Know why eating onions might be the sweetest thing for diabetics!

Attention all onion lovers and diabetics! Have you ever thought about combining these two seemingly unrelated things? Well, hold on to your taste buds and blood sugar levels because I have some exciting news for you! The humble onion may actually have some surprising health benefits for those with diabetes.
Onions on a wooden background
Onions are a superfood for diabetics. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Manasvi Jain Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 18:31 pm IST
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India is deemed the ‘diabetes capital of the world’, but it also happens to be a treasure trove of home remedies or ‘dadi ke nuskhe’, which can be effective in combating this lifestyle disease. During a chat with my mother about diabetes, I was caught by surprise when she told me that consuming onions is an effective home remedy to control blood sugar levels.

When I decided to look up some research, I stumbled upon multiple studies to support this claim. Let’s take a look at benefits of onions for diabetics.

Onions are a staple vegetable in many cuisines around the world, prized for their distinct flavour and versatility in cooking. However, their benefits go beyond taste and nutrition. “Onions contain fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fat, sugar, vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. Due to so many nutrients, they are being used as traditional treatments across the world including in India. However, whether onions are beneficial for diabetics or not is still not clear,” says dietician and nutritionist Avni Kaul. She further points towards some studies that show the benefits of onions for diabetics and believes that more research might be needed. Here is what the studies claim:

onion for diabetes
Onions are extremely healthy and shockingly, are magical for diabetics! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Benefits of eating onions for diabetics

1. They regulate blood sugar levels

Onions contain compounds called flavonoids and sulfur compounds, which have been found to have blood sugar-lowering properties. These compounds can help regulate insulin levels and improve glucose metabolism, which is particularly beneficial for people with diabetes.

A 2011 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that consuming onion extract for four weeks significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that daily consumption of raw onions reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes.

2. Improve heart health

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, so maintaining good heart health is crucial. Onions are rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which have been shown to have a protective effect on the heart.

The study also found that consuming onions can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 100 grams of onions daily for eight weeks saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure levels.

heart healthy with onions
You might be able to keep your heart healthy by having raw onions! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Onions boost immune function

People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, so maintaining good immune function is important. Onions are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can help strengthen the immune system and protect against infections.

A study published in the ResearchGate found that consuming onions regularly can help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections, particularly in older adults.

4. Onions promote weight loss

Maintaining healthy weight is important for people with diabetes, as excess weight can exacerbate the condition. Onions are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help promote satiety and reduce overall calorie intake.

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Studies have found that consuming onions can help reduce body weight and improve body composition, particularly in people with obesity.

onions for weight loss
Onions can help you lose weight and keep your diabetes symptoms in check! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Also read: Looking for an Ayurvedic solution to diabetes? Try sadabahar

5. Support digestive health

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing digestive issues, such as constipation and gastroparesis. Onions are rich in prebiotic fiber, which can help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestive function.

The study mentioned before also found that consuming onions can help improve digestive function and reduce symptoms of constipation in older adults.

Overall, onions offer a range of health benefits for people with diabetes. So, the next time you’re cooking, don’t forget to add some onions to your dish!



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About the Author

Manasvi Jain is a professional writer with a keen interest in spreading awareness about various health and wellness issues through her articles. She writes well researched articles by connecting with various doctors and health experts. ...Read More

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