Chives are an edible herb that has a slight onion flavour and can be bought in most grocery stores. They are frequently used as a finishing component in our cooking. People use chives in Mexican cuisine, salads, sauces, soups, potato dishes, and seafood because of their savoury flavour.
The classic herb of every kitchen, according to the culinary media, is chives. Furthermore, this herbaceous plant with lavender-colored blossoms has a wide range of medicinal properties.
People are always looking for superfoods to ingest. The word refers to foods that have high nutritional value while being low in calories. Having said that, chives are high in nutrients yet low in calories. Furthermore, chives’ abundance of bioactive elements and antioxidants makes it a potential superfood.
Chives are one of the simplest perennial herbs to grow, thus they are readily available. You can cultivate them along walkways, in herb gardens, or in container gardens if necessary.
All you need is a sunny location. Furthermore, because of their antibacterial properties, chives have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.
What exactly are Chives?
Chives, technically known as Allium schoenoprasum, are a member of the allium plant family. It’s a fragrant herb related to spring onions, leeks, garlic, and onions. Chives, which are usually eaten raw, are a staple of the Mediterranean diet. It is, nevertheless, widely farmed in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Chives are related to onions, although they are not the same as green onions. Despite having a similar mild, oniony flavour, they are physically distinct. Chive stems are long, delicate, and a solid green colour.
Green onions, on the other hand, have a thicker, solid stem that is white at the bottom and green at the top. Furthermore, the white component of green onions has a stronger onion flavour than chives. In addition, unlike green onions, chives do not keep well in the refrigerator.
Chives of Various Types
Chives (Common Chives)
Common chives, as the name implies, are the simplest to come by. It grows wild in various places and is well known for having a mild onion flavour. It features edible blooms, hollow stems, and grows in long, slender bulbs.
These can be up to 15 inches tall. Flowers in red, purple, pink, or white are available. Common chives are high in vitamins B1, B2, and B3 and help with digestion. They are primarily used as a garnish in French cuisine.
Chives from China
Chinese chives, often known as garlic chives, grow taller than regular types. As a result, it has flatter leaves and a stronger garlic flavour. Furthermore, unlike regular chives, Chinese chives have no hollow stems and just white blooms.
People use Chinese chives in salad dressing and mashed potatoes because of their savoury flavour. It’s also high in Thiosulfinates, a powerful anti-cancer chemical.
Chives from Siberia
The lesser-known variation is Siberian chives, commonly known as blue chives. Its native range includes China, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.
Siberian chives can grow to be two feet tall, making plants substantially taller than Chinese or ordinary chives. Their flavour is comparable to that of regular chives, and they can be found at local herb farms or gourmet food stores.
Chives’ Nutritional Properties
Because of their nutritional characteristics, chives can be included in any well-balanced diet.
Chive Nutritional Values – 100 grammes of fresh chives contain the following nutrients:
2.5g dietary fibre
Carbohydrates – 4.35g Protein – 3.27g
0.73g total fat
Chives Health Benefits
When consumed in the recommended amounts, chives provide numerous health benefits.
Chives have powerful antibacterial capabilities. It is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal in nature. As a result, chives can protect humans against seasonal viral illnesses as well as dangerous bacteria.
Chives’ antiviral properties suppress virus multiplication, fight invading diseases, and increase immunity. Most importantly, chives have the best antibacterial action against food-borne infections, according to a study. Chives, in the form of herbal infusions, are a good treatment for yeast and viral infections.
Chives are high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two types of flavonoid antioxidants that are extremely effective in the treatment of oral and lung malignancies. Chives are high in allicin, in addition to flavonoid antioxidants.
According to scientific research, allicin is a potent antioxidant that reduces the risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, the high fibre content of chives aids in the prevention of colon cancer.
Several other studies have found that chives can help prevent prostate cancer. This is due to the fact that it boosts glutathione synthesis in the body. Glutathione, a water-soluble antioxidant, is used to detect cancer.
It identifies carcinogenic components and aids in their removal. As a result, chives are even more useful for cancer prevention.
Encourages hair growth
Chives extract can be used as a home treatment to promote hair growth. Its antibacterial qualities can heal scalp infections, which in turn promotes the creation of new hair follicles.
Furthermore, chives increase blood flow to our scalp. Hair development is aided by increased blood flow. Using chive extract as a hair pack feeds and strengthens the scalp and hair follicles.
Suitable for Diabetics
The flavonoids in chives assist to combat the negative effects of elevated blood sugar. These flavonoids have anti-diabetic effects and can be used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Chives have a low glycemic index of 15, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Furthermore, with only 0.1g carbs in a 5g meal, chives appear to be good for diabetic people. As a result, chives do not raise blood sugar levels.
