Skip to content

Purple Onion

January 15, 2021
healthy benefits of red onion

The purple onion , also known as red onion, is an excellent option to add flavor and color to your meals. Since it is slightly milder than the white and yellow varieties, it is often eaten raw in sandwiches, hamburgers, and salads; However, there is something where the purple onion seems to outperform its close cousins.

Scientific evidence suggests that, thanks to its high content of flavonoids and sulfur compounds , this type of onion may have even more powerful health properties.

Keep reading below to learn about its characteristics , nutritional properties , benefits and common uses , among other interesting facts.

Why is it good to eat red onion? What are its properties due to?

Numerous studies and research have talked about the importance of eating onion on a regular basis, no matter the color or variety. In any case, it is a vegetable rich in sulfuric compounds and antioxidants, the consumption of which seems to play a role in the prevention and relief of many diseases. So what is special about purple onion?

Precisely, that vibrant purple color is the answer. Being loaded with anthocyanins and other flavonoids, the skin of this onion takes on its distinctive purple hue. The purple onion is estimated to contain approximately 25 different anthocyanins.

Recent scientific findings indicate that in addition to their antioxidant effect and their power to fight free radicals, anthocyanins also exhibit anti-inflammatory , antiviral and anticancer properties. 1 2 . Its use has been linked to a lower risk of developing common and chronic conditions, from colds and urinary tract infections to hypertension, heart disease, cancer, dementia and obesity.

The purple onion owes its color to the presence of anthocyanins in the surface layers of each ring. These compounds are also responsible for the purple color in other fruits and vegetables, such as eggplants, blueberries, purple corn, purple sweet potatoes, and cherries. Being a type of water soluble pigment, anthocyanins fade quickly and this is why purple onion loses its color during cooking.

In addition, purple varieties are rich in vitamin C , quercetin , sulfur compounds , iron , chromium , fiber, and other essential nutrients for our health.

6 healthy benefits of red onion

You may already be a lover of purple onion, but you will be even more so after knowing the following benefits and properties:

1. Helps stop inflammation and oxidative damage

As we mentioned before, the purple or red onion is an excellent source of the antioxidant-flavonid quercetin and the polyphenolic antioxidants anthocyanins. These antioxidants help slow down the oxidation of dietary / cellular fatty acids and eliminate free radicals, hence their regular consumption drastically reduces oxidative damage and inflammation throughout the body.3 4.

Many experts claim that obtaining quercetin from onions is more effective than taking quercetin extracts in supplement form. Not only can the body better recognize the nutrient when it is in its natural form, but it has also been linked to the action of other synergistic components.

2. Offers natural protection against cancer and heart disease

All onions, especially purple, are endowed with anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties5 6 . Scientific evidence confirms that onion and other bulbs of its family (garlic,leeks,chives, etc.) are rich in very special active compounds, the effect of which can successfully inhibit the development of cancer cells.

On the other hand, its sulfur compounds help lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, while promoting the increase in good cholesterol (HDL). It has been observed that there is a link between these compounds and an improvement in the function of the cell membrane of red blood cells, as well as in the use of oxygen7 ; All of this leads to better fat metabolism and better cardiovascular function.

Another benefit to consider is its anticoagulant power (fibrinolytic) 8 , which influences toprevent the formation of clotsthat can obstruct the arteries and lead to heart disorders.

3. It is a good ally against diabetes

Red onions are a good source of chromium, a mineral whose action helps lower blood sugar and increases cellular sensitivity to insulin . In fact, different investigations have reported that chromium deficiency increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease in the long term.9 10.

In addition, it is a vegetable with a low glycemic index and few calories , hence most diabetics can use it safely to add flavor and texture to their meals.

4. Helps relieve cold and flu symptoms

Another of the best known medicinal uses of red onion is the relief of flu or cold symptoms. It is usually a very effective remedy for coughs , sore throats , nasal congestion, and excess phlegm . Some popular preparations are onion tincture, juice, syrup, and tea.

See below: How to Make Onion Syrup with Honey for Cough and Cold?

5. Supports healthy skin and hair

Onion juice has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial properties … and the red onion is no exception in its family. It is said that it can be very effective in solving some skin problems, for example to soothe acne , relieve insect bites and reduce blemishes .

Additionally, vitamin C assists in the construction of collagen, a component of the skin that is essential for elasticity and wound healing.

Onion juice with honey or olive oil is a widely used remedy to combat blemishes and redness on the skin of the face.

Likewise, applying onion juice / tincture to the scalp , or putting a chopped onion in the shampoo, can help strengthen hair, accelerate its growth, combat hair loss and prevent dandruff.

More details in: Benefits of Onion for Hair (Juice, Shampoo, Mask, Oil)

6. Helps strengthen the immune system

Including red onion every day in your diet is a simple way to strengthen your defenses and prevent common infections. Its content of vitamins ( C, B6, folate ) and minerals ( manganese, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron ) contributes to a better functioning of our immune system11 12.

In summary, the purple onion is attributed properties :

  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticancerígenas
  • Antidiabetics
  • Immunostimulants
  • Digestive
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anticoagulants
  • Detoxifying

It may interest you:

Recommended video-recipe – Fresh Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

Does the purple onion have contraindications?

Despite its excellent health benefits , it is known that excessive onion consumption can backfire in some cases. The purple onion is no exception. Eating large portions of onion every day can cause side effects, including excess gas, indigestion, diarrhea, irritation, etc.

People allergic to onion should proceed with great caution. If you consume red onion, or come into contact with it, you could experience skin rashes, redness, an upset stomach, among other symptoms.

Learn more about the topic in Onion – Types, Characteristics, Properties, Contraindications and More


+ posts

My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.