Different Types of Onion and their Uses

It’s almost impossible to imagine a dish without onion as it forms the base of many meals.

It is used in different cooking styles like sauteing, baking, steaming, or raw in salads or soups.

Red white and orange onion in a white background

Types of Onion

  • Red onions
  • Leek onions
  • Green onions
  • Yellow onions
  • White onions

The Different Types of Onion and their Uses.

1. Red Onions:

Red onions have purple outer skin, and they look the prettiest amongst their counterparts because of the purple pigment.

They are mild and have a faintly sweet taste; hence red onions go well with raw salads, sandwiches, burgers, and most dressings.

They are high in sulfur compounds, which help in the proper detoxification of the liver.

It’s advisable to consume them raw as cooking might destroy their vitamin and mineral content.

Red onions contain flavonoids like quercetin and anthocyanin, which help reduce the risk of cancer, and cardiovascular disease and possess anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

2. Leek Onions:

Leeks, the distant cousin of onions, is a vegetable and cultivator crop of alliums like garlic, onion, and shallots.

They have a tall stem with a cylindrical body.

Leeks have a delicate and mild flavor,  the white leek stalk is used to make creamy soups and pasta, and the top greens can be added to make a delicious vegetable broth.

Leeks are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals like folic acid, niacin, and thiamine, which are essential for optimum health.

They also provide an impressive amount of antioxidants and carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, which protect the eyes from harmful sunrays and improve eyesight.

3. Green Onions:

Also referred to as scallions, Green onions are often interchanged with leeks as both are mild in flavor and less intense.

It can be a great addition to soups and pasta.

The white bulb at the bottom goes well with stir-fry dishes, and the tall green stems are used for garnishing.

A stalk of green leek onions clicked in a white background

Leeks and Green Onions can be an excellent option for people who dislike the intense and robust onion flavor.

Green onions have an impressive amount of vitamin k, an essential nutrient required to maintain good health and prevent osteoporosis and bone problems.

4. Yellow Onions:

Yellow onions are high in sulfur content and have the most powerful, strong, and savory flavor, which means you might not want to eat them uncooked.

It contains several antioxidants known to fight inflammation in the body and reduce cholesterol levels.

They also help to reduce high blood pressure and treat heart disease.

Studies suggest that allium vegetables like garlic, onion, leeks, and shallots may help reduce certain types of cancer like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

5. White onions:

White onions are sweet and mild in flavor. They are deficient in sulfur and hence have a moderately short shelf life.

It’s usually added to salads, and sandwiches or can be eaten raw.

White onions have light papery skin and less meat than other onions but are the most expensive on the list because of their short shelf life.

It improves immunity and combats cold and viral infection due to the high selenium content.

Selenium is an essential mineral that helps in reducing oxidative stress and enhancing immunity.

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