Know The Benefits of Leek | Slimming and Detox Veggie

by Shamsul
Benefits of Leek
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The Benefits of Leek

Leek is a tender and tasty vegetable that can be used in many recipes, whether in pie, soup, or vinaigrette. A cousin of the onion, it shares some of its nutritional qualities and health benefits. Head for leeks and their virtues.

Nutritional Characteristics of Leek

Long called “poor man’s asparagus,” leeks are not short on nutritional properties. With very little sugar, low calories, and rich in fiber, they fit very well as part of a slimming diet. They are also well supplied with various minerals and trace elements, particularly calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Regarding vitamins, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) predominates, followed by vitamin B9 and vitamin K.

Finally, like its cousin’s onion and garlic, leek contains sulfur compounds, known for their numerous benefits for health, especially in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

Calories, Carbohydrates, Vitamins | The Nutritional Values of Leek

Nutrients

Content per 100g

Water 87.6g

Proteins 1.49g

With Alcohol Carbohydrates 4.9g

With sugar 3.15g

Including dietary fiber 2.27g

Lipids 0.25g

Saturates 0.05g

Monounsaturated fatty acids 0.007g

Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.14g

Health Benefits of Leek: Is It Good to Eat Leeks?

All vegetables and fruits are good for health and you should include on the menu regularly. The National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS) recommends eating 5 servings every day to cover all of our fiber, vitamin, and mineral needs. With its great nutritional richness, the leek is one of the precious vegetables for health; it, therefore, has its place on our plates.

Digestion: Fiber to Fight Constipation

Leek is a vegetable rich in fiber, known for its effect on intestinal transit. These fibers change their nature depending on the part of the leek:

The white part is rich in soft, soluble fibers which fill the intestine with water, weigh down the stools, and facilitate intestinal transit,

The green part, harder and fibrous, contains more insoluble fiber, which contributes to satiety and accelerates transit but is more irritating to the digestive tract.

Therefore, people with fragile intestines should choose leek white, which has a milder laxative effect.

Sulfur Compounds to Protect the Heart

Like other Alliaceae, such as onions, garlic, and chives, leeks are rich in sulfur compounds, including glycosylates and sulfoxides. In leeks, S-Methyl cysteine and alliin predominate, giving the leek its characteristic smell and taste.

Several studies have examined the effects of these sulfur compounds on health and observed their beneficial effects on cardiovascular health (source 1). They act by reducing the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries (source 2).

Diuretic: Does Leek Make You Urinate?

In addition to being very rich in water and fiber, leek has an ideal potassium/sodium ratio to promote urinary excretion.

Leek is thus a diuretic and detox vegetable par excellence, which helps drain the body and eliminate toxins accumulated in the body. For an optimal effect, we consume it in soup or drink its cooking water, which we keep carefully in a glass bottle.

Benefits During Pregnancy

Leek is a good source of vitamin B9, also called folate, which plays an essential role in the growth and development of the fetus. A B9 deficiency during pregnancy can lead to central nervous system abnormalities, cause in-utero fetal growth retardation (IUGR) or increase the risk of prematurity.

Is This Vegetable Good for The Liver?

Like all fruits and vegetables, leek is good for the liver. This veggie is low in fat and calories. It is rich in fiber, diuretic, and digestible, it helps to rest this organ.

As a reminder, foods that are harmful to the liver are having fats, sugary products, ultra-processed foods, and alcohol.

Origin, Season, Conservation: The Identity Card of Leeks

From its Latin name, Allium Porum, the leek is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Amaryllidaceous family. It was cultivated in Egypt three thousand years ago, this vegetable is one of the ingredients found in the oldest cooking recipes of our time. Its symbolized victory, and Pharaoh Khufu offered it to his best warriors. Exported by the Romans, Emperor Nero particularly appreciated the leek, who consumed it to soften his vocal cords, earning him the label of “coprophagous.”

During the Crecy War in 640, Welsh soldiers planted them in their hats as a sign of recognition, which earned them victory. This is how this vegetable becomes the symbol of Wales.

Today, leek is the 9th most consumed vegetable by the French, who consume an average of 3 kg per household annually. There are three varieties of leeks, with different seasonality:

1- Early leek is available only at the beginning of spring,

2- Autumn leek is grown only in southern France. It is harvested from October until the first frost.

3- Winter leek is harvested from December to March.

Whole leeks can be stored in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer for 5 to 10 days maximum. When well cleaned and cut into slices, they tolerate freezing very well and can, therefore, be kept for several months.

Recipe Ideas with Leek

chicken-leek-yakitori

Chicken-leek yakitori

Pan-fried millet with carrots and leeks

Pan-fried millet with carrots and leeks

Meat mince with julienne and leeks

lentil soup

Lentil soup

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Sources

Sources

Source 1: “The benefits of garlic in cardiovascular diseases”, HAL open science, 01/23/2017

Source 2: “Garlic and Heart Disease”, The Journal of Nutrition, 2/02/2016


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