Useful During Pregnancy
Consuming chives during pregnancy may provide benefits to expectant mothers. It is safe to eat and includes the beneficial nutrient folate. Doctors usually emphasise the importance of folate during pregnancy.
It is a necessary B vitamin that prevents congenital brain and spinal cord abnormalities. Folate also contributes in the production of DNA and the division of cells.
Chives are also high in vitamin C, which is essential for immune development during pregnancy. Just make sure to thoroughly clean and wash the chives before eating them.
Improve Your Sleep and Mood
Chives have the ability to improve and enhance sleep quality. It contains choline, an active substance that promotes restful sleep. As a result, chives should be used to assist alleviate sleeplessness.
Chives are high in folic acid as well. It is known to stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine. These are hormones that have been connected to improving a person’s mood.
Kidney Stone Treatment
According to a recent study, both fresh and dried chives leaves infusion can dissolve calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are well-known kidney stones. Furthermore, chives contain an organic substance known as ethyl acetate.
It has anti-inflammatory qualities and is useful in the treatment of calcium kidney stones. As a result, chives can be a useful herbal remedy for kidney stones.
Promotes Heart Health
Allicin, the main ingredient found in chives, lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure. It works by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the bloodstream. This procedure reduces blood artery stiffness and, as a result, lowers blood pressure.
Furthermore, chives contain quercetin, an organic substance. It is directly involved in the prevention of arterial plaque and reduces the risk of stroke.
Uses of Chives
Solution for Hair Rinsing
Boil the chives in water for 10 minutes before straining. After it has cooled, add one squeeze of fresh lime juice. Combine the ingredients and use it to rinse your hair.
Mask for the Face
Chives can be used as a face mask for persons who have dry skin. First, rinse the chives and purée them in a food processor. Then, use it as a mask and let it on for 25 – 30 minutes. After rinsing with water, apply moisturiser.
Sore Throat Remedy
Chives are an anti-flu treatment that is commonly used in cooking. Furthermore, because chives have anti-inflammatory characteristics, it soothes a sore throat by lowering inflammation.
Pour boiling water over sliced chives to soothe a sore throat. Allow it to soak for a few minutes before draining. Once the water extract has reached lukewarm temperature, drink it.
Repellent for Insects
By extracting the juice from chives and sprinkling it over leaves, you can use it as an insect repellent. You can make a chives-and-water solution. Once chilled, use it to water vegetable plants to keep mildew at bay.
Healthy Chives Recipes
Cornbread with Chives and Cheese
15 pieces per serving
Time to prepare: 30 minutes
3 teaspoons minced chives
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs – 2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour – 1 cup cornmeal – 1 cup sugar
- In a large mixing basin, combine the baking powder, sugar, flour, and cornmeal.
- In a separate dish, whisk together the butter, milk, and eggs.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Later, stir in the cheese and chives.
- Pour the mixture into a baking pan that has been buttered. Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cut the dough into rectangle strips. Serve hot.
Chives’ Potential Side Effects
Gas and Bloating
Chives can cause bloating because they contain fructans, a type of carbohydrate that causes gas. The body has difficulty processing fructans, and the gut bacteria thrive on this carbohydrate. As a result, gas accumulates in the colon. These effects can be mitigated by briefly heating the chives.
Problems with the Bowel
Chives might cause stomach irritation in some persons. Chives’ reactive oxidants can cause gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhoea and acid reflux.
Not Recommended for People With Gastritis
Alliums have the potential to induce stomach problems. Chives are a member of the Allium genus and have a pH of 5.75. It is a pH range that might aggravate gastritis. Furthermore, the high fructans content of chives causes acid reflux. It would worsen gastritis.
Toxic to Animals
The organic sulphur compounds found in chives may cause poisoning in dogs. In cats and dogs, ingesting chives causes toxicosis, a poisoning-related sickness. Furthermore, the chives that are absorbed in their gastrointestinal tract are converted into highly reactive oxidants.
Accumulation of Metals and Metalloids
Excessive chives consumption has been connected to dangerous amounts of inorganic selenium buildup. It also adds to the buildup of heavy metals like cadmium. Furthermore, it would cause renal, brain, or liver disease.
- People who are allergic to allium should avoid eating chives. Regardless of intolerance, trying with chives may result in unpleasant gas, acid reflux, and bloating.
- Allergic reactions to chives vary greatly across individuals. So, just because someone has a low to no reaction to chives doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.
- If you’re allergic to onions or garlic, talk to your doctor before including chives into your diet.
- Average amounts of chives should be consumed orally throughout pregnancy and lactation. To avoid soil-borne infections, pregnant women should avoid raw chives.
Chives, as an Allium family member, are a must-have in the kitchen. It is a perennial herb with long green stalks and a tinge of onion flavour. Chives are used as a superfood in addition to making a culinary statement.
