Onions and garlic have been used as spices in cooking for thousands of years all over the world. Many people do not know a lot about these spices, besides the fact that these increase the taste of food; contribute a lot to our health. Recent research reports that compounds in both onion and garlic increase the bio availability of iron and zinc from cereals by seven-folds.
Iron deficiency is reported to affect about a third of the global population, with two billion people anemic around the world. In addition, zinc deficiency affects 30% of the world’s population.
About the study
The study was conducted by Krishnapura Srinivasan and colleagues at the Central Food Technological Research Institute (India). Researchers studied two cereals—rice and sorghum; and two pulses—whole green gram and chickpea. They added garlic and onion to cereals and pulses, and found that iron uptake increased by 70% and zinc uptake rose by up to 160%. High sulfur content in garlic and onion was shown to boost iron and Zinc in lab animals.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
wp-image-4307" style="margin: 1px 12px;" title="zinc_deficiency" src="http://www.knowabouthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/zinc_graph-300x236.jpg" alt="" width="316" height="248" />Bioavailability of micronutrients
Researchers say that bioavailability of micronutrients like iron and zinc is particularly low from plant foods, which is why they are looking to evolve a food-based strategy to improve and combat widespread deficiencies of these minerals in certain populations dependent on plant foods.
Minerals are among the important nutrition requirements of the human body. Although minerals are needed in small quantities, but their deficiency in the body can cause various health concerns. Many developing countries have problems of malnutrition and in majority of cases people are not aware that they can easily fulfill their nutrient requirements with the daily diet. Such research shows potential to educate and combat the widespread diseases that are caused by deficiency of nutrients.