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Eating this vegetable raw can lower disease risk, doctor claims

In a video posted to TikTok, Dr. Poonam Desai revealed the vegetable she eats regularly to stay healthy: onions.
In a video posted to TikTok, Dr. Poonam Desai revealed the vegetable she eats regularly to stay healthy: onions.

Forget an apple a day — eating this vegetable will keep the doctor away.

Dr. Poonam Desai, an emergency medicine physician, often shares health hacks on social media.

In a video posted to TikTok, Dr. Desai revealed the vegetable she eats regularly to stay healthy: onions.

“Onions contain something called quercetin, which gives onions its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits,” she explained.

“Onions contain something called quercetin, which gives onions its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits,” she explained. Getty Images
“Onions contain something called quercetin, which gives onions its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits,” she explained. Getty Images

Quercetin offers a long list of health benefits including reducing your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer.

The natural compound is well-researched and is often used in functional nutrition and functional medicine to help pacify an overactive histamine response in the immune system, Jenna Volpe, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) of WholeisticLiving.com, told Fox News.

And what kind of onions and how you eat them can impact the levels of quercetin.

“Red onions contain more quercetin than white or yellow, so I opt to eat red onions,” Dr. Desai said.

She added: “If you cook the onions, it decreases the levels of quercetin in the onions. So I opt to eat my onions raw, so I can maximize the health benefits.”

Quercetin offers a long list of health benefits including reducing your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer. Getty Images
Quercetin offers a long list of health benefits including reducing your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer. Getty Images

“After I peel off the dry flaky layer of the onion, the outer layers contain more quercetin than the inner layers. So next time you’re going to choose an onion, choose a red onion, try to eat it raw and try to eat the outer layers.”

For those who don’t want to bite into a raw onion, quercetin can also be found in other foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, berries and apples.

“For all the quercetin-3-glucoside fans out there, yes, you’ll find it in your apple! Phytochemicals have healing properties that help protect you against certain diseases and cancers,” Will Bulsiewicz, MD, a gastroenterologist and New York Times bestselling author of “The Fiber Fueled Cookbook,” explained to The Post.

The natural compound is well-researched and is often used in functional nutrition and functional medicine to help pacify an overactive histamine response in the immune system, Jenna Volpe, a registered dietitian nutritionist, told Fox News. Getty Images/iStockphoto
The natural compound is well-researched and is often used in functional nutrition and functional medicine to help pacify an overactive histamine response in the immune system, Jenna Volpe, a registered dietitian nutritionist, told Fox News. Getty Images/iStockphoto

He noted that apples are a great source of fiber, with a medium-sized apple containing about 4.4 grams of fiber. Apples also contain an “insane” amount of phytochemicals, which are plant-based compounds that can help prevent chronic diseases, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Apples are also a good source of probiotics.

Bulsiewicz added that a single apple carries about 100 million bacteria, and “scientists believe that the microbes from our food interact with the microbes in our gut — like separated family members reunited. Put down the probiotic capsule and pick up the living food folks!”