My findings had satisfied my mind but left me in a confused state. How in the world am I going to cook now?! As garlic, onion, chives, scallions, or leeks were almost in every dish of mine but deserts! What to do, What to do?! Well, it lasted for about a second…
Onion Benefits and Doubts
How many times have you cried over a chopped onion? I have a lot, for sure. Being of Ukraine origin, I used to add onion and garlic to almost everything I made. It was a pantry staple of mine for most of my life. Baked, broiled, roasted, grilled, sauteed, powdered, or fried, they were part of daily consumption.
I always knew the enormous benefits of garlic and onion. My mother used to lovingly craft a variety of healing remedies with these substances as active ingredients every time I would come with cold or flu-like symptoms. And those potions sure worked every time! Packed with nutrients, garlic and onion are potent nature-made antibiotics.
But! Something wouldn’t add up for me. I always had this uneasy feeling… Every time I would get to the onion chopping part of my daily food-prep routine, I wondered: If an onion is so good for my body, why then does my body react so strongly on it? While sniffling and struggling to see through the flood of tears, I asked myself: What is it doing to my stomach if the fumes irritate my eyes so much with no physical contact? And why is an onion deadly to dogs, cats, horses, monkeys, and other animals? If I would prep for dinner on an empty or semi-empty stomach and try a tiny piece of onion, I would get eminently tired right away. I was puzzled; after all, onion is 89% water! No significant amount of carbs or sugars that would make me crash.
Unable to bear the mistery, I dove into research. And this is what I discovered.
Why Onion Makes Me Cry
The reason why we are crying while cutting an onion is that our eyes are trying to protect themselves. From what? – You wonder. From a sulfur gas!
Here are the quick mechanics of it: During chopping or chewing an onion, a gas called Propanethiol S-oxide is released. When joined with other enzymes found in onion, it transforms into a sulfur gas. The second all this gassy goodness contacts your eyes, it creates a mild acid, causing burning and irritation. Immediate self-preservation instinct rules your body to close the eyes. But no!!! We have to keep them open to see what we are chopping! So, the next best thing our body does to protect our eyes is tears. Tears create a layer of protection and flushing away those undesired acids. Our bodies are amazing machines! I’m fascinated every time I pay attention to the way my body functions.
Why Onion and Garlic are Dangerous for Animals to Eat
Ok, now to the poor animals. Why can they die after consumption of garlic, onion, scallions, and the like? Responsibility for this falls on to sulfoxides and sulfides that garlic and onion consists. By damaging animals’ red blood cells, they are causing a condition called Heinz body anemia. So, please, keep this in mind next time you offer a cracker, hot dog, or other human food to your loving pet as a treat, and check the ingredients.
Why My Energy Drops After Eating an Onion
Every time after having a raw onion, I would deflate instantly like an untied balloon. My energy level would decrease rapidly. Every time the feeling was almost tangible. I just couldn’t believe that it’s only me having this experience. I asked around and found that nearly everyone who paid attention to this matter admitted to a similar state of being after onion ingestion. I was determined to find an explanation.
There is a theory out there, stating that the cause of tiredness and sleepiness following onion consumption is in L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is accused of being a natural sedative. But there are plenty of other raw fruits and vegetables that contain L-tryptophan consumption of which gives me energy and propels me through the day. Here are some of them: strawberries, blueberries, apples, avocados, peaches, spinach, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, winter melon, and more…
Off goes this theory, for me, at least…
That is when I had the first glimpse into the ancient holistic science of Ayurveda, I was able to find an explanation for this phenomenon. Everything that is genius is simple!
All food is divided into 3 groups. The first group of food that fuels your body with life energy (prana) is called Positive Pranic. The second group is Neutral Pranic food, which consists of food that neither gives nor takes your life energies, but rather spells you into a lethargic state. The third group is Negative Pranic food, that takes away your life energies and makes you feel sleepy or tired. It was no surprise to me that garlic and onion championed the list, taking first and second place.
Regarded highly as medicine garlic and onion are too potent for daily consumption. My findings had satisfied my mind but left me in a confused state. How in the world am I going to cook now?! As garlic, onion, chives, scallions, or leeks were almost in every dish of mine but deserts! What to do, What to do?! Well, it lasted for about a second. With enthusiasm and excitement, I dove into a fascinating world of spices, exploring different cultures, styles, and cooking techniques. This titillating journey turned out to be such a pleasurable and exciting experience that I’m bound to continue and wish it to be everlasting.
Come, explore with me!
Be Alive 🌱,
❤ Love, Julia