Onions and other lily plants such as garlic, shallots and chives contain substances containing sulfur and sulphide, which protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Gastric cancer is a common cancer whose occurrence is closely related to ingested food. In onion and garlic growing areas where the consumption of these lily plants is above average, the mortality rate was significantly lower for gastric cancer.
Protection against stomach cancer and colon cancer
In a controlled, prospective cohort study, a significant reduction in gastric cancer risk was demonstrated by consuming more than half an onion per day. Reduced risk of colon cancer is also observed with high consumption of garlic and onions. This protective effect is probably mainly due to the sulphurous ingredients of onions and garlic.
However, the question of whether the lily family only in the raw state have this effect or cooked or fried, so far not sufficiently clarified.
Onions and garlic against aggressive radicals
But onions have even more positive properties: they have a high content of the flavonoid quercetin. Quercetin has an antioxidant effect, helping the body to fight off the aggressive oxygen free radicals. Quercetin also has anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial properties. Flavonoids are heat stable, so that even in fried onions still a high proportion of it is included.
Because of their antimicrobial properties, onions were already around 1500 BC by the Egyptians. Estimated for the treatment of inflamed wounds. For this purpose, especially the thiosulfinates are responsible, which inhibit the arachidonic acid metabolism and thus the formation of inflammatory mediators. On this effect are also based various home recipes, such as sugar-cooked onions for sore throat and cough.
Alliin as a heart guard
Onions are also true heart protectors: their sulfur-containing compounds inhibit the clumping of platelets and thus prevent the formation of blood clots. The blood becomes "thinner", the whole blood circulation improves. Ajoene and allicin have proven to be particularly effective substances. Ajoen has a similarly strong influence on platelet aggregation as aspirin.
The proof of Ajoen so far succeeded only in fresh garlic, but not in tablets, oils or other garlic extracts. So if you want to take advantage of the health benefits of Ajoen, you have to consume fresh garlic and accept that the special fragrance that you then exhale through your breath and skin, other people do not always like.
Allicin is produced only when garlic is minced by the enzymatic cleavage of the substance alliin and is also responsible for the characteristic odor of garlic. Incidentally, Alliin is also responsible for the tears of onion cutting. The alliin of onions, however, has a slightly different structure and is converted by another enzyme. In the process, the lachrymatory substance of the onion is formed: propantial sulfoxide.
So you can enjoy the onion cake time and even do something for your health. But beware: the high fat content of onion pies can quickly affect your body weight. A good addition is a colorful salad - with lots of fresh onions.