The Reason Why Onions Make Us Cry

Onions are one of the most important vegetables when it comes to cooking beautiful dishes. With its distinct flavour and beautiful colour, it can make your dish tastier. Many times, while slicing onions, we might tend to shed a tear or two or get a runny nose. Why is this so?  this happens because onions contain some compounds which can irritate the eye and make you teary.

Why does slicing onions really make you cry?

Onions grow and mature under the soil and in this part of the soil, there are some creatures which might inhibit the growth and maturity of the onion plant and because of this, the plant automatically develops a defense mechanism while it is growing to fight against these creatures the might be found under the soil.

As a result of this defense mechanism, onions expel some enzymes along side a very important acid, called sulfenic acid when it is sliced. The enzyme and this acid combine together to form a gas which can be irritating to the eyes and the nose in rare cases.

When this gas touches the eyes, tears are immediately formed and this tears flushes out the irritants that might be harmful to your eyes.

How can you prevent onions from making you cry?

There are several remedies that can help to prevent you from crying while slicing onions. Some of them are:

1. Submerge the onions in cold water or ice before slicing it. You can also slice it under running water.

2. Keep a safe distance between your eyes and the onion bulb while slicing it.

3. Use a sharp knife. The sharper the knife, the faster you cut the onions and the less likely you are to get irritated.

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