How often do you include scallion in your diet?
Did you know that the wide recognition of this amazing vegetable is attributed to its numerous nutritional, medicinal and therapeutic effects?
Peradventure scallion is not your bread and butter, I can assure you that reading this article will make you see reasons on why you should regularly include this powerful vegetable in your diets. The truth is that several researchers have carried out extensive studies on this onion-like vegetable but before delving into their findings, let’s begin with a little bit of introduction to scallion.
Scallion is an annual herb that is botanically known as Allium fistulosum L. Alliaceae or Allii fistulosi. It belongs to the Allium species of the Liliaceae or onion family. Allium is a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants that comprises of scallion, onion, leek, garlic, chives, shallot and many others. It is a hollow green vegetable leaf without a fully developed root bulb.
This biennial green vegetable is originally from Asia before spreading to other parts of the world like America, Europe etc. Scallion is a special onion cultivar that bears long edible greenish leaves but lacks substantial bulb like the common onion. It is highly sought after due to its mild distinctive flavour and high nutritional values. This perennial leafy vegetable usually grows in clusters and reaches approximately 20 inches in height.
Scallion is known by different names by different parts of the world such as; syboe, green onion, precious onion, scally onion, Welsh onion or Welsch onion, gibbon, spring onion, long onion, table onion, salad onion, new onion, yard onion, young onion, onion stick, baby onion, qepë të njoma and Japanese bunching onion.
The Chinese people equally call it cong Bai, Iceland people call it vorlaukur, Jamaicans call it escallion, Italians refer to it as cipollotto, cipolla d'inverno, cipollotti freschi or cipolletta, Malaysians and Indonesians refer to it as daun bawang, Hungarians call it újhagyma, Japanese people call it negi, Israelis call it batzal yarouq (בצל ירוק), Hindi people call it hara pyaz while Iranians call it پیازچه.
Ankri and Mirelman (1999) report that scallion and other members in the Allium genus members possess anthelmintic, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Researchers attribute its therapeutic properties to its volatile oils that also comprise of sulfurous compounds such as allyl sulfide, dipropyl disulfide and allicin.
Over the years, the use of scallion and other Allium genus members like onion, garlic for tackling diseases has been widely reported. Scallion is highly valuable because both the greenish vegetable and fresh bulb possess nutritional and medicinal properties that are essential for the healthy functioning of the body.
Nutritional Values of Scallion
Scallion is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, dietary fibre, vitamin B2, vitamin K, phosphorus, copper, potassium, chromium, manganese, zeaxanthin, iron, magnesium, folic acid, folate, lutein and beta-carotene. Scallion also contains antioxidants such as flavonoids, allium, quercetin and allyl propyl disulphide.
26 Peculiar Benefits of Scallion Spring Onion
Scallion can be eaten raw as a fresh vegetable in salads, salsa or it can be used for preparing assorted dishes such as soup, stew, stir-fried noodles, curries, griddled spring onions, sandwiches, mỡ hành, stir fries, dưa hành or fermented onions, wet palapa, meat and fish dishes etc.
Supports the Cardiovascular System
Scallion is an excellent source of essential minerals and vitamins such as folate, magnesium, potassium, allicin and allyl sulfides etc. These vitamins are beneficial for the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system, for example; the folate in this vegetable helps to reduce the homocysteine circulation levels while the potassium helps to regulate the blood pressure level. Studies reveal that this vegetable reduces the oxidation of cholesterol thereby minimising the risk of coronary heart disease.
These benefits suggest why this vegetable is highly important to be included in our daily diets in other to minimise the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, stroke etc. Furthermore, the allicin and allyl sulfides found in scallion helps to protect the arteries from clogging. This further helps to prevent atherosclerosis, which is a disease condition of the arteries marked by the deposition of fatty material on the inner walls.
Scallion is antiviral in nature and as such, both the bulb, root (cong xu) and leaves can be used for tackling virus attacks such as fever, flu, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, chills, cold-related headache, frostbite and common cold. Scallion also stimulates the respiratory tract to expel phlegm (sputum).
How to Treat Nasal Congestion with Scallion
~ Crush the scallion to form a poultice.
~ Place the scallion poultice over your nose.
~ Leave it for at least 10 minutes.
~ Repeat process until the nasal congestion clears.
How to Treat Sore Throat with Scallion
~ Cut some scallion into small pieces.
~ Add them in a portable bag and steam.
~ Cover the hot bag with a towel and place it over the chest and throat for at least 10 minutes.
~ Repeat these procedures until your sore throat is gone.
