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Nutritional Value of Onions

Omkar Phatak Nov 28, 2018
One of the most important ingredients in many recipes around the world are onions. Let's see the nutritional value of onions and to know whether all the tears you endure in cutting onions, are really worth it!
Are you a fan of onions? Is every one of your spicy recipes incomplete, without addition of chopped onions? Then you might want to check out the nutritional value of onions. There are many varieties of onions and each one of them varies in its nutritional content.

Onion aka Allium

The botanical name of the common garden variety onion is Allium Cepa. There are evidences of onion being a food source from long back, as the Bronze age, which was about 5000 BC. So we can say, that onion is the oldest and widely used vegetable in the world.
They belong to lily family, which also has garlic as one of its members. There are over 600 species of onion spread all over the world.
Onions are an inseparable part of cuisine ingredients, across most cultures around the world. They are probably the only vegetables in the world, that make you weep!
Sulfide compounds, released after cutting onions make our eyes water profusely. Depending on the taste, there can be different types of onions, ranging from pungent, sweet, to even tangy. They grow underground and are vertical shoots of the plant, designed as food storage units.

Nutritional Value

There are hundreds of varieties of onions around the world. Here we present an analysis of the nutritional value of red, green, yellow and even cooked onions.

Red Onions

Red onions are used in salads, barbecue, stews, soups, hamburgers, sandwiches and even meat dishes. They are available throughout the year. Here is the breakdown of 160 gm of red onion's nutritional value.
A fresh, chopped 160 gm of chopped red onions will have about 64 Kcal of energy and following is its nutritional breakdown:
✭ Total Fat (Lipid) 16 gm
✭ Total Carbohydrate 14.94 gm
✭ Dietary Fiber 2.7 gm
✭ Total Sugars 6.78 gm
✭ Proteins 1.76 gm
✭ Vitamin A, Vitamin C (11.8 mg), vitamin B-12, Beta Carotene, Folate
✭ Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Fluoride

White Onions

White onions or pearl onions are sweet as compared to red onions due to a high water content. They are eaten raw and served in burgers, salads and soups like French onion soup. They are available throughout the year.
They have a low saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium content. A 100 gm white onion will give about 32 kcal of energy. The nutritional content in a 100 gm white onion would be as follows:
✭ 91.24 gm Water
✭ Protein 0.8 gm
✭ Dietary Fiber 0.9 gm
✭ Fat content 0.08 gm
✭ Total Sugars (Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Lactose) 5 gm
✭ Minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Selenium
✭ Vitamin C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Choline, Carotene

Green Onions

Green Onions or spring onions are basically onions which haven't matured and are uprooted early. Spring onion's nutritional facts are listed here. They are used in salads, soups, baking and in meat dishes. 100 gm of white onions will supply 27 Kcal of energy.
The nutritional value of 100 gm raw green onions would be as follows:
✭ Water 91.24 gm
✭ Protein 0.8 gm
✭ Total Fat 0.08 gm
✭ Carbohydrate 7.55 gm
✭ Total Dietary Fiber 0.9 gm
✭ Sugars (Glucose, Fructose, Lactose) 5.02 gm
✭ Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium
✭ Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Folic Acid, Choline
✭ Amino Acids like Tryptophan, Threonine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are also available throughout the year. They are used raw in salads, sandwiches, barbecues and in a variety of dishes and cuisines.
About 160 gm of chopped yellow onions will supply around 64 Kcal of energy and have the following nutrients:
✭ Total Fat 1g
✭ Dietary Fiber 3gm
✭ Total Carbohydrate 15 gm
✭ Sugars 7 gm
✭ Protein 2gm
✭ Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin E, Vitamin K

Cooked Onions

Cooking changes the nutritional content of any vegetable as it's boiled and drained. Let us see the nutritional value of onions which have been boiled, drained and cooked. A 100 gm of such cooked onions will supply about 44 Kcal of energy.
The nutritional breakdown of 100 gm cooked onions is as follows:
✭ Water 87.86 gm
✭ Protein 1.36 gm
✭ Total Fat 0.19 gm
✭ Carbohydrate 10.15 gm
✭ Total dietary fiber 1.4 gm
✭ Sugars (Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose) 4.73 gm
✭ Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Mangenese, Selenium
✭ Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6
✭ Folate, Beta Carotene
✭ Amino Acids like Trytophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Methionine, Cystine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Aginine, Histidine

Nutritional Benefits

After going through the onion's nutritional facts, there will be no doubt in your mind about nutritional abundance in onions. Since it is such a nutrients rich vegetable, onion's nutritional benefits are abundant. Here are some of the benefits of having onions as part of your diet:
✭ Eating onions boosts your appetite and prevents atherosclerosis.
✭ Onions extracts provide cures for cough, cold, bronchitis, as well as asthma.
✭ Onions can cause a marked reduction in bronchial spasms.
✭ Onion consumption reduces chances of colon cancer, stimulated growth of benevolent bifidobacteria and inhibits growth of potentially harmful bacteria in the abdominal tract.
✭ A nutrition fact about onions is that the sulfides contained in them can lower blood lipid levels and reduce blood pressure.
✭ Onions prevent blood clotting and platelet clumping.
Hope, onion's nutritional information provided here prompts you to make it a part of your diet. The nutritional value of onions and great taste they provide are the reasons for them being the second largest traded vegetable, after tomatoes.
So their nutritional value does make it worth all the tears. In passing, here's a tip, if you want to cut an onion without tears, peel it in cold water.