There is no scientific evidence proving that those foot pads sold on late night TV can remove toxins when worn overnight on the soles of your feet, nor is it true that placing an onion in your socks can purify your blood – although they might help keep a romantic interlude at bay. There’s something miraculous onions can do, though, and you don’t have to wear them to get the benefits.
There have been some intriguing blog posts saying that wearing a slice of onion in your socks overnight can clean your blood and kill germs, but why would you hope to absorb a tiny bit of the miraculous power of the onion through your feet when you can simply eat them and get 1000 times more of their advantages.
Onions and garlic (alliums) are two of the cheapest super foods out there, with over 500 species, but we’ll concentrate on onions for now, just to debunk having to wear them in your socks.
For centuries, onions have been incorporated into food dishes as a means of reducing inflammation and healing different ailments. They were discovered before we even knew how to write, or farm.
Researchers think they were first cultivated 5,000 years ago in West Pakistan and Iran, but were growing wild in parts of Asia for an even longer period.
The slaves that built the pyramids in Egypt were fed onions and garlic to keep them healthy. Why? They were incredibly cheap! But even King Ramses – Egyptian royalty – revered the onion. He was entombed with onions in his eye sockets.
The Sumerians were growing onions in India, and they spread all over the world. They were easy to transport, slow to spoil, and grew well in the soils of almost any climate.
They are mentioned in the bible and the Romans were the first to add them to soup. By the Middle Ages they were used as a form of currency and even given as wedding gifts. The Greeks have used them to fortify their athletes before the Olympic Games, sometimes having them eat pounds of onions and onion juice as part of their training.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Here are some of the many beneficial properties of onions:
- Reduce neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Act as a prebiotic (food for good bacteria) protecting our gut health
- Reduce progression of diabetes
- They flavor food dishes minimizing the need for added sugar or salt
- Reduces risk of cataract formation
- Onions are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like quercetin and sulfur
- One cup only contains 64 calories
- Improve blood flow
- Prevent gastric ulcers
- Slow free radical damage, and aging process
- Support normal respiratory health
- Inhibit histamine release (that causes runny nose, watery eyes, etc.)
- Protect heart health
- Balances blood sugar due to chromium
- Suppresses an enzyme necessary for the release of the stress hormone, cortisol
- Anti-cancerous (for at least five types)
Get the Most from Your Onions Without Putting Them in Your Socks
To get the most from your onions, be sure not to over-peel them. Some of the dense nutrients of flavonoids are within the first few layers. For example, a red onion can lose about 20 percent of its quercetin and almost 75 percent of its anthocyanins if it is over-peeled.
Try to eat at least one raw onion per day. You can add them to soups, cut them up into salads, or add them to vegetable and other dishes. Raw (organic) onions are best, but cooked onions retain quite a bit of their nutrients.
If you want to go hard-core you can juice onions (which also happens to help your hair grow and make your skin look magnificent). Simply put your onions in a juicer, a blender, or a food processor and drink the juice as it is, or add it to green juices. If you can’t tolerate the taste, you can mix the juice with a little honey to make it more palatable.
And there you have it – onion super food hacking – without the questionable bedtime ritual.