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Onion, It’s health benefits and side effects

Last updated on May 12, 2021


Onion is a common vegetable used by millions across countries. The bulb part and green leaves of the onion can be consumed, you can use onion in salads, soups, curries, and rice. Onion is also known by other names to name a few Allii Cepae Bulbus(Latin), Allium Cepa(Latin). Green Onion, Oignon(French), Cipolla(Italian), Cebolla(Spanish), Zwiebel(German), Piyaj(Hindi), Savala(Malayalam) Vaengayam(Tamil), Irulli(Kannada), Ullipaya(Telegu)

Onion constitutes rich antioxidants, vitamin C & A and other useful elements.

The Different Types of Onions

Yellow Onions: It has Brown skin with ivory white flesh. It smells like sulfur.

Shallots: It has Brown skin with purple flesh and is small in size.

Leeks: These are long-necked onions mostly used in soups.

White Onions: It has paper-like white skin and is sweeter.

Red Onions: It is magenta in color and is mild & sweet.

The Health Benefits of Using Onions

Reduce Blood Pressure

Multiple studies have shown that consumption of onion reduces high blood pressure, make blood thinner which reduces the risks of a heart attack.

Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Onion is rich with useful elements one of them being Sulfur compounds. S-methyl cysteine and quercetin helps in controlling blood sugar levels.

Control excess weight

Onions are not widely considered as the tastiest food product, but it can help us control the extra weight we gain. Onion and onion extract can be used for this purpose, but it is advisable to consult your doctor before the introduction of onion extract in your diet.

Better Sleep

Onion contains prebiotics which helps to improve sleep and reduce stress to a great extent. This has been proven through various studies.

Improve Eye health

Due to the presence of Sulfur in onion, the consumption helps in enhancing the eye lens health. It increases the production of protein glutathione which is antioxidant and protects from glaucoma and cataracts.

Destroy Cancer Cells

Red onions are effective in eradicating breast and colon cancer cells due to the presence of quercetin and anthocyanin compounds. These compounds make the environment not suitable for cancer cells to spread.

Improve Respiratory problems

Patients suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma can get benefit from onions due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties.

Side Effects of using Onion:

Gastric Issues

Overconsumption of onions can lead to gastric and digestion issues. This is caused due to the presence of fructose in onion which leads to gas production in the intestine.


You will get itchy eyes and rash on your body when onion comes in contact with your skin. If you complain of difficulty in breathing, drop in blood pressure, oral swelling this could be signs of an anaphylactic reaction and you should immediately medical attention.



You would experience acids flowing upwards which create a burning sensation in the chest, this is commonly seen in pregnant ladies.

Author – Harish Sam Rajan


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