Onion
/uhn-yuh n/

Vegies

Onions are part of the family of vegies called alliums - these also include leeks, garlic, shallots (or green onions), spring onions and eschalots. These vegetables have been associated with a lower risk of several cancers, including cancer of the stomach, colon, oesophagus, pancreas, breast, prostate and brain.
 
You have no doubt heard of probiotics – healthy bacteria that we want to colonise the gut – well research suggests that prebiotics might be more important.  These are compounds in food that act as specific fuel to these good bacteria. Having prebiotics in your diet therefore encourages the growth of healthy bacterial populations and pushes out the bad guys. Alliums provide a particular group of these prebiotics called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).
’s ‘Did You Know?’
FOS can cause problems for people with irritable bowel disease (IBS), but that may be due to having an imbalance of bacterial groups present, with more of the bad guys. See a dietitian or other health professional for more advice. 

Nutritional Information

Dairy free Gluten Free Nut free Vegan Vegetarian

Dr Joanna Plate Category: Plants

 
 
Spring Onion
/spring uhn-yuh n/

Vegies

When I first came to Australia I was completely confused by what Australians call spring onions, green onions, scallions and shallots. It seems that there is a difference between the terms used in Sydney and Melbourne! As extraordinary as that seems, here I will stick to the classifications most cookbooks and botanical encyclopedias. But many of these terms seem to be used in different parts of the world, so refer to the picture to see the type of onion I am talking about.

Spring onions look like mini leeks and they are indeed in the same allium family of vegetables that includes all onion varieties, leeks, garlic and shallots. They have a far milder taste than onions and are therefore more palatable raw in salads or scattered over a meal just before serving. 

As you'd expect spring onions contain very few kilojoules so you can consume them freely. They are however significant source of vitamin C and they are high in vitamin K, essential for healthy blood. There are small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals, but given that you are only likely to eat one or two other foods are far more important sources of these. 


’s ‘Did You Know?’
What is far more interesting than the micronutrients is the amounts and types of phytochemicals present. The allium family of vegetables contain particular sulphur compounds that have been shown to have anti-tumour effects in the stomach, colon and liver. Indeed in China and Italy a high consumption of alliums is linked to a low rate of stomach cancer.

Nutritional Information

Dairy free Gluten Free Nut free Vegan Vegetarian

Dr Joanna Plate Category: Plants