What Are the Benefits of Scallions?

Scallions deliver many health benefits.

Scallions deliver many health benefits.

Scallions are onions that are harvested early in their growth stage, just before the bulbs begin to form. Containing vitamins, minerals and compounds that contribute to your overall health, scallions will make a good addition to your menu. With a taste that is milder than a full-grown onions, scallions are often added to soups and salads or eaten raw.

Vitamin Content

Scallions contain several vitamins, including some you will not find in full-grown onions. The most abundant vitamin in scallions is K, which enables your blood to clot properly. A 1-cup serving of chopped scallions, including the green tops, contains 207 micrograms of vitamin K, or 259 percent of the recommended daily intake, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. If you are on blood-thinning medication such as aspirin or warfarin, limit your intake of scallions, as too much vitamin K will interfere with your medication's ability to work properly.

Other Vitamins

Scallions are high in vitamin C content, with a 1-cup serving containing 18.8 milligrams, or 30 percent of the RDI. Vitamin C keeps your skin and membranes healthy and works along with vitamin A -- which is also in scallions -- to maintain a healthy immune system. Vitamin A also protects your eyesight and is needed for your cells to effectively communicate with each other. The vitamin A content of scallions is 997 international units, or 20 percent of the RDI, in a 1-cup serving. Though scallions and full-grown onions contain vitamin C, onions contain only a trace of vitamin K, and scallions alone contain vitamin A, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Other vitamins in scallions include a small amount of vitamin E and the B-vitamin family.

Minerals

Minerals are just as important to your health as vitamins. Scallions deliver several minerals, including iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, sodium and selenium. The National Institutes of Health lists calcium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium and magnesium as macrominerals, which are needed in larger amounts by the body. Eating scallions helps contribute to the RDI of these macrominerals.

Cancer Protection

Scallions are a member of the allium family, which also includes garlic and grown onions. Allium vegetables contain organosulfur compounds, which are released when they are chopped or chewed. A review in the October 8, 2008 issue of "Cancer Letters" states that allium vegetables are beneficial in fighting heart disease, diabetes, infections and cancer. The review explains that organosulfur compounds stop the growth of cancerous tumors, trigger the death of cancer cells and prevent new cancer cells from developing.

Diet Friendly

No matter what diet you may be on, with the exception of one that lowers your vitamin K levels, shallots make a great addition to your eating plan. Chopping up one large scallion and adding it to your meal only adds 8 calories and 6.5 carbs. You will also be adding fiber to your plate in the amount of 0.7 gram or 3 percent of the RDI. A higher dietary fiber intake reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity, according to a review in the December 2010 issue of "Nutrients."

 

About the Author

A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."

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