Leeks are a part of the vegetable family and are called the Allium vegetables. Leeks are known to be an important part of cuisines of Northern Europe. They are closely related to garlic and onions and are said to originate from the Central Asian region. Leeks grow well in the cold climate. It is a long, thin and straight vegetable that has a smell similar to that of onions. It has a white neck with dark green leaves.
Leeks are considered to be significantly perishable and thus are often frozen for a long period of time. One leek is said to have 54 calories and numerous other nutritional benefits. In addition to the nutritional benefits, leeks are also known as a natural remedy to fight a number of illnesses. Leeks have antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties and are packed with a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For this reason, they are consumed around the world for several health benefits and medicinal purposes.
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Leeks for Heart and Vision
Owing to the amount of fiber found in them, leeks are helpful in carrying out the digestion process with ease. Leeks also have a high amount of essential oils that increases the secretion of digestive juices. All these benefits make leeks a useful remedy for problems related to the bowel such as constipation. Leeks can be used to cleanse the digestive tract and help reduce the occurrence of illnesses related to digestion.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
It contain allicin, which have great protective qualities against metabolic syndrome and neuropathy. Leeks also exhibit cardio protective function in individuals with diabetes. Leeks are known to lower the blood-sugar level and can thus help diabetics reach a normal blood-sugar level. Higher consumption of leeks is not recommended for people who have low blood-sugar levels.
3. Remedy for Throat Problems
Ancient Greeks used it to treat throat illnesses. It loosens the phlegm and relieves sore throat. The Roman emperor Nero used leeks in his diet every day for a strong voice. The anti-inflammatory properties of leeks work against inflammation of the throat and thus help relieve a sore throat. In the case of throat problems, having some Leek soup can help to a great extent.
4. Protection Against Cancer
It is considered to provide protection against cancer of several different types, including colorectal cancer due to its measurable fiber content and antiseptic properties. The allyl sulfides that are found in leeks have been seen to show promising results in fighting cancerous tumors. The amount of antioxidants in leeks also helps the body prevent the development of cancer. In addition to all this, owing to the diuretic properties of leeks, waste is eliminated from the body which in turn helps in the prevention of development of oncogenes.
5. Good for Heart
Ample amounts of flavonoid kaempferol, which is known to be helpful for the protection of blood vessel linings from damage, make leeks a heart friendly food to consume. This protection includes damage by overly reactive oxygen molecules. The importance of leeks for the health of cardiovascular system is due to the presence of the concentration of B vitamin folate. It is present throughout the plant including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb. The distribution of folate throughout the whole plant structure makes it a heart protective food from top to bottom. Significant concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols play a direct role in protecting our Blood vessels from oxidative damage.
6. Improves Renal Health
It is considered to be one of the natural diuretics because of the high amount of potassium found in them. Leeks thus help greatly in reducing swelling caused by water retention. They also boost renal health by providing the body with rich antioxidants that help in detoxifying the body. Leeks are also known to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of leeks also help in reducing the inflammation in kidneys and other serious illnesses.
7. Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
It has shown to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol levels in the body. Allium, found in leeks helps increase good cholesterol levels when used regularly. Also, the fiber that is found in leeks reduces the blood cholesterol levels and hence gives protection against heart diseases. The high content of potassium in leeks also helps the body maintain normal blood pressure levels.
8. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Since Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the body, leeks are considered to be a powerful remedy against this disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of leeks coupled with the antioxidants in it result in the prevention of inflammation and soothing the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It also helps in relieving the pain associated with Arthritis. Leeks have also shown to reduce the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Vitamin K found in leeks is said to be a bone-building nutrient for the body.
9. Nervous System
It is a good source of Vitamin C, Manganese, Iron, Folate and Vitamin B6. All of these are considered vital to the nervous system. Leeks are also considered good for the development of nervous system in children. By including leeks in your child’s diet on a regular basis, you can help your child attain better concentration levels and a stronger memory.
10. Boosts Immune System
It is loaded with Vitamin A, which is considered vital to regulate the immune system. Vitamin A strengthens the body to fight against infections and is, therefore, an important element in fighting against illnesses. Including leeks in your diet on a regular basis can help you strengthen your immune system. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of leeks also make it easier to prevent illnesses.
It is also enriched with compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin that prevent your eyes from damage and protect your vision. In addition to this, the Vitamin A found in leeks enhances the ability of your body to grow new cells and helps your retina. Leeks can help against thinning of the peripheral retina, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Diabetic Retinopathy. It can be consumed in the form of juices in order to attain healthy vision.
When you read about the various illnesses and body conditions, it seems the world is full of them. However, the nature has also given its great gifts that can help everyone live a healthy life, and leeks are one of them. Last but not least, while leeks have great health benefits, if you have any severe conditions it is best that you get in touch with your doctor to help you with its treatment.