different types of healthy onions

Health benefits of onions

Onions are a brilliant staple vegetable and can make up the base of so many tasty dishes. From curries and stews to plates of pasta and sandwiches, onions are essential for flavour in lots of recipes. But did you know that this edible bulb boasts lots of health benefits?

The nutritional benefits of onions

Onions contain vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as minerals like sodium, iron, potassium, and dietary fibre.1 Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system, while B vitamins are essential for metabolism and nerve function.2 With so many vitamins and minerals, onions are an excellent healthy addition to any savoury dish. This common vegetable is also nutrient-dense, which means onions are high in nutrients while being low in calories. This quality makes them an excellent choice for dieters.3

The healthiest way to eat onions

If you’ve ever cut into a raw onion, you’ll know just how powerful they can be. This potency is because onions contain organic Sulphur compounds, which can irritate sensitive stomachs and be difficult for some to digest. These compounds provide many health benefits. Since they are partly destroyed by the heat of cooking, eating raw onions is the best way to get the most out of the vegetable.4

If the thought of eating raw onions in sandwiches or salads doesn’t appeal to you, try baking them in their skins. Cooking them in this way helps keep all the juices inside while resulting in a milder and more appealing flavour.

Healthy recipes with onions

There are innumerable ways to cook with onions, making them a perfect addition to your favourite healthy ingredients. Get the most out of them by eating them raw or cook them with a nutritious oil, like avocado or coconut oil.

Marinated slow-roasted onions

This beautiful side dish makes the most of onions. The perfect accompaniment to your favourite roast dinner, this recipe involves baking onions in their skins, which helps to preserve the nutritious juices often lost in cooking. You can find the full recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 4 large white or yellow onions
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped

Beet and caramelised onion tart

This easy vegetarian main combines onions with earthy beetroot, which is full of nutritional benefits. You can find the full recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 175g wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 100g butter
  • 100g grated carrot
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 3 medium beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250ml milk (either cow, goat, or oat milk)

Whatever way you cook with onions, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of favourite meals which make use of this wonderfully nutritious ingredient. Get creative, and see where onions can take you.

Last updated: 10 June 2020

FoodFood & DrinkNutrition