The nutritional value of chives will urge you to include them in your diet. Chives are related to onions and garlic and are high in dietary fiber, provitamin A, vitamin K, and flavonoids, among other nutrients. They can help with cancer prevention, heart health, and inflammation treatment. Their high fiber content may help with stomach issues as well.
What Are Chives and How Do You Use Them?
Chives, scientifically known as Allium schoenoprasum, are related to garlic, shallot, scallion, and Chinese onion. They are perennial plants that can be found in a variety of locations in Europe, Asia, and North America.
They are a common herb that can be bought in most supermarkets. In addition, the plant provides an abundance of nectar for pollinators. Chives can also be used as a decorative garnish on salads, baked potatoes, and other foods.
Onion chives (common chives) and Chinese chives are the two types of chives (also called garlic chives). Garlic chives have flat leaves, but onion chives have hollow leaves.
Historic Facts About Chives
Some interesting historic facts about chives are as follows:
- Chives have been used for 5,000 years and have been farmed since the Middle Ages (starting in the 5th century). They’re also known as ‘rush leeks.’
- Indeed, a Roman poet named Marcus Valerius Martialis once observed chives, “He who wears chives on his breath is secure from being kissed to death.”
- This herb was thought to help with sunburn and painful throat problems by the Romans. They also thought chives may be used as a diuretic.
- Dutch farmers gave chives to their calves in the 19th century to give the milk a different flavor.
Chive: Nutritional Information
The following is some key nutritional information about chives:
1. Fat And Calories
Chives are a low-calorie flavor that can be a healthy alternative to other flavorings. Only 4 calories are in a quarter cup of chives. There is no salt in chives, and each serving has only one-tenth of a gram of fat.
2. Vitamin K
A quarter cup of chives contains 26 micrograms of vitamin K, which is around one-fifth of the daily required amount for males and 29% for women. This vitamin helps your body activate a variety of enzymes, including those involved in bone mineralization and cell growth.
3. Vitamin A
Chives have a lot of beta-carotene, which is a type of vitamin A. The enzymes divide this beta-carotene into two vitamins A molecules during digestion. 522 International Units (IU) of vitamin A are found in a quarter cup of chives. This is roughly 17% of the 3000 IU recommended daily intake for men and 22% of the 2333 IU recommended daily intake for women.
The two main antioxidants contained in chives are quercetin and vitamin K. Breast, colon, prostate, ovaries, endometrial, and lung cancers may be prevented by quercetin and other flavonoids. Chives also include carotenes, zeaxanthin, and lutein, all of which can help protect against lung and oral malignancies.
Health Benefits of Chives
Chives are high in flavonoid antioxidants, which are responsible for many health advantages. These antioxidants aid in the prevention of cancer, the improvement of heart health, and even the reduction of inflammation. They also help to cleanse the body and improve skin health. Additionally, the fiber in them can aid digestion.
1. Keep Your Heart Safe
Again, the allicin in chives gets the credit. It is organosulfur that is known to aid in the reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure. In the bloodstream, allicin releases nitric oxide, which decreases blood vessel stiffness and blood pressure. In addition, the quercetin in chives helps to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.
Allicin not only lowers bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) but also raises good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) – both of which are beneficial to the heart.
Chives also help to improve circulation. They include vitamin C, which increases blood capillary flexibility and iron absorption. Additionally, the folic acid in chives reduces blood vessel constriction.
2. Make Digestive Process Easier
Chives aid in the removal of unwanted bacteria, yeast, and fungi from your intestinal tract, which could otherwise cause digestive problems. The antibacterial properties of chives can aid in the elimination of at least 30 Salmonella strains (which can cause intestinal distress).
Chives include a good amount of fiber as well as other important nutrients including niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and zinc, all of which are known to help with digestion. This phytochemical mixture can also help with gastrointestinal discomfort.
Chives may also help to alleviate flatulence and aid digestion.
3. Increase Immunity
Chives include a variety of phytochemicals that can help your immune system. Chives also contain trace levels of selenium, another vital mineral that boosts immunity. Immune cells with low selenium levels may have trouble synthesizing proteins and transferring calcium.
Chives can also help your T-cells function better. They also protect against the common cold and flu. However, the study is scarce in this area.
Sulfuric components in chives, according to a study, assist enhance immunity. They also heal wounds faster in this manner.
4. Beneficial During Pregnancy
Chives are high in folate, and we don’t need to tell you how important folate is during pregnancy. Folate is important for a fetus’s brain development, as well as cell division and DNA synthesis.
Folic acid also aids in the prevention of birth abnormalities, particularly in the brain and spinal cord of newborns.
5. Are antimicrobial
Chives are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic. Chinese chives have antibacterial qualities, according to one study. According to another study, Chinese chives had the highest antibacterial activity.
Chives’ antibacterial capabilities, along with vitamin C, can kill hazardous germs. This combination is effective in the treatment of yeast infections.
6. It Has the Potential to Improve Hair Health
Though we don’t have any hard evidence, several sources claim that chives can help with hair growth. They can stimulate blood flow to the scalp while also strengthening the hair roots. They may also help to avoid hair breakage.
A chive oil hair mask can also help with dull hair. Boil the chives for around 30 seconds before rinsing them in cold water. In a half-cup of olive oil, toss the chives. Make a purée and massage it into your scalp. Shampoo as usual after 30 minutes.
