Friday, July 08, 2011


          About Onions…Onion is another one of those foods that surprise one, in terms of its qualities. Onions can be used in almost every type of food, including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. Usually chopped or sliced, they are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet.
             The whole plant is edible and is used as food in some form or another. While it is quite pungent in taste, it is not warming to the digestive tract the way most pungent in taste, it is not warming to the digestive tract the way most pungent foods are. It’s unusual or prabhav is its cooling virya. This means it has a cooling effect on the digestive tract, thereby inhibiting digestion. Those who have difficulty consuming raw onions will attest to this. And this why raw onions are not on Vatas most recommended list. Cooking onions sweetens and lightens them, thereby making them balancing for both Pitta and Vata in gentle qualities. The pungency of onion in all forms makes it well suited for Kapha.
              Wide-ranging claims have been made for the effectiveness of onions against conditions ranging from the common cold to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anticholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties, such as quercetin. Preliminary studies have shown increased consumption of onions reduces the risk of head and neck cancers. Onions may be beneficial for women, who are at increased risk for osteoporosis as they go through menopause, by destroying osteoclasts so they do not break down bone. As onions are sliced or eaten, cells are broken, allowing enzymes called alliinases to break down amino acid sulphoxides and generate sulphenic acids. Tear glands produce tears to dilute and flush out the irritant

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