I love color!!! My IG feed is a testament to that! I love colorful décor and I love a colorful plate. However….today I’m focusing on foods with very little color.
The absent of color is white? White foods have good for you ingredients, too. I wanted to show them a little love. So my next few posts will focus on the less colorful good-for-you foods.
For starters I am sending some good vibes to the flavorful onion. They are found everywhere because onions are tasty whether it’s cooked or not. Onions have three compounds that make them amazing: fructans, flavonoids and organosulfur compounds
Fructans are a carb that helps gut bacteria. Please note that they can cause gas and bloating in people who are susceptible to high FODMAP foods. (that is what the “F” stands for)
One of the flavonoids that onions contain is quercetin. Which is also found in apples. Quercetin is an antioxidant that slays those free radicals wreaking havoc in our bodies. This anti-oxidant is highest in the outer portion/rings but decreases as you get close to the inner rings.
Organosulfurs contribute to the pungent taste and smell of onions. This sulfur compound is activated when an onion is sliced and its cells are disrupted. Organsulfurs show promise for their anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-microbial and anti-thrombotic properties.
Red and yellow onions have anthocyanins, which is an anti-oxidant found in blue, red and purple fruits and veggies. Studies show that many of these compounds may have an anti-cancer effect. Where the onions are grown, how they are stored and there genetic makeup determines the amount of quercetin found in the onion.
So nutritionally what does an onion have to offer? Happy you asked in a ½ cup you get 29 calories, 6g carbs, soluble fiber, vitamins C, B6, folate, potassium, calcium, and manganese
Just FYI, in the US there are no GMO onions available for commercial production. Good to know.
Here’s a good tip. Don’t want to tear up when you are cutting an onion? Refrigerated the onion for 30 minutes, cut with a sharp knife to eliminate cells damage and cut the root end last. The root end has the highest amount of the tear inducing compounds.
Store whole bulbs in a cool, dry, dark space with good air circulation. Make sure you take them out of the plastic produce bags before you store them. If the onion is peeled or cut store them in an airtight container in the frig.
Do you add onions to your favorite recipes? Let me know in the comments below.
Health and Healing,
- National Onion Association, Onions-Phytochemical and Health Properties. www.onion-usa.org
- University of Illinois Extension. Watch Your Garden Grow. https://extension.illinois.edu/veggies/onion.cfm
- Griffiths, G., Trueman L, Crowther T, Thomas B, Smith B. Onions—a global benefit to health. Phytother Res. 2002 Nov;16(7):603-15