Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Chives: What are They Good For

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Chives: What are They Good For

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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.

chives

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: J Mercola

P Carrothers

Dir of Personalized Healthcare

Restorative and Preventative Medicine

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Foods

The Allium Family

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The Allium family of vegetables includes onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions. Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with decreased risk of several cancers. For example, one large European study found striking risk reductions in the participants who consumed the greatest quantities of onions or garlic for oral, esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. A fifty-five to eighty percent reduction of almost all major cancers. Amazing!1

Anti-cancer effects of onions and garlic Allium vegetables are rich in cancer-fighting organosulfur compounds, which are produced when the cell walls of the vegetables are broken down by chopping, crushing, or chewing. These compounds are thought to be mostly responsible for the cancer-protective effects of Allium vegetables. In scientific studies, organosulfur compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens and halting cancer cell growth. These garlic and onion phytochemicals are also anti-angiogenic, which means that they can prevent tumors from obtaining a blood supply to fuel their growth.2 In studies of breast cancer cells, garlic and onion phytochemicals have caused cell death or halted cell division, preventing the cancer cells from multiplying.3-5

Onions, garlic, and their family members also contain flavonoids and phenols. White onions are not as rich in these antioxidant compounds as yellow and red, and shallots are especially high in polyphenol levels. Red onions are particularly rich in anthocyanins (also abundant in berries) and quercetin.6 Flavonoids such as quercetin can contribute to preventing damaged cells from advancing to cancer, and also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention.7-1

Fighting Heart Disease

Consuming onions and garlic also might help you prevent heart disease. Onions are rich in natural chemicals called flavonoids, which can protect you from heart disease, says Vegetarian Nutrition.info., and onions also might reduce your risk of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and other forms of heart disease. Garlic might also decrease your risk of blood clots, help keep your arteries flexible and help reduce your blood pressure, the Linus Pauling Institute reports.

Onions and the other vegetables of the Allium family can be added to any and every vegetable dish for great flavor and anti-cancer benefits. Remember that they must be eaten raw and chewed well or chopped finely before cooking to initiate the chemical reaction that forms the protective sulfur compounds. When you cut onions and your eyes begin to tear, they are creating the anti-cancer sulfur compounds.

Adding Onions and Garlic to Your Diet

Allium vegetables such as onions and garlic are the richest food sources of healthy sulfur compounds, which recommends eating them regularly to obtain their full health benefits, rather than taking supplements that might contain widely varying amounts of the healthy compounds. Onions and garlic have complementary tastes, so you might eat them together in the same meals. You can also add onions to stir fry dishes and use them to flavor soups, salads and dips. The Linus Pauling Institute recommends eating garlic cloves raw, or crushing or chopping garlic cloves before cooking them to help them retain their beneficial compounds during the cooking process.

How to cut an onion to maximize anti-cancer compounds and minimize eye irritation:

  • Make sure that the onion is cold before you cut it. Even putting the onion in the freezer for 5 minutes is sufficient.
  • You can use a fan to blow the gaseous compounds away from you if you like.
  • Cut the end of the root off with the root facing away from you, preserving as much of the onion adjacent to the root as possible. The root is the part of the onion with the highest concentration of these anti-cancer compounds.
  • Make sure to then cut or chop the onion finely, slice thinly, or put it in a food processor before adding to your soup, salad, or vegetable dish to maximize the production of sulfur compounds.

References 1. Galeone C, Pelucchi C, Levi F, et al. Onion and garlic use and human cancer. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:1027-1032. 2. Powolny A, Singh S. Multitargeted prevention and therapy of cancer by diallyl trisulfide and related Allium vegetable-derived organosulfur compounds. Cancer Lett 2008;269:305-314. 3. Modem S, Dicarlo SE, Reddy TR. Fresh Garlic Extract Induces Growth Arrest and Morphological Differentiation of MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells. Genes Cancer 2012;3:177-186. 4. Na HK, Kim EH, Choi MA, et al. Diallyl trisulfide induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells through ROS-mediated activation of JNK and AP-1. Biochem Pharmacol 2012. 5. Malki A, El-Saadani M, Sultan AS. Garlic constituent diallyl trisulfide induced apoptosis in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. Cancer Biol Ther 2009;8:2175-2185. 6. Slimestad R, Fossen T, Vagen IM. Onions: a source of unique dietary flavonoids. J Agric Food Chem 2007;55:10067-10080. 7. Ravasco P, Aranha MM, Borralho PM, et al. Colorectal cancer: can nutrients modulate NF-kappaB and apoptosis? Clin Nutr 2010;29:42-46. 8. Miyamoto S, Yasui Y, Ohigashi H, et al. Dietary flavonoids suppress azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice. Chem Biol Interact 2010;183:276-283. 9. Shan BE, Wang MX, Li RQ. Quercetin inhibit human SW480 colon cancer growth in association with inhibition of cyclin D1 and survivin expression through Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Cancer Invest 2009;27:604-612. 10. Pierini R, Gee JM, Belshaw NJ, et al. Flavonoids and intestinal cancers. Br J Nutr 2008;99 E Suppl 1:ES53-59.