Shallots are long, thin bulbs like vegetable. They are smaller in size and grow in clusters of bulbs in the root system. The bulbs have a mild pungent taste and a distinct smell as compared to onions and garlic. This is a popular ingredient used by the chefs around the world. Besides adding flavour to your dishes, shallots have various health benefits and a high nutrient content. They’re also great for your hair and are widely used as an ingredient in hair treatment products.
Shallots belong to the onion and allium family. They contain vital nutrients like vitamins B & C, calcium, iron and potassium. There are many varieties of shallots such as French Grey Shallot or Griselle Genus Allium Oschaninii, Pink Shallot or Jersey Shallot, Banana Shallot, Green shallot.
Shallots contain iron which is required for proper functioning of your red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells contain a good amount of hemoglobin that helps them transfer oxygen from the lungs to the other tissues of your body. It is also essential for your proper metabolism, brain function and to make your tissues strong.
1 cup of shallots can provide 1.9 milligrams of iron that gives 24 percent of the daily required iron intake for men and 11% for women.
Shallots help in a healthy digestion. Due to its dietary fiber content, it absorbs water and fills your stomach after a meal. It slowly releases sugar in your bloodstream and helps soften the stool, thus preventing constipation. It is also useful in reducing the blood cholesterol levels, preventing many heart diseases.
One cup of shallots can provide 5.1 grams of dietary fiber that is 20 percent of the daily required fiber for women and 13% for men.
Shallots are a rich source of potassium. One cup of shallots can provide 534 milligrams of potassium that is 11% of your daily required intake.
Potassium is useful to regulate the body’s fluid levels. It also aids in the proper functioning of nerve and muscle cells. This helps the metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates into required body fuel. Potassium helps in maintaining a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure. Deficiency of potassium can lead to cramps and weakness in the muscle.
Rich in vitamin A:
Shallots are the richest source of vitamin A that is required for your good health. Vitamin A (an antioxidant) helps protect you from the harmful free radical damage. They can also be useful in maintaining membranes, prevent infections, lead to good eye health, promote healthy immune system, and for proper growth and development.
Low in fat:
Shallots contain very low amount of fat. Hence, they can be effectively used for low-fat diets.
Low in sodium:
Shallots are very low in sodium. Our body requires some amount of sodium for survival, but too much can cause high blood pressure. Many flavoring ingredients are high in sodium content, but shallots can be consumed by high blood pressure or kidney patients as a suitable alternative.
Shallots have two sets of compounds including sulphur compounds like allyl propyl disulphide (APDS) and flavonoids like quercetin. Consume flavonoid in your daily diet to reduce the risk of cancer, heart related diseases and diabetes. They are antiviral, anti-allergenic, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Consume shallots in your daily diet for the proper growth of the bone tissue and reduce the risk of osteoporosis by 20 %.