Introduction to Scallions
Scallion, also known as Welsh onion is a flavoring ingredient, popularly used in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisines. Botanically, it belongs to family "Alliaceae".
The edible part of scallions is the white bulb and the crispy green stalk. These edible portions possess various medicinal properties and contain bioactive compounds that help in the management and treatment of various diseases and disorders.
Traditionally scallions were used to treat headache, common cold, abdominal pain and heart diseases.
Other common names of scallion are green onion, spring onion, salad onion, Japanese bunching onion. Scallions contain "allicin", a compound that is responsible for its characteristic flavor and fragrance. Besides this, scallions are rich in flavonoids, sulfur compounds and antioxidants that benefit health.
Scallions are an abundant source of vitamin C, B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin).
Scallions are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals such as carotenoids, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. Due to such a healthy composition, scallions receive considerable attention.
Aid in Weight Loss
Scallions can be beneficial for individuals who want to lose weight. Thiamine (vitamin B1) present in scallions prevents body weight gain and inhibits accumulation of fat.
It further works by suppressing the appetite. This reduces the overall food intake. Thus, fewer calories enter into the body.
Studies have also revealed that scallions contain ferulic acid and quercetin. These healthy compounds prevent the build-up of fat in the body. Hence, more fat is used as a source of energy and less is stored.
Help in the Management of Diabetes
Scallions are beneficial for diabetics because of its high antioxidant potential. High blood sugar level increases oxidative stress (inability of the body to detoxify harmful substances such as free radicals), which further leads to the progression of diabetes.
Antioxidants present in scallions neutralize free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and prevent the complications of diabetes.
They work against alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme that converts carbohydrate into simple sugars upon digestion. Such an inhibition delays carbohydrate digestion and slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. This prevents sudden rise in the blood sugar levels post a meal.
Thus, diabetics should start their meals with scallions in order to manage their post-meal blood sugar levels.
Anti-Hypertensive Action of Scallions
Consumption of scallions helps in the restoration of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps in dilating arteries and thus, it ensures smooth blood flow all throughout the body. This prevents rise in the blood pressure.
Angiotensin-II is an enzyme that causes constriction of arteries and blood vessels and leads to subsequent increase in the blood pressure. Healthy compounds present in scallions inhibit such an enzyme and help in the relaxation and widening of the arteries.
Hence, scallions can be added to salt-restricted diet in order to maintain blood pressure within normal range.
Heart-Protective Role of Scallions
Scallions are an amazing heart-friendly food ingredient. They inhibit the substance that leads to the constriction of blood vessels. Such a constriction increases stress on the heart, thus making it weak.
Scallions further inhibit the formation of clots and prevent clogging of the arteries. Thus, blood flows smoothly all throughout the body without putting any additional load on the heart.
In addition to this, scallions help in the management of diabetes and high blood pressure which are the major risk factors for heart disease.
Anti-Cancer Potential of Scallions
Studies have observed that scallions are strongly effective against colon cancer. Antioxidants present in scallions flush out the free radicals from the body and reduce oxidative stress which is the main cause of cancer.
They delay the incidence of tumor and it also helps in reducing the size of tumor. Furthermore, it reduces overall inflammation which otherwise worsens the condition. Regular consumption of scallions is also associated with increased death of cancer cells.
Besides this, healthy compounds present in scallions prevent the multiplication of cancer cells and inhibit their spread to other organs of the body.
Thus, scallions are important medicinal food that help in the treatment or management of cancer.
Liver-Protective Role of Scallions
The level of liver enzyme increases if any damage is caused to the liver. Antioxidants present in scallions protect the liver against free radical. Research has observed that consumption of scallions improves the overall health of a damaged liver via:
- Normalizing the level of liver enzymes
- Regeneration of liver cells
- Reducing inflammation.
Cholesterol-Lowering Action of Scallions:
High cholesterol level is an important risk factor for heart diseases. The high flavanol content of scallions helps in lowering high cholesterol levels. "Kaempferol", a flavonoid present in scallions reduces the deposition of fat in the body.
