This weekend, I was getting close to the end of produce my produce stash. The only vegetables I had left were a little bit of kale and some onions. Often, we do not view onions as a full-on vegetable. It is more viewed as an addition or a topping. Let me cut a slice of onion for my burger. I’ll sauté some onions in my soup for flavor. I’ll cut up some onion and add it to my tuna fish sandwich.
But onions are a legit vegetable that deserve to be highlighted in a meal. Not only are they super tasty, but also super nutritious. Onions are part of the allium family which includes garlic and herbs. What distinguishes the allium family is their sulfer compounds. While the sulfur compounds are very strong, have pungent odors, even makes us tear, they are extremely healthy for us.
Onions are nutrient dense, meaning they contain many micronutrients for their volume and are low in calories. One cup of chopped onion provides approximately 64 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fiber and 10% of more of the daily value for Vitamin C, B-6 and manganese. They also contain calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Antioxidants are also present in onions, which help keep our immune systems healthy.
These nutrients keep our bodies healthy and protect us from preventable diseases, such as heart disease and Type II diabetes. They also help to keep our digestive tracts working well. Onions have shown to help reduce the risk of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer, esophageal, prostate and stomach cancer.
So, what can you make with onions besides simply adding as slice to your sandwich? What is your favorite way to eat onions?