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As part of the Allium family of plants, chives are cousins with onions and leeks. Traditional folk remedies used chives treat anaemia, stimulate digestion and ease up an upset stomach. This week Dietitian Dr. Linia Patel summarises the health benefits of chives.


Chives are a key ingredient in many of our low FODMAP meals to add flavour in the absence of onions and garlic (as they are low in fructans).

Rich in


  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin K
  • Quercetin
  • Allicins

Key health benefits



  • May improves heart health. Allicins, the powerful antioxidants found in chives are linked to lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol as well as improved blood vessel function. Chives also contain quercetin another antioxidant found to reduce inflammation. All these benefits cut the risk of plaque build-up in your arteries (1).

  • Supports immune health. The high levels of vitamin C found in chives may help the immune system work better by stimulating the production of white blood cells which help fight infection (2).

  • May improve bone strength. Both calcium and vitamin K found in chives are vital for long-term bone health. Vitamin K helps produce osteocalcin which is important for maintaining bone mineral density in bones which is of value particularly as we age (3).

  • Reduces risk of anaemia. Being exceptionally rich in vitamin C, chives help increase the absorption of iron from your gut, especially if you are avoiding meat (2,3).

  • May help lower your risk of cancer. Chives are rich in antioxidants like quercetin and lutein which help protect against cancers such as breast, colon, prostate and uterus (4).

Chef's tips



Chives are commonly eaten as garnish however they also make a great substitute for spring onions and garlic in recipes. Other ways to include them in your diet are:

    • Tossing them in a fresh salad or in an omelette
    • Adding them to a sandwich or a baked potato

Dr. Linia Patel

Registered dietitian

IG: @liniapatelnutrition

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