Onions

For the purpose of planning crop rotation, plants are grouped by family (because they make similar demands and have similar susceptibilities). Family Alliacae (LF). light nitrogen feeders.

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same space in sequential seasons to avoid the build-up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped. Crop rotation also seeks to balance the fertility demands of various crops to avoid excessive depletion of soil nutrients.

 

COMPOSITION OF THE ONION

        High in dietary fibre

        Low in calories - 23cal/100g

        Sugar - 5.2g/100g

        Starch - nil

        Fat Content - nil

        Cholesterol - nil

        Protein - 1.2g/100g

        Carbohydrate - 7.9g/100g

        Essential mineral: potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folic acid, selenium and zinc

        Vitamin B and high in Vitamin C

HEALTH & NUTRITION

Numerous reports are being published around the world, which identify the health benefits of including onions in the diet.

The Food Pharmacy: Dramatic New Evidence that Food is your Best Medicine, Bantam Books, Jean Carper. This report studies the evidence that onions help protect us from various diseases, including hearing disease and cancer. These benefits are attributed to quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that is present in onions. This naturally occurring chemical neutralises free radicals in the body, and protects the membranes of the body's cells from damage.

Onions have blood-thinning abilities because they contain the natural chemical, adenosine, which lowers blood levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

The University of Munich, Germany, has identified thiosulphinate compounds in onions, which are effective in stopping asthma attacks.

These health giving properties were recognised by the Egyptians and Greeks from around 1500BC - onions were consumed to help combat headaches, body weakness, throat disorders, old age, stamina improving, improving digestion, stimulates the heart, relieving eye disorders, diuretic and anti-rheumatic activity.

Onions contain allicin, which has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties. Onions can play a part in treating diabetes by equalising blood sugar levels. The University of Berne, Switzerland, has carried out studies that show onions can help prevent bone fractures caused by osteoporosis. Further trials are being carried out to confirm that including an appropriate amount of onions (and other vegetables) in the daily diet could be an effective and inexpensive way to decrease the incidence of osteoporosis.