Long life expectancy can be attributed to healthy eating. As a general rule, a healthy, balanced diet should consist of at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, basing meals on higher fibre starchy foods like rice, having some dairy or dairy alternatives, eating some protein and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and eating in small amounts. When it comes to particular vegetables, experts have found one particular vegetable could help boost life longevity.
Onions are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks and chives.
These vegetables contain various vitamins, mineral and potent plant compounds that have been shown to promote health in many ways.
In fact, the medicinal properties of onions have been recognised since ancient times, when they were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease and mouth sores.
Protects the heart
Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which may lower heart disease risk and boost life expectancy.
Onions potent anti-inflammatory properties ma also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.
Why are onions so good for you?
Onions are natural flavour makers with many health benefits including being high in fibre, a great source of antioxidants as well as having a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1, which the bodies user readily that the water-soluble B1.
Some research has also found that they contain compounds that may have anti-ageing effects on the bodies by counteracting a process called glycation, which ages the body’s tissues and is thought to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Dr Brewer added: “Alliums may help with memory, for example spring onions contain good levels of memory-boosting nutrients such as folate and lutein.
Plus leeks contain five times more folate than onions, which is great news as good intakes of folate may help to protect us from Alzheimer’s disease.”
Onions are easy to incorporate into most dishes such as adding them raw to salads, caramelising them into savoury baked goods, sautéing them into meat, chicken or tofu stews, using them as a base for stocks and soups or preparing them in a hearty onion soup.
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