped, caramelised, pickled, frozen, and canned forms. The dehydrated products are available as a seasoning in the form of powders, salt, or maybe sliced, ringed, minced, chopped, and also available in granulated forms.
Being low in calories and high in essential nutrients, this humble vegetable has immense health benefits:
The abundance of anti-bacterial, anti-septic, and antimicrobial properties, make onion the healthiest choice among vegetables to ward off the various infections. The bio-active components in onion powder boost immunity, prevents bacterial infestation and helps to reduce risk of various bacterial and fungal infections.
Treats Cough and Cold
Onions are rich in antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic properties, which make it extremely essential for treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also reduces chest and nasal congestion gets rid of excess sputum and stops nasal discharge. It is also beneficial in treating bronchitis and asthmatic conditions.
Mix a spoonful of onion powder in a glass of lukewarm water. Add a spoon of honey and half teaspoon of pepper in it. Try having this regularly on empty stomach to reduce cough and cold symptom and bronchial problems. Also Read: 5 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Dry Cough-Infographic
Reduces Risk Of Cancer
The active ingredients present in the onion powder have potent cancer-fighting properties. Several types of research have proved that this bulbous vegetable, being rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals like quercetin help to reduce risks of different types of cancer including stomach and colorectal cancer.
The hypoglycaemic property of onion powder plays a pivotal role in reducing the blood sugar level of the body. Presence of compounds like sulphur and quercetin potently inhibits the release of sugar into the blood and increases the insulin levels in the body. It converts starch into energy and reduces the symptoms of diabetes such as frequent urination, fatigue, sudden hunger pangs, etc. Also Read: 5 Simple Ways To Manage Diabetes In Summer
Alleviates Heart Problems
Being a powerhouse of antioxidants, onion powder is extremely beneficial for promoting heart functions and reducing the risk of heart ailments. The presence of anti-coagulant and anti-fibrinolytic properties prevents blockage and formation of clots in the arteries causing heart block.
The rich source of flavonoids in onion powder reduces the formation of debris within the arteries and blood vessels, thus preventing atherosclerosis (i.e. hardening of blood vessels). Regular intake also reduces the bad cholesterol (i.e. low-density lipoproteins) and effectively increases good cholesterol (i.e. high-density lipoproteins).
Promotes Bone Health
Being an excellent source of calcium, onion holds high significance in promoting healthy functioning of the bones. The buck load of antioxidants in onion powder prevents free radical damage of the bones, improves the bone mineral content and reduces the risk of breakage. Regular intake of the wonder bulb improves bone density and reduces conditions like osteoporosis.
benefits of onion powder for hair
The bio-active constituents present in onion plays a key role in reducing hair fall. It helps in the formation of collagen tissues in the scalp, increases blood circulation in the hair follicles and stimulates new hair growth. The anti-microbial nature of onion also prevents dandruff and scalp infections and strengthens the hair from within.
Onion belongs to the Allium family and is very rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for its pungent odour and health-promoting properties. "We must remember polyphenols are one of the largest categories of phytonutrients in food and the highest content of it is found in onions! A wide variety of allyl sulfides are found in onion, including the four major diallyl sulfides."
"Methylsulfonylmethane is a highly absorbable source of sulfur, found abundantly in onions especially in its outer layers. It facilitates the formation of keratin for hair, resulting in hair growth. It also helps a great deal in autoimmune conditions of hair loss like Alopecia Aereata," shared Dr. Bhardwaj.
Onion powder is known to be a sure-shot method for hair care. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It also helps fight hair lice, dandruff and can be used as a natural hair nourisher and conditioner.
Onion powder side effects
When taken by mouth: Onion is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. Onion extract is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine. Daily doses of up to 900 mg of onion extract have been safely used for 12 weeks. Side effects might include stomach distress or pain after eating onion.
When applied to the skin: Onion extract is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin. Side effects might include skin irritation or eczema following skin contact with onion.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if onion is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using onion in amounts larger than usual food amounts.
Bleeding disorder: Onion might slow blood clotting. There is concern that onion might increase the risk of bleeding when taken as a medicine. Don't use medicinal amounts of onion or onion extract if you have a bleeding disorder.
Cross-allergens: People with allergies to mugwort and celery might also be allergic to onion. Don't use in medicinal amounts if you have these allergies.
Diabetes: Onion might lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes and use onion in medicinal amounts, check your blood sugar carefully.
Surgery to place a pouch near the anus (ileal pouch-anal anastomosis): People that have had surgery to place a pouch near the anus might find that onion increases feelings of gas. Don't eat large amounts of onion if you have had this surgery.
Indigestion: People that experience indigestion often find that eating onion increases symptoms. Don't eat large amounts of onion if it increases your symptoms.
Surgery: Onion might slow blood clotting and lower blood sugar. In theory, onion might increase the risk for bleeding or interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using onion as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Onion is one such humble vegetable that has umpteen benefits. Although most of us use it in culinary and seasoning purposes, it has magnitude health benefits. Thanks to the goodness of the essential bio-active ingredients it is widely used for improving heart health, aiding in digestion, promoting weight loss, preventing infections, stopping hair fall and many more. Include this incredible bulbous veggie to your diet to enjoy its varied benefits.
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