Onion’s zesty flavor isn’t the only thing that makes chopping one worth the tears it elicits: onions contain ingredients that fight colds and flu. The sulfur compounds that make you cry have potent anti-inflammatory properties that relieve cold- and flu-related aches and congestion. And a flavonoid called quercetin, an even more effective congestion buster in onion, works with vitamin C to stabilize the body’s histamine-producing, sniffle-causing response to germs. But best of all, the flavonols that give onions their color were shown in a recent Chinese study to help prevent influenza entirely, boosting immunity to three common strains.
Choose It & Use It
One of the most universal ingredients, onion is used to add flavor to just about any course except dessert. To breathe easier all winter, eat half an onion a day; for the biggest protective punch, make it a red one. Red onions contain more pigment flavonols than yellow varieties. To reduce the eye-irritation while chopping, wear goggles and use a very sharp knife.
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Black Bean Chili with Dark Ale
A slightly sweet, dark beer tempers the acidity of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the chipotle chiles in this easy recipe.more
Caramelized Onion and Savoy Cabbage Chowder with Thyme
Green cabbage can be substituted for savoy cabbage in this hearty chowder.more
French Onion Soup Tartines
French onion soup gets its full-bodied taste from slow-cooked, caramelized onions. Here, we call for three types of onions for rich, balanced flavor, but the recipe will work with any combination or just one variety. The onion mixture can be made up to two days ahead.more
Salad of Shaved Fennel, Oranges, and Candied Pecans
Fresh fennel is popular in France year-round, but the traditional harvest period begins in November. Here, thin slices of the mildly anise-flavored bulb are tossed with baby arugula, Valencia orange slices, and red onion, and topped with candied pecans for an American touch.more