Onions for your heart? Yes, one of the best things you could do for your heart is to eat onions: raw, cooked, roasted, in soups or any other way, they all have different properties that makes them good for the heart.
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Eating onions for your heart is one of the best tested ways to deal with heart problems.
Many researchers find that raw, strong onions, for example, definitly lift levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol - follow the link to read more about HDL cholesterol.
And you don't even have to eat a huge amount: half a medium size raw, yellow or white onion - or equivalent juice - a day is usually enough to dramatically raise HDL cholesterol and average of 30% in about three out of four heart patients, according to Dr. Victor Gurewich, director of the Tufts University Vascular Laboratory at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston.
In a few cases, the HDL levels have even doubled or tripled on the onion regimen.
Although researchers have been able to isolate more than 150 chemicals in onions, they are not quite sure which ones are the HDL-boosting chemicals, but they are pretty sure that raw onions work better: cooking lessens or destroys the onion's powers to raise HDLs.
The active agent seems to be the one that gives the onions their strong taste. The major effect comes from the hotter white and yellow varieties.
Mild red onions don't provide quite the same effect, but affect your health in different ways.
Eating onions for your heart and cardiovascular system is very good, but they are good in other ways as well.
Onions, raw or cooked, act as an anticoagulant and a force to rev up the body's protective fibrinolytic or clot-dissolving system.
The body has an elaborate system of checks and balances for both clotting the blood when necessary and dissolving clots.
Obstructive clots in the coronary arteries and other blood vessels can choke off oxygen supply, destroying heart muscle and brain cells.
Just as some onion chemicals keep platelets from sticking together, others actively work to dissolve clots as they form.
Both British and Indian scientists, during a decade of investigations, have produced striking evidence that onions for your heart are the best choice, because they can reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways.
In a study, they first fed men a very high fat meal, with butter and cream, and documented that their clot-dissolving activity plunged.
Then they gave them the same fatty meal, this time adding two oz. (about 60 g.) of onions, raw, boiled or fried. Blood drawn two and four hours after the fatty meal showed that the onions had totally blocked the fat's detrimental blood-clotting tendecies.
Indeed, less than half a cup of onions completely reversed the fat's damaging effects on clot-dissolving activity.
The scant amount of onion needed to counteract fat-induced blood changes is astonishing.
In one study, forty-five healthy people in New Delhi ate a 3000-calories-a-day diet for fifteen days -about 45% of them in fat.
Their blood cholesterol rose from an average 219 to 263. But when ten grams of onion per day - a mere tablespoon - were eaten with their fatty meal, the cholesterol fell to an average 237. Not quite back to pre-fat days, but it was still amazing that so little onion could achieve so much.
More onions create steeper drops in blood cholesterol. And if you add a lower fat intake in your diet, you can achieve even grater results than onions alone. Read more about the effects of high cholesterol on your health.
'The more the better' doesn't always apply, but it's certainly true for onions. There's no doubt that dedicated onion (and garlic) eaters have better signs of cardiovascular health.
A large survey found that onions and garlic lovers had much better blood profiles (cholesterol, triglycerides and HDLs) than those who ate fewer of the bulbs or shunned them altogether.
There was a dose response; even those who ate some onions and garlic possessed more anti-heart disease factors in their blood than abstainers.
The best blood showed up in those eating a pound and a third of onions a week or just over half a kilo. Even a mere cup of onion a week kept the blood in better shape to fend off cardiovascular disease.
Onions offer many of the same sulfur compound also found in garlic, but they bring even more to the table with their high amounts of flavonoids, especially quercitin.
This flavonoid has been shown in studies to extend the action of vitamin C and act as an antioxidant.
It also maintains blood flow, reduces platelet clumping, protects LDL cholesterol from free radicals oxidation and reduces inflammation to the blood vessels.
So there's much evidence that onions for your heart are the best choice. Have a look at the page on Health Benefits of Onions to have some suggestions on how to incorporate them in your diet.
If you want some tips and advice on growing your own onions you must have a look at this beautiful website:
Backyard-Vegetable-Gardening.com : A how-to guide for growing vegetables in your backyard or containers; tips and advice about planting, maintaining, and harvesting your own vegetables, along with recipe ideas.
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