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Where does The Onion come from?

The name “onion” first appears in english language in 1273. In the 14th century, the ultimate form, “onion,” will arise. The name stems from the popular Latin unio, unionis, which in Gaul replaced caepa (from which “cive,” “scallion,” “civet,” and “chives”) as the term for this vegetable.
What's the deal with Unio? Simply put, the onion is one of the few alliaceae whose bulb does not divide (we are referring to the onion in its limited meaning, which excludes the shallot) and hence remains together.
Plants of the genus Allium now belong to the Alliaceae family, despite the fact that they are still commonly categorized as liliaceae or amaryllidaceae, according to the new botanical nomenclature.
Know your onions, a saying used in the 1920s in the United States. As a result, it underlined the fact that the various kinds that were farmed at the time were changing. name based on the place where we were, making it impossible to recognize “Knowing your onions” means being conversant with the types cultivated in your area and, by extension, completely knowing a topic. “Taking care of your own business” may thus indicate “only meddling with what is within your area of expertise.”


What Are The Nutritional and caloric values ​​of Onion ?


Onions, whether fresh or dried, are high in vitamin C, minerals, and trace elements. The bulb of this food plant provides good concentrations of protecting chemicals for health if ingested in little amounts.
Onions contain between 85 and 90 percent water (dry or “guard” onions) (fresh onions).
Carbohydrates give the majority of its energy. They're mostly made up of partly digestible sugars like fructose (fructosans), glucose, and sucrose.
Proteins and lipids are only found in trace amounts.
However, phytosterols can be found among the lipidic compounds found in onions. These chemicals, which are found in various amounts in plants, help to lower LDL cholesterol levels (as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle).
Vitamin C is abundant in onions, with about 25 mg per 100 g in fresh onions and slightly more than 7 mg in dried onions.
It also contains considerable levels of B vitamins, vitamin E, and provitamin A.
Flavonoids (yellow onions), anthocyanins (blueberries), and other antioxidants are concentrated in its outer layers (red or purple onions).
When an onion is chopped, sulfur compounds (containing one or more sulfur atoms) are generated, which are responsible for the onion's odor, flavor, and tear characteristics. They are also thought to have health-protective capabilities.
The onion also includes trace elements such as selenium, manganese, cobalt, and fluorine, as well as minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Its fibers are mostly made up of celluloses, hemicelluloses, and pectins and are somewhat numerous.
Onions, whether fresh or dried, are high in vitamin C, minerals, and trace elements. The bulb of this food plant provides good concentrations of protecting chemicals for health if ingested in little amounts.
Vitamins, antioxidant chemicals, and fibre found in fruits and vegetables all play an important part in maintaining good health. A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several studies to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other disorders.
The Liliaceae family of vegetables (onion, garlic, shallot, chives, leek) is thought to have a preventive effect against stomach and bowel malignancies.
Yellow onions, in particular, have high levels of quercetin (flavonoids) and sulfur compounds, which may account for some of the advantages.
The onion's flavonoid concentration would be reduced if it was cooked5. Baking or sautéing it, on the other hand, would boost its flavonoid content since the water would evaporate, resulting in a larger concentration of antioxidants.
Nutritional and caloric values ​​of Onion
For 100 g of Onion :

Name of constituentsUnityAverage content
Dietary fiberg1.7
Saturated FA(fat acid)g0.042
Monounsaturated FAg0.013
Polyunsaturated FAsg0.017
Total ironmg0.21
Beta caroteneµg1
Vitamin Dµg0
Vitamin E activity (alpha-tocopherol)mg0.02
Vitamin Cmg7.4
Vitamin B1 or Thiaminemg0.046
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavinmg0.027
Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacinmg0.34933
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acidmg0.123
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxinemg0.12
Vitamin B9 or Total Folateµg19
Vitamin Kµg0.4

Why should you eat Onions ?

Women's manganese needs are higher than men's, hence onions are a good source of manganese. Manganese is a cofactor for various enzymes that help in a variety of metabolic activities. It also helps to protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Onions are also a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, commonly known as pyridoxine, is a coenzyme involved in protein and fatty acid metabolism, as well as the production of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also increases red blood cell development and allows them to transport more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also required for the conversion of glycogen to glucose and adds to the immune system's normal functioning. Finally, this vitamin aids in the production of some nerve cell components.
Last but not least, onion is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C's purpose in the body extends beyond its antioxidant characteristics; it also helps to maintain the health of bones, cartilage, teeth, and gums. It also defends against infections, improves the absorption of iron from plants, and speeds up the healing process.
A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several prospective and epidemiological studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some malignancies, and other chronic illnesses. Consumption of alliaceae vegetables (onion, garlic, shallot, chives, green onion, leek) has been shown to protect against stomach and intestinal malignancies in studies. There is currently inadequate evidence to show a relationship with other malignancies (such as prostate, breast, esophageal and lung cancers).


