Suffering from hypertension? Include raw onions in diet

Onions are an integral part of Indian cuisine. Be it dal or curries, Indian recipes are never complete (to be more specific, tasty) without onions. Onions are rich in sulphur, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which make it a healthy food. But do you know that onions are good for people with hypertension? Yes, if you are suffering from hypertension then including onions in diet along with medications can help you to control your blood pressure. Here are 7 healthy reasons to eat more onions.

How do onions help control hypertension?

According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition [1], onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that not only reduces blood pressure but also reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. The antihypertensive effect of quercetin is associated with reductions in systemic oxidant stress. The study showed that men and women with stage 1 hypertension (blood pressure of 148 (+/- 2) of systolic and 96 (+/- 1) of diastolic pressure) showed significant improvement in the blood pressure readings. A reduction of (-7 +/- 2 mm Hg) systolic, (-5 +/- 2 mm Hg) diastolic and (-5 +/- 2 mm Hg)  mean arterial pressures were observed in stage 1 hypertensive patients after quercetin treatment. Also read about 8 home remedies to beat hypertension or high blood pressure.

Cooked or raw — how to include onions in diet?

Another study done in 2004 [2], revealed that anti-hypertensive activity of onion disappeared during boiling. And hence, to reap the antihypertensive effects of onions, one must include raw onions in diet and not cooked onion. It also proved that the antihypertensive effect of boiled onion was not found, and the antioxidant activity of it was much weaker than that of raw onion. Raw onions also enhanced the excretion of nitric oxide metabolites (NOx) in urine thereby keeping the blood pressure in control.

Hence, you can either eat thinly sliced raw onions along with food or include raw onion in a salad to control your blood pressure. You can also have onions along with curd or plain rice to reap its antihypertensive effect. However, remember that onions are just a natural remedy and should not be used in place of medications. You may also like to read about medications for high blood pressure — all your queries answered


  1. Edwards RL, Lyon T, Litwin SE, Rabovsky A, Symons JD, Jalili T. Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11):2405-11. PubMed PMID: 17951477.
  2. Kawamoto E, Sakai Y, Okamura Y, Yamamoto Y. Effects of boiling on the antihypertensive and antioxidant activities of onion. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2004 Jun;50(3):171-6. PubMed PMID: 15386929.

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Published: October 30, 2017 4:26 pm

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