What is a Leek and why should you eat it?

Most of us go to the grocery store and pick out the items that we recognize and know what to do with. I am going to help you break out of that comfort zone by introducing you to some new foods that have excellent health benefits. You will not only be adding some variety to your diets, but you will be able to show off to your families and friends.

We are going to start with LEEKS. I was first introduced to Leeks when I lived in Switzerland. They cook with this all the time and I immediately loved them.

LEEKS

Leeks are related to the garlic and onion family and contain many of the same health benefits.  They have a sweeter and milder flavor than onions, so are great for people who think onions are too strong. The white bulb and light green stem are the parts to use, however, you can keep the green tops and use in soups and stocks. When buying, look for firm, crisp stalks with as much white and light green regions as possible. Avoid leeks with yellow or withered tops. Refrigerate and store in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

Health Benefits:

1. Prevents Cancer

There is an anticancer substance called Kaempferol that researchers have found to help block the development of cancer-causing compounds. A Chinese study was done that found men who at at least 1 Tablespoon of chopped vegetables that contain Kaempferol, leeks being one of them, per day decreased the risk of prostate cancer by 50%.

2. Protects against Heart Disease

Helps lower blood pressure and privets platelets from clotting which can lead to heart attacks.

3. Helps prevent birth defects

Contains a form of folate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate that aids in this.

4. Strong Antioxidants

Contains strong polyphenols that help fight against those bad guys, free radicals, that cause chronic diseases and aging

5. Decreases risk of Chronic Inflammatory Diseases (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity)

The polyphenols and Kaempferol drive this benefit

6. Good source of Vitamins and MInerals

High in Vitamin C-  helps protect the body from harmful toxins and aids in the maintenance of your bones, skin, teeth and nails.

High in potassium- helps stabilize your bodies fluid levels.

 

How to Use 

  • Sauté and use in omlettes, egg scrambles, pasta sauces, soups…basically anything that you would add garlic or onions to
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Coconut Oil, add salt and pepper and roast

 

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By | 2014-08-29T06:15:49+00:00 August 29th, 2014|iBLOG, NUTRITION|