Does the thought of drinking onion juice make you cringe? Or even reflexively tear up a little?
Totally understandable. Most of us aren’t much accustomed to the idea of drinking raw onion juice – the mere thought of it turned me off at first as well.
But when you think about it, raw onion juice is a mighty good idea. Especially when you consider that you get the most benefits from onions when its consumed RAW. Benefits like…
- The hunger-busting phytonutrient, allicin, which decreases when you cook onions.
- Organosulfides. You know them simply as the compounds that cause you to tear up when you chop a raw onion, but these compounds have so much more power than just their ability to make grown men and women cry. They’ve been shown to help halt cancer cell growth and have potent anti-inflammatory benefits that protect against inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis.
Cooked onions might be more palatable, yes, but if you’re eating for health – raw is the way to go. Which is funny since onions are just about the last veggie you’d want to eat raw. Want to know more veggies that are best raw?
So it’s a good thing you’ve got yourself a juicer – adding a chunk or two of raw onion into a fruit-and-veggie mix is a smart way to mask the strong taste of onion while getting all the benefits that raw onions provide.
And speaking of onion juice benefits, there are plenty more…
6 Onion Juice Benefits Worth Crying For
Stave off anemia
Iron is a key component in the formation of a type of protein called hemoglobin. Apart from giving blood its dark red color, hemoglobin also plays a significant role in the transport of oxygen to all parts of the body. When hemoglobin levels drop, a condition called anemia develops, which is characterized by frequent episodes of weariness and a distinctive paleness of the skin.
Akin to most of its cousins in the lily family, onions are naturally abundant in iron. This pungent vegetable is also packed with other anemia-preventing vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and vitamin B6, including phosphorus, chromium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and folic acid.
The onion is quite known for its ability to make you shed a few tears while cutting it up. As I mentioned above, this is due to the organosulfur compounds present in the vegetable’s membranes that are released when it’s sliced.
Interestingly, these organosulfur compounds are loaded with flavonoids called anthocyanin and quercetin, which have potent anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties that help you fight off bothersome illnesses like hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis as well as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
I remember my college roommate used to eat raw onions whenever she felt a cold coming on. She told me her grandmother had advised her of this ever since she was a little girl. I thought she was crazy at the time, but come to think of it, she rarely ever got sick.
This again might be due to the smelly sulfur compounds in onions which have mucolytic properties that are efficient at preventing the excessive formation of mucus that can trigger the common cold. These compounds are also helpful in clearing clogged noses and relieving chest congestion.
Remarkably, the mucolytic properties of the sulfur compounds in onions can also ease the discomfort of sore throat and dry cough. Experts also share that the same compounds are very promising at helping hold back bronchitis, a disease in which the mucous membranes in the bronchial tubes get inflamed, leading to recurrent coughing and bronchospasms.
So next time you feel a cold coming on…you know what to do. Except – I recommend juicing the raw onion rather than eating it like an apple. That’s a little too hardcore.
Helps normalize blood sugar levels
Based on data collected from various clinical studies, experts report that the combination of chromium and allyl propyl disulfide in onions helps manage aldohexose in the body that can influence sugar levels and glucose tolerance. Further studies on the subject are still ongoing.
It can alleviate allergies
On top of its anti-inflammatory qualities, the quercetin present in the organosulfur compounds of the onion also has antihistamine properties. Apart from preventing the onset of asthma, quercetin can also counteract the effects of allergens that cause hives and eczema.
What’s really interesting about quercetin is unlike a few other beneficial compounds that can take a long time to be absorbed by the body, it can be easily metabolized by the system as soon as it enters the intestines. Quercetin even has the ability to linger in the circulatory system longer than its counterparts.
It boosts digestion
Inulen is a type of dietary fiber that helps the good bacteria in the digestive tract proliferate. Aside from optimizing the way food particles are broken down so the intestines won’t have a problem processing them, these bacteria also improve the way the digestive system gathers nutrients from the same. Inulen plays a key role in keeping the bowels regularly moving as well to stave off constipation.
How to Make Onion Juice (Taste Better)
- Make sure you choose onions that have a firm feel when you give them a gentle squeeze. Remember to check for soft spots as well. Keep clear from onions that smell a bit off and have a squishy texture. Those are rotten.
- The smaller the onion is, the stronger its flavor will be. Moreover, onions with darker colors also tend to taste sharper than their lighter counterparts. The best tasting onions are the large, Spanish onions since they’re sweeter and won’t influence your juices (as much).
- So…onion juice can come on a bit strong for most people. Unless you’re really, really into hardcore flavors (or a bit of a tastebud masochist), I highly recommend starting off in small doses and mixing the raw onion with plenty of flavor-diluting water-y fruits and veggies like celery, cucumber, and watermelon as well as sweeter notes like apple, carrot and orange.
- Last tip: Sweet peppers add a lot of sweet, watery juice and go well with onions. Oh, and pineapple is great for masking harsher flavors, including that of onions.