Scientifically known as Allium porrum; leek belongs to allium genus and family of Amarylidaceaee. Leeks have been a part of Egyptian cuisine since 2 millennium and it has been validated by the presence of dried leeks on walls and excavated painting of that era. Leeks were also grown in Mesopotamia as proven by written text and signs found by archaeologist. Nero an emperor was also given a nick name as porophagus which translates to mean leek eater in English. He consumed leeks in large quantities and as a part of every meal as he believed that it kept his voice clear. Mainly consumed in soups Nero also ate leeks tossed in oil. The Phoenicians were the first to introduce leeks to the British; soon it swore in popularity and became the national symbol of Wales. Wales association with leeks was also captured by Shakespeare in his play called Henry V. The Welsh wore a leek stalk on their hats to distinguish them from their enemies on the battle field during the war of Saxon that they eventually won. Leeks are usually easy to grow from the seed without any hassles of insect or pest attacks. Juice extracted from the leaves of leeks is a popular insect and moth repellent.
Leeks Nutrition value
- Leeks contain many flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
- Provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
- Fight Cancer.
- Protects linings of blood vessels.
- Protect against heart disease.
- Decrease risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Antioxidant properties.
- Weight loss.
Leek is a member of the onion family and along with garlic and chives, is also part of the allium family.
Leeks Storage Tip
Leeks can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and should be placed in a polythene bag
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.8 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.140 mg||3%|
|Vitamin A||1667 IU||55%|
|Vitamin C||12 mg||20%|
|Vitamin E||0.92 mg||6%|
|Vitamin K||47 µg||39%|
|Calcium||59 mg||6 %|
It is often recommended to introduce at least one vegetable from the Allium family in our daily diet; leek being rich in source of nutrients is healthy addition. One cup of chopped leeks contains 32 calories which is considered to be an average calorie count. Leeks are rich in flavnoids known as kaempfrol, these flavnoids help in maintain the good health of blood vessels and protects the blood lining from damaging. Leeks are rich in anti oxidant property just like their relative of allium family remember that is garlic; these properties helps in maintaining good heart condition and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Allicin a compound d present in leeks helps in maintaining low blood pressure levels and controls blood sugar levels; it is also rich in anti bacterial and antivirus bodies that boost the immune system of the body and protects it against diseases. Leeks are source of various vitamins such as Vitamin B – Folate, vitamin A that promotes good eye sight, vitamin c that takes care of your skin and Vitamin K that takes charge of bone health. Apart from these it also houses many minerals such as iron, phosphorus, zeaxthin, carotenes and flavnoids.
How To Enjoy
Leeks can be enjoyed in many delicacies a few of them are mentioned as follows. Sautéed leeks served with thyme and lemon zest is enjoyed as a light snack. Leek can be made as a part of soups and stews to add crunch to the rich soups. Braised leeks along side with your favourite fish or turkey will enhance the flavours of the food. Leek stalks are stir fried with other vegetables to make a pan fried vegetable with accompaniments of Thai flat noodles or rice.
Leek is a less known vegetable and one needs to incorporate it in their diet to gain its nutritious benefits.