The leek is a vegetable with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. With a crunchy, firm texture and a taste similar to that of an onion, leeks are native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The nutritious vegetable is a sister plant to garlic and onion. Leek benefits include the ability to improve heart health, regulate cholesterol, fight infection and more.
1. Protect Against Cancer
Leek benefits include the ability to protect the body from cancer. It contains inulin, a dietary fiber with caner-protective abilities. Studies have shown that inulin has the ability to protect DNA from damage that causes mutations. Leeks also contain allicin, which works to neutralize free radicals in the body that can increase the risk of cancer.
2. Improve Heart Health
Leek benefits include the ability to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The flavonoids leeks contain help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels while working to unclog arteries. Leeks also contain folate, which plays an important role in heart health. Folate helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Protect Pregnant Mothers and Babies
Leek benefits pregnant mothers and their babies by encouraging a healthy pregnancy, thanks to the high levels of folate in the vegetable. Folate helps prevent birth defects and promotes healthy fetal development. Leeks also help ensure regular bowel movements to prevent constipation in both newborn and adults.
4. Regulate Cholesterol
Leek benefits include the ability to naturally regulate cholesterol levels. The nutritious vegetable contains allicin, which works to inhibit an enzyme in the liver responsible for cholesterol production. The phytonutrients leeks contain also help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
5. Boost Metabolism
Leek benefits include the ability to naturally boost metabolism function. As a high-fiber food, leeks help provide the body with energy while giving the metabolism a natural boost, allowing the body to burn more calories at a faster rate. The inulin found in leeks is a prebiotic, which also help lower the risk of obesity. Prebiotics work to reduce the risk of weight gain by promoting balanced bacteria levels in the gut.
6. Improve Gut Health
Leek benefits include improved gut health. The prebiotics in leeks help the body properly absorb nutrients. They also work to eliminate waste and help reduce inflammation. By improving gut health, leeks also help fight leaky gut syndrome.
7. Fight Infection
Leek benefits include the ability to fight infections like the cold and flu. The vegetable contains a hefty dose of Vitamin A, which supports the development of healthy blood cells. Leeks act as a natural antiseptic to fight off infections in the body.
8. Other Benefits
Other leek benefits include:
- Improved mood and cognitive function
- Eye tissue protection from oxidative damage that can cause cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
- Improved boned health
- Protection from anemia and anemia symptoms