Nutritional Food Fact Sheet Series


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Onions are vegetables grown in the ground. Onions can have a strong smell and taste before they are cooked.  They add a lot of flavor to traditional recipes and other foods. 

What do we know about onions?

Green, white, yellow and red onions are common vegetables in northern gardens today because they grow well in our climate. They can also be bought from the store. Eating locally grown vegetables and traditional foods helps keep our bodies healthy. 

If buying onions, look for ones that are round, firm and do not have any green mould, soft spots or wilting.  Look for onions that have deep green stems.

Many northern communities have one or more community, backyard, indoor garden or greenhouse.  What is your community growing this year?

Nutrients in onions

Nutrient Content per Serving

Onion, raw
125 mL (85g)

Excellent Source supplies 25%  or more of a nutrient per day  
Good Source supplies 15 - 24% of a nutrient per day  
Fair Source supplies 5 -14% of a nutrient per day

Vitamin C

  • Reference Serving Sizes are from Canada’s Food Guide (1/2 cup = 125ml for most fruits and vegetables; weights vary).
  • The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) amounts are based on the needs of a 14 – 18 year old girl.
  • Excellent, good and fair sources of nutrients have been standardized for any type of food source.

Did you know?

  • Onions are a fair source of vitamin C which keeps our gums, teeth and skin healthy.
  • Onions are a fair source of B vitamins, like B6, which are important for growth and healthy skin, hair, nerves and muscles.   

How to store, prepare and eat onions

  • Store whole onions in a cool, dark and dry place.
  • Leave the skins on and do not wash onions before you store them.
  • Peel the skin off of onions before eating or preparing.
  • Onions can be eaten raw, baked or pickled.
  • Chopped onions can be added to soups and stews.
  • Chopped raw onions can be added to salads.
  • Cutting up onions usually makes your eyes water.
  • This is normal and is not a problem. Avoid touching your eyes after cutting up onions.
  • Cut up onions can be stored in the freezer and used later in soups and stews.

Healthy Eating

Onions are used to add flavor to meats, soups, stews, casseroles and salads.

Growing food as part of a healthy lifestyle

Getting outside to garden is a great way to be active. Growing, gathering, and eating garden foods will help keep us healthy.

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