Leek is a very tasty and crispy vegetable. A relative of both garlic and onion, it is often used by great chefs. It is a very easy ingredient to find in our daily life, being indicated even for those who do not appreciate the onion, due to its milder taste and better aroma. But best of all is that this vegetable is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, offering several health benefits. In this article, you will discover six of them.
The nutritional properties of leek
Leek is a very low calorie vegetable and can be eaten in many ways.
However, the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals vary whether consumed raw or cooked. Therefore, we separated some information that differentiate the form of consumption.
Based on the standard portion of 100 grams of leeks, the differences in the composition of each form are:
- Cooked leeks = 31 calories, 0.2 g fat, 7.6 g carbs, 0.8 g protein, 4.2 mg vitamin C, 30 mg calcium, 14 mg magnesium, 17 mg phosphorus and 87 mg potassium, as well as B vitamins and other minerals.
- Raw leeks = 54 calories, 0.3 g fat, 12.6 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g protein, 10.7 mg vitamin C, 52.5 mg calcium, 24.9 mg magnesium, 31.2 mg phosphorus and 160.2 mg potassium, as well as B vitamins and other minerals.
That is, while raw leeks are a bit more caloric and contain almost double carbohydrates and protein, they also have much more vitamins and minerals than the cooked version.
The health benefits of leek
According to nutritionists, leek confers several benefits that vary depending on its composition, but overall, becomes a true ally for our health. All because leek is very rich in:
1. Dietary fibers
Carbohydrate that passes through the digestive system, favoring digestion and metabolism.
2. Folic acid
Known as vitamin B9, it helps the body generate new cells while maintaining healthy blood to oxygenate the body.
It is a mineral essential for maintaining the overall health of the body, both in the formation of teeth and bones, as well as in blood clotting.
Mineral that balances the pH and water levels in the body, contributes to muscle growth, brain function, nervous system stability and is critical to the functioning of organs, tissues and cells;
5. Medicinal properties
Leeks have antiseptic, laxative and diuretic properties, further reducing the risk of prostate, colon and ovarian cancer;
6. Vitamin C
It helps the body to grow and develop, to repair tissue and is required for collagen formation. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps block free radicals, preventing premature aging and the development of disease. According to nutritionists, we need to replace vitamin C daily, because it is water soluble and our body can not store it.
How to use leek
When it comes to cooking, creativity is great, especially when the main ingredient comes from ancient cultures and times when leeks were hard to find. Fortunately, this vegetable is widely found today and is an excellent choice for onion or garlic for those who don’t like these two very much.
The leek has a crunchy texture, but lighter and more pleasant aroma and flavor. To consume it, simply choose between whole or sliced, braised, steamed or baked. The only recommendation is to leave it al dente so that the texture and flavor are preserved.
The most traditional way to use leeks is in soups, but it is also possible to make stuffing for pies, creams, souffles, quiche and risotto. In addition, it is quite common to use leeks to give a special touch to some dishes, sauces, creams or even as a main ingredient, giving a remarkable flavor to the recipes.
We hope you enjoy the tips and see you next time!