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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Leeks


Leeks belong to the same family as the onions or scallions. These have tightly flat wrapped leaves, and the bulbs of leeks are a lot smaller than scallions. However, leaves of leeks are finer and well textured than those of onions or scallions. Leeks belong to the family called the Allium vegetables because they are rich in allium.

Leeks lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol inside blood.
LDL cholesterol levels have shown depreciation when people used diet rich in allium, whereas the level of good cholesterol HDL increased. This is important since high levels of bad cholesterol can form plaque inside blood vessels which can lead to atherosclerosis or can also result into a heart attack. Another factor that can cause heart attack is the high blood pressure. Allium in Leeks is known to lower high blood pressure, thus again helping prevent incidence of heart attack.

Leeks are a good source of manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, folate and iron. Combination of these minerals inside a food can help in bringing down and help stabilize blood sugar levels. This combination of nutrients not only slows absorption of sugar in blood but also ensures that the blood sugar is properly metabolized inside body.

Leeks are mildly sweet in nature and nutrients contained in garlic are also present in leeks only difference might be the percentage. Leeks should be selected before use. Leeks have straight dark green leaves with white necks and small white bulbs. Leeks should be fresh not broken or wilted or yellowed, since this would not be good quality.

In order to store leeks in the refrigerator, care should be taken that these are stored in the crisper for week or little more. Cooked leeks do not last longer than two days, so the best way to consume leeks is to consume them immediately. If you wish to store leeks for a long time, you can wrap these in a plastic bag and store these into the freezer; here these will last till 3 months.

Leeks can be consumed raw or blanched or cooked as you like them. It would be ideal to add thoroughly washed leeks to the salads. You can also blanch these and add some spice or tasty herbs to bring out the taste of leeks. Leeks can be used to make soups, side dishes, etc. Being a leafy vegetable it is utmost necessary that leeks are washed thoroughly preferably with warm water before use.
Submitted on February 24, 2009