Onions are a staple in Indian cuisine, providing a robust and intense flavor to daily meals. Beyond its culinary role, the humble onion offers numerous health and beauty benefits. While you may have heard about its positive effects on health and hair growth, this article explicitly explores onions’ skin benefits. Including onions in your skincare routine can yield significant results for your skin over a few months. Discover why incorporating onions into your skincare regimen is beneficial and learn how to maximize these advantages.
What Are Onions?
Originating in Asia (eastern and western parts), the onion or ‘bulb onion’ is one of the most widely cultivated vegetable species of the genus Allium. The temperate crop usually grows under all climatic conditions and is consumed all around the globe. Onions are the short stems of the onion plant containing fleshy, juicy, bluish-green leaves. Found at the base of the plant, the bulbs preserve food to help the plant survive several harsh climates. Some of the most common onion varieties are red onion, white onion, green onion, yellow onion, sweet onion, shallot, leek, etc. A sharp, pungent flavor and a strong taste characterize them. The vegetable has long been admired for its medicinal properties. But its use in culinary dishes, pickles, chutneys, and salads is more common nowadays.
Nutrition Profile Of Onion
Onion is a highly nutritious vegetable that can be served raw and cooked. A cup of chopped onion has around 64 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of dietary fiber. It also contains antioxidants quercetin, vitamins (B6, B9, C), and small amounts of minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, sulfur, etc.). Moreover, onion is free of fat and cholesterol.
Onion contains two phytochemicals named ‘Allium’ and ‘Allyl Disulphide’ that contribute largely to its health benefits. Upon ingestion, they get transformed into ‘allicin’, which helps in lowering blood pressure levels, softening blood vessels, reducing the risk of diabetes, and fighting against cancer.
Why Use Onion For Skin Care?
Being rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and certain other vital nutrients, onion is a crucial part of a healthy diet. But vegetables are not all about making our health better. It can make us look gorgeous by caring for our skin. We have listed below the benefits of using onion for skin care:
1. Protects From The Sun
Onion is an excellent source of flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins, such as A, C, and E. All these help protect our skin cells from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
2. Combats Signs Of Aging
The antioxidant quercetin and certain sulfur-rich phytochemicals make onion a robust anti-inflammatory agent. Therefore, it is pretty effective in fighting against free radical damages as well as the signs of untimely aging.
3. Acts As A Blood Purifier
The antioxidants in onion help detoxify the body by removing toxins from the bloodstream. This purifies the skin and prevents the chances of developing several skin issues eventually.
4. Heals Acne And Scars
The vegetable is antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory by nature. All these properties cumulatively make it an excellent remedy for acne by killing infection-causing bacteria, reducing inflammation, healing the scars, and preventing further breakouts.
5. Nourishes The Skin
The onion’s vitamin content (especially vitamin C) nourishes our skin efficiently while making it healthy, blemish-free, and full of radiance.
6. Prevents Skin Infections
The essential oils present in the vegetable have excellent antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which help combat several skin infections successfully.
Taking onion and garlic together is known to be highly effective in reducing inflammation and driving away pain. The combo also acts as a powerful natural anticoagulant and antidepressant.
Read Also – Onion Mask For Healthy Hair – DIY
How To Consume Onion For Skin Care?
Onion, a food ingredient loaded with lots of nutrients, can be consumed to improve our skin’s health from within. Here is how to include it in our daily diet for better skin:
1. Raw Onion
Raw onions are incredibly high in organic sulfur, which keeps our pores clean and prevents breakouts. It is also rich in flavonoids, which protect our skin from environmental stress. You can either use raw onion in your favorite salads and other nutritious fruits and vegetables or munch on it raw.
2. Cooked Onion
Many people do not like the lingering smell of onion and, hence, include it in their meals, either boiled or cooked. Such onions are a good source of fiber and copper, which keep digestive issues away, boost metabolic processes, and give us clear and flawless skin. But ensure you do not overcook the onion, which will destroy all its benefits.
The outer layers of bulb onions have higher concentration of flavonoids. To avoid unwanted loss of this healthful component and maximixe the benefits of the vegetable, peel its fleshy edible portion as little as possible while removing the outermost paper-thin layer (1).
How To Apply Onion For Skin Care?
When caring for the skin, most of us prefer the topical application of natural skin-friendly ingredients. Onion can be an excellent option for this purpose, and here is how:
1. To Prevent Aging
Cut a fresh, medium-sized onion into small pieces and juice them up. Dip a cotton ball into it and apply it all over your skin. This practice can significantly boost blood flow throughout skin cells, eventually giving wrinkle-free, firmer, and young-looking skin a better texture.
2. To Cure Acne
Massage your face with fresh onion juice or prepare an onion face pack to fight off acne-causing bacteria efficiently. Take one tablespoon of onion juice and add one tablespoon of olive or almond oil. Blend well and apply on your skin. After 15 minutes, wash off with cold water.
3. To Remove Spots, Patches, And Pigmentation
The vitamin C component of onion is vital in treating dark spots, ugly patches, pigmentation marks, and so on.
- Mix one tablespoon of fresh onion juice with one tablespoon of plain yogurt. Add 4 to 5 drops of lavender oil to the mixture. Massage your face with it in a gentle circular motion by using your fingertips.
- Prepare a liquid mixture by blending one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with two teaspoons of fresh onion juice. Dab it on your skin with a cotton ball. Was away with lukewarm water after 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add a pinch of turmeric powder to one tablespoon of fresh onion juice. Massage your face with it daily.
4. To Get Brighter Skin
Regularly applying fresh onion can help us eliminate dull and lifeless skin. The antioxidants and vitamins in vegetables give the skin cells a significant beauty boost, resulting in healthy, radiant skin.
5. To Get Lighter Complexion
Onion can purify our blood, thereby making our complexion lighter. You must prepare a face mask by combining two tablespoons of fresh onion juice, one tablespoon of gram flour, one teaspoon of milk, and one teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Apply the smooth, thick paste to your skin and wash off after 15 minutes.
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Side Effects Of Onion
Onions are generally safe for health, skin, and hair benefits. However, overconsumption of vegetables can put you at risk of allergies, bleeding, bruising, hypoglycemia, low blood pressure, heartburn, gastric irritation, skin irritation, increased sensitivity, and stinking breath.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Should I Eat Raw Or Cooked Onion?
Both raw and cooked onions are suitable for your skin. So, you can choose any of them as per your preference. But it is always better to eat raw onions if you can deal with their strong taste as the vegetable contains lots of organic sulfur in its natural form. You can even indulge in boiled or pickled onions to boost your skin’s health.
2. How Many Onions To Have A Day?
There is no recommended daily allowance for onions. However, it would be best if you did not consume more than a few daily to avoid the side effects.
3. Is It Dangerous To Eat Chopped Onion The Next Day?
There is no scientific evidence behind this. You can slice, chop, or dice raw onions and store them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days before consuming them. For this purpose, use a resealable plastic bag or wrap the vegetable tightly in a plastic wrap. If you have leftovers of cooked onion, store them in an airtight container and place them inside the refrigerator.
4. Is Onion Good For Hair?
Onion is an excellent natural ingredient for our hair. Rich in organic sulfur, it can strengthen hair and make it thicker while combating breakage and loss. It also increases blood circulation throughout the scalp, which helps in nourishing the hair strands. To know more, read Onion Mask for Healthy Hair – DIY.
- “Onions“, WHFoods.com