They’re green and they’re mean when it comes to being fighters of free radicals, pathogens and bacteria, and they help fight cancer. Because food is medicine, we can’t discount the benefits of scallions, an allium vegetable that is a close relative to leeks and shallots.
Native to central Asia, these "oniony"antioxidants have a bit of a bite and are packed with nutrients with multiple health benefits.
Scallions contain twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, responsible for helping with blood clotting and building strong bones. They are also a source for vitamin C, protecting cells from free radical damage. Scallions are also high in folate and vitamin A, potassium and iron.
Allicin is a compound in allium vegetables such as scallions that help prevent tumor formation and slow the growth of existing tumors. Both scallions and garlic are high in allicin—it’s the constituent of the plant that causes the odor we are familiar with when it comes to garlic. A 2012 animal study showed that mice with colon cancer given scallion extract experienced tumor growth suppression and reduced systemic inflammation. As a result, this increased the mice’s survival rate, lowered inflammation and increase the survival rate of the mice. A study out of the National Cancer institute in Maryland also showed benefits to reducing cancer risk, this time lowering the risk of prostate cancer by 30%.
Allicin is also known to kill bacteria, fungus and viruses. High concentrations of allicin in studies can slow the growth of and kill such bacteria strains as salmonella and E. coli.
Other phytonutrients in scallions serve as important antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. These flavonoids and polyphenols can act as a defense against age-related illnesses and reduce systemic inflammation.
A 2013 animal study demonstrated that mice fed scallions had increased immune function calculated by the increased activity of immune cells. Scallions proved to be flu-fighters in another study. Published in Food Chemistry, this study showed that scallion plant constituents helped increase antibodies that help combat influenza.
Scallions may also help with weight loss. A 2011 animal study found that scallions shrink fat cells and help breakdown fat.
Scallions also provide heart benefits, reducing heart disease risk factors due to the chemical properties in this plant. Triglyceride and LDL levels can be lowered simply by including scallions in your diet. It has also been proven to increase blood flow. The high levels of vitamin K in scallions may provide additional cardiovascular protection, helping to keep arteries from stiffening and forming blockage due to calcium deposits.
The high vitamin K levels in scallions also promote stronger bones and teeth. Since vitamin K works in conjunction with vitamin D, be sure that you also are getting enough sunlight daily as well as leafy green vegetables, which are high in calcium.
Instead of buying scallions at the grocery store each week, consider growing them in your garden or on your window sill. Scallions grow easily—you don’t need a green thumb to grow scallions quickly.
If you happen to have scallions in your refrigerator, you can simply save the bulbs with the roots and plant them to begin your scallion garden. They love plenty of sunlight and water, and don’t even require being planted in soil. They’ll simply grow in a glass of water within a week to ten days.
Growing your own vegetables/food/medicine at home can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. Since scallions are prolific growers, this plant is a great starting point to creating your own healing garden.
Interested in additional vegan sources of vitamin A, D and K?
Our Vegan ADK utilizes two forms of micellized Vitamin A (palmitate and betacarotene), VEGAN Vitamin D3 along with two essential forms of K2 (MK-4 + MK-7). Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, while Vitamin K2 helps the body ensure that calcium is properly utilized (i.e., that it is ending up in the bones and not in the heart and blood vessels). Vitamin K2 keeps calcium in bones and teeth and out of soft tissues.
Since magnesium helps your body better absorb vitamin D, check out our Optimum Magnesium. Containing two forms of bioavailable chelated magnesium (magnesium malate and glycinate), this product also helps promote better sleep, relax muscles and support healthy bones.