Ontario Red Onions – The New Superfood?

Say what you will about onions… but they certainly add flavour to a host of recipes and meals, from salads to burger toppings… but there’s something else about onions you should know, apart from bad breath! In the latest study on what may well be a superfood, scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario, report in the journal Food Research International that red onions in particular boast an ability to disrupt cancer cell communication and promote a generally poor environment for cancer cells, “which inhibits growth.” The team was looking specifically at colon cancer, but they found that the onion cells are just as good at killing breast cancer cells. The trick, according to a story in Huffpost, will be to extract the key ingredient, dose it just right, and use it medicinally. That key ingredient is quercetin, a flavonoid already known for its cancer-fighting properties. This study finds that onions in general have unusually high levels of quercetin compared to other foods, and that Ontario onions in particular have high levels of the compound compared to onions grown elsewhere. 

Image source: https://www.splendidtable.org

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