You heard me right. I’m talking about putting onions on your feet, then leaving them overnight to drain the body of excess water (and pounds). You might be thinking this approach sounds bizarre (and it is), but in reality it’s based on grounded(pun intended) science. The method was first proposed as a treatment for high blood pressure by an Indian herbalist many years ago.
What Are Onions?
Onions (species name Allium cepa L.) are a member of the Amaryllidaceae plant family, which also includes other flavorful allium vegetables like garlic and leeks. Allium vegetables contain therapeutic oils that hold sulfur compounds (cysteine sulfoxides).
These are partially responsible for their signature smell and taste. They’re also responsible for many of the health benefits of onion nutrition, especially when it comes to naturally treating cancer.
Are onions vegetables?
Yes, according to the University of California Department of Plant Sciences, a vegetable is any edible portion of a plant, and vegetables are usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten, such as leaves or roots. In the case of the onion, the bulb is eaten, making it a vegetable.
Amaryllidaceae is another name for the onion family of vegetables, which includes onion varieties like:
- white, yellow and red onions
- shallots and scallions (green onions)
- pearl onions
- Spanish onions
- Vidalia onions
- and others
Which type of onion is healthiest?
According to research looking at onion nutrition, yellow onion nutrition is especially impressive because this type contains the most quercetin and also the most sulfur compounds. Red onions (or purple onions) are higher in other protective antioxidants (as indicated by their color).
However, studies show that all onions are beneficial in their own ways, particularly due to their sulfur-containing compounds.
Many people enjoy sweet onion varieties best, like Vidalia onions and shallots, because they tend to have a milder taste and can even be eaten raw, but compared to white and red onions, these usually have a lower percentage of beneficial compounds.
Sweeter onions are left in the soil longer before being harvested so more of their carbohydrates have a chance to turn to sugars, hence their sweeter taste. Some research suggests onion nutrition improves as they are left in the ground longer.
In general, the longer onions are left in the ground, the sweeter they taste but the lower phytonutrient count they have. Usually, the more potent the smell and taste of an onion, the more nutrients are present (and therefore the onion is more likely to make you tear).
What are scallions (also called green onions or spring onions), and are they healthier than white or yellow onions?
Scallions are young onions that are harvested when their tops are green and they have underdeveloped bulbs. They have a mild flavor and can be consumed raw, including the stem, bulb and leaves.
They are high in several important antioxidants, including flavonoid phenolic compounds — such as carotenes, zeaxanthin and lutein, plus nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.
What about shallots vs. onions?
Shallots are a small variety of onion that have a white, light brown or red skin and a mild flavor. They contain many antioxidants, including sulfoxides, which give them antibiotic, antidiabetic and fibrinolytic properties.
Shallots can help reduce oxidative damage and fight various health problems, like infections, high blood sugar levels/insulin resistance, blood clots and high LDL cholesterol levels.
History and Facts
Onions are among the world’s oldest cultivated plants, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Although there’s no conclusive evidence as to where they first appeared, their history goes back about 5,000 years to parts of the Middle East and Southwestern Asia, including Iran and West Pakistan.
They are believed to be one of the earliest cultivated crops because they were less perishable than other foods of the time, last a long time, are transportable, can easily be grown year-round, and grow well in different types of climates and soils. They can also be dried and preserved, which has made them a valuable source of nutrients during times of famine.
Some records show that onions grew in parts of China, India and Egypt around the time of 3500 B.C. In Egypt, they were even considered to be an object of worship and symbolized eternity because of the onion’s “circle-within-a-circle” structure.
Paintings of the vegetable can even be found within the inner walls of the ancient Egyptian pyramids and tombs. Onions were also eaten by the Israelites and mentioned as one of the Bible foods, along with cucumbers, melons, leeks and garlic.
Ever wonder why your eyes water when cutting an onion? It’s because cutting onions punctures their cell membranes that store sulfur compounds and ACSOs.
While it might be inconvenient to tear up while cooking, as you can see it’s a small price to pay for the very impressive roles that these compounds hold when it comes to disease prevention.
Onion Nutrition Facts
According to the USDA, one cup (approximately 160 grams) of raw, chopped onion nutrition contains about:
- 64 calories
- 14.9 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams protein
- 0.2 grams fat
- 3 grams fiber
- 11.8 milligrams vitamin C (20 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 (10 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams manganese (10 percent DV)
- 30.4 micrograms folate (8 percent DV)
- 234 milligrams potassium (7 percent DV)
- 46 milligrams phosphorus (5 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams thiamine (5 percent DV)
In addition, onion nutrition contains small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium.
Here’s why you should sleep with onions in your socks
Onion in your socks can heal you
According to ancient science, there are so many folk remedies that can fight infection and build a strong immune system, which we are unaware of. Sleeping with onions in your socks may sound odd as is it not a normal thing to do. But you will be surprised to know that a slice of onion can be so magical, that it can actually heal you when you’re asleep. Strange! Isn’t it? But it is completely scientific and logical. This is an ancient Chinese practice of foot reflexology, which is an effective method of treating medical conditions naturally.
How to do it
Your body naturally heals itself while you are sleeping . All you need to do is take an onion, peel it and cut it into a thin slice. Now you need to place the thin onion slice under your feet and don’t forget to wear socks to keep it in place. Do this just before going to bed.
For smelly feet
Onions are rich in sulphuric compounds, which make it anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. This property kills germs and bacterias, which cause foot odor. Practicing this habit will prevent you from smelly foot and will not let bad smell revive.
