From French to Italian cuisine, onion’s varied flavor profile makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes. Beyond taste, onion is an important vegetable for health and nutrition. Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of dietary fiber; they also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that slows oxidative damage to our cells and helps eliminate free radicals that are implicated in many diseases.
Onion is a member of the allium family of vegetables (garlic, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots). Some research indicates that regularly eating allium vegetables could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by as much as 79%. Onions may also help protect against gastric ulcer, heart disease, and stroke.
Interesting Onion Facts:
- Onion’s hardy, papery skin protects the outside from bacteria and preserves the juices inside.
- Onion juice can soothe a bee sting.
- Onion is packed with phytonutrients and other important nutrients that protect health; these compounds have anticancer and antimicrobial activity.
- Yellow, red, and white onions are available year round, but there are differences in their flavor: Spring /Summer (March through August tend to have thinner, lighter skins and range in flavor from sweet to mild. Fall/ Winter (August through May) onions have darker skins, are lower in water content, and tend toward strong and pungent flavor.
- The winter varieties have a longer shelf life and require longer cooking time than the spring variety.
Want to choose the best onions and use them properly? Check out this short video usage guide.