Do Onions Count as a Vegetable?

By on July 28, 2014

I made a beautiful soup for dinner tonight with roasted tomatoes, chicken thigh, olives, onions, and brown rice. As beautiful as it was, it seemed a little light on vegetables….unless onions count as a vegetable? The answer is yes. Yes onions actually do count as a vegetable and are full of nutrients.

Are Onions Nutritious?

are onions nutritiousIn this case scenario I am talking about the traditional onion. The round pungent goodness that may be white, yellow or red. Onions get their pungent smell from sulfur. Sulfur is an important mineral for your body and is commonly used in Asia as an herbal medicine to treat inflammation and cancer. Sulfur will also help your body metabolism carbs and contribute to healthy hair, skin and nails. A shortage of sulfur in your body can cause you to age faster so it is important to eat foods that contain sulfur.

There is more to the onion than sulfur. The National Cancer Institute found that individuals who ate the most allium vegetables (red onions, scallions, garlic, chives and leeks) had a nearly 50% lower cancer risk than those who ate the least.

Onions also contain flavonoids. The flavonoids in onions are specifically called quercetin. Quercetin acts as an antioxidant. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer.”

Finally, onions contain soluble fiber and several vitamins. They contain vitamin B-6 and 13% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Fitness Guru Jillian Michaels also suggests that onions are a good source of Vitamin K, “Add onions to your diet as a source of vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin. One cup provide 21 percent of the daily value of vitamin K for women and 16 percent for men. Vitamin K helps your blood clot properly. It also promotes skeletal health, and a diet rich in vitamin K might help keep your bones strong as you age.”

So before you write-off onions as a flavorful herb remember that they are still one powerful little veggie.

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