You’re in the kitchen incense again, or for the first time in a long time, preparing dinner. Reaching for the knife, you sigh, as you realize that you are about to face those stinging, tear-jerking, eye-burning onions. In the past, you tried wearing glasses or pulling your head back, hoping to avoid contact, but with no luck. Yet, you secretly hope this time will be different.
With the first slice, you squint as you experience the familiar stinging sensation, and as tears well up and begin to flow, you know you’ve lost the battle. With all the stinging and crying going on, it might come as a surprise to you that onions benefit your eye health. Here’s how onions can help your eyes.
Vitamin B and C
Onions are sizzling with Vitamins B and C. If you don’t have enough Vitamin B, you might be more prone to pink eye. And Vitamin C is not just good for boosting your immune system, research shows it also lowers the risk of getting cataracts, slows the development of age-related macular regeneration and reduces inflammation in the eyes.
Onions are loaded with sulfuric compounds that can aid in reducing high blood pressure to lowering the risk of heart attack! That burning feeling when cutting onions comes from the sulfur compound allyl propyl disulfide. Why do onions make you cry? This compound irritates the tear ducts, causing them to burn and you to cry. This serves a healthy purpose of washing the cornea.
Another sulfur-rich protein in onions, glutathione, acts as an antioxidant for the lenses of your eyes. This makes them stronger, and might help prevent eye health issues like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Onions also have antioxidants and other phytochemicals, like quercetin, that are responsible for triggering healthy responses in the body, which help combat eye inflammation. Quercetin also assists in providing relief to asthma symptoms, such as a runny nose, congestion, and eye irritation.
In conclusion, while cooking can be a tearful event when onions are involved, it’s great to know that the source of your tears might benefit your eyes. And because your eyes are the windows to your soul, and the windows through which you see the world, it’s important to eat foods that keep them healthy. Couple that with quality, comprehensive vision insurance, and yearly eye exams for healthy vision for years to come.