Leeks are allium vegetables that are closely related to onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions. With a milder flavor and larger size, they work well added to everything from salads to soups, where they add beneficial fiber and bulk along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant polyphenols.
Leeks have not been the subject of the extensive amount of research that garlic and onions have. However, that doesn’t mean they’re less healthful than their allium cousins. In fact, it’s likely that leeks share many of the same health-supportive properties of garlic and onions.
Nutritional Content of Leeks:
100 grams of leeks contain about 1.5g protein, 14g carbohydrates, 83g water and minimal fat. Also, leeks are a good source of several nutrients and vitamins including vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, vitamin K, manganese and magnesium.
Top Health Benefits of Leeks:
1. Bone Health
Leeks are a rich source of calcium and magnesium. The calcium along with magnesium is essential for bone health, helping to convert vitamin D into its active form in the body and thus strengthen the bones.
2. Digestive Health
Leeks are actually a natural source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the good type of bacteria that thrive in the digestive tract. They contribute to a healthy digestive system and are play an important role in the absorption of nutrients.
Eating leeks can help keep the stomach’s bacterial environment in balance, help to eliminate toxins and stimulate digestive fluids. All of these factors contribute to a healthy digestive system and can help improve overall health.
3. Leeks Are a Phenomenal Source of Vitamins and Antioxidants
Leeks contain notable quantities of vitamins A and K, along with healthy amounts of folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, and thiamin. Adequate intake of leeks during pregnancy may help prevent neural tube defects in newborns. B vitamins in leeks, in particular, may support heart health by keeping levels of homocysteine in balance (elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with heart disease, blood clots, and stroke).
Leeks also provide a concentrated source of antioxidants, even when compared to other antioxidant-rich foods. For instance, leeks have a total polyphenol content (TPC) of 33 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh edible portion. By comparison, red bell peppers’ TPC is 27 milligrams and carrots’ 10 milligrams.7 If you’d like to learn more about leeks, be sure to read “What Are Leeks Good For?”
4. Heart Health
Various studies have reported that vegetables belonging to the allium family can have a good impact on blood pressure. Reducing blood pressure is very essential to take the strain of the cardiovascular system and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Also, leeks may help protect your heart from future complications and can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
5. Prevents Anemia
Due to its iron content, leeks can also help in preventing various types of anemia, particularly iron-deficiency anemia. It is also rich in Vitamin C, which can help in better absorption of iron in the body.
6. Prevent Infections
Leeks also act as an antiseptic agent, thus helping your body fight against infection. You may apply leek extract on your wound to prevent infection.
7. Anti-Cancer Properties
Leeks are a good source of allyl sulfides which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, particularly stomach, prostate, and colon cancer.
h/t: ehealthzine.com/8-health-benefits-of-leeks.html ; 1mhealthtips.com/7-healthy-reasons-why-leeks-are-good-for-you/