Prevention of certain cancers

Some epidemiological studies have found a correlation between onion consumption and a reduction in the incidence of certain forms of cancer. To begin, a review of case-control studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland found that eating one to seven servings of onion per week reduces the incidence of colon, laryngeal, and ovarian cancer. With a consumption of seven or more servings of onion each week, there is a decreased risk of cancer of the esophagus, oral cavity, and throat.
Cancers of the brain, stomach, and esophagus have similar patterns (studies carried out in China). The intake of onions has been linked to a lower risk of stomach cancer, according to Dutch researchers. Finally, a high onion intake would lower the risk of prostate cancer death. The findings of these observational studies should be taken with care since they do not account for a number of crucial characteristics, including onion type and cooking technique, as well as the exact quantities ingested. Furthermore, other research have failed to show that such preventive benefits against cancer are significant.
The onion may have varying effects depending on the stage of cancer development. Onion extracts have been shown in experiments to block the mutation mechanisms that cause cancer. They also prevent cancer cells from proliferating. These findings are based on in vitro and animal research. The molecules involved, as well as the specific methods of action, are becoming increasingly clear, and study is continuing.


Cardiovascular health

Onion contains chemicals that help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Apart from a few preliminary research in humans, the bulk of investigations on the issue have been conducted in vitro or in animals. Onion is known for its capacity to reduce platelet aggregation in vitro, however this activity is 13 times weaker than garlic's. It's worth noting that platelet aggregation in the circulation raises the risk of thrombosis and, by extension, cardiovascular disease.
In a recent research, raw onion added to pigs' diet for six weeks had no effect on platelet aggregation but drastically reduced blood triglyceride levels. It's worth noting that the quantities employed in these experiments are similar to half to one and a half onions consumed daily by individuals.
A preliminary human investigation found that eating three medium onions (500 g) in a soup reduced ex vivo platelet aggregation (test performed using blood collected from subjects). In adults, consuming roughly 220 g of cooked onion daily for two weeks had no favorable benefits on platelet aggregation. According to certain research, onions exhibit decreased antiplatelet activity after cooking. The antiplatelet action of onion is thought to be due in part to sulfur compounds and flavonoids (quercetin). These two chemicals may have a synergistic effect. The particular modalities of action are yet unknown.


Strong antioxidant power  

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells in the body from free radical damage. These are highly reactive compounds that are thought to have a role in the development of cardiovascular illnesses, some malignancies, and other aging-related disorders. Anthocyanins and flavonols are the two primary types of antioxidants found in onions (more specifically quercetin). Some onion types are red due to anthocyanins, while others are yellow due to flavonols. It should be noted that these antioxidant chemicals are mostly found in the onion's outer layers. White onions have fewer antioxidants than yellow and red onions.
Furthermore, red onion types have higher antioxidant content and activity than light colored onion kinds. According to a research conducted at Cornell University in New York State, Western Yellow, New York Bold, and Northern Red onions contain up to eight times the antioxidant activity of other kinds.
Onion, particularly the yolk, is a key source of quercetin, along with tea and apple. Onion quercetin would be absorbed in significant levels by the body, resulting in enhanced antioxidant activity in the blood. This flavonoid, along with other antioxidant chemicals found in onions, may aid in the prevention of cancer. Furthermore, it is now well established that flavonoids, such as quercetin, protect against the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). As a result, a high dietary intake of flavonols and flavones is linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.


Content of sulfur compounds

Sulfur atoms (s) are present in the chemical structure of these compounds, therefore their name. When you chop an onion, sulfur compounds occur, much like when you cut garlic. Alliin (an inactive, odorless onion molecule) interacts with an enzyme at this step, forming chemicals that are precursors of onion odor, taste, and tear characteristics. The onion undergoes a sequence of reactions, the end products of which are a complicated combination of sulfur compounds. In addition to the antiplatelet action attributed to onion, several of these chemicals might impede the proliferation of cancer cells.


These compounds can lower blood cholesterol in animals and blood coagulation in vitro, two actions that might help to avoid cardiovascular disease. The significance of these chemicals in humans, however, remains unknown.

Excellent source of selenium

Onions, like broccoli and garlic, may absorb selenium from the soil, resulting in the creation of selenium-containing compounds. Although it is difficult to quantify their advantages, these compounds may play a role in onion's cancer-fighting properties. This line of inquiry is likewise being pursued.


How do you choose the best Onions and store them?

The onion is used as a vegetable as well as a seasoning. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is thought to be native to Asia. It's a must-have in the kitchen since it has a powerful, spicy flavor that never gets old. Onions come in a variety of colors and flavors, with yellow onion and red onion being the most popular.
Onions have a sharp flavor and a strong odor that varies depending on the cultivar. Environmental factors surrounding onion farming (such as soil quality) also have an influence, albeit to a lesser amount. The onion's flavor and scent deteriorate as the onion's weight grows. As a result, larger onions would be less pungent and odorous than smaller onions.
Boiling onions reduces their flavonoid concentration and consequently their antioxidant activity, according to studies. This impact is less important when the onion is cooked in a soup or a pot-au-feu, because the cooking water in which these antioxidants are located is eaten. Baking or sautéing onions, on the other hand, enhances their flavonoid content as the water evaporates, resulting in a higher concentration of these antioxidants.
Do you get emotional when you cook onions? Dry your tears… When the bulb is defeated, the chemical responsible for onion tears (thiopropanethial S-oxide) is released. It dissolves easily in water. This implies that it may be removed once the peeled onion has been washed with water or cooled.


