Onions perplex me.  Do they count as a serving of vegetables? What nutrients do they have? And how do I stop crying?


Once I figured out the answer to the last question — stick them in the fridge before cutting and no more tears! — I decided to tackle the others.

Turns out onions are high in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Chromium (to help your body deal with insulin and control blood sugar)
  • Fructans (prebiotics that encourage growth of beneficial bacteria)
  • Flavonoids (an antioxident to prevent free radical damage) and
  • Organosulfur (to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol)

They also contain some B6, calcium, iron and potassium, plus a smidgen of zinc and selenium.

[As I learn more and more about foods, though, I’m shocked to see how much naturally occurring sugar a lot of unusual suspects contain — a medium onion can have about 9g! Never would have guessed…]

And YES, a half cup of onion counts as a vegetable serving.

I should confess my love affair with onions is a recent one. I don’t remember seeing too many at home while growing up and when I started to cook for myself I figured my meals were fine without them.

But when my onion-and-garlic-aholic bf started making me dinner, that’s when I learned how tasty and flavorful an onion sauteed in olive oil or roasted in the oven can be. Plus, look at those health benefits! I learned my lesson and now always have a few in the fridge. Bonus: they’re so cheap!

Now here’s another question…how do I get the smell off my hands?