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Widely used in cooking, onion is sometimes the ingredient that will make all the difference. In a dish or even in a sauce, it enhances the taste in an instant. While many use it raw in salads, others prefer to cook it even if it means making it into a compote. But then what is the best way to eat it? Asked by France Blue On this subject, Stéphanie Drieu, dietitian-nutritionist, weighed the pros and cons. Here is his verdict.

Onion has many health benefits because it contains many elements that protect our cells. We also find sulfur compounds in onions which are important allies for our health. It is therefore a good antioxidant. Moreover, the dietician explains that the onion is part of the amaryllidaceae family, so “the redder it is, or the more colorful it is, the more antioxidants it will contain”.

Like vegetables, generally when a food is raw, it tends to preserve all its vitamins and in particular vitamin C. When they are cooked, certain antioxidants can disappear because of their sensitivity to temperature. However, in this case, the difference between raw onion and cooked onion remains minimal. Stéphanie Rieu states that: “Even when cooked, many of the nutrients remain present in the onion, the differences are quite small on the scale of a complete meal.”

So, even if one might think that cooking was not a good ally, this turns out to be false. Moreover, the specialist proves it with an example: “In an onion soup, certain elements that come out of the onion during cooking will pass into the broth and will be consumed regardless; so cooking is not a problem in this instance”.

This is good news, because raw onion can sometimes be difficult to digest for many. So raw or cooked, it’s up to you to choose how you prefer the onion!


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