We’re always looking for ways to improve health through diet. Speaking to your doctor and following their advice is vitally important. But it’s also essential to take care of yourself in your everyday life. That’s where diet and exercise come in. Eating well can help you as part of your healthy routine. Today, we’re looking at the health benefits of onions, including how they help heart and kidney health. We know kidney health is of particular interest to many of our customers as it often goes hand in hand with blood sugar concerns.
A 2017 study examined the health impacts of onions and garlic — both are from the Allium family. They examined health information from more than 12,000 people for about six years. They used food questionnaires to look at people’s diets, measured their blood pressure and monitored heart and kidney health. People who ate high amounts of onions and garlic were 25 percent less likely to have hypertension, 32 percent less likely to have chronic kidney disease and 64 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease.
One of the ways onions helps blood pressure is that they contain prostaglandin. That reduces how viscous blood is, can lower blood pressure and can slow the progression of kidney disease in people who already have it. Another reason onions are so good for people with kidney disease is that they are an excellent way of adding flavor without adding salt. Cooking with onions boosts flavor, but 70 grams of onions only has three milligrams of sodium. Onions also contain chromium that helps the body break down carbs, fat and protein, taking stress off the kidneys.
Onions help the kidneys in other ways as well. Onions can increase the amount of urine the body puts out, which is excellent for people who suffer from frequent kidney infections. Moreover, onions can help prevent the formation of kidney stones and help break down kidney stones that have already formed.
One of the best things about onions is how easy they are to incorporate into the diet. They can be enjoyed raw in salads, on sandwiches or in wraps. Cooked, they can be used in so many savory sauces. Pasta sauces benefit from onions, as do gravies, stews and soups. They work wonderfully in omelets, quiches, stir-fries, roasted veggie mixes and on skewers. They can be sweetly caramelized and added to the top of meat or fish dishes. There are dozens of ways to enjoy onions that will benefit your health!