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Are Onions Acidic? (Should you be eating them?)

People either absolutely love onions or can’t stand them. I personally love onions in my meals. They’re an excellent topping for salads and tacos, as well as the perfect ingredient to add flavor to a dish.

These vegetables are popular around the world, with so many people regularly using these vegetables, they have to be good for us, right? Are onions alkaline, neutral, or acidic?

Are Onions Acidic?

Onions are acidic. Most onions have a pH rating of 5 to 5.8 depending on the type and whether they’re raw or cooked. When you take a look at the pH scale, this means that onions are quite acidic. The good news is, they still lean closer to a neutral rating than something as acidic as lemons or limes.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Onions and their pH Rating

What Kinds of Onions Are There?

We’ve already established that onions are on the acidic side of the pH scale. But depending on the type of onion you’re using, they may have different pHs.

For example, red and white onions tend to have pHs that are closer to 5.8, whereas a yellow onion is closer to 5.6. This means that red and white onions are ever so slightly less acidic than yellow onions.

The slight difference in pH is not something you’ll be able to notice when eating these vegetables, though.

The pH of onions may change slightly as you cook them, but they’ll still be acidic in nature.

RELATED: Is Asparagus Acidic? (+How to prepare it)

Are Onions Healthy For You?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Onions are pretty good for you. Onions are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as potent plant compounds. These plant compounds have been known to contribute to good health.

Onions are high in nutrients and low in calories. One medium onion only has around 40 calories, but it can provide your body with high doses of vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

Onions have high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps keep your immune system healthy, aids in collagen production, repairs tissues, and helps your body absorb iron.

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant in your body. It helps protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals.

They also have vitamin B, which helps regulate your metabolism, red blood cell production and keeps your nerves working well.

Many say that onions have medicinal properties. In ancient times, onions were used to treat heart disease, mouth sores, and even headaches.

RELATED: 15 Alkaline Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

Potential Health Benefits of Onions

In addition to the vitamins and minerals that onions have, studies have linked the consumption of onions to health benefits.

The anti-inflammatory properties of onions can help reduce high blood pressure and prevent your body from developing blood clots.

Onions have a powerful antioxidant called quercetin that can help decrease your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

One study found that with a sample of 70 people who were overweight with high blood pressure, a dose of quercetin-rich onion extract a day reduced their blood pressure significantly.

In another study regarding cholesterol levels, 54 women with polycystic ovarian syndrome consumed large amounts of raw onions.

The consumption of roughly 40 to 50 grams of raw red onions per day reduced their “bad” cholesterol levels.

RELATED: Is Bok Choy Acidic? (Is it good for you?)

Will Eating Onions Give You Heartburn or Acid Reflux?

Kid and mother cutting onions in the kitchen
Why Does Chopping Onions Make You Cry?

The answer to this depends on the person. If you’re someone who doesn’t typically get heartburn or acid reflux, eating onions probably won’t get you those symptoms.

Now, if you do get heartburn or have acid reflux disease, it’s possible that onions may make you feel uncomfortable.

You would probably need to eat a large number of raw onions to feel any adverse symptoms from eating onions.

If you cook your onions thoroughly before eating them, it helps reduce the acidity, and there’s less of a chance you’ll get heartburn or acid reflux.

RELATED: Are Strawberries Acidic? (To eat or avoid?)

Who Produces the Most Onions?

The leading producer of onions in the world is China. They produce around 11 million tons of onions a year. China regularly experiments with ways to improve onion production.

Their efforts have increased the country’s onion production.

Coming in second place for the most onion production is India. Farmers grow onions in India in two separate crop cycles, ensuring they’re creating exports almost year-round.

The country that comes in third place for onion production is the United States.

They produce roughly 6.2 billion pounds of onions a year. While the United States comes in third place for onion production, there are only about 1,000 onion farmers in the country.

What Country Eats the Most Onions?

Onions go well with almost any dish and can be cooked in hundreds of ways. Since this vegetable is popular around the world, which country eats onions the most?

The country that consumes the most onions per capita annually is Libya. On average, each person in Libya eats 66 pounds of onions every year!

How Many Types of Onions Are There?

There are dozens, if not more, types of onions in the world. Even when you go to the grocery store, you probably see several kinds.

You probably know about red onions, yellow onions, and chives, but did you know that leeks are in the onion family? The most popular types of onions are red, yellow, and white.

How Do I Get Rid of Onion Breath?

Onions are tasty, but the smell they leave in your mouth afterward can be repulsive. Brushing your teeth definitely helps to reduce the stink coming from your mouth, but the best way to eliminate onion breath is to eat parsley.

Why Does Chopping Onions Make You Cry?

Before onions make their way to your cutting board, they were on a farm. While they’re being grown, they absorb sulfur.

When you start cutting an onion, separated enzymes meet the sulfur in the onion, and unstable sulfonic acids are formed. This specific chemical is called syn-propanethial-S-oxide.

This chemical evaporates easily but is strong. When a chemical reaches your nose and eyes, it causes a burning sensation.

Tears are actually your body’s way of protecting you from the irritant and getting you to walk away from it.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.