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Onion

Onion


Are you a fan of onions? Is every one of your spicy recipes incomplete, without addition of chopped onions? Then you might want to check out an onion's nutritional value. There are many varieties of onions and each one of them varies in its nutritional value. Before we get into a discussion of the nutritional value of onions, let's get to know a bit more about this vegetable. 

Onion aka Allium


The botanical name of the most common garden variety onion is Allium Cepa. There are evidences of onion being a food source from as long back, as the Bronze age, which was about 5000 BC. So we can safely say, that onions are some of the oldest and most widely used vegetables in the world. They belong to lily family, which also has garlic as one of its members. There are over 600 species of onion spread all over the world. 

Onions are an inseparable part of cuisine ingredients, across most cultures around the world. They are probably the only vegetables in the world, that make you weep! Sulfide compounds, released after cutting onions make our eyes water profusely. Depending on the taste, there can be different types of onions, ranging from pungent, sweet, to even tangy. They grow underground and are vertical shoots of the plant, designed as food storage units. Let us now delve into the subject of an onion's nutritional value in the following lines. 

Nutritional Value of Onions

There are hundreds of varieties of onions around the world. Here I present an analysis of the nutritional value of red, green, yellow and even cooked onions. 

Red Onions
Red onions are used in salads, barbecue, stews, soups, hamburgers, sandwiches and even meat dishes. They are available throughout the year. Here is the breakdown of 160 gm of red onion's nutritional value. A fresh, chopped lot of 160 gm of chopped red onions will have about 64 Kcal of energy and the following is its nutritional value:

  • Total Fat (Lipid) 16 gm
  • Total Carbohydrate 14.94 gm
  • Dietary Fiber 2.7 gm
  • Total Sugars 6.78 gm
  • Proteins 1.76 gm
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C (11.8 mg), vitamin B-12, Beta Carotene, Folate
  • Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Fluoride

White Onions


White onions or pearl onions are a sweeter variety compared to red onions, due to a high water content. They are eaten raw and served in burgers and salads and in soups like French onion soup. These type of onions are also available throughout the year. They have a low saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium content. A 100 gm white onion will give about 32 kcal of energy. The nutritional content in a 100 gm white onion would be as follows:

  • 91.24 gm Water
  • Protein 0.8 gm
  • Dietary Fiber 0.9 gm
  • Fat content 0.08 gm
  • Total Sugars (Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Lactose) 5 gm
  • Minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Selenium
  • Vitamin C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Choline, Carotene

 

 

 

Green Onions


Green Onions or spring onions are basically onions which haven't matured and are uprooted early. Spring onion's nutritional facts are listed here. They are used in salads, soups, baking and in meat dishes. 100 gm of white onions will supply 27 Kcal of energy. The nutritional value of 100 gm raw green onions would be as follows:

  • Water 91.24 gm
  • Protein 0.8 gm
  • Total Fat 0.08 gm
  • Carbohydrate 7.55 gm
  • Total Dietary Fiber 0.9 gm
  • Sugars (Glucose, Fructose, Lactose) 5.02 gm
  • Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Folic Acid, Choline
  • Amino Acids like Tryptophan, Threonine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine

Yellow Onions


Yellow onions are also available throughout the year. They are used raw in salads, sandwiches, barbecues and in a variety of dishes and cuisines. The nutritional value of yellow onions is expounded here. About 160 gm of chopped yellow onions will supply around 64 Kcal of energy and have the following nutrients:

  • Total Fat 1g
  • Dietary Fiber 3gm
  • Total Carbohydrate 15 gm
  • Sugars 7 gm
  • Protein 2gm
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin E, Vitamin K

Cooked Onions


Till now, we saw the nutritional value of onions in raw form. Cooking changes the nutritional content of any vegetable as it's boiled and drained. Let us see the nutritional value of onions which have been boiled, drained and cooked. A 100 gm of such cooked onions will supply about 44 Kcal of energy. The nutritional value of 100 gm cooked onions is as follows:

  • Water 87.86 gm
  • Protein 1.36 gm
  • Total Fat 0.19 gm
  • Carbohydrate 10.15 gm
  • Total dietary fiber 1.4 gm
  • Sugars (Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose) 4.73 gm
  • Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Mangenese, Selenium
  • Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6
  • Folate, Beta Carotene
  • Amino Acids like Trytophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Methionine, Cystine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Aginine, Histidine

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Benefits of Onions

After going through the onion's nutritional facts, listed above, there will be no doubt in your mind about nutritional abundance in onions. Since it is such a nutrients rich vegetable, onion's nutritional benefits are abundant. Here are some of the benefits of having onions as part of your diet:

  • Eating onions boosts your appetite and prevents atherosclerosis.
  • Onions extracts provide cures for cough, cold, bronchitis, as well as asthma.
  • Onions can cause a marked reduction in bronchial spasms.
  • Onion consumption reduces chances of colon cancer, stimulated growth of benevolent bifidobacteria and inhibits growth of potentially harmful bacteria in the abdominal tract
  • An interesting nutrition fact about onions is that the sulfides contained in them can lower blood lipid levels and reduce blood pressure.
  • Onions also prevent blood clotting and platelet clumping.


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