Onions and pepper are one the most popular ingredients in cooking in Africa, especially in Nigeria. A typical Nigerian food is incomplete without onions and pepper. Many people see it as a spice, not knowing that these ingredients are an avalanche of helpful nutrients.
The compound that makes you cry while slicing onions, called thiosulfinates, has been proven by studies to help prevent stroke, and it acts as a natural blood thinner, keeping the blood platelets from clumping.
Bell peppers, which are sweet and crunchy, provide almost twice your daily need for vitamin C, and it is an excellent source of Vitamin B6, which helps regulate metabolism.
Since these two ingredients are usually used together all the time, many people have often wondered what the health benefits of onions and peppers are.
Not to worry, this article will look at the health benefits of onions and pepper.
Health Benefits of Onions and Peppers
1. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cellular damage that contributes to diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Onions and pepper are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Onions contain 17 varieties of flavonoids. Also, red onions are rich in anthocyanin, a plant pigment in the flavonoid family. Studies have shown that those who consume anthocyanins regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, including certain types of cancer.
As a potent antioxidant powerhouse, pepper provides anti-inflammatory capacities that reduce your risk of chronic disease.
2. Helps control blood sugar.
Eating onions may help control blood sugar, which is especially significant for people with diabetes or prediabetes.
A study, which was conducted on people with type 2 diabetes showed that eating 3.5 ounces or 100 grams, of raw red onion significantly reduces blood sugar levels after four hours.
Also, quercetin, an anti-diabetic compound, interacts with the fat tissues, liver, pancreas and intestine to control the blood sugar level in the body.
3. Loaded with essential nutrients
Onion is a highly nutrient-dense vegetable, high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. One medium-sized onion has 44 calories and a high dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Onions and pepper contain a good amount of C, which helps regulate the immune system and tissue repair. A half cup of green bell peppers provides 59.9 milligrams of vitamin C, and a half cup of onions provides 5.9 milligrams.
Research has shown that onion can kill the H pylori bacteria, which makes it effective in preventing stomach ulcers.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin B, including B6 and folate, which is essential for nerve function, red blood cell production and metabolism.
4. May prevent certain cancers
Onions and peepers contain beneficial compounds and nutrients that help prevent specific cancers.
Onion is rich in Allium, which has been linked to reducing the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer. A review of studies has shown that people who consume a high amount of allium vegetables have a 22% reduced risk of developing stomach cancer.
Also, a 2014 review has shown that participants with the highest onion intake have a 15% reduced risk of colorectal cancer than those who consumed onion in small quantities.
Additionally, the dense content of antioxidants in bell peppers gives your body protection against certain cancers.
5. Improves heart health
Onions and pepper contain compounds and antioxidants that decrease triglyceride levels, fight inflammation, and reduce cholesterol levels which is helpful for the proper functioning of the heart.
Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of onions and pepper protect the body against blood clots and high blood pressure.
6. Fights inflammation
Onions and peppers contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to fight inflammation.
Onions contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which has been shown to inhibit inflammation-causing leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamines in osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Peppers, on the other hand, are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in conditions such as arthritis.
7. Aids digestion and weight loss
Another interesting health benefit of onions and pepper is that they can help with digestion and weight loss.
Both vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, which may lead to a reduction in overall calorie intake.
Onions contain a type of soluble fiber called inulin, which acts as a prebiotic and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy digestive system.
Peppers also contain fiber, which helps to regulate bowel movements and promote healthy digestion. Additionally, peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that has been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat burning, which may aid in weight loss.
As you have read in this article, there are some fascinating health benefits of onions and peppers. However, note that onions and pepper are healthy vegetables which are best eaten raw or cooked. Their nutrients are significantly reduced when fried in hot oil or overcooked.
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