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posted: 2/25/2013 6:00 AM

Your Health: The onion — stinky but super

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  • Despite their bad reputation, onions are very good for you in many ways.

      Despite their bad reputation, onions are very good for you in many ways.

  • Doctors do frequent weight checks on newborn babies to make sure they are thriving and don't have any medical problems.

      Doctors do frequent weight checks on newborn babies to make sure they are thriving and don't have any medical problems.

 

Awesome onion!

Onions are often demonized as the cause of bad breath and indigestion, but new research shows that they also are nutritional powerhouses, says The Washington Post.

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According to the February issue of Runner's World, the humble alliums, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and even flavors, have been shown to help protect the brain, keep the heart healthy, strengthen bones, reduce cancer risk and aid digestion.

Onions contain numerous antioxidants, including quercetin, which can help offset damage to brain and muscle tissues, and others that are believed to lower the risk for some cancers and heart disease. Sulphur-containing compounds -- yes, the ones responsible for onions' funky odor -- may help protect blood vessels. Onions also are credited with keeping bad gut bacteria in check and relieving constipation.

Still worried about stinky breath? Opt for sweeter varieties of the vegetable and try grilling, sauteing or roasting onions to bring out their natural sweetness.

Baby weight

Is my baby gaining enough weight? It's a common concern for new parents and not necessarily an unfounded one, according to The Washington Post.

Low weight among newborns has been linked to compromised immune systems, making babies susceptible to illness, and could signal anything from a food allergy to a developmental issue. Scary as it sounds, though, low weight doesn't always signal a problem.

"Small babies can be as healthy as big babies," according to the February issue of American Baby magazine. "The key is steady growth."

The magazine's latest issue breaks down what moms and dads can expect. In the first few days after birth, it is normal for a baby to lose a few ounces -- water weight, according to experts. Around the two- to five-day mark, the baby will start to regain about a half-ounce per day and should be back at birth weight between days 10 and 14.

What are some red flags? If a newborn's weight dips by more than 7 percent, if she takes longer than two weeks to return to her birth weight or if there is a significant drop in trajectory on the growth chart -- for example, from the 60th percentile to the 10th -- then it's best to consult a pediatrician.

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