Chives are a small but mighty herb! Rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, chives can protect your heart, reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, protect against cancer, and help control blood sugar. The vitamin C in chives helps boost your immune system and helps neutralize free radicals in your body. And your body can’t store vitamin C, so you need to be sure to get your daily requirement.
Here are some of the other ways chives contribute to good health—plus a couple notes of caution.
Chives contain allicin, an organosulfur that researchers are studying for its ability to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Chives also contain the flavonoid quercetin, which researchers believe can reduce the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries and lower your risk of stroke and heart attack. And chives contain potassium, which relaxes blood vessels, and thereby reduces blood pressure. Vitamin C in chives also contributes to lower incidences of stroke, especially among people who are overweight or have high blood pressure.
Immune system health
The high levels of vitamin C in chives are good for helping to boost the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and collagen—an essential component in the production of blood vessels and muscles.
The vitamin K in chives contributes to long-term bone health. It also helps with the production of the bone protein osteocalcin, a vital component in maintaining good bone density.
Studies have linked chives to a possible reduction in the risk of many types of cancer due to its high levels of vitamin A and antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein.
The carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin in chives act as antioxidants in the ocular system and may delay the development of cataracts. These antioxidants can also help slow or prevent macular degeneration, a progressive and debilitating eye disease.
Chives can act as a mild diuretic, and have antibacterial qualities as well. Chives can help clear the body of excess salts, water, and even fat.
You’ve heard the saying, “Everything in moderation.” That caveat can apply here as well. You can have too much of a good thing. If you have any allergies to other members of the Allium genus, including onions, err on the side of caution. Chives in too high a concentration can cause gastric distress. Check with your doctor before making chives a regular part of your diet.
Did you know that chives are so healthful? Did you know about the potential pitfalls of consuming chives? What about the household uses? Please tell us how you use chives.