Health Benefits of Shallots
Most people consider shallots to be a kind of onion, but they’re actually a subspecies of onion and are more akin to garlic in some ways. No matter what family you believe shallots belong in it’s hard to deny the great health benefits of shallots. Here are some of the best.
One of the best health benefits of shallots is that they contain such a diverse range of antioxidant compounds. Shallots contain sulfuric antioxidants as well as kaempferol and quercetin. Much like with garlic these antioxidants are released when you break the cell surface, such as when you cut or crush the shallot. These antioxidants also form another compound known as allicin when released, which has been shown to reduce cell mutation and cancer. There is evidence to suggest that shallots reduce the chances of developing lung, oral, stomach, breast, and colorectal cancers.
Shallots might just be a subspecies of onion but they actually have a higher mineral content. They are rich in potassium, copper, and iron. Copper and iron can be used to improve your circulation. They do this through the stimulation of red blood cells. The more of these red blood cells you have the better your circulation and the more oxygen you have running through your body. This improves your vitality, energy levels, healing, and your metabolic rate.
Potassium is also a vasodilator, which basically means that it opens up your blood vessels. This, combined with the nitric oxide boosting effects of allicin, mean that shallots can be used to drastically reduce blood pressure. Opening up the blood vessels also reduces the stress on your cardiovascular system, which keeps the heart healthy.
Allicin, which if you remember is what is released when slicing and dicing shallots, has also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. It works by actively preventing the reductase enzyme from being produced in the liver. Reductase is the enzyme that triggers the creation of cholesterol, so inhibiting it means that there is less cholesterol in the body. Reduced cholesterol levels can prevent a number of conditions including heart disease, strokes, heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
Shallots contain plenty of vitamins and minerals such as pyridoxine which can stimulate GABA production in the brain. GABA is important for keeping your stress levels low and maintaining proper hormonal balance. So if you’re feeling stressed you can get a GABA boost from shallots. Shallots also contain a significant amount of folic acid, the essential B-vitamin that provides emotional and mental help through regulating brain hormones and enzymes.
Shallots are one of those little things that goes a long way. You’d be surprised by how much they can do for you, so find ways to include more shallots in your diet. That way you can enjoy these great health benefits of shallots for yourself. Just be careful because they can irritate your eyes just like onions do when you cut them.
Nutrition Facts Shallots (1)