Chives provide exceptional health advantages since they are high in plant-based antioxidants and nutrients that have anti-cancer properties, help with pregnancy, improve the sleep cycle, and prevent plaque building.
There are several types of chives, including ordinary chives, Chinese chives, and Siberian chives. While the look of these chive cultivars varies slightly, they are all excellent in nutritional value.
To keep the flavour, you must cook them briefly. Although chives are not a frequent allergy, excessive ingestion causes gastrointestinal pain, gas, bloating, and acid reflux.
Furthermore, chives may cause an increase in inorganic selenium and cadmium in people. Nonetheless, chives can be a nutritious substitute for other allium veggies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the benefits of chives?
A. Chives contain flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin, allicin, vitamin C, folate, and choline. They boost heart health, immunity, sleep, and mood as nutrient-dense herbs.
Q. What are the disadvantages of chives?
A. Excessive chives consumption causes gastrointestinal issues like as acid reflux, gas, and bloating. In addition, chives intolerance causes abdominal pain and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Q. Are chives considered a superfood?
A. Of course. Superfoods are high in nutrients and low in calories. Chives, for example, are high in vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fibre, and bioactive substances. They are also quite low in calories. As a result, chives can be classified as a superfood.
Q. Is it bad to eat too much chives?
A. Chives are high in bioactive chemicals and antioxidants. Consuming an excessive amount of chives raises the quantity of strong chemical substances in the body. This would result in stomach pain and intestinal irritation.
Q. Can I eat chives on a daily basis?
A. You can have chives in your everyday diet, but only in moderation. Consuming an excessive amount of chives is not good for your digestive health. Despite its nutritional value, ingesting a larger concentration of chives on a daily basis is not recommended.
Q. Do chives put you to sleep?
A. Yes, chives have been shown to improve sleep. Chives help people fall asleep because they contain choline, an active ingredient in sleep stimulation. As a result, people who suffer from insomnia should consume chives on a regular basis.
Q. What is the best way to make chive tea?
A. Boil two cups of water and milk for four cups of chive tea. Then, add at least 1/2 cup of finely chopped chives to the boiling liquid. Once cooked, strain the tea into the cups and add sugar to taste.
Q. Are chives acidic?
A. Raw and unprocessed chives have a pH range of 5.75 to 6.0. Therefore, it may not be strongly acidic and probably won’t cause heartburn. However, raw chives are still considered in the acid scale of pH and not alkaline.
Q. Are chives good for hair growth?
A. People use chive extract as a hair rinse solution. Its antibacterial nature will treat scalp infections to promote new hair follicle growth. Chives also increase the blood flow in the scalp region to facilitate better hair growth.
Q. Can chives give you diarrhoea?
A. Sometimes, chives are broken down into potent reactive oxidants that may irritate the gut. It eventually leads to bowel irregularities and diarrhoea. However, the chance of getting diarrhoea from chives is rare unless you’re allergic to it.
Q. Are chives and green onions the same?
A. No, chives are not the same as green onions. However, they share a similar oniony flavour and substitute each other in various food recipes. In addition, chives are visually different from green onions as they have long, thin, and completely green stems. On the other hand, green onion has a substantial stem with thicker dimensions.
Q. Are chives suitable for people with diabetes?
A. Yes, chives have been used for treating type 2 diabetes since ancient times. The glycemic load of chives is 15, which is considered very low. It also contains low carbs. In addition, specific flavonoid compounds found in chives carry anti-diabetic effects.
Q. Is chives bad for gastritis?
A. Yes, chives are not an ideal dietary option for people with gastritis. Due to fructans and acidic pH, chives initiate gastric reflux. In addition, it would worsen gastritis and cause abdominal discomfort.
Q. Are chives antiviral?
A. Yes, chives exhibit antiviral properties. People have been using it for years to treat viral infections. Chives get consumed in moderation to block the growth of viral pathogens. In addition, it works by enhancing the immune response.
Q. Can you eat chives while pregnant?
A. Yes, chives are safe to consume during pregnancy. It is rich in folate, a type of B vitamin that prevents neural tube defects in the foetus. In addition, the goodness of vitamin C in chives boost the immunity of both mother and baby.
Q. Do chives cause gas?
A. Yes, chives are more likely to cause gas. That is because raw chives contain fructans, and the body finds it hard to digest them. As a result, the gut bacteria feed on the undigested fructans, causing gas and bloating.
Q. Are chives suitable for kidney stones?
A. Of course. People use chives in the herbal treatment approach for kidney stones. Either fresh or dried, chives leaf infuses can successfully dissolve kidney stones. It is also rich in ethyl acetate, an anti-inflammatory agent that treats kidney stones.