Red onion is a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world. They add flavor and depth to dishes, but they are also full of health benefits. While there are different types of onions. Let’s take a look at the red onions

Most commonly seen sliced on the side of your favorite burger or used as an ingredient in salad dressing, a red onion can be more than just an additive to your food.

Not only does this bulb pack a punch of flavor with little to no calories, but it also has some surprising health benefits. In fact, it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, mostly because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

It has also been shown to fight food poisoning and even prevent cancer. But that’s not all. Let’s look at ten great reasons to add red onion to your diet!


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Red onions on white background

Health Benefits of Red Onions

1. Antioxidants

Red onions are also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect the body against damage from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and lead to inflammation and disease.

Red onions are rich in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant with numerous health benefits. In fact, red onions’ health benefits are due to this nutrient. T

hey are also rich in vitamin C, another antioxidant with numerous health benefits, including fighting against infections and boosting the immune system

2. Prevents cancer

Red onion contains high levels of quercetin, a type of flavonoid that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Quercetin works in various ways including neutralizing harmful free radicals that can cause cell damage, potentially leading to cancer.

Quercetin also prevents cancer by inducing cell death and inhibiting its growth. In one test tube study, quercetin was shown to suppress the growth of cancerous cells and induce cancer cell death in prostate cancer.

More studies have shown the same effects on other types of cancers like ovarian, colon, breast, blood, bladder, and lung cancers.

3. Boosts immunity

We are all at risk of illness, disease, and infection at some point in our lives. A strong immune system makes it less likely that these problems will occur, and more likely that your body will recover quickly and effectively when they do happen. One way to ensure you maintain a strong immune system is to consume immune-boosting foods like red onions.

Red onions are a great source of antioxidants, which boost immunity. They contain vitamins A and C, as well as quercetin and sulfur compounds. These nutrients work together to improve the body’s ability to fight off infections.

4. Promotes a healthy digestive system

A healthy digestive system can benefit your overall health in numerous ways, including making it easier to lose weight, boosting your immune system, and improving brain functions. One way to ensure you experience these benefits is to add red onions to your diet.

Red onions are a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. Fiber aids digestion by helping move food through the digestive tract. Red onions also contain prebiotics, which are a type of dietary fiber that helps feed the good gut bacteria. This helps increase their diversity and numbers, thus enhancing your digestive health even more.

Additionally, red onions contain sulfur compounds that can help reduce the growth of bad bacteria. So if you’re looking to improve your gut health, adding red onion to your diet is a great way to do so!

5. Promotes heart health

Red onions are a rich source of antioxidants and offer several benefits for heart health. Studies have shown that red onions can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Red onions also contain quercetin, a compound that has been shown to protect against heart damage. In addition, the sulfur compounds in red onions can help to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation. All of these factors make red onions an excellent choice for those looking to improve their heart health.

6. Lower blood pressure

According to a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, consuming red onion can help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. The study found that those who ate a diet rich in flavonoids (including onions) had a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In one human study, taking a daily quercetin supplement was shown to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5mmHg and 26mmHg, respectively.

In a  lab study, mice supplemented with 500mg of quercetin daily recorded an average drop of systolic and diastolic blood pressures by 18% and 23%, respectively.

Although more studies may be required to confirm these findings further, these studies are a sign that quercetin can indeed lower blood pressure levels and is worth looking into.

7. Improves oral health

We all know that brushing and flossing are important for maintaining good oral health, but did you know that red onion can also help?

Red onion contains sulfur compounds that have antibacterial properties. This means they can help fight the bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Additionally, onions can help reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.

Plus, the high levels of antioxidants in red onions can help reduce any inflammation in the mouth and speed up healing.

8. Promotes hair growth

One of the commonly known benefits of red onion is its ability to promote hair growth. This is due to the high concentration of sulfur in red onions, which helps improve blood circulation to the scalp and encourages hair follicles to grow. This prevents hair loss and scalp conditions like dandruff. So if you’re looking for a natural way to thicken your hair, start by adding red onion to your diet.

You can also make red onion juice and apply it overnight before washing it out during your wash days.

9. Tones your skin

When applied topically, red onions can help tone your skin and improve your complexion. Antioxidants in red onions fight free radicals, which can damage your skin cells, leading to premature aging. Additionally, the sulfur content of red onion can help to reduce acne breakouts by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria. To reap the benefits of red onion for your skin, simply chop up a few slices and apply them directly to a clean face. Wait 10-15 minutes before washing off with warm water.

