Leek is a giant in the allium vegetable family. An organic superfood with excellent nutritional value and a wide assortment of pharmacological activities to boost your health.
This organic superfood belong to the genus allium, but unlike its close cousins, garlic and onion, it does not form bulbs. Leek is a cylindrical veggie with a thick, green, fleshy stem that changes to white as it extend to the base. The leaves are dark blue green in color, flat and tightly bound together. It has as sweet and a slight taste of onion.
For thousands of years, Leeks have been cultivated in Europe and Asia. They were very popular in Egyptian and Roman cuisines. Leeks were largely used in the Middle Ages as they were found to be very healthy plants that heals wounds and purges the blood.
Leek, like most organic superfood, is a powerhouse of health benefits. It has an excellent amount of vitamin A, C, K including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acids. It is loaded with manganese that acts as a coenzyme to support the metabolic activity in your body. Works well with women in alleviating symptoms of PMS. Leek also increases formation of hemoglobin as it contains iron.
This amazing organic superfood also contains a rich amount of allicin, where much of its known healing effect comes from. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Allicin decomposes in the stomach and releases allyl sulfide, an organosulfur compound that is known for its anticancer activity in some cancer types as well as in suppressing growth and spread of tumor.
Having organic superfood like leek in your daily diet can protect your blood vessels lining as it contains a very significant amount of flavonoid kaempferol. Kaempferol also allows your blood vessels to rest by increasing production of a natural dilator called nitric oxide in your body. This lowers your risk of hypertension. Leek also helps prevent potential heart attacks by preventing platelets from clotting as well as ridding your blood of homocysteine, a non- protein amino acids that is commonly associated with heart attack. Homocysteine usually appears in your blood after eating meat.
Leek helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns. Reduces your risk of chronic inflammation diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and obesity. Being a natural diuretic, it can deal with swelling due to water retention.
As a precautionary measure, individuals with kidney stones should avoid eating leeks which can potentially worsen the condition. It contains oxalates, which can crystallize due to heavy concentration.
Here’s a Leeky fact: During the Middle Ages, it is said that Welsh girls would see their future husband in their dreams if they sleep with a leek under their pillow on St. David’s Day. Cool… Right?
Eat organic superfood. Stay fit.
Photo by: Harvesttotable.com