If you suffer from chronic pain, you may find an inexpensive and non-addictive painkiller right in your own kitchen. Onions, for all their stinky, tear producing qualities; have been found to be extremely helpful in fighting pain and inflammation.
According to Arthritis Today onions have components or flavonoids that fight inflammation in the joints of arthritis sufferers. One in particular, quercetin, “inhibits inflammation causing leukotriens, prostaglandins and histamines in Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis”. In English, quercetin can reduce inflammation. A few extra benefits of quercetin include: lowering bad cholesterol, reducing heart disease and help slow the progression of cancer.
For arthritis sufferers bone loss is of major concern. Onions have a flavonoid that acts much like Fosamax, a bone strengthener, known as GPCS (gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cystein sulfoxide). In an article posted on the Medical Moment website (http://www.medicalmoment.org/_content/healthupdates/apr04/2185559.asp), Fosamax is a very successful drug “however, the beneficial effects gradually disappear when the drug is discontinued”. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life using this drug, it is not a viable solution to maintaining bone density. One must also consider the side effects of such a drug.
One contradicting side effect of the drug is that is may cause bone and joint pain. Arthritis sufferers have enough pain to deal with, why use a drug which could continue or increase it? Like most prescribed medications, the lists of side effects are not pleasant; ulcers, nausea, rashes and acid backup are just a few. Those subjected to routine cortisone injections may also experience a reversal in bone loss and damage with regular meals that include onions. Knowing this, taking a few minutes to slice up an onion to add to your meal doesn’t sound like bad idea.
With low calories and very little fat, onions are a healthy addition to any meal or snack. They are equally healthful raw or cooked. One catch though, not all onions are created equal. A study conducted at the Cornell University in Ithaca showed that some onions have better disease fighting chemicals then others. For example, shallots and yellow or red onions are the most beneficial where as white and sweet onions scored lowest.
Depending on personal taste onions can be added to most meals. Slice some raw onion for a sandwich or salad, or chop and cook them up in an omelet. Dinner time is a great opportunity to fry up some onions in butter or margarine, maybe mix in some mushrooms and peppers then add it to your steak, burger or chicken. Be creative. Try different types of onions in different ways. The healthful benefits are worth it!