Onions are a member of the Allium family of vegetables.
They are typically long, cylindrical structures that taper at both ends.
The three most common varieties of onions are white, yellow, and red.
Onions give you more than just flavoring; they also provide some nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fiber.
Raw onions tend to taste potent and pungent and are often used as an ingredient in salads to provide flavor and boost the nutrient content of the dish.
Eating raw onions can trigger a response in some people, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. In addition:
Raw onions may trigger allergies
Food allergies occur when your immune system reacts adversely to certain proteins found in food.
This immune response can affect multiple organs and systems, with skin, gut, heart, respiratory and nervous systems.
Common food allergies are:
- Tree nuts
A few studies have shown that some people are allergic to onions.
Onion belongs to the Liliaceae family, which also includes chives, garlic, asparagus, and leeks.
Research has shown that people may experience allergic reactions to other Liliaceae plants and grass-pollen if they are allergic to one of them.
Raw onion causes allergy symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and nose, and contact dermatitis.
In some instances, contact dermatitis can be caused by handling raw onions without actually consuming them.
Onions may trigger an acid reflux
People with acid reflux, whether episodic or chronic, should avoid certain foods.
If you suffer from frequent episodes of heartburn or GERD, onions can be a trigger for symptoms to worsen.
Raw onion can also cause heartburn in many individuals, a condition where acid rises in the stomach and causes a burning sensation in the gut, chest, and throat pain.
Eating raw onions may also trigger symptoms of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
GERD is a condition in which the stomach contents regurgitate into the esophagus, affecting reflux and digestion.
In some cases, GERD can even lead to more serious health problems that affect your sleep and general well-being when left untreated
Other common food items that are problematic for people with heartburn and GERD include garlic, spicy foods, citrus food, and alcohol.
If you experience heartburn after eating onions, try laying off spicy foods for a bit.
If you experience regular episodes of heartburn, you might want to see a medical professional.
May aggravate symptoms of IBS
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder of the large intestine which causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
IBS can have many causes including food sensitivities, emotional stress, and infections.
While IBS is troublesome, but a not life-threatening condition.
It usually affects women more than men.
People with IBS often suffer from triggers that worsen their symptoms.
One of these may be stress or certain foods, such as onions.
Scientists have found that people with irritable bowel syndrome may want to avoid eating onion and garlic in order to reduce uncomfortable symptoms such as gas and bloating.
Other foods that should be avoided if you have IBS are:
May cause bad breath
Onions are part of the allium family which also includes shallots and garlic.
These vegetables produce sulfuric chemicals which, when metabolized, may appear in your bloodstream.
Blood is circulated throughout the body, and if you consume a large number of onions, your sweat and other bodily fluids may begin to take on their scent.
The sulfur compounds found in onions mainly break down in the gut and lead to a characteristic sulfurous odor.
This odor is then breathed out and can lead to heavy onion breath.
The bad breath symptoms can be immediate and continue for the duration that the vegetable is in your system.
Consuming pineapples and carrots can help reduce onion breath.
You can eat them at the end of each meal to reduce the odor.
Is eating raw onion harmful?
Some people might experience stomach discomfort or indigestion, but there are also some rare cases of severe complications.
For example, if someone has an allergy to onion or is dehydrated, eating raw onion can lead to the development of hemolytic anemia.
Onions are eaten raw for culinary purposes all over the world.
They are crushed, diced, sliced, or cut into wedges for salads and sandwiches.
Raw onion can also make you cry. It also has a strong flavor that is not enjoyed by everyone.
The active ingredient is called quercetin and it is an antiseptic that irritates the eyes and causes us to tear up.
However, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant compound that has been linked to fighting free radicals and reducing the risk of cancers and other severe diseases.
Eating raw onion benefits
Good source of prebiotics
Onions are rich in fiber and prebiotics, which helps with optimal gut health.
Onions contain inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which are needed by gut bacteria to survive.
Eating a diet rich in prebiotics will increase the number of friendly bacteria in your gut and improve immunity.
In addition, a diet rich in prebiotics could help improve the absorption of important minerals like calcium, which may have benefits for bone health.
Aids in bone health
USDA data shows that one onion contains 25.3 milligrams of calcium, a nutrient essential for maintaining healthy bone density.
One way to improve your bone health is by adding a serving of onion to your salad.
Onion consumption may help to lower oxidative stress, revitalize antioxidant levels and maintain healthy bones.
This could have a positive effect on preventing osteoporosis and stimulating bone production.
Contain anti-cancer properties
A 2019 study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology conducted a study that found that people who consume a lot of allium vegetables, such as onions have a significantly lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
One cup of chopped onions contains more than 13% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help to counter the formation of cancer-causing compounds.
Rich in antioxidants
Different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants can be found in onions. In fact, there are over 25 different varieties that provide antioxidant support to the cells.
Antioxidants reduce oxidation balance in the body. Oxidation causes cellular damage and is a contributing factor to some diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Best time to eat raw onions
It lowers down the level of sugar in your blood, causing a reduction of activity in the human body.
If you have IBS, onions probably aren’t a good idea during any part of the day.
However, those with GERD should steer clear of onions at night, as they can trigger digestive problems.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.