Which Is Healthier? Red Or White Onions
Posted on 27 Nov, 2015
Many think that the only difference is the appearance and taste, but when you examine the nutritional differences of red onions and white onions, one contains more health benefits than the other.
Both red and white onions are packed with beneficial nutrients and compounds. They are powerful superfoods with anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Both are also are low on the glycemic index, with a rating of 10, and they both provide about 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and the same amount of calcium per serving.
Overall, red onions are richer in antioxidant compounds like anthocyanins, which give them their red/purple color. At least 25 different anthocyanins have been discovered in red onions. Red onions are also higher in total flavonoids and quercetin, a powerful polyphenol compound that scavenges for free radicals in the body. The high flavonoid content in red onions also makes it a more effective natural blood thinner than white onions.
One other thing going for red onions are its better cancer prevention properties. The quercetin and allicin in red onions have been shown to reduce inflammation and be beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of cancer. According to one study, the risk of stomach cancer was reduced by 50% when half an onion was eaten daily.
In the plus column, white onions contain .5 grams more fibre and have a higher level of sulfur compounds. They however also contain more sugar, which give them their sweet flavor.
How To Get The Most Benefit From Your Onion
It has been found that the outer most layers of an onion has the highest level of flavanoids, so make sure not to over peel. According to a recent study, peeling the first two layers of the onion removes 75 % of the antioxidant anthocyanins.
Some recipes call for a specific type of onion, and some don’t. In those situations where you have a choice, I say go with the red.
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