Leeks belong to the same family as garlic, onions, shallots and chives. However, unlike those other herbs, leeks do not have bulbs. The parts of them that are fit for human consumption are the whitish stems that are close to the base. On the other hand, the dark green leaves are thrown away.
What’s so nice about leeks is they are versatile because they can be consumed raw or cooked. They can be added to soups, stews, stir-fried vegetables, garden salads and many others that can benefit tremendously from the addition of mild onion-like aroma and flavor.
Although you may think of leeks as mere garnishing and flavorings, they actually offer numerous health benefits. They contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, and a bunch of compounds possessing antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties. Indeed, leeks are so likeable!
Here are some of the perks of incorporating leeks more regularly into your diet:
Regulated Bowel Movement
Leeks are rich in fiber, and that’s why consuming them on a regular basis can help keep constipation from striking. Having regular bowel movement is a good thing because it ensures that your gut is constantly free of waste materials and poisonous substances. By the way, fiber in leeks also helps ward off hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
Lowered Risk of Cancer
Speaking of cancer, it’s not just colon cancer that may be prevented if you regularly consume leeks, but many other types of that deadly disease, too. What makes leeks an excellent cancer fighter is the presence of allium in them, which packs anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that leeks are especially superb at preventing cancer of the stomach.
Controlled Blood Pressure
The regular consumption of leeks is also good for your heart. That’s because they contain good amounts of potassium, a nutrient known to help keep high blood pressure out of the picture. You see, one of the things that can damage your heart is high blood pressure. To your ticker healthy, make sure that you eat potassium-rich foods like leeks.
Leeks are excellent fighters of disease-causing microbes, courtesy of their antimicrobial properties. As a result, the addition of leeks in the diet can help make your body more defended against invading microorganisms. Make sure that you consume leeks more often especially when the cold or flu season is about to strike.
Reduced Iron-Deficiency Anemia Risk
One of the minerals found abundantly in leeks is iron, which is important for maintaining normal and healthy levels of oxygen-carrying red blood cells (RBCs). Having insufficient RBCs can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, a blood disorder that causes paleness of skin, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations.
Another mineral that you can obtain from consuming leeks is calcium. Everyone knows that it’s something so important for making the bones strong, as well as for the prevention of osteoporosis. A few other minerals that help calcium work so much more efficiently can also be found in leeks, such as potassium and magnesium.
Calcium present in leeks is also necessary for keeping your teeth strong. So in other words, regularly consuming leeks is a good idea if you want to keep your beautiful smile intact for life. There is another reason why leeks are good for your smile: they contain good amounts of vitamin C that keeps your gums in a strong and healthy state.
Speaking of vitamin C, did you know that it’s important for keeping your skin looking young and beautiful? That’s because the said vitamin zaps free radicals that speed up the skin’s aging process. Also, it is needed for the synthesis of collagen, which is a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and free of wrinkles.