If the only time you consume chives is when you order a fast food baked potato, you might be missing out on many health benefits. Chives are members of the allium family, which also includes garlic, onions, scallions and leeks. You can find chives in most grocery stores, but they are also simple to grow in your backyard or container garden. Try chopping them up and adding them to soup, stew, pasta or salads for an extra zip to your meal, but also to take advantage of the nutrition chives contain.
Garlic and onions have received most of the attention for their allicin content, but chives are a notable source of this nutrient as well. Cathy Wong and Sabra Ricci report in their book, "The Inside Out Diet," that allicin might contribute to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which improves your overall health, particularly that of your heart. Allicin aids in cholesterol management by reducing your LDL levels and increasing your HDL levels. This nutrient might also cut your blood pressure and prevent dangerous blood clots.
Chives might also help in the fight against cancer because they contain many antioxidants that help destroy free radicals and discourage the growth of cancerous cells and tumors. Wong and Ricci note that chives help your body produce glutathione, an agent that enables your body to identify toxins and other cancer-causing substances and eliminate them.
Eating chives might help your body digest your food better and make use of more nutrients food offers. Chives work by getting rid of bacteria, yeast and fungi in your intestinal tract so that your entire digestive system works as it should. Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley and Teresa O'Connor report in their book, "Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food," that chives also have antibacterial capabilities that kill at least 30 strains of salmonella, which can cause intense digestive problems.
Wealth of Nutrients
Adding a sprinkle of chives to a potato dish, bowl of soup, pasta recipe or tossed salad is a simple way to do something small for your health. Just 1 tbsp. of chives supplies many vitamins and minerals, including 9 mg of potassium, 3 mg of calcium, 78 mcg of beta-carotene, 3 mcg of folic acid and 6 mcg of vitamin K. Chives also supply lesser amounts of magnesium, iron and trace amounts of several B vitamins.
- "Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food"; Ann Van Krevelen et al; 2010
- "The Inside Out Diet"; Cathy Wong and Sabra Ricci; 2007
- New York Presbyterian: Nutritious & Delicious Chives