Shallots have many health benefits, such as aid in weight loss efforts; speed up digestion; boost circulation; soothe nerves; help manage diabetes; lower blood pressure; provide anti – fungal, anti – bacterial and anti – viral protection; prevent certain types of cancer and it has ability to lower cholesterol levels. Normally, shallots are considered as a variety of onions.
They share the same species – Allium cepa but in the subspecies variety, they are called Aggragatium group. Shallots are closely related to garlic and they have a similar structure of a head composed of multiple cloves. Shallots vary in color from golden brown to rose – red while inner flesh of shallot is pulpy white with some green coloring. Shallots are native to Southeast Asia and they moved from India and traveled to the Mediterranean region through trade and general crop movement.
In the Greek history is noticed that shallots have been cultivated for thousands of years. There are no common allergies to shallots but there can be rare allergies so you should consume shallots in moderation.
Health benefits of shallots
Soothe nerves: There are many vitamins and minerals found in shallots, including pyridoxine which can help to stimulate the release of GABA in the brain. As we know, GABA is very important for maintaining low – stress levels and keeping the hormones in the body at the proper levels. It can give you a quick GABA boost which can help you to reduce stress or relax your mind. Also, shallots are rich in folic acid which is essential B – vitamin that can help you with the mental and emotional state by regulating hormonal and enzymatic reactions in your brain.
Control diabetes: Shallots have two important phytochemicals – allium and allyl disulfide, which are possessing anti – diabetic properties which means that they can help to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. This can help to diabetics which need to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
Lower blood pressure: Shallot has potassium which in a combination with allicin can help to release nitric oxide in your body which means that the blood pressure is significantly decreased. Potassium is a vasodilator which can help to relax the walls of the blood vessels and it allows the blood to flow more freely. This can prevent clotting and stress on the cardiovascular system which will further boost the heart health.
Lower cholesterol and improve heart health: When shallots are sliced and diced, then the allicin is formed. This component is linked to regulating cholesterol levels in the body. Allicin can inhibit a reductase enzyme which is produced in the liver and it is an enzyme which can control the cholesterol production. When you are lowering the total cholesterol in your body, then it can help to prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease.
Improve circulation and metabolism: Shallots have mineral content which is higher than that of onions, including potassium, iron and copper. It is known that iron and copper can help to boost the circulation in the body by stimulating the production of red blood cells. When you have more red blood cell count in your bloodstream, then the blood circulation increases which is bringing more oxygen to important areas of the body while at the same time, it will increase the metabolism, healing, cell re-growth, vitality and energy.
Acts as antioxidant agent: Shallots are rich in antioxidants, such as kaempferol, quercetin and many sulfuric antioxidants. These antioxidants are released when the cell surface is disrupted and this is caused by slicing or crushing which is similar to garlic. When these antioxidants are released, then they form another valuable compound called allicin. This powerful compound can help to reduce the cell mutation and many different types of cancers. There are some studies in which are said that the shallots can help to reduce the lung and oral cancers, as well as breast, colorectal and stomach cancer.