Crying when slicing shallots is caused by the sulfenic acid, which is a result of the sulphuric compound's reaction to an enzyme. Sulfenic acid is unstable by nature, as it can turn into other compounds that vaporize when interacting with the eyes. The acid may cause eye irritation and this is why we cry when slicing shallots or onions.
Although crying when cutting it is annoying, the shallot also has multiple but little-known benefits. Shallots are the smallest variety of the Allium family, which includes onion, garlic and leek, as quoted by tempo.co.
According to a study by the University of California, shallots are one of the ideal foods to consume by dieters. Every 100 grams or about 3 to 5 ounces of raw shallots only contains 72 calories or about 0.10 grams of fat. While 100 grams of shallots only contains 3.2 grams of fat, it can provide the body's 13 per cent need for fiber.
The flavonoids in shallots also protect body cells from damage. According to a study published in September 2001 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the organosulphur compound in shallots is able to protect the stomach and prevent breast cancer.
Scientists also found potassium in shallots, which is able to regulate heartbeat, while maintaining the balance of body fluids. Potassium is also important to produce the enzymes that turn carbohydrates into energy. Other benefits from shallots include keeping healthy muscle contraction, kidney performance and also nerve cells to not easily coincide.