Leeks – Benefits And Harms

Leeks can be not only tasty but also healthy. It is a dietary product that contains a huge variety of useful properties. These features have been used in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Let’s find out exactly what benefits leeks bring to the body and whether there are any contraindications to its use!

The composition of leeks

The calorie content of leeks per 100 grams is only 33 kcal.

And it is difficult to compete with it in terms of the number of useful properties!

This product contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids; Vitamin B9 (Folic acid), Vitamin PP (Niacin equivalent), Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), Vitamin H (Biotin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin A (PE), Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin K (phylloquinone), Beta-carotene; sodium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium.

Useful properties of leeks

Leek is rich in vitamin and mineral composition:

  • Useful in case of vitamin deficiency.
  • Restores liver function, and improves bile flow.
  • Stimulates digestion, while, unlike onions, it does not damage the stomach and does not
  • cause bloating.
  • Purifies the blood.
  • Gives strength and improves vitality
  • Reduces the damage of free radicals, the main culprits of aging.
  • It helps with gout and rheumatism.
  • It has a favorable effect in cases of physical exhaustion, overwork, and depression.
  • Promotes healing of wounds and scratches.
  • Increases hemoglobin production, and promotes more efficient iron absorption.
  • It is recommended for cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis.
  • It has been proven to be useful in preventing atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Improves memory
  • Boosts immunity if consumed regularly.
  • It actively helps with respiratory, nasopharyngeal, and cold diseases.
  • Slows down the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  • It has a gentle effect on the intestines in the form of a mild laxative.
  • It has a calming effect on the body.
  • Stimulates metabolic processes.

Leeks in folk medicine

Leek is also valued in folk medicine in the following cases: in case of digestive disorders; in cases of liver and gallbladder diseases; in case of obesity problems; in case of metabolic disorders; in case of low vitamins (especially in children); when a person is exhausted for any reason; in case of atherosclerosis; in case of various heart and vascular diseases; in case of any problems with cholesterol.

Its benefits are also significant in case of low blood pressure. For treatment, prepare the following decoction: 100 g of petioles are poured with a liter of water and 100 g of sugar is added.
Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes and strain. The broth is drunk in half a glass, evenly distributed throughout the day.

Onion phytoncides kill germs. During an epidemic of influenza and ARVI, it is enough to chew a piece of onion stalk to destroy unfavorable microflora and neutralize the harm of microbes in the nasopharynx and oral cavity.

To prevent atherosclerosis, prepare a mixture of onions and honey in equal proportions. Take a tablespoon three times a day.

Leeks in cosmetology

The benefits of onion masks for skin and hair are widely known. Due to its moderately burning properties, it acts as a mild peeling and activates hair growth.
It is believed that baked leeks are a very effective remedy for treating calluses. And gruel from grated leek stalks removes age spots and freckles. It will also help with severe sunburn, which causes irreparable damage to the skin.

Leek is no less effective for hair loss. It is used in the form of compresses. Such procedures are also suitable for strengthening nails – onion gruel is applied to the nails and wrapped in polyethylene.

Leeks in cooking

The use of leeks in cooking is very diverse, and there are many recipes for soups and salads with them. It is included as an ingredient in multi-component dishes. For example, in a vegetable stew. Broccoli puree soup is prepared with leeks and added to borscht. Salads use the whole plant: white onion, stem, and leaves. Some housewives pickle this onion as an independent product to add to soup later. Leeks can be dried. Unfortunately, it cannot be used in the preparation of salads for the winter, there are a lot of bad experiences with the storage of such preparations. Leeks are used to make omelets and simple scrambled eggs. And traditionally, leeks are used as a seasoning.

Leek is also important in baby food. It is used to make children’s vegetable purees and added to meat dishes.

For diets, leeks are used to make a vegetable puree, stews, and diet soups, especially grated ones. In this case, the bulb and stem are used.

If a person experiences constant fatigue and frequent headaches, it is useful to start every morning with a light vegetable salad, which includes leeks. A dietary salad of leeks, celery, and cauliflower is useful for restoring metabolism.

Contraindications for leek consumption

In the case of overeating, leeks can increase the acidity in the stomach and provoke gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea. Leeks are also low in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids.

This vegetable, grown in an environmentally safe area, will not harm the body. It does not contain carcinogens: on the contrary, onions can help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of complications after surgery.

Onions can be safely added to food during pregnancy: the minerals in this product help prevent fetal developmental pathologies. But this onion should not be actively added to food for breastfeeding women: leeks affect lactation and worsen the taste of breast milk.

Babies can be given leeks at the end of the first year of life (starting with a minimum amount).

Interesting things about leeks

Leek is known to be useful as a means of increasing sexual desire. In combination with celery, it was used as an aphrodisiac several centuries ago.

According to ancient records, pyramid builders maintained their strength with this vegetable.

Traditional medicine claims that when you have a headache, it is enough to smell a piece of onion to make the pain go away.

Leeks began to be grown in the second millennium BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

This vegetable is the national symbol of one of the kingdoms of Great Britain – Wales. This country even has a club called the Leek Lovers’ Union.

So, you have seen the benefits of leeks for our health, but do not forget about contraindications. Leek in our diet is a guarantee of good health. Eat it for your appetite and health.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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