Your kitchen pantry is full of ingredients that come packed with countless health benefits. One such vegetable, which can be easily found and is used every day in most households, is the onion But while you may know it as a flavor enhancer, did you know that the onion bulb is also known to lower blood sugar levels?
“There are several studies that suggest onion bulbs have blood sugar-lowering properties due to the presence of sulfur compounds. Allium cepa or onion bulb has a long history of medicinal use. The fleshy bulb that grows underground is mainly used medicinally and for food, but other parts of the plant are also used in traditional medicines,” said Dr. Archana Batra, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator.
A 2014 review article published in nutrition noted that onions may have a hypoglycemic effect in people with diabetes. The authors of the review said that sulfur compounds in onions, namely S-methylcysteine and the flavonoid quercetin, may be responsible for the effects on blood sugar. Another of the remarkable review results presented in 2015-The Endocrine SocietyThe 97th annual meeting in San Diego suggested that extract from an onion bulb can “strongly lower” the high blood sugar and total cholesterol levels when given together with the antidiabetic drug metformin.
As part of the research, three groups of rats with drug-induced diabetes were given various doses (200 mg, 400 mg and 600 mg per kilogram of body weight) of onion extract to see if it would improve the effect of the drug.
The researchers also gave the drug i onion to three groups of non-diabetic rats with normal blood sugar. The study found that of diabetic rats given 400 mg and 600 mg per kilogram of body weight “strongly reduced” their blood sugar levels by 50% and 35%, respectively, compared with an initial level. Onion extract also reduced total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats, with 400 mg and 600 mg having the greatest effects.
Lead study author Anthony Ojieh of Delta State University in Abraka, Nigeria, said in a press release at the time: “onion it is cheap and readily available and has been used as a nutritional supplement. It has the potential to be used in the treatment of patients with diabetes.”
Notably, the study also found that the onion The extract caused weight gain among non-diabetic rats, but not among diabetic rats. “Onions are not high in calories,” Ojieh explained. “However, it appears to increase metabolic rate and thereby increase appetite, leading to an increase in food intake that needed ‘further research’.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Onions, especially red ones, have a high fiber content. Spring onions have the least amount of fiber in the family. “Fiber takes time to break down and digest, resulting in a slower release of sugars into the bloodstream. Fiber also adds bulk to stools, which can help loosen them constipationa common problem among diabetics,” said Dr Batra indianexpress.com.
The two flavonols present in onions are anthocyanins, which give some varieties a red/purple color, and quercetin and its derivatives. Quercetin is a pigment present in red and yellow onions, Dr. Batra said. He added: “The blood glucose-lowering effects of onion bulbs can also be attributed to sulfur-containing compounds, such as allyl-propyl disulfide (APDS), which lowers blood glucose levels by competing with insulin (also a disulfide) for sites of insulin inactivation in the blood.liver.Quecertin and these sulfur compounds found in onions exhibit hypoglycemic properties by regulating the activities of certain enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and increasing insulin secretion and sensitivity.
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How much should one have?
In particular, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) encourages eating more non-starchy vegetables because they are low in calories and carbohydrates. According to the ADA, eating at least three to five servings of non-starchy vegetables, such as onions, per day, where one serving equals half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw, is a good amount. “However, if one eats more than one cup of cooked or two cups of raw onions in one meal, one is likely to add more carbohydrates to one’s daily intake,” he says.
Dr. Batra said that both type 1 and type 2 diabetics had “lower blood glucose levels after eating fresh onions according to some studies.” “Onions can be used in salads, vegetables, sandwiches, soups and stews, etc. A sustainable strategy for managing any level of health is to practice moderation in all things,” he said.
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