Sulfur compounds present in scallions inhibit the formation of cholesterol in the body, as well as, decrease the fat storage in the liver.
Besides this, dietary fiber present in scallions increases the excretion of bile acids in feces. Liver uses cholesterol from the blood to produce bile acids. The fiber binds with the bile acids and excretes them, thus reducing the circulating cholesterol levels.
Protect Against Intestinal Worm Infection (Helminthiasis)
Intestinal worm infection is common in children and it can even affect their growth and development. Research has revealed that scallions possess anthelmintic activity. Such an activity is attributed to the presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids and steroids. These healthy compounds kill the intestinal worms and thus protect the gut against infections. Hence, adding scallions in your diet regularly is a natural way to cleanse your gut.
Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Scallions
Scallions protect the brain cells against inflammation and prevent the onset of various neurodegenerative diseases. They suppress inflammatory compounds and promote overall good health of the brain cells. Inflammation of brain can cause confusion, depression, difficulty in thinking and remembering. Flavonoids and sulfur compounds present in scallions fight against inflammation and thus, guard the brain.
- Scallions- 1 cup (roughly chopped)
- Paneer- 200 grams (cut into cubes)
- Ginger garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice- 1 tablespoon
- Pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt- as per taste
- Oil- 2 tablespoon
Method of Preparation:
- Marinate the paneer pieces with ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, pepper powder and salt. Keep it aside for half an hour.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the white and green part of spring onions and stir fry it for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the marinated paneer pieces and continue to stir fry it for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with home-made chutney.
Note: You can even replace the paneer pieces with boneless chicken pieces but the cooking time will vary.
Nutrition Facts for Scallions
|Calcium, Ca||72 mg||7.2 %|
|Copper, Cu||0.08 mg||4.15 %|
|Iron, Fe||1.48 mg||8.22 %|
|Magnesium, Mg||20 mg||5 %|
|Manganese, Mn||0.16 mg||8 %|
|Phosphorus, P||37 mg||3.7 %|
|Potassium, K||276 mg||7.89 %|
|Selenium, Se||0.6 mcg||0.86 %|
|Sodium, Na||16 mg||0.67 %|
|Zinc, Zn||0.39 mg||2.6 %|
|Vitamin A||997 IU||19.94 %|
|Vitamin C||18.8 mg||31.33 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.06 mg||3.05 %|
|Vitamin E||0.55 mg||1.83 %|
|Vitamin K||207 mcg||258.75 %|
|Riboflavin||0.08 mg||4.71 %|
|Thiamin||0.06 mg||3.67 %|
|Folate, DFE||64 mcg||16 %|
|Niacin||0.52 mg||2.63 %|
|Fiber||2.6 g||10.4 %|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 %|
|Carotene, alpha||0 mcg|
|Carotene, beta||598 mcg|
|View all +|
- The nutritional composition and anti-obesity effects of an herbal mixed extract containing Allium fistulosum and Viola mandshurica in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609103/#CR11)
- Hypoglycemic effects of Welsh onion in an animal model of diabetes mellitus - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3029789/)
- Chronic Consumption of Raw But Not Boiled Welsh Onion Juice Inhibits Rat Platelet Function - (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/1/34.long)
- Biochemical and Histopathological Changes on the Effect of Oral Administration of Methanol Extract of Allium Fistulosum (Leaf and Bulbs) In liver and Kidney in Thioacetamide Induced Albino Rats - (http://www.pearlresearchjournals.org/journals/jmbsr/archive/2016/July/PDF/Sule%20and%20Arhoghro%201.pdf)
- Protective Effects of Welsh Onion (Allium fistulosum L.) on Drug-induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats  - (http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=KR2006015726)
- Anthelmintic Activity of Ethanolic and Aqueous Extracts of Allium fistulosum L. Leaves on Ascaris lumbricoides - (http://impactfactor.org/PDF/IJPCR/8/IJPCR,Vol8,Issue9,Article9.pdf)