10. Prevents osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide, especially post-menopausal women. While many medications and treatments are available, making dietary changes is often the first step in managing the condition. Adding red onion to your diet is a simple change that can have a significant impact on your health.

According to a study published in the journal Food & Function, red onion may help with osteoporosis prevention. The study found that quercetin, a compound found in red onions, helped keep bones healthy and strong in rats. The rats who were given quercetin had higher bone density than those who didn’t receive it. Also, their bones were less likely to break after being subjected to stress. Not only that, but red onion also contains selenium which has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and tissues.

11. Fights inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. But there’s good news: adding red onion to your diet may help fight inflammation.

One study found that just one-half cup of chopped red onion can decrease the level of inflammatory biomarkers in the body by nearly 30%.

In another study, consuming raw onion on a daily basis reduced levels of IL-6, an inflammatory marker linked to various chronic illnesses.

Red onions may also improve various inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. In one study, women with rheumatoid arthritis who took quercetin supplements daily for 8 weeks experienced reduced after-activity pain as well as morning pain and stiffness. The study also recorded an overall reduction in inflammatory markers throughout the body.

12. Relieving allergies

The anti-inflammatory benefits of quercetin may help combat seasonal allergies. One study found that quercetin inhibited the production of histamine, an inflammatory compound. Quercetin may also help reduce the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose.

13. Lowers blood sugar

Red onion contains chromium, which is an essential mineral for regulating blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity. When chromium levels are low, blood sugar can become unstable. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in chromium can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Adding red onions to your diet is a great way to get more chromium into your system and help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Besides, red onion is a low-glycemic food, which means it won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar levels.

What about Pickled Red Onions?

When you think of pickling, you probably think of cucumbers, but onions are another great vegetable to pickle, and pickled onions are a great way to enjoy your red onions.

This food preservation technique results in tangy, crisp onions that make an excellent garnish for your favorite burgers or sandwiches.

They add the perfect hint of sweet and savory to your meal without being overpowering or leaving your breath smelling unpleasant. Plus, they’re low in calories and high in fiber.

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions are not only incredibly healthy, but they’re also easy to make. All you need is a large red onion, some 12 ounces of water, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Some people may include a sweetener.


  • Slice onion. pack the slices in a glass jar or container, then add in the pickling solution and ensure the onions are fully covered with the liquid.
  • Combine salt, water, and sweetener in a pot and bring them to simmer
  • Add the brine solution to the onions and make sure the onions are covered with the liquid. Leave 1-inch between the onions and lid
  • Seal it with a lid and let it sit in a cool place for 24 hours.
  • Open the jar to release the build-up of slat
  • Enjoy

Tasty ways to enjoy pickled red onions

In salads

Pickled red onions add a delicious tangy flavor to any salad. They are also beautiful, so they can really brighten up a dish. Some ways to enjoy pickled red onions in your next salad include:

  • Adding them to a green salad for a pop of color and flavor
  • Tossing them with roasted Brussels sprouts and nuts for a hearty winter salad.
  • Mixing them into a quinoa or grain salad for extra zing.
In hummus

You can elevate this classic Mediterranean dish with an addition of pickled red onions. The sharpness of the onions pairs perfectly with the creamy hummus, resulting in an irresistible appetizer.

In guacamole

Add pickled red onions to your guacamole for a tangy twist. Start by mashing up the avocado in a bowl, then mix in diced pickled red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve with tortilla chips or use as a condiment for tacos or burritos.

Add a spoonful in soup

If you want a little zing in your soup, add a spoonful of pickled red onions. The vinegar and acidity will brighten up any bowl, while the onions add a lovely sweetness and crunch. Just be careful not to add too many – a little goes a long way.

Combine it with pasta

If you’re looking for a way to add some excitement to your typical pasta dish, look no further than pickled red onions. Their unique flavor and crunchy texture are the perfect complements to any pasta dish.

Add to mashed potato

There’s no better way to boost a humble mashed potato dish than by adding in some tangy, acidic pickled red onion. The sharpness of the onion will cut through the richness of the potatoes, and the color will add a beautiful pop of pink, making the dish more appealing.

Final Thoughts

Red onions aren’t just tasty – they can help keep you healthy! They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that have been shown to boost your health in different ways. These may include fighting inflammation, boosting the immune system, maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, promoting healthy digestion, fighting cancer, and even enhancing hair growth. While you can enjoy red onions in their regular form, pickling can give them an exciting flavor twist and make them more enjoyable.

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