Why Does Chopping Onions Make You Cry?

Dicing onions

Onions are a great addition to any recipe since they add to the taste and give wonderful texture. But anyone who has ever worked with onions can attest to what a painful experience it can be. When you are tasked with chopping or dicing them, it is a race against the clock. If you rush it, you might end up cutting yourself and if you go too slow, the inevitable tears start to stream down your face. If you ever wondered why onions have this effect on people, then you are not alone.

Onions, together with many other plants such as garlic that belong to Allium species, absorb sulfur from the soil as they grow. When you cut the juicy edible part of the onions known as scales, you end up breaking cells within it, releasing certain enzymes. Consequently, the released enzymes react with the absorbed sulfur to create amino acid sulfoxides. These, in turn, create a substance known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide that is highly unstable. When this substance, in a gaseous state, gets in contact the moisture present in your eyes, it causes a burning sensation.

Tears in your eyes are normally controlled by lachrymal glands that are positioned just above your eyelids. Once your brain gets a message that there is such an irritant in your eyes, which is causing a burning sensation, it signals the lachrymal glands to secrete tears in order to flush the irritant out of your eyes. However, cooked onions do not produce such an effect since the process of cooking them inactivates the enzymes responsible for making the syn-propanethial-S-oxide. Therefore, you can comfortably chew cooked onions without getting teary-eyed.

Tips To Avoid The Tears

Fortunately, there are several proven ways that will stop onions from watering your eyes as you chop them.

Refrigerate onions for at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting them

By chilling or cooling the onions, the sulfoxides/enzyme reaction rate is slowed down. This, in turn, minimizes production of the syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This process will have zero effect on taste. Alternatively, you can just run water over the onions as you chop them.

Use a super-sharp knife when chopping the onions

The enzymes are usually released when the cells within the onion are crushed or broken. A very sharp knife will slice through the onion instead of crushing and therefore, fewer enzymes are released. In fact, it is recommendable to use a very sharp knife every time you cut onions regardless of the different tactic you want to apply.

Use a food processor

If you buy this appliance for just one cooking task, then cutting onions would be the main benefit. Not only can you avoid knife mishaps and tears, but it will tremendously speed up your food preparation for the most arduous recipes. Anything that involves a lot of slicing, dicing or chopping can great benefit from one of these machines. You can check out reviews of the top food processors and see that they can do a lot more than saving you from the wrath of the onion. These are a godsend to have in the kitchen and well worth the investment for anyone who loves to cook.

Soak the onions in water before cutting them

When you soak the onions in water, you create a water-air boundary which inactivates the enzyme. This tactic is especially helpful for those who do not own a freezer or refrigerator. However, this process may eliminate some flavor and will also make the onion a little more slippery than normal.

Wear a gas-tight mask or onion goggles

You can use onion goggles or even your pair of swimmer’s goggles that perfectly fit your face. Since they are gas-tight it means that the gaseous substance will not get into your eyes.

Cut onions next to a window or a fan

Cutting the onions close to a fan or a window helps pull the gas away from your eyes.

Some of these will work better than others. The top two ways are to chill your onions or to use a food processor. While using goggles might work, you might find the whole idea rather silly.  Onions are quite a popular vegetable, and for good reason. There are ways around the crying that should let you enjoy them even more. Don’t be afraid the next time your recipes call for chopping some onions.

10 Health Benefits That Spinach Can Provide

Leafy green spinach

If you are looking for easily accessible foods that can really help you turn your diet around, then spinach may be just what you are looking for. We’ve all seen what it does for Popeye, but in the real world it can have almost the same dramatic impact on your health if regularly consumed. Whether you like to juice it, add it to your salad, grill it, or eat it out of a can, there is really no downside to this powerhouse veggie. Below are 10 reasons why you should consider to get more spinach into your diet.

1.Enhances detoxification

Like most green leafy vegetables, spinach is essential in the body as it aids detoxification. From its color, it is clear that this vegetable has lots of chlorophyll which contains several antibacterial elements. These elements help the liver and colon in eradicating all toxic substances in the body.

2.Promotes healthy heart functioning

Spinach can also promote the heart’s health and functioning. This leafy vegetable has antioxidant properties like carotene and Vitamin C that prevents harmful cholesterol oxidation that can lead to several major heart complications. It also improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and also lowering blood pressure.

3.Treats inflammation

Spinach can come in handy when dealing with cases of inflammation as it has flavanoids and carotenoids. These two elements have been known to have effective anti-inflammatory elements. Spinach also contains alpha-linolenic acid that is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

4.Keeps cancer at bay

This vegetable contains flavonoids and antioxidants that can combat a variety of cancer and reduce its spread. Research shows that the carotenoids lutein, neoxanthin and zeaxanthin, all found in spinach can eradicate the free radicals from the body before they cause any damage thus reducing the risk of ovarian, prostate, endometrial and lung cancer.

5. Rich source of iron

Spinach is also considered among the best sources of iron which is among the key elements that form hemoglobin which transports oxygen in the blood. Lack of enough hemoglobin can cause fatigues, affect brain and immune system performance and also lead to anemia. With this in mind, it is necessary that you incorporate spinach in your diet to give your body more iron.

6.Enhances muscle strength

Spinach can also boost muscle strength in the sense that it reduces the amount of oxygen that is required to power our muscles during exercises by almost 5 percent. It also has energy boosting nitrate elements that make the mitochondria function more efficiently thus making muscles run more smoothly and efficiently.

7.Improves digestion

This vegetable can also aid in digestion as it is a rich source of fiber. Regular intake of spinach provides our digestive system with adequate fiber that keeps conditions like constipation, and binge eating at bay. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer.

8.Enhances skin health

Spinach contains Vitamin E, Vitamin C and beta-carotenes. All these elements are known to be beneficial in the skin’s development as they keep the skin aerated, supple and moisturized.

9.Improves vision

Spinach can also be instrumental in your vision’s development and it can help prevent some eye conditions. This vegetable contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to prevent diseases like macular degeneration and cataract. They also promote the general well being of the eyes.

10.Enhances cognitive function

Even though this might not be directly felt, spinach can enhance our cognitive functioning./ Just like most vegetables, spinach contains Vitamin K which is widely considered as a cognitive catalyst. It helps in the brain’s development as well as treating age related memory loss.

Ways To Get Spinach Into Your Diet

Since this is a leafy vegetable, most folks have no trouble adding this to their favorite salads. This is a simple way to consume more of this veggie, but it is also quite boring, especially if you are not a salad eater.

Juicing is a fabulous way to get the benefits of this leafy vegetable without having to munch all day. You can simply drink a glass of concentrated nutrients quickly without any wait. Adding spinach to your juicing recipes can really do wonders for your body. Having a juicer will get your diet on track and give you a means to enjoy the power of spinach.