Lovers of English literature will instantly associate the term Shallot with Lord Tennyson's famous "Lady of Shallot" poem. English language experts may look for a connection between this famous Arthurian legend and this onion-like plant from the Allium family, but records of people cooking this plant stretch back to the Ancient Greek period. It goes by many different names, for example, Baker's Garlic or Oriental Onion. Shallots also come in various varieties such as Dutch Yellow Shallot and French Red Shallot. The Crusaders found shallots widely used in Middle Eastern cooking and medicines and so they brought them to Northern Europe.
With heart disease one of the leading killers in western countries, the benefits shallots can bring to heart health is becoming more widely appreciated. One of the ways they help is through reducing bad cholesterol levels and preventing accumulations of plaque in the arteries. Such artery blockages count as one of the most common heart problem triggers. Also, shallots contain allicin and quercetin antioxidants. Studies show that the presence of these compounds with their strong anti-hypertensive properties lowers the risks of heart damage.
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