The wide variety of flavours that an onion offers is what makes it a popular ingredient in most dishes. From sweet and sour to crispy and tangy, onions add a subtleness of one or more of such flavours. While onion can lend different tastes to a dish, the varieties of onions are largely categorized into two. These are namely red and white onions. While red onions are extensively used in South East Asian cooking, especially Indian, Mexican, and French delicacies like the French onion soup make use of the white varieties.

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The taste, texture and flavours that these two types of onions add to a dish also differ as do the health benefits that both have to offer. Here are some of the nutritional components of red and white onions which can help you pick the healthier type.  

1.  Calories

Given the calorific value that the two add to any dish, it is believed that 100 gms of red onions contain about 37 calories which is slightly lesser than the calories in white onions. The latter contains about 42 calories in a quantity of 100 gms.  

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2.  Vitamins And Minerals 

The good part about both the onions is that they contain a good amount of Vitamin C, which helps to keep infections at bay and build immunity. Some 100 gms of these onions provide the body with 10% this vitamin, which is essential for daily intake. However, red onions have an upper hand because they contain iron and calcium which is good for bone health. The white varieties lack both these nutrients, making red onions a healthier option.  

3.  Colour Benefits

Although some may not know this but the colour of the onion also adds to its nutritional value. Both the onions contain a flavonoid that acts as antioxidant. However, the red onions are believed to contain more amounts of this flavonoid than the white ones. This substance is also good for heart health as well as preventing cancer, according to a report by a media publication.

While these benefits make red onion healthier, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor shared some interesting facts about white onions earlier this year where he highlighted the benefits of these onions. Although the use of white onions is not so prevalent in most South Asian cooking, he mentioned how white onions have anti-bacterial properties and are an excellent source of fibre too. These onions have anti-inflammatory properties which are not present in large quantities in red ones, according to a report by a leading publication.