When my kids were little, they would always ask why I cried so much when I cut onions. I used to tell them that it was because they made me so happy.

I know that it didn’t make much sense to them at the time, but now that they are a little older, they totally understand the value of this highly pungent orb.

Onions are a staple food

There is good reason why onions are a staple food in the cuisine of so many cultures worldwide. Not only do these savory bulbs give flavor to so many different styles of meals, their unique combination of nutrients helps prevent disease and support optimal health.

First cultivated in Asia over five thousand years ago, onions were ubiquitous among the ancient Egyptians, Indians, Greeks and Romans, for both food and medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians even buried onions in the tombs of their pharaohs, for them to eat in the afterlife.

There are two main varieties of bulb onions: storage onions, which are available year-round, and seasonal onions which are harvested in the spring and summer. Storage onions include yellow, white, red and Spanish onions; seasonal onions include sweet Vidalia and pearl onions, which are a smaller type that are often pickled.

Onions have an amazing nutritional profile

When you eat onions, your body will benefit from the following:

  • Biotin
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Quercetin
  • Vitamins B1 and B6
  • Vitamin C

Besides this amazing nutritional profile, here are 17 other reasons why you should love onions!

Onions help you sleep

While it sounds a bit bizarre, onions are even said to cure insomnia. Just cut into a raw onion and take five to 10 deep breaths of its aroma. For the best results, place it into a glass jar and put it beside your bed — take a whiff just before lying down.

Onions eliminate dark spots on the skin

To remove dark spots, slice a red onion and rub it directly onto dark areas of the skin after cleansing. Used on a daily basis it can help lighten hyperpigmentation.

Onions soothe menstrual cramps

Onions are known as one of the best soothing agents for menstrual cramps. Consuming raw onions 4 to 5 days before your period can help ease the pain.

Onions improve sex drive

The agent that gives onions their strong smell, allicin, is also responsible for increasing blood flow to the sexual organs, resulting in increased sex drive.

Onions strengthen the immune system

Along with a potent punch of antioxidants and flavonoids, which have various anti-inflammatory properties, onions are one of the best sources of the trace mineral selenium. One study found that selenium plays an important role in both the initiation and regulation of immune response to infection.

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