Health And Family

Truly, in onion there is strength

CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano - The Philippine Star

Peeling onions makes me cry (as much as I often do when I watch a heart-tugging movie)  it’s certainly not a peel-good veggie for me. But here’s something that makes me feel really good about onions. Did you know that you could lower your risk of the dreaded Big C by eating onions?  Studies show that people who eat more onions, as well as other allium vegetables (this lowly underground bulb is a member of the Allium genus), have a lower risk of many types of cancer, such as breast, ovarian and endometrial, prostate, colorectal and gastric, esophageal and laryngeal, and renal cell.

Lumped together with superfoods such as garlic, leeks, and chives, onions are rich in anti-cancer compounds which, experts say, “have been shown to decrease cancer tumor initiation as well as inhibit the proliferation of cultured ovarian, breast, and colon cancer cells.” The National Onion Association reports that onions are considered a dietary anti-carcinogen.

Superstars in their own right, onions are loaded with more polyphenols (quercetin or flavonoids known for their disease-preventing, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties) than garlic, leeks, even tomatoes, carrots, and red bell peppers.

Read this absorbing report: “The inhibitory effects of onion consumption on human carcinoma have been widely researched… In a review on the effects of quercetin… persons in the highest consumption category versus the lowest had a 50% reduced risk of cancers of the stomach and alimentary and respiratory tracts.

“Organosulfur compounds (in onions) such as diallyl disulfide (DDS), S-allylcysteine (SAC), and S-methylcysteine (SMC) have been shown to inhibit colon and renal carcinogenesis...”

While it’s not clear how much onion one has to eat to protect oneself against cancer, research indicates that we can benefit even from moderate consumption. One to seven servings of onions a week may be enough to provide protection, but some research suggests a daily serving of onion (or one-half cup) is our best bet.

Then there’s the “French Paradox” — the French have a low incidence of heart disease despite their relatively high-calorie diet because they drink a lot of red wine, which has a lot of antioxidants. Aside from the red wine, the French use a lot of onions in their cuisine (French onion soup, anyone?), which contributes to their heart health. Didn’t we mention that onions have sulfur compounds? These have anti-clotting properties to improve blood lipid profiles. Also, the allium and allyl disulphide in onions have been found to enhance nitric oxide release, thus decreasing blood vessel stiffness and reducing blood pressure. The quercetin in onions boasts both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to boost heart health.

More stirring data from the National Onion Association (“All About Onions”) show that including onions in our daily diet may have the following health benefits:

• Lower risk of certain cancers.

• Reduce symptoms associated with diabetes.

• Reduce symptoms associated with osteoporosis and improve bone health.

• Lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

• Maintain gastrointestinal health by sustaining beneficial bacteria.

• Improve intestinal flora, absorption of calcium and magnesium because onions contain fructans.

• Lower risk of cataract formation.

So, do you tear up when you peel an onion? If it’s any consolation, this just goes to show that onions have many potent compounts. But so as not to irritate your eyes next time you peel an onion, take this tip from the World’s Healthiest Foods: “Use a very sharp knife and always cut the onions while standing so eyes will be as far away as possible. Consider cutting onions by an open window. If cutting onions really makes you cry, consider wearing glasses or goggles. Chill the onions for an hour or so before cutting — this will slow down the onion’s metabolism and thereby lessen the rate of LF gas production. Cut onions under cold, running water to cut back on eye irritation, but it’s a second-best choice since some of the nutrients found in onion can be lost into the flow of water.”

So, don’t cry now. Peeling an onion should really make you feel good.

* * *

Your kids’ online guardian angel

Hi, parents!  We’re sharing something that will certainly interest you from our inbox.

Let’s face it: Today’s children are exposed more than ever to the vast, fast, mind-blowing world of the Internet (what with smartphones and tablets becoming more and more affordable) as well as to the potential risks posed by popular social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram. 

Fact is, according to the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group, nine out of 10 Filipino children fell victim to cybercrimes in the past three years. These online crimes include anything from Internet fraud to harassment, cyber threats, and even cyberbullying. 

“Many kids nowadays can access the Internet in a number of ways, from their computers in school to their smartphones at home. And while we can’t do much about preventing them from surfing the Web, it’s best if parents can be equipped to protect their children whenever they go exploring online,” says Kathryn Carag, postpaid marketing head of mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc.

So, how do parents protect their kids from such cybercrimes? One great partner to parents (you can call it a virtual nanny or even a guardian angel) is the Vodafone Guardian app, which gives parents the flexibility of adapting their children’s online habits through their mobile phones. 

Developed by global telco leader Vodafone, the Vodafone Guardian app allows parents to restrict kids’ access to certain features and apps on their phones at certain times of the day. For example, moms can block kids’ access to gaming apps while they’re in school so they can focus on their studies, or limit their access to Facebook to just one hour per day.

The Vodafone Guardian app also lets parents set call and SMS permissions, and filter the contacts to avoid interaction with strangers. This way, they avoid the threats of mobile or cyber- bullying, or being scammed by unscrupulous texters or callers.

Kathryn explains, “The app is flexible enough so that each setting can be changed to best suit each parenting style, so moms and dads can have the liberty to decide how they want to ‘rear’ their kids’ Internet behaviors.”

The Vodafone Guardian app is initially available via Smart’s Family Ties Plans, a new suite of postpaid plans tailor-made for families who want to stay close and connected via their mobile devices. 

When parents subscribe to any of the two Family Ties Plans — Plan 900 and Plan 1800 — the accompanying smartphones will already come pre-installed with the Vodafone Guardian app. 

Families have two choices for their postpaid lines: Family Ties Plan 900 includes unlimited calling within the family circle, unlimited SMS to Smart subscribers, and 200 all-network texts, as well as 100MB of free data for each line every month. 

On the other hand, the Family Ties Plan 1800 comes with unlimited calls and texts to all Smart subscribers, 200 free all-network texts, and 300MB of free monthly data for each line.

Both plans come with three lines and three smartphones of their choice. Initial phone models include the O+ USA 8.2, O+ USA 8.31, Lenovo A269i, Alcatel Magic, Lenovo A369i, and the O+ 8.37.

Families with more than one child can also enjoy these perks as subscribers may add up to six additional lines per subscription by just adding P300 per line for Plan 900 and P600 per line for Plan 1800.

To maximize their postpaid plans, users can subscribe to various call, text, and data packages through Smart Postpaid Flexibundles, which can be easily availed of via SMS.

Interested families who want to avail of Smart’s Family Ties Plans may call 848-8877 or dial 887 on their Smart mobile phones. Visit your nearest Smart Store or smrt.ph/familytiesplans for more details.  

Very Smart! It’s about time parents got smarter.











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