These are some of the ways that chives can make your life easier and more enjoyable. However, one must also understand how to use them.
7. Defeat Cancer
Chives have been shown to lower cancer risk.
The flavonoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which we saw before, are known to protect against lung and oral cancers. Chives are also high in fiber, which aids in the prevention of colon cancer. Chives, like other members of the family, contain allicin, an essential antioxidant that has been linked to the prevention of breast cancer.
Allium vegetables (those containing allicin) have been demonstrated in trials to have anti-cancer properties in the stomach and esophagus. Chives also aid in the production of glutathione, a chemical that allows your body to recognize and eliminate cancer-causing toxins. Chives have also been found in studies to help prevent prostate cancer. Several other studies have been published that discuss the anti-cancer properties of chives and other members of the onion family.
8. Enhance your bone health
Chives are high in vitamin K, a mineral that is essential for bone health. This vitamin aids in the preservation of bone density and integrity. Vitamin K also helps to regulate cells, which helps to avoid bone demineralization. This vitamin also aids in the creation of a protein called osteocalcin, which is necessary for bone mineral density maintenance.
More importantly, adequate vitamin K intake can minimize calcium excretion in the urine (which is another common cause of bone loss). Other studies have shown that chives can help with bone health.
The anti-inflammatory effects of chives may help treat arthritis, though additional research is needed.
The Body Despite the lack of study, several sites claim that the chlorophyll and vitamin K in chives aid to keep the blood clean. Chives include minerals that may help to neutralize pollutants in the body.
Chives’ antimicrobial qualities may also help with the detoxification process.
10. Improve Vision
Chives can help you improve your vision.
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in chives help to minimize oxidative stress in the eyes and improve eyesight health. They also help to halt the progression of cataracts.
Chives also contain quercetin, which has been shown in trials to assist people with macular degeneration and maintain their vision.
11. Improve Your Sleep And Mood
Chives are high in choline, an important vitamin that promotes restful sleep. Furthermore, folic acid in chives has been shown to increase the production of dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones that improve mood.
12. Improve Your Skin’s Health
Chives are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that promotes skin health and brightness. It can also aid with acne, and vitamin C has antioxidant characteristics that can help with anti-aging. It can aid in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, two of the most visible indications of aging.
For this, a chive face mask can be used. Apply a thin layer of chive puree on your face and leave it on for 30 minutes. Cleanse and pat dry your face before applying your favorite moisturizer.
Chives: How to Use Them
Chives leaves can be added to butter and cheese recipes to add flavor. They can also be used to season soups, salads, sauces, meat and egg dishes, and other dishes.
The leaves can also be used to make herbal vinegar.
The chives plant’s blossoms have a slight onion flavor and can be sprinkled on salads.
You can also put chives on your bread for breakfast. Toss fresh goat cheese with crushed red peppers and chives.
You can use chives in a variety of ways, including them in your diet.
Chives: How To Include Them In Your Diet
Chives can be added to the diet in the following ways.
- For breakfast, top sandwiches with chives.
- Chives can be used for mashed potatoes or omelets.
- Combine them with cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
- During the cooking process, add them to scrambled eggs.
- To make a salad dressing, combine chives and basic yogurt.
- Chives can be added to meals at the end of the cooking process to keep their delicate flavor and texture.
Facts About Chives
Some interesting facts about chives are as follows.
- In Asian cooking, chives are a common seasoning.
- It was once thought that hanging dried chives around the house would keep sickness at bay.
- The violet blooms of chives are used in dry bouquets for decoration.
- Gypsies in Romania were known to use chives in their fortune-telling rituals.
- Chives leaves can also help with bad breath.
Where Can I Get Chives?
Fresh chives can be purchased at your local grocery shop or online.
However, before purchasing chives, you must first learn how to select and preserve them.
Chives: How To Choose And Store Them
Chives that are uniformly green, crisp, and wispy are the best to use. There should be no shriveling or browning at the tips as well.
Unwashed chives should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It’s best to keep them in the door, where it’s a little warmer.
When they’re ready to use, wash them and add them toward the end of the dish’s cooking time to preserve their delicate texture and flavor.
Please bear with me. Chives are delicious. Without a question. Do they, however, have any negative consequences?
Side Effects of Chives
1. Stomach Problems
An overabundance of chives might cause gastrointestinal distress.
2. Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Concerns
Chives appear to be safe in typical doses, but we don’t know what will happen if you eat a lot of them. Keep it safe and eat the recommended amounts of food.
Chives, which are related to onions and garlic, are often used as a herb and are known for their health benefits. The majority of chives’ health advantages come from their high antioxidant concentration and low fat and calorie load. While they make low-fat salad and other dish dressings, they are also recognized to aid in the prevention of cancer. Chives are high in vitamin A and vitamin K, and they benefit your eyes, skin, hair, and heart health. While chive leaves can be cut and used to flavor various types of butter, cheese, and vinegar, chive flowers can also be used as a salad and dish dressing to enjoy the benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What part of the chives do we consume?
We typically consume the long stalks of chives. They are the main portions that can be eaten.
2. What’s the difference between green onions and chives?
Green onions are frequently used as a whole ingredient, although chives are normally only used as a garnish.
3. What’s the difference between chives and scallions?
The difference between chives and green onions is the same as the difference between green onions and scallions because green onions and scallions are the same things.
4. Is there an alternative for chives?
Green onions or leeks can be used in place of chives.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.