Beauty Diet Close-Up: Onions

I’ve always harbored a feeling that onions are a healthy food.  While low in calories ( 46 calorie per 1/2 cup)  and virtually fat-free  I was surprised to learn that onions are pretty light in nutrients.  However onions contain substances which are linked to reduced risks for heart disease, asthma and some types  of cancers especially colon cancer.  For example onions are  extremely high  in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve  breathing. 

From a beauty aspect, quercetin has been linked to elastin growth–those tissue fibers essential for smooth, wrinkle-free skin.  Quercetin also  helps vitamin C  function in the body   increasing circulation and reducing inflammation– both of which are necessary  for healthy collagen. But wait there’s more. Onions  have been used in wound healing, sore throats,skin  infection and scar reduction. 

Prctically every cuisine makes liberal use of onions.  They add so much flavor, but when using onions its a  shame to add too much fat, carbs  or salt– eg onion rings, cheeseburgers with onions and  creamed onions.  One of my favorite ways to eat onions is in French onion soup.  Fully loaded with bread and melted cheese, it has a ridonkulus calorie count.  Here is my stripped down but still delicious version updated from Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.

Anti-Aging Onion Soup

Ingredients:  Four large Spanish onions, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 quarts of low sodium chicken or beef broth, 2 tablespons of flour, 1/2 cup white wine, grated  Parmasan cheese

Instructions:  Spray large heavy  pot with Pam.  Heat the olive oil and saute the onions slowly  until soft and deep golden brown. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the hot broth and wine, then  cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.  To serve, ladle into a warm bowl and sprinkle with about one tabespoon of Parmasan cheese.

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