Kamis, 25 Mei 2017

The Health Benefits of Scallions (Spring/Green Onion)

Scallions are in fact immature onions and they belong to the onion family with edible leaves and bulb. They’re also called spring onions because they’re young and feature a sleek and tall stalk and a small bulb. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fiber etc. and are pretty low in calories – 100 grams of onions contain just 31 calories.

Scallions are a source of dietary fiber with around 2.6 grams in 100 grams of fresh vegetable. Fiber helps the digestive system function properly, preventing constipation and boosting the metabolism. They also have many antioxidants and thio-sulfinates such as diallyl trisulfide, diallyl disulfide and allyl propyl disulfide that convert to allicin. This compound reduces the production of cholesterol and has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Allicin is also powerful enough to reduce blood vessels stiffness because it releases nitric oxide (NO) and thus reduces the blood pressure. Because it has such a positive influence on the arteries, it can also prevent cardiovascular diseases such as peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, strokes etc.

Scallions have a fair share of useful vitamins such as vitamin C, K and A. Vitamin C is great against infections and inflammations and it’s an excellent antioxidant; vitamin A is excellent for the eyesight and offers protection against oral cavity and lung cancers; vitamin K is present with 172% of the daily recommended dosage and can help protect the bones from weakening and it’s very useful for treating Alzheimer’s patients because it prevents neuronal damage in the brain.

Scallions are also rich in B complex group of vitamins and lots of important minerals such as folic acid, pyridoxine, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. Folic acid, present with 64 micrograms, is vital for DNA synthesis so taking folic acid in the pre-conception period as well as in the early pregnancy can prevent neural defects in the fetus.

Scallions can be found in supermarkets all year round. Fresh ones are crispy, medium sized, straight and tall vegetables with green tubules and white bulb. Avoid ones with discoloration, yellow top leaves and with strong, pungent onion-like smell. At home, scallions should be rinsed under running water to remove dirt and dust as well as pesticide and insecticide residues. Also, they should be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag where they last for up to 10 days.

The nutritive value for 100 grams of scallions is as follows:

  • 32 kcal
  • Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Protein: 1.83 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.34 grams
  • Total fat: 0.30 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Serving suggestions:
  • Fresh, chopped in salads

The leaves can be used in stir-fries, stews, soups etc.

The leaves can also be used cooked with omelets, pastas, noodles, pancakes, sauces etc.

Mixed with potatoes, carrots, green peas, seafood, cabbage etc.