With the price of onions soaring high in the capital the question arises: How nutritious is this underground stem vegetable? Health benefits definitely needs to be calculated before one shells out between rupees forty to fifty for a kg of this allium vegetable.
Onion contains 89% water, 4% sugar,2% fibre,1% protein and 0.1% fat. This low sodium, high Vitamin C and folic acid product adds flavor to almost all Indian dishes without adding calories (only 40 calories per 100 gram).
Allium and allyl disulphide in onion is converted to allicin which reduces cholesterol production and stiffness in blood vessels overall minimizing the risk of heart diseases.
Onion has flavonoid(quercetin) and phenolics which have anti cancer, anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. Chromium mineral helps tissue cells to control insulin action and controls diabetes.Vitamin B6(pyridoxine) helps in brain functioning.
Dating back to 5000 BC, traces of onion remains were found alongside date stones and fig. Archaeological and literary evidences suggest its cultivation with leek and garlic.
Even though onion brings tears when chopped, it was eaten by athletes in ancient Greece believing it lightened the balance of blood and by Roman gladiators to firm up their muscles.
Sources say, about 170 countries cultivate onion for domestic use, China topping the list followed by India.
Can we not expect and wish onion to be cheaper ?