I like shallots. Maybe because when living in France, I used to make a basic salad dressing with finely chopped shallots thrown into some olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Recently, when we grew some nice organic shallots in our garden, I decided to do a bit of research to find out if there is a major difference between onions and shallots. I found that overall, shallots have a better nutritional profile than onions. On weight per weight basis, they have more anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins than onions.

Here are some very interesting facts:

  • Shallots are a rich source of flavonoid anti-oxidants such as quercetin, kemferfol…etc. Further, they contain sulphur anti-oxidant compounds such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and allyl propyl disulfide. These compounds convert to allicin through enzymatic action following disruption of their cell surface while crushing, and chopping.
  • Shallots hold several fold more concentration of vitamins and minerals than in onions, especially vitamin A, pyridoxine, folates, thiamin, vitamin C etc. Pyridoxine (B-6) raises GABA chemical level inside the human brain that help soothe nervous irritability. In addition, 100 g fresh shallots carry 1190 IU (35% RDA) of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Research studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.
  • Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by releasing vasodilator chemical nitric oxide (NO) and thereby help bring a reduction in the total blood pressure. Further research studies suggest that allicin inhibit the platelet clot-formation in the blood vessels that helps decrease an overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
  • Further, they are also good in minerals and electrolytes than onions; particularly iron, calcium, copper, potassium, and phosphorus.

So, if you haven’t made a point to use shallots in the past, consider adding them to your produce repertoire.

Source and more info: www.nutrition-and-you.com/shallots.html