Find out here why onions make you cry and how to avoid tears

Kitchens see more profuse tears than movie theaters when showing a dramatic movie or concert halls, even playing the saddest song in the world. Don’t say you’re too strong to cry. This will not prevent bunions. Have you ever wondered why onions make you cry? Check out our article to find the answer, as well as some simple tips to stop crying when cutting this vegetable.

Cut the onion without crying, it’s possible!

It’s actually a matter of biochemistry. Before reaching his kitchen, the onion was on the ground, fed with sunlight and minerals. However, the underground is inhabited by creatures like voles or moles, which love to gnaw on roots, tubers and bulbs. To protect them during their growth, the onion has a very interesting defense mechanism. It absorbs sulfur from the ground so it can release it when its skin is broken. In short, the onion mistakes it for a mole and tries to drive it away. When you try to cut it, it releases enzymes and sulfuric acid. These two compounds combine to produce syn-propanethial-S oxide, which is a volatile gas. Once it reaches the layer of water that covers and protects your eyeballs, this gas turns back into sulfuric acid.

Why do onions make you cry?

why onions make a woman cry while cutting onions

Cooking with onions without shedding tears

onion benefits eyes cut onion in a bowl

Are there onions that don’t make you cry?

In general, all types of onions contain sulfuric acid. The only difference is in the quantities. That is, white, red and yellow onions cause a stronger chemical reaction than green onions. In addition, agronomists have managed to create a variety of onions that do not irritate the eyes. Unfortunately, it is still not widespread.

The four types of onion

chemical composition onion the four types of onion

How do you deal with this chemical drama and stop crying in the middle of the kitchen? We have some simple and effective tips for you!

cover your eyes

This is perhaps the easiest method! If your eyes are covered, the irritating gas cannot reach your eyes. Either way, you shouldn’t cut the onion with your eyes closed. Wear ski goggles or swimming goggles instead.

Interesting application of swimming goggles

trick not to cry when cutting onions woman with ski goggles

Cut under a jet of water

It has been said that volatile sulfuric gas comes in contact with water to turn into sulfuric acid. That’s why if we cut the onion under a jet of cold water, this irritating gas doesn’t have time to touch our eyes before it turns into sulfuric acid, which is not a volatile substance. Why not combine the last two tricks and cut the onion with swimming goggles while diving underwater? So you’re not going to give sulfur gas a chance.

chill the onion

You can put the onion in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes for a few hours. It turns out that this prevents sulfuric gas from being released.

Cut the vacuole at the end

The vacuole or roots in the center of the onion is said to contain the greatest amount of sulfur. Therefore, we advise you to cut the rest of the onion, leaving the roots for the end.

An interesting cutting technique

why onions sting your eyes cutting an onion

Choose a sharp knife

Choosing the right knife is a very important part of onion cutting. If you use a sharp enough tool, you can cut the onion without crushing it. As a result, it will release less liquid containing sulfuric gas.

use lemon juice

Lemon juice contributes a lot to our well-being. But did you know that it can also help us in the fight against sulfuric gas? Try putting some lemon juice on the knife blade to see the amazing effect. The acidity of the lemon will neutralize that of the onion.

Put the lemon juice on the knife

why onions sting your eyes by cutting a lemon with a knife

Combines with the acidity of the onion

Like cold, heat can also protect our eyes from the sulfuric gas in onions. You can light a candle or a match whose flame neutralizes the acidity of the onion.

The flame of a candle protects the eyes

why onions make you cry cut an onion with a candle

stick out your tongue

This is probably the funniest method. However, it works! Stick your tongue out so it’s the first layer of water the volatile gas will encounter.

Onion and its benefits for the eyes

What a surprise ! It turns out that despite the pungent effect it creates, the onion is not the enemy of your eyes. On the contrary ! Science has proven that onions can treat eye problems and improve vision. So don’t be angry with this vegetable, because its sulfuric acid, which makes us cry, helps us to clean our eyes of bacteria, dust or dirt, which got in during makeup, for example. It also helps us fight dry eyes. All of this lowers the risk of infection. In addition, it is an excellent antioxidant for eye lenses. It improves the health of the eyes and protects them from diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. And that’s not all! The sulfur compounds contained in onions make the lens stronger and more durable and thus improve vision. Onions also contain phytochemicals such as quercetin which is an antidote for eye inflammation and also soothes eye irritation.

The onion is an ally of your eyes

side effect of shallot cutting an onion on a plate

You don’t have to cause the sulfur chemical reaction and cry every time you have an eye problem. You can simply dilute a few drops of onion juice in a glass of water and put this mixture in your eyes. Be careful not to add too much onion juice to avoid irritating your eyeballs.

Onion juice to heal your eyes


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