Fresh chives are one of the most popular herbs in Germany and are often used to refine and season various dishes. But it not only convinces with its mild taste, but also contains very large amounts of healthy minerals, vitamins and essential oils. Used fresh, it is very rich in vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and iron, in a form that is quickly absorbed by our body. You can find out whether chives are healthy and many storage and preparation tips in our article!
Scientifically, chives are called Allium schoenoprasum and belong to the same family as spring onions, shallots and garlic. According to much research and scientific studies, it can lower high blood pressure or cholesterol and even help treat various types of cancer. The healthy herb is available in most supermarkets and grocery stores all year round. There are two types of chives known in the market – onion chives, which we all know, and Chinese chives, also known as garlic chives. The main difference between the two varieties lies in the leaves. The common chives have tall leaves, while the Chinese ones tend to be flat and shorter.
Are chives healthy? – Ingredients at a glance
Fresh chives are mostly used to refine dishes, including salads, baked potatoes, Russian eggs, herb butter, etc. However, even if you only consume the herb in small amounts, you can still benefit from its beneficial health effects by taking it regularly. Just 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped chives provides our body with the following nutrients:
- Energy: 0.9 calories
- Dietary fiber: 0.6 grams
- Vitamin K: 6.38 micrograms or 6% of the recommended daily amount
- Vitamin C: 1.76 milligrams or 4.7% of the recommended daily amount
- Vitamin A: 6.45 µg or 2% of the daily dose
- Folic acid: 3.15 µg
- Calcium: 13 milligrams
- Potassium: 43.4 milligrams
- Iron: 0.5 milligrams
What are the benefits of the herb for our health?
- In addition to a variety of vitamins, fresh chives also contain flavonoid antioxidants that improve heart health, have anti-inflammatory effects, and help fight cancer. In addition, the ingredients it contains, such as sulfur, have a cleansing effect and stimulate the cell metabolism.
- In folk medicine and natural medicine, the herb has been used to treat worms and parasites in the body for years.
- Against high blood pressure – A study conducted by Punjaby University in India found that fresh chives are healthy and have diuretic, expectorant and blood cleansing properties. Regular consumption can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Chives are an excellent plant source for Vitamin K. Vitamin K is an essential, vital vitamin that is involved in many processes in the body. It is particularly important for bone health and blood clotting.
- The herb is rich in folic acid – Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin that is involved in a number of important growth and metabolic processes in the body. Folic acid plays a big role in preventing diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular diseases and depression. Since the body cannot produce the vitamin itself, we have to ensure that it is supplied regularly and adequately through food.
- Chives healthy for digestion – Just like garlic, fresh chives contain many essential nutrients and fiber, including zinc, phosphorus, pantothenic acid and thiamine. These help to relieve stomach ailments such as gas and stomach cramps and stimulate digestion.
- Against cancer – Various scientific studies have shown that regular consumption of chives and other allium vegetables that contain allicin are beneficial Prostate and stomach cancer prevention can contribute. Fresh chives also stimulate the body’s production of glutathione – a means by which the body can identify and successfully eliminate cancer-causing substances.
- Improves eye health – Chives are very rich in the carotenoids lutein, quercetin and zeaxathin. According to some scientific studies, these cortionoids can reduce oxidative stress in the eyes, improve eyesight, and prevent macular degeneration in old age.
Provides radiant and healthy skin
Fresh chives not only help fight various ailments and diseases, but also ensure radiant and healthy skin. This property of the herb is mainly due to its high beta-carotene content. For example, a homemade face mask can help treat acne, while the vitamin C it contains tightens the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. This is how it works: Mix 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh chives with 1 tablespoon each of honey, low-fat quark and olive oil and apply the mask to your face. Leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off thoroughly with warm water.
Freeze chives and other tips on storage and preparation
Chives are a year-round plant and are therefore available in supermarkets all year round. When buying, you should pay particular attention to light green, evenly colored and full stems. The herb can also be found dried, but we would advise against it. As a result of dehydration, many of the nutrients and vitamins are lost.
- Wrapped in a paper towel and stored in the vegetable drawer, chives stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
- If there is too much left over, you can freeze all fresh herbs, including chives. To do this, chop the herb and freeze it in ice cube molds with a little water, for example, or portion it in a freezer bag or airtight container.
- A little cooking tip from us – chives are sensitive to high temperatures and must therefore not be cooked. So it is best to use it to refine cooked dishes shortly before serving. Some of the most popular ways to enjoy chives are baked potatoes, salads, herb butter or different egg dishes.
Are side effects known?
Although chives are healthy and very rich in vitamins and nutrients, excessive consumption can cause stomach problems such as flatulence, gas or diarrhea. People who are allergic to onions or garlic should also avoid chives.