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We love onions, but despite the fact that they are an essential ingredient in many meals, onions always make us cry. Why do we cry after eating onions? Sulfides, which are included in this allium family vegetable, naturally irritate the eyes. Fresher onions are less likely to make you weep than older ones, however it can be difficult to detect the difference in some cases. In contrast to those with flaky, papery skin or those lacking a brilliant green bulb, onions with tight, full skins are preferred.  

When an onion is cut, enzymes called alliinases are released from the broken cells, which then break down the amino acids in the onion into super volatile substances like allicin and a gas called syn-Propanethial S-oxide. The gas moves through the air and irritates the membrane on your eyes. Hence, the tears.

We can’t do without onions – as that seems to be the way to get rid of it totally, because of the following benefits it gives to us:

1. Have Many Antioxidants

Antioxidants in onions may help prevent cell damage by fighting free radical molecules. Free radicals are developed when the body is exposed to radiation or tobacco smoke.

2. Help with Blood Sugar Levels

Onions are an excellent way to help keep your blood sugar levels steady. The flavonoids in onions work to keep the blood glucose levels stabilized.

3. Improved Digestive Health

Onions contain a high amount of prebiotics and fiber. In the body, this helps improve gut health by aiding in digestion, strengthening the immune system, and lowering inflammation.

4. Loaded with Nutrients

Onions are considered to be nutrient-dense food. This means that they contain a small number of calories and a large number of nutrients. They are a great source of potassium and manganese which helps to increase energy, metabolism, create connective tissue, aids in bone health, and lowers the chance of forming blood clots.

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Onions contain an antioxidant called quercetinQuercetin is an anti-inflammatory and works to fight off inflammation within the body. It is great at lowering swelling, helping with arthritis, and treating bladder infections.

Despite all these benefits, they still make us cry. We will look at how to solve this.

First, Things That Don’t Work:

Lighting a candle.  The smell of the candle does nothing to cover up the onion fumes that enter your eyes.

The damp paper towel trick. Placing damp paper towel by your cutting board will not also draw the irritating gas away from your eyes.

Microwaving the onion. Microwaving the onion before cutting it doesn’t weaken the amino acids that cause crying, as popularly thought.

Things To Do To Stop Crying While Chopping Onions

Since the onion enzymes are the culprit of your tears, the key is to either stop the enzymes, reduce their activity or cover your eyes. Here are some ways to actually stop crying while cutting onions:

Wear goggles. Wearing goggles actually work because they shield your eyes from allicin in the air. Similarly, wearing contacts while chopping can also reduce symptoms.

Use a sharp knife. A super-sharp chef’s knife will damage the onion cell walls as little as possible, releasing fewer enzymes in the process. Also, it is safer to use sharp knives than blunt ones

Chilling the Onion in the Refrigerator

The cold temperature basically makes the enzymes slow to be let out; lending you time to cut your onions without crying. Although, as soon as the onions get warm, the crying process continues. The cold temperature does not kill the enzymes.

Leaving the Onion Stem Intact

The onion stem is said to have the most concentrated amount of sulfur, aka the stuff that makes you cry. You’re releasing those chemicals in the air and into your eyes by cutting the stem off immediately. If you leave it intact while chopping, there shouldn’t be tears.

Cutting the Onion under Cold Water

The cold effect on the onions prevents it from letting off some enzymes into the eyes. So, it is advisable to cut under maybe a running cold water or in a bowl of cold water.

Running Your Arm under Cold Water

Anytime you feel your eyes start to burn or well up, head to the sink and run your forearm under cold water until you feel better. While it’s not the most convenient method, it definitely takes the pain away regardless of how many onions you’re cutting.

To be clear, I’m not saying that cooling your arm will stop your eyes from burning, exactly. But the act of standing over the sink and thrusting my arm into that cold stream of water led to relief. Bending your face toward the water can keep the irritants away from your eyes.

Run the vent hood. Position your cutting board next to the stove and turn on the exhaust fan. Irritants will be pulled away from you and your eyes.

Soak the onion in water. The enzyme is denatured by the water-air boundary. However, do know that this eliminates some flavor and that the onion gets a little more slippery than normal– making it a bit harder to use. If milder onions are okay for you, give this method a try.

Point your knife away from the tubes. Because onion “flesh” is tubular in construction, pointing the tubes away from you while cutting will keep the onion from spraying in your eyes. Of course, a breeze of any kind can send it toward your eyes, so pay attention to air currents too. Turn that fan on — and point it in the right direction!

Whistle while you work. Whistling makes a significant airflow, specifically away from your face, which keeps the onion mist away from your eyes.

Spray your surface with vinegar

A solution of half vinegar and half water works best, but if you notice this isn’t working, you might want to try just using undiluted vinegar. The reason is that vinegar stops the sulfur from reacting with your eyes and therefore should allow you to chop an onion without crying.



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Hello readers, you are welcome to your info connect. My name is Emmanuel, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer, a blogger, and Digital Marketer. I share educational and career information and content to enable viewers who are aiming for success to attain it in their various fields. I hope you enjoy your tour here.

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