In his new book, Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI explains the health benefits of alliums and why it’s best to let onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks sit for 10 minutes after chopping before cooking.
“Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives and scallions fall into the allium family. Allium vegetables are jam-packed with nutrients: vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, K, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc. On top of this alliums contain aromatic organosulfur compounds that have extraordinary health benefits. When fresh garlic or onions are chopped, an enzyme called alliinase is activated and converts alliin into allicin. It takes 10 minutes for the enzyme to activate the allicin (hence CHOP and STOP prior to heating by cooking), a compound that has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and even antiviral properties. The allicin appears to target the bad guys like multidrug-resistant enterotoxigenic E. Coli and Candida albicans. Allium vegetables also have potent anticancer activity particularly against gastric and prostate cancer. The stronger the smell, the better for your health!” – Dr. B