Dark red onions are proven sources of goodness containing nutrients that are beneficial for maintaining good health such as flavonoids, quercetin, allicin, anthocyanin and Chromium, some of which have been implicated in fighting bacteria and fungi, reducing high blood pressure, promoting cardiovascular health and aiding weight loss.
As if those are not enough, research is suggesting that the plant, commonly used in cuisines around the world, contain nutrients which could fight off cancer of the colon and breast. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph Ontario, Canada and results were published in Journal Food Research International.
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The research team, led by PhD student, Abdulmonem Murayyan, found that colon and breast cancer cells placed in direct contact with quercetin extracted from red onions were effective in killing cancerous cells, although this ability varies among the five tested varieties, with the Ruby Ring variety proving to be the most efficient.
According to Murayyan, “We found onions are excellent at killing cancer cells.” He further added that “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. They promote an unfavourable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.”
The next step naturally will be to test this ability to kill cancerous cells in humans. Hopefully, the extracts could eventually be made available in nutraceuticals and pill forms, more so as the quercetin extraction method was a chemical-free method that uses super-heated water in a pressurised container.
Notes from Liberia: Photographer Yagazie Emezi documents the vibrancy and beauty of West Point women for Vogue magazine