Onions are also rich in phosphoric acid, which is secreted when it comes in contact with the human skin. So when the onion is in constant contact with your foot, the secreted phosphoric acid enters your blood vessels seeping through the semipermeable membrane. This purifies the blood passing through your veins that can help in better blood production and circulation. Which can boost your body’s mental and physical function.
Onions are one of the richest sources of dietary flavonoids, which decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties present in onion help you build a natural defense against germs. So whenever an antigen or infecting organism will enter your body the immune system will start creating antibodies to fight against diseases or illness.
Disadvantages of putting onions under the feet
The idea of placing onions under the feet dates back to the time of the plague, when it was used to purify the blood, treat influenza and colds , because the lower part of the sole of the foot is a number of points that are pathways for each organ of the body.
Some claim that this effect is due to the sulfur compounds found in onions, such as folklore. However, there is no scientific study that conclusively proves the validity of this theory, and there is no study that proves the harms of placing onions under the feet.
General damage to onions
As for the general onion damage, it includes the following:
- Causes bad breath: Because of the sulfur chemicals present in onions, eating them causes bad breath in the mouth, in addition to noticing the smell in sweat when eaten in large quantities.
- Increases Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Eating onions irritates Irritable Bowel Syndrome , which leads to several symptoms, such as flatulence, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Stimulates acid reflux: Eating onions can lead to GERD or increased heartburn, which leads to chest
How can runners benefit from adding onions to their diet?
Onions contain a beneficial anti-inflammatory compound, known as quercetin. This compound can help reduce the effects of post-workout inflammation in athletes, says Rizzo. Plus, a recent study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that the quercetin in onions may act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Though there may not be enough to make a measurable difference in your diet just through eating onions alone, Moore says, so be sure to hydrate, stretch and eat a nutritious meal to help with postworkout recovery as well.
How often should you eat onions?
There’s no one recommended frequency, so you can eat onions as often as you please, says Moore.
However, Rizzo points out some athletes might find that onions cause GI distress if eaten before exercise. So, you might want to avoid them for that reason, or time your meals with onions around your workouts. But if you can eat onions and feel great, it’s fine to eat them daily, but like everything else, in moderation.
Are certain types of onions better for you than others?
Red onions also contain some anthocyanins (the same antioxidant found in berries), which may promote healing and recovery, but most onions provide similar benefits, says Moore.
Remember, that there are different onions with varying levels of pungency, so what you eat may be based on your individual taste. For example, shallots are quite mild, and white onions are more pungent.
Is there a difference in nutrition between cooked and raw onions?
Yes. Cooked onions may contain less vitamin C than raw onions because of water loss, Moore says. Quickly steaming or sautéing onions will allow you to retain the most nutrients.
“But, it’s also fine to include them in soups and stews [which cook] for longer since you’ll eat the broth,” Moore says.
And keep in mind, fresh and frozen are exactly the same, says Rizzo. Frozen veggies are picked at the peak of freshness and flash frozen to lock in nutrients.
“The difference between fresh and cooked veggies is minimal, but you’ll also want to consider what you use to cook the veggie,” Rizzo says. “For instance, if you use oil, that adds calories and fat to your meal.”
Should You Put Onions On Your Feet Before Bed?
You may have heard that people are slicing onions to put on their feet before bed. So out of curiosity, you wondered what would happen.
In this article, we will look at the reasons you should put onions against your feet and in your socks before you go to bed, and why you might want to try this interesting health remedy.
Here’s What Happens When You Put Onions On Your Feet Before Bed
Studies show that it is possible that you can absorb some of the nutrients from onions when you put them on your feet as you sleep. Researchers studying the skin of newborns found that coconut oil and safflower oil rubbed onto a baby’s skin resulted in a rise in the triglycerides and fatty acids in the bloodstream of the baby. The oil that was rubbed onto the skin actually showed up in the bloodstream as though the babies had eaten it.
Foot reflexology, Ayurvedic medicine, acupressure, acupuncture, and traditional Chinese medicine all have healing practices that involve stimulating areas on the feet that correspond to the health of our overall body. The points at which you stimulate the feet correspond to energy meridians that lie in the body.
Antibacterial Properties of Onions
whfoods.org says that onions are similar to garlic in their antibacterial properties, but have not been as widely researched as garlic has been. The San Francisco Globe’s online newspaper quotes Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, who says: ‘Onions feature a variety of sulfur compounds that have antibacterial activity. … Furthermore, cutting an onion triggers the release of enzymes that initiate a chemical reaction producing propenesulfenic acid, which in turn decomposes to yield sulphuric acid … sulfuric acid also inhibits the growth of bacteria.’
How To Put Onions On Your Feet Before Bed
Slice any type (white, yellow or red) to about a half-inch thickness. Place a slice of onion against the bottom of your foot covering the bottoms of the toes and slide your sock on over your foot and the onion until it covers the first onion slice. Add a second or third slice of onion to cover the arch and heel of your foot before pulling your sock on all the way.
If you have any hard skin growths on your feet, also known as corns, onion can also help remove them while you sleep. First, soak a slice of onion in vinegar and then place it on top of the corn on your foot before you slip on socks and go to bed. The combination of the acetic acid in vinegar and the sulfuric acid from the onion will help soften the skin of the corn and may make it easier to slough off the skin on the corn when you use a pumice stone or foot file.