Scallion is very low in calories and rich in essential nutrients. Studies reveal that regular intake of this vegetable helps to eliminate excess fat from the body thereby maintaining a balanced body weight.
Supports Healthy Bone
Scallion is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C, which are essential for developing, supporting and repairing our bones.
Recommended for Pregnant Women
Due to the high amount of folic acid in scallion, this vegetable is highly recommended for pregnant women. It is worthy to note that folic acid helps to promote healthy fetal development as it can significantly minimise the risk of neural tube defects.
Due to the high amount of iron present in scallion, it is highly recommended for individuals suffering from anaemia. Anaemia is a disease condition characterised by the deficiency of red cells or haemoglobin in the blood. This usually leads to tiredness, stress, weariness and paleness. Interestingly, this vegetable prevents this health challenge by supplying the iron needed for the formation of the red blood cells.
Prevents the onset of Cancer
Spring onion is a rich source of pectin, which is a water-soluble colloidal carbohydrate. It also contains organosulfur compounds that are essential for inhibiting the development and growth of cancerous tumours. As a result, this vegetable helps to minimise the onset of cancers especially colon cancer.
Aids Easy Digestion of Food
Scallion is an excellent source of dietary fibre and as such very effective for facilitating easy digestion of food. Scallion also helps to prevent constipation and flatulence.
Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
Scallion is suitable for preventing and treating gastrointestinal diseases such as abdominal bloating, diarrhoea, stomachache and dysentery.
Scallion contains anthelmintic properties and as such can be used for destroying parasitic worms such as pinworms, ringworms etc.
Tsai et al., (2005) report that scallion contains anti-inflammatory properties, especially quercetin. This makes it suitable for reducing inflammation of the body parts.
Promotes Good Eye Vision
Scallion seeds are useful for promoting and maintaining good eyesight and vision due to its rich constituents of zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. Studies reveal that spring onion is useful for preventing the onset of cataract and other age-related macular degeneration.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Scallion is a rich source of chromium and Allyl propyl disulphide. As a result, this vegetable is highly recommended for diabetic patients as it helps to regulate their blood sugar level. Furthermore, it also helps to improve the glucose tolerance.
Scallion is an excellent source of vitamin C, quercetin, kaempferol and antioxidants. This suggests why this vegetable is suitable for boosting our body’s immunity.
Scallion is an excellent source of quercetin, which is a yellow crystalline pigment found in plants. This pigment is normally used as a food supplement for reducing allergic responses thus scallion is suitable for reducing and treating allergies and asthma.
Scallion is a rich source of allicin thus useful for maintaining healthy and glowing skin. Moreover, the high content of vitamin C, K and E helps to rejuvenate the skin, prevent skin pigmentation, exfoliates dead skin, prevents premature ageing and makes the skin look younger. The antioxidants especially quercetin and allium found in this vegetable helps to inhibit free radicals from damaging the skin.
Scallion contains anti-oxidizing properties such as allicin and as such scavenges for free radicals (Tsai et al., 2005).
Lowers Blood Pressure Level
Chen et al., (2000) reveal that scallion has the potential of lowering the blood pressure level. This is attributed to its rich constituent of sulphur compounds. Furthermore, it can also help to inhibit platelet aggregation.
Treatment of Hematuria
Spring onion is suitable for treating hematuria, which is a health condition marked by the presence of blood in the urine.
Due to the sulphur compounds in scallion, it can be used for treating and healing injuries, cuts, sprains and wounds.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Studies reveal that this vegetable is suitable for reducing and regulating the cholesterol levels.
Scallion contains allicin, which is essential for fighting bacteria and killing germs.
Scallion can be juiced and consumed for detoxifying the body from unwanted agents.
Speeds up Blood Circulation
Scallion helps to speed up blood circulation in the body.
Regular intake of scallion helps to boost appetite.
How to Grow Scallion
~ Purchase scallion bunch with developed roots or scallion seeds.
~ Trim back the scallion by half their size or cut off the bottom part by 3 cm if using the bulbs.
~ Plant them in a properly manured, weed-free, moistened, drained and rich soil.
~ Ensure the scallion is planted in an area with optimum temperature.
~ Cut the matured scallion at intervals when the green leaves have reached at least 6 inches in height. But remember to leave behind the rooted bulbs to sprout and regrow again.
How to Store Scallion
~ Wash and add the scallion in a nylon bag.
~ Seal or tie up the bag then refrigerate.
~ Alternatively, wrap up the scallion in a thick paper and store in a cool temperature.
DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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