One of the images that comes to mind when we talk about onion is that it makes us cry when we cut it, but apart from the tricks to stop crying, it is also useful to discover the benefits of this food. Worth it. That we use it daily in both hot and cold dishes.
Onion It is an ancient food, with evidence of cultivation dating back 3,200 years. According to the Spanish Federation of Nutrition (FEN), an inscription found in the Egyptian pyramids proves that this vegetable was worshiped as a god and included in the diet of the slaves who built these buildings, along with garlic. It had a prominent place.
“Centuries later, Hippocrates prescribed it as a diuretic due to its rich in potassium and low sodium, and to heal wounds and treat respiratory diseases due to the antiseptic and mucolytic properties of the sulfur components, the antagonist of quercetin.” With provocative action,” Naira said. Carretero, President of the Official College of Dietitians-Nutritionists of Caratilla y León (Codinucil). “Today we know that Neither onions nor other foods are medicinesThat is, its action is not so straightforward, ”he stressed.
The scientific name of this bulbous vegetable is Allium cepa L. and it belongs to the Liliaceae family. “It needs a good sun exposure and as the bulb develops, it tolerates low temperatures less well. There are variety of varietiesyellow, white and purple, among others”, explained María Cruz Manzanec, member of the Health Commission of the Official College of Dietitian-Nutritionists of the Valencian Community (Kodinukova).
Nutrients and benefits of onion
According to FEN data, the main ingredient of onion is by far waterSince it accounts for 90% of its composition, the following nutrients are found in the remaining 10%:
- essential oils: They are responsible for most of the onion’s goodness, although they are also responsible for the tearing we suffer when peeling it.
- B vitamins: Required for proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems.
- Vitamin E and C: With antioxidant action, they play an important role in the prevention of cellular aging and degenerative diseases.
- Multiple minerals and trace elements: Onion is rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium and sulphur.
- Fiber: Onions contain fiber which helps in improving our digestive system, helps in the intake of nutrients and elimination of waste.
How to prepare onions
may alter the bioavailability and ingredients of the processing or preparation Bioactive Compounds of Onion And, according to Manzanek, “the content of some sulfur compounds decreases during boiling, but increases during frying and during steam or microwave cooking.”
The versatility of the onion is one of its great attractions. For example, Carretero explained: “A raw onion A salad This will give us a fresh, intense and crunchy taste, which, combined with tomatoes and a little oil, is an excellent dish. If the onion is put in water and salt without vinegar, it will provide us with a natural prebiotic that, in addition to being a healthy snack, will help improve our digestive system and our immune system.
In the meantime it may be considered food for all. Only people who suffer from certain disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome should consume it with caution, as it has a high content of compounds called fructans, which can aggravate their symptoms and people allergic to onions may be concerned about it. I must have forgotten.
“Recently, it was observed in a study conducted by researchers from the Rio Hortega University Hospital, Delicias II Health Center and the University of Valladolid that approximately 3 out of 100 allergy sufferers They are onions or garlic”, Carretero indicated.
Tricks to avoid crying while cutting onions
The culprits who make us cry while chopping onions are chemicals Which are released when it splits, mainly sulfur compounds. As we bite into it, the sulfur gas evaporates and reaches our eyes, where it combines with the water in our tears to form sulfuric acid.
In form of sulphuric acid This is so distressing, the immediate response is the production of more tears as a protective measure. This is a natural reaction of the body that does not pose any danger to health, but it is very annoying.
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There are different tricks to reduce the itching that occurs when chopping onions, and here are some of the most common suggestions:
- soak onions in water while it is cut off, because in this way, the gases are diluted and at least part of their potency is lost.
- refrigerate it or even freeze it Before cutting it slows down the process of formation of volatile sulfur compounds.
- Use protective glasses.
- cut it in a well ventilated placeWith window open and extractor hood.
- Avoid knives with teeth, This releases more substances that cause irritation and tearing.
- chop the onion as soon as possible A great, well sharpened knife.