A nutritionist, Mrs.
Uduak Famuyiwa, has urged Nigerians to consider making the consumption of onions a part of their daily diet, noting that it has great health benefits.
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According to the Nutritionalist, onions are rich in antioxidants and could, therefore, help prevent the risk of developing cancer.
“Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits, noting that the antioxidants in onions are in large quantities compared to other foods,” she said.
The nutritionist was reacting to a 2019 study published by the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology which found that the risk of colorectal cancer was 79 per cent lower in those who regularly consumed allium vegetables, such as onions.
The study compared 833 people with colorectal cancer with 833 people who did not have the disease.
According to the report, the researchers said they are puzzled by how the compounds in onions inhibit cancer.
They, eventually, concluded that onions inhibit tumour growth and cell mutation.
Also, according to the medical site, quercetin which is in onion has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that might help reduce swelling, kill cancer cells, control blood sugar, and help prevent heart disease.
Quercetin, the site said, can be found in onions, as well as in red wine, green tea, apples, and berries.
Famuyiwa, who is the Executive Director of a health and nutrition company, Excellent Health Choice, stated that the quantities of quercetin found in onions are very high.
In her words, “Onion contains Quercetin which is an antioxidant and it mostly prevents cancerous growth.
“The main thing that onion does is that it helps to prevent cancerous growth, especially because of quercetin.
It is one of the major substances found in onions in a larger percentage compared to other food substances.
Famuyiwa added that onions also contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients that can help clean the eyes of dirt.
She said, “Onions also contain polyphenols, and based on experience it helps to clean dirt from the eyes.
“Sometimes when you are cutting onions you start tearing up because of the sensation it causes to the eyes.
This actually helps to get rid of any debris like dust that may have been trapped by the lashes.
Uduak also noted that, unlike some foods that are nutrient-dense when dry, onions are nutritious either dry or wet, cooked or raw.
The food expert noted that contrary to popularly held opinions, not all foods are high in nutrients in a fresh state.
She stated that an example of such food is tomato, noting that tomatoes offer the most nutrients as a paste rather than in its raw form.
“In a sense, different foods have different nutritional benefits in different forms.
Take for example tomatoes that are high in lycopene in the cooked form compared to the raw form.
“That is why sometimes they encourage people to go for tomato paste rather than fresh tomatoes.
That is just for tomatoes.
Most times dried food contains more nutrients than wet because of the moisture content in them.
“The moisture content takes a lot of space that the nutrients should have.
So, in the dried form the nutrient content is much compared to the wet form.
“From research, apart from tomatoes that I know you have to cook first to get that that much lycopene content, foods in their dried form have much more nutrients.
Onions rich in antioxidants, could help prevent cancer- Nutritionist