Onions have been cultivated for more than 5,000 years researchers believe. Onions were an object of worship in Ancient Egypt because the Egyptians saw eternal life in them due to their circle within a circle structure. In India, onions have been used in medicine to improve digestion and treat the eyes, heart, and joints. Today, onions are found in most cuisines and used to add flavor and spice.
Onions are also helpful when it comes to weight loss and burning belly fat. We’re going to look at how they support these and find out what are the other medicinal benefits of the humble onion. There are three main types of onions so I’ll explain the differences between them later but I’m going to use red onion in the juice recipe later on. You can choose to use any onion though.
Health Benefits and Types of Onions
Let’s look at how onions can burn belly fat and help with weight loss to begin with. Onions are rich in a flavonoid called quercetin. This flavonoid has an anti-obesity property. It helps burn calories and burn belly fat. Onions also contain soluble viscous fiber which keeps you feeling fuller for longer and less prone to snacking or at least not so much, which will reduce calorie intake. Soluble viscous fiber slows down the process of your food moving through your body and that’s how it achieves this effect.
Besides quercetin’s ability to help burn belly fat and calories, it also has a host of other health benefits. It reduces inflammation in the body which helps to protect against many common and serious diseases. It can reduce bladder infection symptoms. It can lower blood pressure (systolic). It also reduces asthma symptoms by relaxing the airway muscles.
Onions are also great sources of certain nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate. Onions are also rich in B vitamins which help with red blood cell production and these vitamins can also boost your metabolism.
Some other great health benefits that onions provide are:
- Help to control blood sugar levels which is especially important for people with diabetes or prediabetes
- Increase bone density which can help prevent osteoporosis
- Lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer thanks to the flavonoids and sulfur compounds
- Help prevent stomach ulcers by inhibiting the growth of certain bacterias
The Three Main Types of Onions
There are red, yellow, and white onions and each has its own unique appearance and taste. Yellow onions are the most popular type in America as they’re usually what’s called for in cooking recipes. White onions have a milder taste than yellow onions and can be used in cooking or raw in sandwiches or on salads. Red onions have a beautiful bright color and are the mildest of all three so typically used raw although they can be used in cooked dishes e.g. roasted vegetables.
Yellow onions with their strong flavor make many people cry when cutting them. The reason is down to their high sulfur content. As you cut the flesh of an onion enzymes release sulphuric compounds that turn into a mild solution of sulphuric acid as it interacts with the dampness of your eyes.
The outside of a yellow onion is brown and yellow but the inside flesh is white. White onions are white inside and out, whereas red onions aren’t so much red as a deep purple on the outside and white and purple on the inside.
I’m using red onions for this recipe for two reasons: they contain the highest level of quercetin and they’re easier to consume raw. While all onions contain quercetin, red has the most and white the least. If you have a favorite onion or are growing some in your yard feel free to use any. However, it’s a very punchy juice even using red onion and I’m someone that loves strong flavors so I think yellow would be difficult to drink.
Who Shouldn’t Eat Raw Onions?
Despite having their many wonderful health benefits, not everyone should eat raw onions and hence should steer clear of this juice or any recipe where onions aren’t cooked. You probably already know if raw onion doesn’t agree with you but side effects that many people experience include heartburn, stomach cramps, and gas. This may even happen with cooked onions for some people. Onions are also high in FODMAPs and should be avoided by people with IBS.
How to Make This DIY Onion Juice
I’m going to show you how to make this onion juice for one serving. If you use the quantities below then each juice will have approximately 86 calories (64 calories are from the honey). You can of course swap out the honey for a sweetener of your choice.
- ½ a red onion
- 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener of your choice)
- 15 oz of water (450 ml)
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Cut the ends off your onion and peel the thin paper-type layer off the outside of your onion. You want to peel as few layers off as possible because quercetin is most highly concentrated in the outer three layers. Then cut your onion in half and cut one of these halves into smaller slices.
- Add these slices to your blender or NutriBullet (or equivalent) and add a splash of water.
- Blend for a minute or so until your onion pieces have blended. Then add the rest of the water and honey and blitz it again for 20 seconds or so.
- Your juice is ready. You can strain it but remember that the quercetin is in the outer layers which is what usually remains as small pieces floating around so for maximum benefit gulp the whole juice down.
It’s recommended that for fat burning you take this on an empty stomach, the first thing in the morning. If you know this will give you a stomach cramp then do have some food first. You can have one a day unless you experience any unpleasant side effects. You can double the quantities in this recipe so you use the whole onion and store half of the juice in an airtight container in the fridge for the following morning.
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