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The onion is a vegetable from the Allium genus, and it has been a vital part of many different human cuisines for centuries. Ancient Egyptians even worshiped onions, and during the Middle Ages, Europeans gave them as gifts and used them as currency!

Onions are also the only vegetable on the 123Diet program that we suggest can be mixed with any other allowed vegetable during phase 2. This is in part because onions are high in Vitamin C, which is not only an important nutrient in its own right but can help your body absorb the nutrients found in other vegetables, such as the iron in many green vegetables and the lycopene in tomatoes.

Though one onion contains only 44 calories, it also contains between five and ten percent of your daily recommended amounts of folate (vitamin B9), pyridoxine (B6), potassium, and manganese. However, onions' true power comes from the fact that they are absolutely jam-packed with antioxidants and other powerful phytochemicals!

Red onions are probably your best choice since they are highest in anthocyanin, an antioxidant which can help prevent heart disease and cancer. Yellow onions would likely come in second, and white ones should only be chosen as a last resort.

Sulfur compounds found in onions can also have cancer-fighting properties, especially when used with turmeric. These compounds can also help detoxify your body and act as a natural blood thinner. Increased onion intake has also been shown to have particular benefits for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and patients with high blood pressure.

Onions can also help with blood sugar control, thanks to their high levels of the mineral chromium and the essential oil allyl propyl disulphide. This compound can bond to sites in the liver that insulin usually would, meaning that more of this insulin is available in your bloodstream to absorb any excess sugar.

Another antidiabetic compound found in onions is quercetin. This antioxidant can also be found in tea and apples, but studies have found that the body can absorb it much more readily from onions. Additionally, quercetin has been found to reduce the symptoms of bladder infections, promote prostate health, reduce allergic reactions, and even provide relief from asthma by relaxing airway passages.

Onions are also rich in fiber and prebiotics, both of which are necessary for healthy gut function, and they are our main dietary source of some specific dietary fibers like fructan and inulin. Multiple studies also suggest that consuming onions or onion extract can increase your bone density, thus reducing your risk of osteoperosis.

Onions also have antibacterial properties, meaning that they can destroy harmful microbes. For example, onions can combat H. pylori, which has been associated with stomach cancer, ulcers and other digestive ailments.

Plus, though chewing onions isn't going to do your breath any favors, at least in the short run, it will help you get rid of equally odorous oral bacteria. Two to three minutes of chewing raw onions might be enough to kill almost all the germs in your mouth!

Speaking of raw onions, some of onions' nutrients can be reduced or eliminated if the vegetable is cooked. Thus, it might behoove you to try to eat some raw onion every once in a while, though we know the taste can be a little hard to get used to!

The burning sensation you experience when you eat a raw onion actually comes from a compound called syn-propanethial-S-oxide, the same one that can famously activate your tear ducts when released in gas form as an onion is chopped.

If you'd rather enjoy your onions tear-free, try cutting them under running water or near a vent, fan, or window. If you foresee a lot of onion-chopping in your future, you could also invest in some kitchen goggles. Finally, the nutrients of an onion are most highly concentrated in its outer layers, so be careful not to peel away all the good stuff while you're holding back your tears!

As exemplified in the tasty recipes below, incorporating onions is an easy and low-calorie way to add flavor and nutrients to nearly any savory dish, from dips and soups to omelettes and salads. Once you realize how much better you feel after you've added more onions to your diet, you may just start want to start worshiping onions too!

French Onion Soup

Healthy and delicious french onion soup

Enjoy a ligher version of this simple French classic! Estimated nutritional value of 125 calories, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11.5 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fiber, 12.5 g protein, and 3.4 g sugar.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook time
30 minutes
1-2 servings (1 vegetable, 1 melba toast)


  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Melba toast, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of an onion in thin strips
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and minced
  • Stevia to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Brown the onions in a little water and lemon juice. Add beef broth and spices and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Phase 3 Modifications
Top with mozzarella or provolone cheese (or in phase 2, use top with 1 tbsp cheese as your dairy allowance)!

Recipe provided by

Spinach & Onion Omelette

%Scrumptious spinach and onion omelette%

Enjoy this nutritious and filling omelette for breakfast in phase 3 or lunch or dinner in phase 2! Estimated nutritional value of 195 calories, 8 g of fat, 197 mg cholesterol, 12.7 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g fiber, 18 g protein, and 4.7 g sugar.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
10 minutes
1 serving (1 vegetable, 1 protein)


  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • A sprinkle of chives and pinch of mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • One tablespoon of feta cheese crumbled

Fry onion until caramelized. Add a splash of Bragg's, then add spinach with a tablespoon of water. Then, evenly add egg mixture on top. Sprinkle the feta on top once it’s cooked, then put it all under the grill to finish cooking.

Recipe provided by

Brie & Caramelized Onion Tart

Healthy and delicious brie tart!

Whip up this luxurious and healthy recipe to add some variety to your Phase 2 dinners and lunches! Estimated nutritional value of 204 calories.

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook time
1 hour
Makes 6 servings (1/2 protein each)

Ingredients For Onion Mix

  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 tbs natvia
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Pepper

Directions For Onion Mix
Put all ingredients in a frying pan and lightly fry onion until cooked/soft. Add a little water if needed.

Ingredients For Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 4 tbsp water

Ingredients For Tart Base

  • 150g chickpea or lentil flour
  • 2 tbsp cold homemade butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of chives
  • 2 tbsp brie
  • Water

Recipe provided by

Directions For Tart
Mix dry ingredients and rub in butter. Add a small amount of water to make a stiff dough. Place between baking paper and roll out to fill an 8” pie plate. Press in gently. Break up brie and place on pie base. Refrigerate. Add onion mix to pie base and spread evenly. Beat all filling ingredients and pour into pie base. If desired, add spinach leaves on top. Bake in 180°C oven for 40 mins. Cool. Slice into 6 pieces, and eat hot or cold.

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