What to do with Shallots

    Shallots nutrition facts

    Shallots or eschalots are long, slender, undergound, fleshy stems in the Allium family of tunicate bulb vegetables. In general, they differ from the onions in being smaller, and grow in clusters of bulbs from each plant-root system. The bulbs are characteristically less pungent than that of onions and garlic, which makes them one of the favorite ingredients in cuisine across the regions.
    This bulb vegetable is probably originated in the Central Asian region, and today, cultivated as a major commercial crop in all the continents. Botanically, it too like its fellow bulb and stem (leeks) vegetables belong to the Alliaceae family, in the genus, Allium. Scientific name: Allium cepa var. aggregatum.

    Health benefits of Shallots

    • Overall, shallots have better nutrition profile than onions. On weight per weight basis, they have more anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins than onions.

    • They are rich source of flavonoid anti-oxidants such as quercetin, kemferfol…etc. Further, they contain sulphur anti-oxidant compounds such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and allyl propyl disulfide. These compounds convert to allicin through enzymatic action following disruption of their cell surface while crushing, and chopping.

    • Research studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductaseenzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.

    • Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by releasing vasodilator chemical nitric oxide (NO) and thereby help bring a reduction in the total blood pressure. Further research studies suggest that allicin inhibit the platelet clot-formation in the blood vessels that helps decrease an overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.

    • The phyto-chemical compounds allium and Allyl disulfide in onion have anti-mutagenic (protects from cancers) and anti-diabetic properties (helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetics).

    • Shallots hold several fold more concentration of vitamins and minerals than in onions, especiallyvitamin A, pyridoxine, folates, thiamin, vitamin C etc. Pyridoxine (B-6) raises GABA chemical level inside the human brain that help soothe nervous irritability. In addition, 100 g fresh shallots carry 1190 IU (35% RDA) of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

    • Further, they are also good in minerals and electrolytes than onions; particularly iron, calcium, copper, potassium, and phosphorus.

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