Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Onions and Health

The Odoriferous Onion

Stinking News Brings Tears to the Eye

‘If an onion rings in the forest, does anyone cry”?

As odd, whiff, honk… as it, drip, wipe ...may seem to you, an onion a day keeps the doctor away. And you thought it was your breath.

The National Cancer Institute peeled away some layers to report the 19 tear-jerking pounds of fresh onion the average American eats per year, scallions, leeks, sweet onions, contain antioxidants help block cancer, lower cholesterol, and thwart a horde of degenerative diseases. These soil-dwelling culinary icons belong to the lily, amaryllis, and Alliaceae family. The 145,000 acres planted each year by the 1000 onion farmers of America make sure that each Americans gets their fair share. Libya boasts the highest per capita consumption of onions at 66.8 pounds consumed per person each year.

Apparently our ancestors were not too far off embracing the underground bulb as so much more than a lowly root vegetable. Paintings of onions appear on the inner walls of the pyramids of the Old and the New Kingdom. Mummies were discovered with antiseptic onions stuffed in their pelvic regions, chest, legs, and the soles of their feet and tearfully within the eye sockets. It was believed that the pungency and magical powers would prompt the dead to breathe again. You think? The Israelites lament their Spartan desert diet enforced by the Exodus, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks, and the onions and the garlic.” During hard times, onions prevent thirst and were dried then preserved for later use.

The Egyptians tallied 8000 aliments of which onions would relieve. Sixth century BC India wisely celebrated onion as a diuretic, food for digestion, the heart, the eyes, and the joints. In Roman times, Pliny the Elder, catalogued the Roman beliefs that onions cured vision, induced sleep, healed mouth sores, dog bites, toothaches, dysentery and lumbago: It had to be the antibacterial and antiviral properties of the healing onion, the edible bulb guards our health with vitamins B6, B1, Folic Acid, fiber, potassium, and selenium, along with Quercetin, an Antioxidants which delays or slows the oxidative damage to cells and tissue of the temple. Studies have indicated that quercetin helps to purge free radicals from our dark, inner ecology,
Onion, leeks and their other family members contain 25 magically active compounds which inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, combat heart disease, inhibit strokes, lower blood pressure, LDL, protects against cataracts, and incites the immune system.

The heroes are not simply the nutritious vitamins, but Alliums, which incidentally, are anti fungal and antibacterial.

Put a close pin your nose and start peeling! However, deep-fried, greasy, onion rings, regrettably, don’t count. Sorry.

How can I keep my breath fresh?
· Chew on fresh parsley, but check a mirror before smiling
· Remember Chlorettes Gum and the green tongue?
· Chew on a citrus peel, anis or dill seed.
· Slowly chew on a fresh apple. This also reduces cavities!
· Munch on roasted coffee beans.
· Rinse your mouth with equal parts lemon juice and water. Pucker up!
· Go suck a cinnamon stick or a clove.

Perhaps, we should un-pucker a bit and get over the misunderstood odor and focus the glorious, health enhancing, distinctive, pungent flavor of onions. If your friends are true, they’ll accept you with open arms.

Members in good standing of God’s magnificent apothecary: Scallions, Spanish, Vidalia, Bermuda, or leeks, allium cepa and family are at most an indispensable, tasty food, and at best, magical medicine nurturing our Holy Temple.


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