Onion Juice – It’s a Thing!

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

The longer you follow my advice and recommendations for healthy-vibe living, the more you’ll realize that there are a few foods I just can’t live without—and you shouldn’t either. One of them is onions.

Onions are one of Nature’s most incredible creations. In addition to being packed with nutrients, they’re a cook’s dream. Depending on how they’re prepared, onions can add a sharp (raw), savory (cooked), or even sweet (caramelized) flavor to virtually any dish (or beverage). I’m constantly using them to liven up salads, sandwiches, and soups, and I wouldn’t dream of making a batch of pasta sauce without them. (In fact, I can’t imagine an Italian meal without onions somewhere on the table!).

Still, I know from years of recommending them to patients that onions can be a hard sell. The pungent aroma and biting flavor can be too much for some people—and then there’s the bad breath that many find off-putting.

That’s why I want to tell you about onion juice. It’s a good way to gain the health benefits of onions, without being overwhelmed by them.

Onion Juice—“It’s a Thing” as the Kids Say

The best way to eat onions will always be raw, because the nutrient concentrations are highest. Juicing preserves all of those nutrients, but takes off some of the edge that you may find unpleasant.

Here’s how to do it:

Toss a peeled and quartered onion into the blender, and add a teaspoon of raw honey or some apples or carrots. Add a little filtered water, too to make it go down easier. It will still be an acquired taste—and you’ll have to experiment to find the right mix ratio for you—but the sweetness of the honey and carrots or apples should cut down on the “bite” of the onion and make it a little more palatable. Feel free to add other veggies like celery or cucumber to the mix.

Just be careful not to use exclusively the juice and skip out on eating the pulp of the vegetables. If you do that, you’ll miss out on all the health benefits of fiber, which are countless!

And, for some of the best honey you can find, check out my Vervana Raw Honey!

Onion—and Onion Juice—Health Benefits

As I mentioned, onions are loaded with nutrition—so much so that they’re one of my top superfoods. Here are just a few of the ways you can expect your health to improve as a result of making onions and/or onion juice a regular part of your meals:

Onion Benefit #1: Your Inflammation Levels Will Fall

In my opinion, this is the Number One health benefit of onions, because reducing inflammation is the sine qua non of healthy aging. If you want to prevent progressive, long-term issues like heart disease and cognitive decline, you have to slow the inflammatory response in your body—no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

There are three nutrients in onions that help with this: quercetin, selenium, and the phytonutrients known as organosulfides.

Quercetin is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage, which keeps inflammation in check. The trace mineral selenium is also a free radical scavenger, but I like it more for its ability to block NF-kappaB activity—one of the body’s major inflammatory pathways. Selenium also helps regulate the immune response, so it’s helpful in managing chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis or IBD.

Finally, there’s organosulfides. These nutrients contain sulfur, which is needed for the production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant. Here’s what you need to know about glutathione—it’s basically your body’s trash collector. It works primarily in the liver, gathering up and binding toxins for excretion. Eating a lot of sulfur-containing foods, like onions and onion juice, helps check keep glutathione levels high, which reduces the likelihood that toxic buildup will lead to inflammation.  

(As a side note, organosulfides are also the compounds in onions that cause you to cry as you cut them. But knowing how good they are for you, maybe you won’t mind the tears as much next time!)

Onion Benefit #2: Your Digestion Will Improve

If we’re being honest, most of us aren’t going to eat enough onion in a day to really move the needle when it comes to getting the recommended daily dose of fiber (I aim for 25-35 grams).

Still, every little bit helps—plus the fiber that onions contain is great for our gut bacteria.

Specifically, onions are a good source of inulin. This type of fiber is a favorite food of Bifidobacterium, a prominent strain of bacteria in the colon. These bugs help us break down and absorb food, and they keep our colon moving—so we’re better able to absorb nutrients and less likely to become constipated.

Onion Benefit #3: You’ll Be Less Likely to Have a Heart Attack

During my days in active practice, I always encouraged my patients with hypertension to eat as many onions as they (and their spouses) could stand. Why? Quercetin—the flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation—also brings down blood pressure.

This isn’t the only way that onions benefit heart health, though. They’ve also been linked with better arterial function and less blood clotting. One study even found that drinking onion juice can help balance cholesterol levels and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the one scenario in which cholesterol is truly dangerous, in my opinion).

The net result? Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke drops.

Onion Benefit #4: Your Hair, Skin, and Nails Will Look Great

Since sulfur is a primary ingredient needed for healthy hair and nails, upping your onion consumption is a great way to naturally improve your appearance. Plus, onions are rich in vitamin C, which is needed to build and maintain the collagen that keeps your skin firm.

For the more adventurous among you, there’s even a home remedy that claims onion juice, when applied directly to the scalp, may be able to help thicken and possibly regrow hair.

If you’re interested in trying an onion paste as a hair or skin enhancer, here’s a recipe that should cut down on the odor but still do the job:

After juicing your onion, mix it in a bowl with a plain, mild yogurt and add a drop or two of lavender oil (or another essential oil you like). Use the mixture as a face mask or a leave-in conditioner for your hair.

No matter how you consume onions, just remember one thing—do it! The health benefits of onions and onion juice aren’t something you want to pass up. And if you’ve got a great onion juice recipe, please share it and your experience in the comments!

References and Resources:

© 2017, 2019 Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply


  1. Dotti Altizer

    on September 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Love the information you give about caring for our body. Thank You

  2. Roger Cochrane

    on September 30, 2017 at 2:05 am

    I would be interested to know if garlic give the same benifits. Thank you for all the top quality information you provide

  3. Hazel Moss

    on October 4, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the info on onion juice I will give it a try. I do have blood pressure problem and High LDL . Wondering which supplements I need sounds like you have good ones . Any advice would be appreciated. Again thank you Hazel Moss

  4. HeartMD Editor

    on October 19, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Hi Roger,

    Garlic does show similar benefits to onions. It can even have a more pronounced effect on cholesterol.

    Be sure to check out this article on the benefits of garlic!

  5. pacewisdom

    on January 30, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Onion juice is good for Hair also.

  6. pavan

    on August 31, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Thank you so much for sharing the info on onion juice I will give it a try

  7. Eileen Bartelt

    on May 15, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Sounds awful Dr. S but by golly I’m going to try it!

  8. Cheryl Kondo

    on May 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Sounds interesting. I will try it. Thanks for the info.

  9. Lida Krieger

    on May 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I am confused because onions are discouraged for people like my self who suffer from GERD but Dr. Sinatra doesn’t mention any caveats.

  10. Bob

    on June 12, 2019 at 6:20 am

    God morning from Long Beach Ca,
    I have been receiving your stuff for a while now. I am a fairly active 82 year old. However, I went to my foot doctor recently. Stay with me here:after he checked my feet, I chatted with him about some chest pressure I had been having. I passed it of after taking acid pill. He stepped aside as a foot doctor and ordered an x-ray of the chest. Bingo!!Off I went to the close urgent care followed by an ambulance ride to the local ER followed by a stent the following morning for a 95% block

    I am home now and walking and going three times per week to the Cardio rehab at the local hospital. Need to lose about 10 pounds so I will be walking two times per day. Any further tips on Rehab?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular