Although most people associate chives with a simple side dish for baked potatoes, egg dishes and salads, this versatile vegetable has many more potential benefits. In fact, the benefits of green onion feathers are quite large. They contain important nutrients and health promoting substances that have been proven to fight the growth of cancer cells, protect against chronic diseases, boost immunity, and more.
So what exactly is the benefit of green onion feathers? Read on to take a deeper look at this vibrant vegetable, including its nutritious profile and culinary uses.
What is green onion?
Green onion is a perennial plant ( Allium schoenoprasum ), which has thin sheets of feathers used as seasoning. Chives are an edible plant species that belongs to the genus Allium, which also includes leeks, shallots and garlic. They are closely related and have the same set of nutrients and health benefits.
Chives are a fragrant herb that has existed for about 5000 years and has been grown since the Middle Ages. The meaning of green onions, or the etymology of the word, can be traced back to the Latin word “cepa”, which means onions.
Nutrition Facts of Green Onions
Despite the fact that usually onions are consumed in small quantities, the benefits of green onion feathers are quite large. In combination with a number of other healthy foods, even one tablespoon can help increase your intake of Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A to meet your daily nutritional needs.
One tablespoon of raw chives contains approximately:
- Calorie content – 1 kcal
- Carbohydrates – 0.1 gr.
- Proteins – 0.1 gr.
- Fiber – 0.1 g.
- Vitamin K – 6.4 mcg (8%)
- Vitamin C – 1.7 mg (3%)
- Vitamin A – 131 IU (3%)
- Folate – 3.2 mcg (1%)
- Manganese – 0.1 mg (1%)
What are the health benefits of green onion?
Consider the benefits of green onions for the human body.
1. Increase bone strength
One of the main benefits of green onions is related to the content of vitamin K. Besides the fact that vitamin K plays a central role in blood coagulation, it is also important for maintaining healthy and strong bones. Due to its involvement in bone metabolism, some studies show that vitamin K can improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures ( 1 ).
For best results, make sure your diet contains many other foods rich in vitamin K. Leafy greens, spring onions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cucumbers are excellent sources of vitamin K.
2. Contain cancer fighting compounds
Like other vegetables in the same family, green onions are thought to have powerful anti-cancer properties. In some cases, regular consumption of onions has been associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. For example, one study in China found that eating more vegetables from the onion and garlic family was associated with a lower risk of stomach cancer ( 2 ).
It is believed that the presence of organosulfur compounds found in garlic is the cause of a beneficial effect on cancer. One review published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives notes that these compounds can alter the effects of certain enzymes involved in detoxification to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells ( 3 ).
3. Reduce inflammation
Although acute inflammation is a normal part of the immune response, long-term maintenance of high levels of inflammation can be incredibly harmful to your health. Some studies suggest that inflammation may be the root of the disease and may contribute to the development of conditions such as autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
The benefits of green onion feathers are that they are an excellent source of antioxidants and are rich in other compounds that can help reduce inflammation. One in vitro study in Romania actually showed that green onions helped reduce oxidative stress and also showed powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ( 4 ).
4. Help in the prevention of diseases
Promising studies show that chives can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. According to a review published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , plants of the genus Allium are rich in “organo-sulfur compounds, quercetin, flavonoids, saponins and other substances that have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory properties, resist obesity, diabetes, have antimicrobial activity, neuroprotective and immunological effects ( 5 ).
They also contain large amounts of vitamin C, an important water-soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant. Studies show that vitamin C protects the immune system, helps fight infections, and has a therapeutic effect on many diseases and disorders. Although only green onions are unlikely to satisfy your daily vitamin C needs, it can be combined with a variety of other fruits and vegetables to increase your intake of this essential nutrient.
5. A good source of choline
The benefits of green onion feathers are that they are an excellent source of choline, an important nutrient that many of us do not get enough. Choline is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, cell structure, metabolism and much more ( 6 ). It is also believed that it plays a direct role in liver health, brain function and fetal development. That is why it is absolutely necessary to provide you with enough food in your daily diet.
Other good sources of choline are eggs, wild-caught salmon, quinoa, chicken, cauliflower, and wheat germ.
As with any food, when choosing green onions, it is important to maintain proper food safety. Choose a bow whose feathers are even green in order to ensure freshness.
How to find out if a bow is bad
Avoid any soft, wilted, or uneven, dull color. Also, make sure you thoroughly clean them before adding to any dishes.
How to wash feathers of green onions
Once you are ready to use them, run them under cool running water and remove any wilted stems.
Some people may be allergic to this vegetable, which can cause symptoms such as itching, rash, or swelling. People who are allergic to other plants in the same family, such as garlic or onions, are more likely to experience a sharp reaction. If you notice any adverse symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.
- What is green onion? This is a type of edible plant that is closely related to other species such as garlic and onions.
- The benefits of green onion feathers are explained by the content of nutrients in it – vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. They are also rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, increase bone strength, fight cancer cells and protect against chronic diseases.
- You can find green onion feathers in most supermarkets dry or fresh, usually in the food section or next to other herbs and spices.
- In addition, you can also try growing your own homes and adding them to your favorite dishes to get the health benefits this incredible ingredient has to offer.