Onions Have A Powerful Anti-Obesity Potential, According To Science - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Onions Have A Powerful Anti-Obesity Potential, According To Science

A recent study suggests onions might be able to help in the fight against visceral fat thanks to a potent polyphenol.

By Yo Zushi

It’s easy to take for granted a vegetable that has been cultivated for at least 5,500 years and was as ubiquitous on the menus of the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians as it is today in Italian, French, Chinese and almost every other cuisine. The onion is a utility player that rarely gets the glory; it’s the part of a recipe that your eyes skim over. After all, despite its use as a metaphor for hidden layers by the Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede, the Swiss-German author Hermann Hesse and even Shrek, can we expect to learn anything new about a plant so deeply rooted in our eating habits?

The answer, as it turns out, is yes. According to scientists at Hokkaido Information University in Japan, it contains an abundant supply of a flavonoid called quercetin that not only exhibits antioxidant and antihypertensive effects, but can also help combat excessive visceral fat – the harmful kind that wraps around your abdominal organs.

In a 12-week trial, subjects ingested 9g of quercetin-rich onion powder per day, while maintaining their usual levels of exercise and dietary habits. At the end of the trial, those with low levels of the ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were found to have far less visceral fat build-up and healthier liver function than the control group. This, the authors suggest, shows that the humble onion may be beneficial for preventing obesity. The next time onions make you cry, you might find that they’re tears of gratitude.

This article was first published on Men’s Health UK.

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