Shallots belong to the lily family (Liliacae) where onion, garlic and leeks are present. It is classified as Allium cepa var. aggregatum .Shallots are smaller and sweeter than onion and like garlic its bulb divides into multiple sections .It digests better than onion when eaten raw. The bulbs are pulled of the ground and leaves are allowed to dry. The greens above the ground which are known as scallions are used as salads and also for cooking. Shallots are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid. It also contain calcium, iron and have a high protein quality.
There has been lot of research and studies regarding the use of shallots for health conditions. Different analysis and studies have found that shallots contains two sets of compounds -sulfur compounds, such as allyl propyl disulphide (APDS) and flavonoids, such as quercetin. Flavonoid consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes since they are anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory.
Recent studies have shown the potential health benefits of common onions and established that shallots are particularly effective against liver cancer cells. Shallots have six times the phenolic content than onions. Shallots help the liver eliminate toxins from the body and have saponins to inhibit and kill cancer cells.
Shallots are specifically linked to inhibiting human stomach cancer. Shallots produce an anti-coagulant that thins the blood and exhibit strong anti-platelet activity and are very good for patients who have symptomatic atherosclerotic disease, cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. It aids brain function and thus protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Shallots can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by preventing the degradation of insulin and increasing metabolism of glucose. Eating shallots daily helps in the growth of bone tissue and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis by 20%. It contains Prostaglandin A-1, a powerful agent which can lower blood pressure. Sulfur content in shallots makes skin look younger. Daily intake of a little shallot will benefit in the long run. Shallots can be eaten raw or cooked till they are tender.
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