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Blood Pressure : Healing Foods: Onions

Posted December 10, 2014

By Michael T. Murray, ND

Did you know that the onion is a member of the lily family? Onions come in a wide variety of flavors, colors, and shape, which can be broken up into two main groups: spring/summer and storage onions. Spring/summer onions typically have a mild and sweet taste while storage onions have a more pungent flavor.

As early as the sixth century, onions were used in India for medicinal purposes. Onions were also served as a breakfast dish throughout the Middle Ages. Today onions are used in cuisines around the world.

Nutritional Highlights:
  • Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, biotin, chromium and dietary fiber.
  • They are also a source of folic acid, vitamins B1 and K.
  • A 3 1/2 ounce onion contains approximately 44 calories.
Health Benefits:
  • Onions and onion extract has been shown to decrease blood pressure as well as lipid levels and prevent blood clot formation.
  • It is believed that allyl propyl disulfide and flavonoids found in onions can substantially lower blood sugar levels by competing with insulin for breakdown in the liver.
  • Currently, research is being done that tests onion's ability to destroy tumor cells.
To avoid your eyes tearing up when handling onions, try chilling them for about an hour prior to preparation. Raw, sauteed or caramelized, onions add flavor and nutrition to almost any meal. For more preparation tips and nutritional information, take a look at my book, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.


Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

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