Chives or pipe grass (Allium schoenoprasum) is a plant with many health benefits from the garlic family. This seasoning in the kitchen is not only healthy but also tasty.
Pipe grass is another name for this relative of the look. Just like its cousins garlic, leek and onion have been cultivated for centuries for their pungent taste, beneficial effects and versatility in the kitchen.
Did you know that it is even a green vegetable, these are known for their health benefits. The pluses of green vegetables are that they have medicinal properties.
In this article you can read why chives are so healthy for you, and why you should eat this herb more often.
- What are chives?
- Nutritional values of chives
- Health Benefits of Chives
- Better sleep and mood
- Good for your bones
- Improve heart health
What are chives?
Chives are a perennial plant native to Europe and Northern Asia, and are an herb related to the onion and garlic. The plant flowers in June and July with blue-pink-violet umbels. Wild chives still occur in Belgium and the Netherlands, sowing is possible around the end of March and the end of August.
Characteristic features of chives are the long, narrow and grassy stems. What many forget is that the vegetable also has beautiful pink, white or purple flowers.
The young leaves are most often used in food preparation, but did you know that the flowers can also be eaten? In star restaurants they are often used as a garnish of a dish.
Nowadays we mainly use the young stems of this herb. These can be chopped or thinly sliced to make all kinds of dishes even healthier and tasty.
Did you know that in the nineteenth century, pipe grass was fed to cows by Dutch farmers to give the milk a special taste. Unfortunately, this is no longer done today.
Chives are very thermolabile, in other words: they lose their flavor when heated. It should only be added to a warm dish at the very end.
Nutritional values of chives
Chives are a nutrient-rich herb. This means that they are low in calories and have many useful nutritional values. (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants)
That said, it’s not really healthy until you eat significant amounts of these vegetables. Most people often use chives as a garnish or mix it with a salad. A typical serving is about 1 tablespoon, or 3 grams.
According to the LTO (Agricultural and Horticultural Organization of the Netherlands), 1 tablespoon of chopped chives provides the following nutritional values:
|Vitamins in Chives||Amount per tablespoon||Percentage of the Recommended Daily Allowance|
Table of Nutritional Values of Chives with the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)*
Health Benefits of Chives
Chives have many health benefits, we have listed the most characteristic and notable health benefits:
Better sleep and mood
Chives contain a small amount of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps maintain the structure of cell membranes. It also aids in mood, memory, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.
According to the ODS ( Office of Dietary Supplements ), regular choline intake is recommended for better sleep. Although this herb contains a small amount, namely 0.16mg.
Still, it is a good addition to your diet if you want to lose weight healthily .
Good for your bones
There are many healthy nutrients in chives, such as vitamin K and folic acid. One of the most important vitamins for your bones is vitamin K, an essential nutrient not found in many common foods.
Vitamin K is a perfect weapon for healthy bones and blood clotting. As we age, our bone density begins to decline. Which is often a cause of many conditions such as: osteoporosis or inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. High levels of vitamin K, such as those in this herb, can aid in the production of osteomalacia, which is an important part of maintaining bone mineral density.
Improve heart health
One of the main organic compounds in chives is allicin. Which has recently been linked to lowered LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the body and better heart health.
Allicin is also linked to lowering blood pressure. Combined with the vasodilator effects of potassium, this herb can have a major impact on reducing cardiovascular load.
In addition, another organic compound, quercetin, has been directly linked to lowering cholesterol and plaque in the arteries. It’s linked to preventing atherosclerosis and lowering your risk of stroke and heart attacks.