What Are Spring Onions & Their Benefits?

When we think of spring onions, we would naturally think of them as none other than a garnish to add a bit of color to a dish. But did you know that there’s more to it about spring onions?

In fact, spring onions are low in calories, rich in nutrients, and boast some serious health benefits, from enhancing immunity to boosting weight loss. Incredibly versatile, spring onions can do so much more than simply brightening up your plate! Read on to find out more!

Table of Content

What Are Spring Onions?

Spring onions go by the name of many, which include scallions, green onions, and welsh onions. Native to China, this allium plant is a close relative of garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots and hence share many of the same health benefits.

Spring onion is a variety of young onions which is made up of a white base that has not fully developed into bulbs and long green stalks that resemble leeks. They are harvested early before the bulb is able to swell and expand. This sets them apart from the rest of the Allium family members.

How To Select Spring Onions From Your Local Market?

Pick spring onions with green to light green bulbs. Look for green stalks that are undamaged and unwitted, bright in green at the top. Bulbs of spring onions should be crisp and firm, indicating that it’s fresh and young.

How Do They Taste Like?

As spring onions consist of two parts, they naturally would have two distinct flavors. The green tops have a mild, onion-like flavor as opposed to the white base which is slightly more intense in its tastes. The white part is less pungent but sweeter, while the green part is distinctively onion-y with a fresh grassy flavor.

All these reasons led to spring onions being a staple in a handful of Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese & Korean foods

Favorite Spring Onions Recipes

Both parts of spring onions are edible, which means both bottom white and upper green parts of spring onions can be used for cooking and consumption. They are mild enough to be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Their crisp texture and sharp onion-y taste make them a great addition to salads or even as a garnish to a heavy dish

  • Korean Spicy Scallion Salad
  • Miso Soup with Tofu, Seaweed and Scallions
  • Frittatas with Scallions, Bacon and Feta

The 6 Health Benefits of Spring Onions

  • Aid in Weight Loss
  • Help Blood Clotting
  • Boost Immunity
  • May Block Cancer Growth
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Enhance Heart Health
1. Aid in Weight Loss

Despite being low in calories, spring onions are actually a nutrient-dense food, making them a great addition to your diet if you are losing weight. Spring onions also contain a good chunk of fiber, which helps promote weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer and thus reducing hunger.

Including spring onions in your diet together with plenty of other low-calorie yet densely nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables are one easy way to help keep your waistline in control.

2. Help Blood Clotting

Spring onions are packed with vitamin K. If you didn’t know, vitamin K is a necessary nutrient for many aspects of health, but one in particular that stands out is the ability to clot blood.

Blood clotting is important to prevent excessive bleeding due to injury. It allows your platelets and plasma – two components of your blood – to form a blood clot when you’re injured so that further blood loss will be prevented. A deficiency in vitamin K can lead to easy bruising and bleeding, especially in the gums or nose.

3. Boosts Immunity

Studies have found that spring onions can jump-start your immune system to prevent illness and infection. They help alter the levels of specific cells in the immune system that work to ward off disease and fight foreign invaders in the body. A specific compound in spring onions has also been shown to increase the production of antibodies to help fight against influenza.

Spring onions are also high in vitamin C, which has been shown to enhance immune function and prevent infection.

4. May Block Cancer Growth

Studies have found that spring onions contain compounds that may help reduce the growth of certain cancer cells. These compounds suppress the growth of tumors and lower inflammation. Spring onions also contain the compound allicin, the same one as found in garlic. Allicin is well known for its cancer-fighting abilities, having proven to stop the growth of stomach cancer and help kill off cancer cells.

5. Improve Bone Health

Other than preventing heart diseases and improving blood clotting abilities, Vitamin K may also strengthen your bones. It is involved in bone metabolism and increases the amount of specific protein that is required to maintain the calcium in your bones and increase bone density.

A study has found that a low vitamin K intake was associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis or fractures in elderly men and women.

However, I would still recommend combining calcium and vitamin D into a diet full of Vitamin K to boost your bone health even more.

6. Enhance Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and a major health concern. Fortunately, spring onions have been shown to help promote heart health. Studies have shown that spring onions were able to decrease several heart disease risk factors like total cholesterol, triglycerides, and bad LDL cholesterol.

In addition, spring onions are loaded with Vitamin K, which may help protect your heart. Vitamin K helps block the formation of calcium deposits on the wall of arteries, which could lead to stiffening of arteries. A higher intake of vitamin K was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

How to Handle Spring Onions?

Spring onions are one of the easiest foods to cut, making them a great vegetable to use for honing your knife skills. If you’re wondering how to handle spring onions for future use or storage, such as the best way to cut these spring onions or where to cut them, look no further as I’m about to show you the steps.   

  1. Remove any outer layers of the spring onions that look wilted or bad then rinse them under cool tap water
  2. Using a knife, trim off the root end and the tough green top parts of the spring onions.
  3. Depending on the use of the ingredient, always cut spring onions crosswise into slices and  according to the respective sizes and shapes. For salads & salsa, cut them into thin slices, about 1/8 inches thick. For stir-frying, cut them into 1-inch thick.

How to Store Spring Onions?

Short Term: If you want to store the spring onions and use them within a couple of days, it’s fine leaving them on the counter, as long as it’s not exposed to extreme heat. After about three days, they’ll show signs of wilting.

Long Term: If you’re planning to keep spring onions even longer, then it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator. They contain lots of moisture, even more than mature onions. So keeping them outside for a longer period could cause them to grow mold. Hence, seal them well in a ziplock bag then store them in the crisper drawer. This way they’ll stay fresh for about two weeks!

What’s The Difference Between Spring Onions & Scallions?

The term “spring onions” refers to immature onions harvested in the spring while their leaves are tender and green and their bulbs are about 1 inch in diameter.

In terms of physicality, the difference lies in the size of the bulb! The bulb of spring onion is much larger, compared to the small, not-so-bulbous scallions. In addition, the bulb of spring onions also looks like a mini onion, spherical and bright white.

In terms of flavor, Spring onions possess a lot more sweetness, which makes them a good stand-in for sweet onions.

Risks and Side Effects

For those who are on a blood thinner, you should be mindful about your intake of spring onions due to the levels of vitamin K they contain.

While this doesn’t mean you should avoid eating all vitamin k foods, it is still important to eat the same amount each day to prevent interfering with your medication.

In Conclusion

  • Spring onions go by the names of green onions and welsh onions. They are cultivated and used around the world but are actually native to China.
  • Spring onions can be a great addition to your diet or recipes due to the sweet and crunchy texture it brings to the table.
  • Use spring onions as garnish to add some vibrance and color to your plate. Alternatively, have them take center stage and let their flavor shine through in scallion pancakes, frittatas or sauces.
  • Spring onions are high in several important nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, yet low in calories, making them the perfect way to trim your waistline and bump up your vitamin intake without sacrificing flavor.

There are so many uses and features that spring onions can add to your daily lives, so what’s not to use about spring onions? Include them in your daily meal preparation today!


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