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Onions and Your Heart

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While chopping onions may make you cry, their considerable cardiovascular benefits should bring a smile through your tears. Like garlic, onion consumption has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Onions, along with tea, apples and broccoli – the richest dietary sources of flavonoids – have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by 20% in one recent meta-analysis that reviewed the dietary patterns and health of over 100,000 individuals.

From a health promotion standpoint, the most pungent onions pack the biggest wallop. In one test of the flavonoid content of onions, shallots had six times the amount found in Vidalia onion, the onion with the lowest phenolic content. Shallots also had the most antioxidant activity. Western Yellow onions had the most flavonoids – 11 times the amount found in Western White, the type with the lowest flavonoids content. Unfortunately Americans have been opting for the sweeter onions of late. All types of onions are good additions to your diet but try to choose the stronger tasting ones when appropriate to your recipe.
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