Why Whole Grains, Garlic and Onions are Better Together

How pairing onions and garlic with whole grains can make them healthier.

Pair This with That

November/December 2010

By Kerri-Ann Jennings

Why Whole Grains, Garlic and Onions are Better Together

Adding sautéed onions or garlic to whole-grain dishes takes them beyond ordinary—and new research suggests it can make whole grains healthier too. The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that combining garlic and/or onions with whole grains may help boost the absorption of iron and zinc—minerals that are absorbed less easily from plant than animal sources. (Iron helps shuttle oxygen to cells; zinc is needed for healthy immunity and repairing wounds.) Researchers don’t know exactly how, but speculate that sulfur compounds in onions and garlic are what help to promote absorption. (They’re also what cause garlic breath.)

Try these recipes tonight: Butternut Squash Pilaf Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup Mushroom & Wild Rice Frittata