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.