Chives have been touted for centuries as a tasty addition to a multitude of recipes, but you may not know about the health benefits they offer. Our ancestors used chives in many folk remedies for different ailments. They have been used extensively to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.
The taste of chives is relatively mild compared to others in their family, but they have a pleasant impact on the flavor of many dishes. Some of the medicinal advantages of chives are similar to that of garlic, but chives don’t have the same potent impact in taste as garlic.
Chives Contain Many Vitamins and Minerals
Nutrients abound in the slender green leaves of the chive plant including iron, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamins A and C.
Vitamin K for Bone Health
Another of the vitamins found in chives is Vitamin K – a valuable resource for bone health. Vitamin K helps produce osteocalcin, a protein which is vitally important in maintaining bone density.
There is increasing awareness that in the absence of essential trace elements such as vitamin K, the macro minerals calcium and magnesium do not perform their bone-building functions properly.
Chives for Heart Health – Helps Reduce Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Chives give garlic a run for their money when it comes to reducing blood pressure and also contain valuable antioxidants which fight the free radicals which can trigger the onset of cancer.
Allicin is an ingredient found in chives which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. When Allicin combines with potassium (also found in chives), they work together to produce a formidable impact on reducing the chance of a heart attack and other circulatory problems.
Quercetin is another beneficial element in chives which helps lower the risk of plaque accumulation in arteries and lowering cholesterol levels. This prevents the onset of atherosclerosis and greatly reduces the chance of a stroke or a heart attack.
Assists in The Production of New Cells and Improves Your Immunity
One of the main benefits of adding chives to your diet plan is the boost it provides the immune system. Chives stimulate white blood cell production and also help in the production of collagen, which is necessary to create new cells, tissues, muscles and blood vessels.
Research on the health benefits of chives has shown its efficiency in calming an upset stomach, aiding in digestion and helping prevent iron deficiency disorders such as anemia.
Fights Against Certain Cancers
Chives also contain carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin – all instrumental in helping to prevent certain cancers such as lung and oral cancer.
Although chives are bulbous plants, the stems are the most commonly eaten portion of the plant, although many people eat the whole plant. The long, green stems are hollow and can be easily sliced and added to many dishes, for both health and taste.
Chives are probably most often used today as a flavorful addition to baked potatoes, but can also be sprinkled on seafood and soups to add zest and flavor.
So, eat chives for its culinary appeal, however, don’t dismiss its powerful healing properties. It is a powerhouse of nutrients and easy to grow in containers or herb gardens. Harvesting is a simple snip with scissors and preparation is minimal.