7 Reasons You Need to Add Way More
Chives to Your Diet

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April 25, 2016
A. Weinberg, Contributing Columnist

Chives --- you can't really miss them. They have a distinct,
concentrated flavor that pops up in a quiche or on top of a bagel. They
are like a regular onion squared.

Yes, chives are part of the onion family, but they don't have the shape
of a regular onion, which most of us think of as an orb or circular. They
look more like a thick, green grass, with purple flowers on top.

If chives could talk, they would speak English, or maybe something
Scandinavian. They now hail from Britain, Northern Europe, and North
America (although other species of chives from China have recipes that
date back to 100 years ago).

Also steeped in the mystic, chives were used by Rumanian gypsies for
fortune telling, and were thought to drive away disease and evil

Nowadays, they still do the same. (Well, you'll have to try the evil
influences thing for yourself, actually.)

This versatile plant, officially named Alium Shoenoprasum, is delicious,
as well as being a potent medicine.

Chives Help Prevent Cancer

Chives are filled with antioxidants, and incorporating them into your
diet could lower your risk of cancer.

In 1999, Dr. CM Gao, from the Institute of Jiangsu in the province of
Nanjing, China looked at the relationship between alium vegetable
intake and esophagus and stomach cancer. 234 people were
questioned on their dietary habits, including intake of alium vegetables,
other food, tea consumption, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc.

A frequent intake of alium vegetables, including Chinese chives, were
correlated with a lower risk for esophagal cancer and stomach cancer.
(Also on the list of low-cancer risk were raw vegetables, tomatoes,
snap beans, and tea consumption.) They concluded that alium
vegetables had an important role in protecting against esophagal and
stomach cancer. Put a few chives in your dinner to enjoy the benefits.

Chives Strengthen Your Immune System, Help Prevent Colds and

Chives have been shown to have a potent anti-microbial effect, which
means that fight bacteria and viruses.

If your immune system feels down, try a chive or two. In a 2006 study
conducted by Dr. C.W. Seo and other researchers from the A and T
State University in Greensboro N.C.,  examined the effects of chives on
the survival of salmonella in chicken soup, beef broth, and sesame salad

They divided all substances into two portions: one treated with chive
extract and the other a control. Both were inoculated with a mixture of
38 strains of salmonella.

These were stored at 37 degrees celsius, collected at 0, 24, and 48
hours, then placed on Agar plates. They were then incubated for 24
hours. The experiment was performed three times.

It turned out that chives strongly inhibited salmonella in chicken soup
and beef broth. So, remember not to eat those raw eggs, of course.
But if you do feel a cold coming on, or you suspect your food was less
than safe, take some preventative chives, just in case.

Chives Lower Your Cholesterol

The active ingredient in chives, allicin, keeps the body running like it
should. In 1999, D. Abramovitz and researchers from the Neufeld
Cardiovascular Research Institute in Tel Hashomer, Israel, looked at the
potential of allicin on fatty streaks (atherosclerosis) and lipid profile in

In their experiment, they kept allicin in a buffer citrate solution at 4
degrees celsius. Sixty mice were fed a diet of 17% fat and 1.25%
cholesterol for 15 weeks. 30 were given allicin solution (9 mg/kg) and
30 were given placebo.

The blood lipid profile was observed five times during the study. At the
end of the 15 week period, the animals were killed (poor little guys)
and the aortic sinus was evaluated for fatty streaks.

Although the blood lipid levels were the same, the aortic formation of
streaks was significantly lower for the allicin-treated group. So, while
chives might not be a weight loss solution, they could help when you're
going on a cholesterol binge.

Chives Promote Brain Health

Chive's active ingredient, allicin, has even been found to help a
recovering brain.

Dr. J.J. Lin and colleagues from the Fourth Military Medical university in
China looked at its effects on patients with ischemic stroke. In 2015,
they took the rat middle cerebral artery as a working model, and
administered allicin.

The 50 mg/kg of allicin applied decreased neurological defecit score in
general and especially got blood flow back to areas where it was

It looks as if post-injury administration of allicin protects your brain
afterr ischemic stroke.

But if it has such effects after surgery, think what it could do for your
brain on a day-to-day basis. Keep things sparky with chives.

Decrease Your Blood Pressure

Those with
hypertension know that it is something that has to be
constantly controlled. Recent studies show that chives could be a
delicious way to keep things stable.

One experiment, conducted in 2015 by Dr. Amalia Lia from the College
of Pharmacy ITB, looked at the effects of patients with high blood

Dr. Lia took 47 people with hypertension (with blood pressure above
144mmHg) and gave them 250 mg of chive extract per day for 8

After the testing period, she noted a 28.67 mmHg decrease in systolic
blood pressure and a 4.64 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

If you have chronic hypertension, or even if you're going through a
time of temporary stress, putting some chives on a bagel or sandwiches
could be a great way to keep things level.

Chives Fight Depression the Natural Way and May Help Erectile

One of chive's active ingredients is folate, which has been proven to
reduce depression.

And really, who wouldn't be happier with a chive cream cheese bagel?
Venlafaxine is a more traditional anti-depressant.

Dr. J. Thomas and other researchers at the Jamia Hamdard institute in
New Dehli, India looked at what effect adding folate to the substance
would have.

They added a low dose to mice exposed to a chronic forced swim stress
for 21 days. Effects were measured every 7th, 14th, and 21st day.
Augmentation of the anti-depressant effect were observed after 14 and
21 days of treatment. The brain seratonin levels also increased.

This is potentially good news for those on anti-depressants, who want
to lower their dosage. Test a diet high in chives and other ingredients
with folic acid.

Because chives are so rich in folate, they may also help improve erectile
Folate has been linked with significant improvement in
erectile performance
in men with erectile dysfunction.

Boost Your Memory with Chives

Chives are full of excellent active ingredients. Choline is another one,
which helps in memory, sleep, and mood. Iron deficiency is a problem
pre-natally and post-natally, as it can cause long-term problems with
cognitive and socioemotional function. In 2014, BC Kennedy and his
colleagues from the University of Minnesota looked at the effect of
adding choline to pre-natal iron-deficient rats. They divided the two
groups into one that was iron-sufficient and one that was iron-
deficient, and tested various factors. It turned out that pre-natal
choline restored novel object recognition by 48.8%, but did not have a
significant impact on social improvement.

In any case, chives and choline- rich ingredients will pick up your
cerebral system. I guess with the social awkwardness, you're on your


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