Sweet Onion Health Benefits
Sweet onions are aromatic root vegetables that come in many different types and have a similar flavor profile to garlic or chives. They are rich in vitamin C, chromium, folate, and fiber, nutrients many people fall short of getting daily. The sweet onion is not as acidic as its relatives, therefore making the taste mild and sweet. Because it is not as pungent in flavor, the sweet onion is a great nutrient-dense food to incorporate into the diets of both adults and kids alike.
Notable Health Benefits of Onions:
• Boosts Immune Systems
Onions are packed with antioxidants! Vitamin C supports the immune system by decreasing inflammation and fighting off free radicals that harm immune function. Onions are also an excellent source of quercetin, which acts as a powerful antiviral and can aid the body in utilizing zinc to fight the reproduction of viruses including the flu and COVID-19. Eating foods that boost immunity is especially important for children since their immune systems are still developing. Check out our Recipes tab for tons of kid-friendly sweet onion recipes!
• Improves Gut Health and Digestion
Since there is a gut-brain connection, the feelings of stress or anxiety can negatively impact your GI tract and digestion. It is therefore essential that we focus on consuming foods that will keep our gut healthy and digestion running smoothly. Both raw and cooked onions are a prebiotic fiber, meaning they are able to feed and support the live probiotic bacteria that keep your gut and digestion working efficiently.
• Prevents Cancer
Regular onion consumption, in conjunction with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, has been linked to lower risks of colorectal, stomach, breast, and prostate cancers. Two powerful antioxidants, quercetin and allicin, are abundant in onions and have been shown to reduce cancer risk. Learn more and grab cancer-fighting recipes here.
• Maintains Strong Bones
Research has shown that onions may help keep bones strong, as the high vitamin C content in this root veggie improves the absorption of calcium –a mineral essential for increasing bone mass.
• Regulates Blood Sugar
The chromium found in onions has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This allows kids to keep energy levels up when playing and aids in preventing mid-afternoon crashes.
• Reduces Inflammation
Whether you and your family are active adventurers or are healing from an injury, reducing inflammation can help repair and recover. Because onions are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, they make a beneficial addition to your dinner table.
Looking for some easy ways to add Vidalia onions to your diet? Here are some of our favorite quick tips:
- Coat sweet onion slices in whole wheat breadcrumbs, spices, and bake in the oven for a healthy version of onion rings.
- Caramelize sweet onions in a skillet. Once cooled, combine the caramelized onions with Greek yogurt, garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt for a creamy French onion dip.
- Sautee thick slices of sweet onions with peppers, potatoes, turkey or chicken sausage, and spices of your choice for a quick and easy dinner.
- Cook sweet onions down with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and salt for a versatile red sauce that can top pizza, spaghetti, meats, or sandwiches.
- Layer caramelized sweet onions between tortillas with your favorite cheese, veggies, and beans or chicken to add sweetness to a quesadilla lunch.
- Onions are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that all work together to keep our bodies working efficiently. Whether you are sautéing, grilling, or simply chopping onions for your next meal, this humble vegetable offers many health advantages that the whole family can benefit from!