Leeks are full of health benefits! Before living in England, I had never heard of or seen leeks but now they are in all the supermarkets here. They are one of the many superfoods to include in our meals. Leeks belong to the same family as onions and garlic.
Leek health benefits research has been minimal so most of the benefits of leeks are because of them being in the onion and garlic family, which they share many of the same benefits.
Health Benefits of Leeks
Great for Heart Health
Healthy for your Eyes
Leeks are high in vitamin A which is necessary for healthy eyes. Also, they have an abundance of antioxidants which prevent damage to the eyes. Vitamin A helps your eyes to see better when the light is low.
Good for Digestion
There is a fiber called oligofructose in leeks that helps prevent and treat types of diarrhea according to a 2005 study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Aids with Weight Loss
They have only 61 calories per serving. Also, leeks are a high fiber food which makes you feel full and takes a long time to digest so you won’t be hungry soon after eating them.
Helpful Against Cancer
Leeks have a number of elements that are helpful in preventing and in the treatment of cancer.
- Leeks belong to the Allium family and research has found that the cancers of the gastrointestinal tract are lessened.
- Also, Allium vegetables have been found to decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
- Leeks have an element called kaempferol, which has been found to lower the risk of gastric cancer and even colorectal cancer.
Promotes a Happy Mood
Leeks have inulin and it was found that when the participants in a study consumed inulin they were happier than when they consumed the placebo.
Please Note: Leeks are in the same plant family that contains substances called oxalates which are not a big health concern if eaten in sensible amounts; there are cases eating high levels of oxalates can be unhealthy. To learn more read Oxalic Acid Controversy.
Leek Nutrition: For a start, they have only 61 calories per serving with almost no fat. Leeks do have a high quantity of Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Also, they have Vitamin C, some B Vitamins and minerals.
Also, like most vegetables they are alkaline-forming.
Select the Best Leek
Select firm, straight ones with dark green leaves and white necks. Stay away from yellow wilted leeks or ones with cracked or bruised bulbs. Choose leeks with a width of one and one-half inches or less as extra-large leeks can be too fibrous in texture.
“If you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek!”
– William Shakespeare, Henry
How to Store
Best to store them untrimmed and not washed in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. Wrap them loosely in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out.
Do note that when you have cooked leeks they will not last more than two days in the refrigerator. You can keep leeks in the freezer for three to four months.
Tips for Cooking Leeks
Cut off the outer tough leaves, then cut off the root and cut the leek in half lengthwise to make it easier to clean. Rinse under running water. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths.
Now that you know all the health benefits of leeks, let’s have some for lunch or dinner.
Delicious Leek Recipes
Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup with Carrots – This filling and warming soup is perfect for a yummy lunch.
Leeks and Carrots with Ginger and Garlic is So Delicious
Sri Lankan Curried Leeks Are Delicious For Dinner
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.