Onions have powerful antioxidants. But when it comes to fighting cancer, red onions are especially potent. In one study, researchers exposed human colorectal cancer cells to five different varieties of onion extracts. All of the onions were highly effective at killing cancer cells, but the red onion variety, called Ruby Red, killed the most. Researchers have discovered that the key cancer-fighting ingredients are quercetin and a pigment called anthocyanin.
Quercetin attacks and destroys free radicals, and anthocyanin acts alongside it to boost its effectiveness. Free radicals can not only cause cancer, but can also cause heart disease, diabetes and other inflammation-related conditions. Other red, blue, purple and black vegetables and fruits also have anthocyanin. For maximum effectiveness, these foods should be consumed raw. So, the next time you buy vegetables, opt for red onions instead of white.
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