Leeks: Health Benefits, Uses, Nutrition Facts, and Side Effects

Leeks, whose scientific name is Alium porrum, are long, green vegetables related to garlic, onions, chives, and shallots. You can cook and eat them the same way you cook and eat onions. They are also very healthy and have many health benefits, similar to onions and garlic, which are also in the Alium family. 

Leeks are bulbs with white flesh and green leaves on top. Onions and garlic grow into tight bulbs, but leeks grow into a long cylinders of leaf sheaths whitened by spreading soil around them. The part of the leek plant that you can eat is a group of leaves that is sometimes called a stem or stalk.

The benefits of eating leeks include protecting your heart’s health, increasing the strength of your immune system, and improving your vision. Leeks are widely known vegetables used in local cuisine for hundreds of years. Their unique qualities make them a favorite ingredient for chefs and people who want to eat healthily. Continue reading on to learn everything you need about this vegetable full of health benefits.  

What Does It Taste Like?

Leeks are crunchy, firm veggies with a mild taste similar to onions. Green onions and shallots are also often used in place of leeks because they taste similar.

Nutrition Facts

A 100-gram serving of leeks contains around 2 grams of dietary fiber and a gram of protein. It has many flavonoids, fiber, and vitamins A, E, and K. Leeks also have a lot of potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron, among other things. They have no fat and only 31 calories per cooked serving.    

Health Benefits of Leeks

1. Protect Against Cancer

Leeks contain a lot of vitamin C. It has been demonstrated that the essential, potent antioxidant vitamin C aids in the prevention of cancer. For example, eating veggies from the Allium family significantly lowers your risk of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, kaempferol, a naturally occurring flavonol found in leeks, is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress in the body.

2. Heart Health

Leeks contain high levels of flavonoids, which positively impact blood pressure, vascular function, and cholesterol levels. This protection is partially due to the presence of kaempferol in leeks. Leeks also contain a high concentration of B vitamin folate. Folate reduces homocysteine levels in the blood, which is linked to heart attack and stroke risk.

Promote Weight Loss

With only 61 calories per serving, leeks add bulk to a meal without making you eat more calories than you usually would. Since it takes longer to digest foods with a lot of fiber, you won’t be hungry again as soon after eating them. Their fiber also speeds up your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories and keep your energy up.

Antibacterial

Leeks are well-known for their soothing action and antiseptic effect on different body systems. In addition, they contain a significant amount of vitamin A, which supports the development of healthy red and white blood cells that transport oxygen and fight off infection. The Welsh onion has been researched for its flu-fighting properties. The presence of fructans in the vegetable accounts for its anti-flu properties. 

Bone Health

You can lower your risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases by including leeks in your diet. This is because they contain a good amount of calcium and magnesium, vital to ensuring bone health. In addition, some studies show a relationship between a higher intake of Vitamin K and denser bones, which lead to a reduced risk of hip fractures.

For Pregnant Women 

Leeks contain a high folate level, which can help pregnant women and their unborn children. Folate can reduce help prevent a newborn child from certain neural defects. It can also help prevent miscarriage, as well as neural tube defects, which are a type of congenital disability. In addition, allium fruits and vegetables lessen the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery, especially in the 28- to 31-week gestational period.

Risks and Side Effects

While leeks are virtually anti-allergenic, they’re part of a small group of foods containing oxalates, naturally occurring ions in plants, animals, and humans.

Generally, this is nothing to be concerned about — however, in people with untreated gallbladder or kidney problems, a buildup of oxalates in body fluids could cause complications in pre-existing conditions.

If you have untreated gallbladder or kidney issues, consult your doctor before consuming high quantities of leeks.

Conclusion

Leeks are an incredible superfood that contains a fantastic amount of nutrients. Each serving is low in calories but rich in vitamins A, K, and C, as well as folate and fiber. They can also be boiled, steamed, or raw to add a punch of nutrition to your daily diet.

Where to Buy 

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DISCLAIMER OF MEDICINE

This information is not meant to provide medical advice or replace a personal physician’s advice or treatment. All readers of this information, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should check with their doctors before initiating any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program. In addition, the statements and goods on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

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