Red onions help prevent heart disease

The vegetables commonly used in Mediterranean and Indian cuisine help remove bad cholesterol from the body, scientists claim

Scientists say the humble red onion could be the answer to reducing bad cholesterol and may help prevent heart disease. 



They have discovered that the vegetable – commonly used in Mediterranean and Indian cuisine – helps remove bad cholesterol from the body, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. At the same time red onions retain the body’s good cholesterol, which helps protect against heart disease.



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Scientists in Hong Kong fed crushed-up red onions to hamsters who had all been put on a high-cholesterol diet. They found that after eight weeks levels of bad cholesterol had dropped by an average of 20%.



‘The results support the claim that the regular consumption of onion reduces the risk of coronary heart disease,’ says Zhen Yu Chen, who was in charge of the research carried out at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 


Red onions are widely used in the Mediterranean, India and the Middle East. In the United Kingdom the white onion has been a big favourite, but red onions are becoming increasingly appreciated for their sweeter flavour and versatility.

Onions have long been associated for their benefits of preventing cancer, heart disease and the common cold, and in some parts of the world where the consumptions of onions is high there have been much lower cancer rates.

China consume more onions and garlic than anywhere else in the world and the risk of stomach cancer is 40 per cent lowerthan the average, and in Georgia, United States, the home of the ‘Sweet Videlia’ onion, the number of stomach cancers are half the average for the rest of the country.

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