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Leeks

Leeks are popular in traditional European foods because these plants, close relatives of onions and garlic, could be left in the ground during the winter and harvested as needed, providing a rare source of fresh winter produce. The Allium family, to which leeks, garlic, and onions belong, have long been recognized for their cardiovascular benefits. Allicin, the compound that gives these vegetables their characteristic aromas, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, is an anti-inflammatory, and may help reduce fat deposits and hardening in blood vessels. Allicin breaks down into components that appear to be strong antioxidants. A diet rich in Alliums tends to lower both blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Leeks are a very good source of manganese and a good source of vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, and iron. This combination of nutrients helps stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugars in the digestive tract and assisting in proper sugar metabolism.
Leeks are among the vegetables that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, which can cause problems for people with kidney disease, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, vulvar pain, or other conditions requiring a low-oxalate diet.
Nutritional Facts :
One-half cup of cooked chopped leeks provides 16 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 0.4 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 0.6 g dietary fiber, 25 IU vitamin A, 2 mg vitamin C, 12 mcg folic acid, 46 mg potassium, 6 mg sodium, 8 mg phosphorus, 16 mg calcium, and 8 mg magnesium.


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