Food – Onions

Onions may make you cry, but they certainly don’t give you any reason to be sad. On the contrary, onions offer a bounty of health benefits along with the tears.

A member of the allium family—like garlic, leeks, and chives—the onion has been appreciated for thousands of years. Egyptian slaves building the pyramids were fed a diet that included onions, and onions were a prized food of the well-to-do in ancient China.

During the Civil War, Union general Ulysses S. Grant showed how essential onions were by sending a message to Washington that read, “I will not move my armies without onions.” He got the onions—and his side won the war.

Coincidence? Maybe not. Thanks to the powerful flavonoid quercetin and a host of sulfur compounds, onions can make anyone a winner. Onions, which also have some potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins, kill germs, help your heart, and fight cancer. Plus, they add great flavor and a pleasant aroma to almost any dish.

Even when applied to the skin, onions have healing powers. Onions have been used to kill funguses, yeasts, and parasites, soothe the sting of insect bites, and even to ward off infection from stingray wounds.

Why the tears? Crushing the cells of an onion releases a sulfur compound. When this compound reacts with the moisture in the eyes, it turns into sulfuric acid which irritates the eyes. The eyes then produce tears to flush the sulfuric acid out.

When you think of the onion’s delicious taste and mighty health powers, the only tears you’ll cry will be tears of joy.

Eat and Heal, © 2001, 266–269.


Baked Onion Blossom


  • 2-4 medium red or sweet onions
  • 2-4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • dash salt
  • herbs/spices: dried rosemary, thyme, parsley, paprika, garlic granules or fresh minced, etc.


  • Slice onion ends; peel. Using a knife, make 4 vertical cuts in each onion; cut each quarter two more times, leaving root end intact. Gently pull onion “petals” down, separating segments.
  • Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Arrange onions root end down.
  • Drizzle oil into and around onion petals. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with herbs/spices.
  • Bake at 400˚ F for about 30-40 minutes or until onions are tender and edges are crispy.
  • Delectable served as a side dish with a green salad.