Onions' sulfur compounds and flavonoids may help fend off several forms of cancer. These powerful antioxidant compounds also help fight some of the side effects of high blood sugar, not to mention heart disease. Onions even seem to boost HDL, or the "good" cholesterol. Evidence suggests that onions may help preserve bone and prevent osteoporosis, and because the sulfur compounds are strongly anti-inflammatory, onions may also relieve the pain and swelling of arthritis. Finally, onions are one of the richest sources of chromium, a mineral that improves the body's ability to respond to insulin. Onions have very few calories, so add them cooked or raw to as many dishes as you can think of. Minced raw onions have the greatest health benefits. A serving is usually considered to be 1/4 cup at a time.
Here is a list of onions and their cousins, ranked from highest to lowest level of antioxidants:
Imperial Valley sweet
Here is a recipe for Red Onion Soup to get you started.
Red Onion Soup
6 large red onions, sliced
2 tea. fresh thyme (or 1 tea. dried thyme) or 2 tea. fresh marjoram
1 cup red wine
6 cups vegetable broth
pinch of nutmeg
In a large pot, heat the oil and add onions and salt and stir. Cook on med-low heat for 25 minutes to caramelize. When the onions have turned a deep golden brown. Stir in the herbs and deglaze with the wine. Add broth and nutmeg and simmer 15 minutes.
If desired, you may serve with Parmesan Crostini floating on top the soup.
Slice a baguette into 1/4 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush the top of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 350 oven until lightly toasted and cheese has melted.
Source: modified slightly from the recipe at One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz; Magic Foods, by Robert Barnett, Christine Pelkman and Denise Webb