Food facts about onions

The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) recently threatened to cut off the supply of these bulby vegetables to Southern Nigeria.

They say if the federal government of the nation fails to respond to the association’s demands of dully compensating some of the farmers affected by the protests across the nation, onions would no longer be made available to the Southern populace.

In the same vein, the association has gone ahead to inaugurate the launch of documented onion exports to other West African countries through the Illela land border in Sokoto State.

What this means is that onions would be quite expensive in many parts of Southern Nigeria and of course, this move will definitely affect the most populous black nation of the world.

This move has however drawn the attention of the GOURMET GUIDE234 team. So lets quickly look at the nutritional value and health benefits of onions.

While we take a swipe at these, let’s simply get ready to look for an alternative. If you live down south, note that this is the best time to embrace FAMILY FARMING and chooser more garlic in place of onions.

It is however important to take note of the following food facts:

  • Most onions have four common colours, these are purple, yellow, red, and white, although some can be referred to as peach-coloured.
  • Reports say there are lots of onions grown around the world.
  • Onions are one of the most commonly consumed vegetable crops in the world and they are widely eaten by Nigeria. In fact, there is hardly any local Nigerian dish that does not require the use of onions in its preparation. 
  • One serving of onion contains 45 calories.
  • The country that eats the most onions per capita is said to be Libya, where each person eats about 66.8 lbs of onions every year.
  • According to an old English Rhyme, the thickness of an onion skin can help predict the severity of the winter. Thin skins mean a mild winter is coming while thick skins indicate a rough winter ahead.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records revealed that the largest onion is ever grown weighed about 10 pounds 14 ounces. It was grown by V. Throup of Silsden, England.
  • Pace Foods (Picante sauce & salsas) uses about 21 million pounds of fresh onions every year.
  •  If you love eating onions and the onion pungent smell irritates you, you can get rid of that onion breath by eating parsley.
  • Onions have plenty of phytochemicals or phytonutrients and these are known to be natural compounds in the vegetables. These equally help to trigger healthy reactions in the body.
  • Onions are loaded with flavonoids and these are known to be responsible for pigments in the veggies.
  • Eating onions may also help to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s diseasecardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Onions are one of the many natural ingredients that can help you sleep much better at night. This is because they are rich in L-tryptophan, a form of amino acid that acts as a natural sedative. It also helps in reducing stress levels which also aids a night of good sleep.
  • A particularly valuable flavonoid in onions is quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant that may be linked to preventing cancer.
  • “It also might have heart health benefits, though more studies need to be done,” said Angela Lemond, a Plano, Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • “Onions are super-healthy,” said Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. “They are excellent sources of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.” 
  • Onions contain sulfur compounds and this is why your eyes will always drip water when you chop, slice or dice them and why the odour lingers on the breath.
  • Sulfides in onions contain necessary amino acids and since sulfur is one of the most common minerals in our body that assists with protein synthesis and building of cell structures,” said Lemond.
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