How to consume Onions ?

In the kitchen, onion is a versatile item that can be used in a variety of minor everyday recipes. It adds flavor and enriches practically all recipes due to its peppery taste and distinct character. Another advantage is that it may be eaten cooked or raw in a salad, allowing you to enjoy it to the most.
** Milder onions from Spain or Bermuda, Vidalia onion, and Walla-Walla are frequently eaten raw in salads, burgers, and other dishes. Some red onion types are also sweet, although not all of them;
** Mince a sweet onion and immerse it in cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, then season with salt, parsley, and sumac powder (sold in oriental grocery stores). Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
** For an hour, soak the onion slices in salt. Rinse, drain, and top with finely chopped dill.
** Serve the onion rings alongside sliced tomatoes, feta, and black olives. Drizzle with olive oil and top with basil. Serve them with peeled orange slices over lettuce, endive, or escarole leaves, drizzled with vinaigrette.
** The hottest onions are yellow onions. They're great for long-cooking dishes like stews and beef bourguignon, as well as making stocks and broths. In this situation, the skin might be left on to provide color to the soup. The clove-studded onion is a staple in stews, broths, and other dishes.
** Cooked in butter with green peas and mint, pearl onions are excellent. Alternatively, they can be glazed by cooking them in butter with a touch of sugar in a pan.
** Slice the onions and sauté them in melted butter in a skillet to keep them contained. Simmer for about 20 minutes with the sugar, red wine, thyme, salt, and pepper. Serve with grilled meat, liver, or chicken hearts as an accompaniment.
** To stuff Spanish onions, chop them in half and blanch them for three quarters of their height. Empty them, leaving a 1 cm layer behind. Chop the excised bits and sauté them in butter before combining them with blanched spinach, rice, or semolina. Garnish the onions and braise them for about an hour in the oven. Add a little grated Parmesan and brown at the end of the cooking time. They can also be filled with garlic, oil, and parsley, or sauerkraut and breadcrumbs.
** Brown the crusts of a tart, soufflé, or quiche in butter and set them to cool before completing the recipe. If desired, garnish with bacon or sausage rings.
** Sauté finely chopped onions in butter until they are beautifully brown, but not burned, for the au gratin onion soup. After adding beef or chicken stock, the dish is baked for half an hour. Return to the oven for ten minutes after placing pieces of bread on top of the soup and sprinkling with grated Parmesan cheese. Before serving, if preferred, add a drop of cognac or sherry. Alternatively, use cider in place of half of the beef broth.
** Bhaji onions (khanda bhaji) are Indian cuisine classics that are eaten as an appetizer or during tea time. All you have to do is finely chop the onions and marinade them in a little sugar and salt for an hour. When they have completely disgorged, combine the mixture, including the liquid, with chickpea flour and chili, and shape into deep-fried balls. Serve with chutney on the side.
** To marinade the onions, we submerged them in salted water for 12 to 24 hours. Drain, pat dry, and place in jars with mustard or dill seeds. Before serving, cover with hot vinegar, seal, and store for a few weeks.
** It will be difficult to achieve the dietary limits for maximum fat per day if you consume fried onion rings at a restaurant, as these rings already contain 30 g. When it comes to the amount of onion buried there, it seldom surpasses the equivalent of a vegetable portion.


Contraindications and allergies of Onions

Onions, whether fresh or dried, are high in vitamin C, minerals, and trace elements. If ingested in moderation, the bulb of this edible plant has high amounts of health-protective chemicals.
Fermentable foods, such as onions, may be difficult to tolerate for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. This condition causes digestive system problems such as dyspepsia, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, gastroesophageal reflux, and so on.
Usually, simply restricting your intake of the problematic food is enough to reduce symptoms.
There are minimal contraindications to eating onions, and no specific allergies are known. Onion, on the other hand, might induce unpleasant digestive symptoms in persons with sensitive intestines and those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Consumption should be limited or tailored to individual digestive tolerance in this circumstance.
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by digestive system issues such as stomach discomfort, gas, and changes in stool motions. This condition is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or dyspepsia. Some patients with this condition may be sensitive to certain foods. Fermentable foods such as onion, garlic, and other alliaceous vegetables are also implicated.
Often, simply reducing or eliminating their use is enough to alleviate the symptoms. When the symptoms are minor, especially during so-called “remission” periods, it is occasionally feasible to gradually reintroduce certain foods, always taking individual tolerance into account (for more information on this functional condition, see the Bowel Syndrome document). irritable).