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Leeks Health Benefits & Nutrition Details

Scientifically called Allium Porrum, leek is a vegetable which belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae; this family also includes vegetables like garlic and onion. The edible part of leek is the stem or stalk. Leeks are believed to be the native plants of Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia.

Some of the health benefits of leeks are as under:

  • First and foremost, leeks are a good source of fiber. They help regulate bowel movement and help prevent and cure constipation.
    They add bulk to the food consumed and remove accumulated remnants of foods in the stomach, thereby cleansing the digestive tract and detoxifying the body.
  • Leeks are a potent diuretic, which stimulates the production of urine, thereby eliminating waste materials form the body. This also helps prevent cancer by suppressing the oncogenes.
  • Leeks are also an antiseptic agent, which helps prevent septic infections. You may apply leek extract on a wound to prevent the infection. They also promote blood clotting and thereby lead to faster healing of the wound.
  • Leeks are a rich source of certain vital minerals including calcium. They help maintain the calcium concentration in the body, strengthening bones and maintaining the overall health of the skeletal system. In addition, leeks are known to prevent and cure affliction of bones including arthritis.
  • Leeks are rich in Vitamin C content and as such, help boost the overall state of your immune system, fighting infections and diseases. This in turn helps in proper functioning of all the physiological systems of the body, retaining the overall health. Leeks prevent dental ailments like dental decay, cavity, loosening of gums and mouth ulcers, attributed to its Vitamin content.
  • A rich source of potassium, leeks also help maintain fluid content of the body. They regulate certain physiological systems which involve potassium ions as a component; some such biological systems are circulatory system, excretory system (kidney function and urine formation), and nervous system.
  • Leeks also contain folic acid, which helps in DNA synthesis, cell maintenance and repair, and formation of white and red blood cells. Keeping a check on the cholesterol level in the body, leeks prevent heart diseases like arteriosclerosis, stroke and cardiac failure.
  • Since it has a good iron content, it helps maintain the hemoglobin level in the body. In other words, it prevents and cures anemia.
  • Leeks also help prevent pre-menstrual syndrome, maintaining and regulating the menstrual cycle and its normal periodicity.
  • Leeks are also supposed to relieve the symptoms of epilepsy.
  • Leeks being a rich source of Vitamin B6 help in secretion of enzymes.  
  • Leeks are a potent laxative, and as such, keep your stomach clean of unwanted matter. This also helps in weight loss.
  • Also being a rich source of nutrients, Leeks are good for babies. However, you may consult your pediatrician before introducing leeks in the diet of your toddlers.

Side Effects Of Leeks

Leeks generally have positive effects on health, and there is no evidence of any untoward side-effects. However, it is recommended for pregnant women and babies to consult their doctors/dieticians before making leeks a part of their diet.

Information & Facts:

Enumerated below are some basic information and facts about leeks:

  • Leeks are usually cultivated in autumn or summer season and need to be planted carefully. Once planted, they grow with vigor, along with other plants in the crop field.
  • Leeks do not produce a bulb shaped edible part as onion plants; they rather form a cylindrical bunch of leaf sheaths.
  • Leeks are generally tolerant to a variety of soil types and climatic conditions.
  • They are not as dense as onion and garlic, and as such, much easier to digest.
  • Leeks have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor, making your food and salads savory.
  • Apart from culinary uses, leeks are also used to cure a variety of ailments.
Submitted on January 16, 2014