Indian vegetable markets are a host to various vegetables that add great flavour to traditional staple dishes from dal, sambar to soups and salads. And the ones that are ubiquitous in Indian kitchens in this regard are the bounty belonging to the allium family – onions, garlic and scallions/spring onions. But did you know that yet another aromatic herb exists that also belongs to this botanical family, which offers both great zesty taste to meals and also confers excellent health benefits?
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Known as chives and scientifically termed Allium schoenoprasum, are perennial plants that grow extensively in regions in Europe, Asia and North America. A common feature in the Mediterranean diet, these aromatic long thin green stems with a mildly pungent yet herb-like smell and taste similar to onions, are packed with beneficial components. Adding chives to the diet helps remedy cardiac ailments, build disease resistance and even avert chronic disorders of diabetes, cancer and hypertension.
Nutrition Content In Chives:
Chives are available in two types – common chives also called onion chives and Chinese chives, otherwise known as garlic chives. While the appearance of their leaves differs slightly, these verdant stems offer similar piquant flavours and provide outstanding benefits for health.
Chives are rich in vitamin C for immune system activity, as well as vitamin K for optimal blood clotting and wound healing mechanism, besides bone health. They possess vast reserves of vitamin A for improving eyesight and are very low in calories, fats for accelerating weight loss. High in folate and manganese, these flavourful stalks enhance red blood cell synthesis and circulation, while also boosting muscle strength and nerve signalling functions. Moreover, chives house a treasure trove of plant-based antioxidants that display powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, which thwart uncontrolled tumour growths in the body.
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Superb Wellness Incentives Of Chives:
Chive stems and seeds possess profuse amounts of organosulfur compounds. These constituents have anti-cancer qualities, which influence enzyme activity in the system and thereby slow down the progression of cancer and banish uncontrolled cell proliferation in the internal tissues and organs. Adding a small portion of chives as part of the routine diet helps in preventing cancer and safeguarding the liver, kidneys, stomach from tissue damage and organ failure.
Augments Heart Functions
Bestowed with the bioactive element allicin, chives are a blessing for improving heart health. This phytonutrient relaxes the blood vessels leading up to the heart and thus prevent high blood pressure/hypertension. Moreover, it also contains quercetin, which averts plaque accumulation in the arteries and keeps cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis at bay.
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Chives are laden with vitamin C, a vital water-soluble vitamin that shields the internal cells and uplifts the immune system. Owing to its useful antioxidant characteristics, the vitamin C in chives stimulates blood circulation to all organs and safeguards the cells, tissues from harmful free radicals and oxidative damage.
Fortifies Bones And Joints
The copious amounts of vitamin K in chives help in regulating the clotting of blood and thrombin protein activity in instances of injury, thus ensuring proper wound healing and preventing excessive bleeding. In addition, vitamin K also plays a central role in bone health, by aiding in increasing bone mineral density and lowering the risk of osteoporosis, fractures, arthritis, hence supplying strong bone sand joints.
Chives are loaded with vitamins B1, B2, B3, besides ample dietary fibre content. These work in synergy, to elevate the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats in the body, regulate appetite, control untimely and unhealthy cravings, while also facilitating smooth digestion processes. Moreover, the plethora of antimicrobial components in chives helps treat stomach infections and ease abdominal pain, indigestion and enhance gut health.