The Health Benefits of Onions

Dear Pharmacist, You had said “Eat an onion today to keep the doctor away.” I’m still wondering, why onions? Did you mean to say eat an apple a day?

-J. W., Denver, Colo.Hi J.W.,Apples are worth eating every day, but I did mean onions. This veggie can lower the risk for stomach cancer, improve breathing, fight bacteria and improve cholesterol.

Onions (and garlic) are rich in several sulfur compounds which offer protection against tumor growth, specifically in the stomach and intestines. And folks, that’s natural sulfur, which is completely different than sulfa-based drugs, which can spark allergies for some. Moreover, the sulfur compounds in this little pharmacological powerhouse keep your blood nice and thin and halt the growth of dangerous pathogens including salmonella and E. coli. Peel it and purify yourself!

The Chinese rank among the largest population of onion lovers, and guess what? Their risk of getting stomach cancer is 40% lower than for people who shy away from the bulbous beauties.

Onions are extremely rich in fructo-oligosaccharides compounds that feed friendly microorganisms in your body. Think bifidobacteria, a microorganism that may relieve inflammatory bowel conditions and boost immune function. In addition to breaking down certain cancer-causing compounds and reducing the body’s absorption of cholesterol, these bugs also fight fungus. For all you social types, onions provide relief from gas and flatulence. Obviously, they could give you dragon breath, so pick your stink.

Onions also are great for people with asthma, cough and colds or other breathing problems. Chewing a raw onion for 2-3 minutes can kill all the bacteria in your mouth!

And that’s not all the humble onion has to offer. Rich in flavonoids, it helps fight heart disease.

So make onions a part of your daily diet!

Eat any type of onion you like: shallots, leeks, scallions, chives, pearl, red, yellow, white, or Vidalia. Juice it, sauté it or eat it raw in salads!

Remember, onions with stronger flavors and aromas are better for you because they have higher amounts of sulfur compounds, which are the true healers in these veggies. They’re also the compounds that make you run from the kitchen with tears in your eyes.

References^ The 24-Hour Pharmacist (^ Drug Muggers: How To Keep Your Medicine From Stealing the Life Out of You! (^ meet Dr. Suzy Cohen (^ (

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