Health and Wellness Associates
EHS – Telehealth
Chives: What are They Good For
As far as daily recommended values, a generous serving of two tablespoons of chopped chives gives you 16 percent of what’s needed in vitamin K, Known primarily for forming and strengthening bones and limiting neuronal damage in the brain, vitamin K is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Chives are an excellent source of vitamin A –145 percent of the daily recommended value per 100 grams – more than any other allium, and with it, carotenes, which are flavonoid antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein that protect you from lung and mouth cancers.
Chives are high in fiber, which acts as a laxative, and folate, which is essential for DNA synthesis, cell division, and helping to prevent neural tube defects in the newborns. They’re an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese and also provide healthy amounts of thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, and zinc. This combination of phytochemicals, among other things, is known to promote ease in digestion, soothe upset stomachs, prevent bad breath, and have a diuretic effect that can lower high blood pressure.
The fiber content helps clean the colon and shorten the time foods spend there (and therefore lowers your colon cancer risk. Other advantages of eating chives include having anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
Like other allium members, chives contain antioxidants that kill free radicals. Thiosulfinites like allyl propyl disulfide and diallyl disulfide (known to inhibit breast cancer cells1) contain enzymes that convert to allicin when its leaves are cut or crushed. Studies show allicin can cut cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in liver cells, decreasing blood pressure, blocking platelet clot formation, and lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Studies Done On Chives
One study noted that natural plant ingredients can be useful antimicrobial agents against foodborne pathogens. The effect of chives on the survival and growth of salmonella in different food systems were examined, using chicken soup, beef broth, and sesame salad dressing divided into two portions. One was treated with chive extract, the second used as a control; both portions were inoculated with a mixture of 38 strains of salmonella.
The tests were conducted three times and the salmonella population found to be below the detectable level in the chicken soup and beef broth. Scientists concluded that chives could inhibit salmonella in different food systems.2
In another study, scientists researched the relation between the consumption of allium vegetables such as Chinese chives, garlic, Welsh onion, and raw vegetables, and risks of esophageal and stomach cancer. Results of the study showed that allium vegetables do indeed have an important inhibiting effect on these two types of cancer.
Chives are not just a tasty garnish or baked potato topping, chives are considered both a healing herb and an allium vegetable related to onions and garlic. Flavor-wise, these tall, graceful garden additions can be compared to a mild cross between garlic and leeks (although chives are Lilliputian next to leeks).
High in vitamins A, C, and K and known for having antioxidant power to take the bite out of free radicals, chives contain flavonoid antioxidants like carotenes, zeaxanthin, lutein, and many other healthful phytonutrients. They’ve been shown in clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, even inhibiting salmonella in certain foods, lowering high blood pressure, and reducing the risk of gastric, lung, esophageal, stomach, and mouth cancers. Try snipping a small handful of chopped chives in your next quiche or scrambled eggs for a hint of pleasantly subtle flavor.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived: J Mercola
Dir of Personalized Healthcare
Restorative and Preventative Medicine