Obviously, we love fruit juices, and it is with pleasure that we frequently consume apple juice, grape juice, or orange juice. Sometimes we even drink vegetable juice, and that too we love, like carrot juice or tomato juice.
On the other hand, it is much less common than we consume something like leek juice. However, this drink is full of unsuspected promises.
The composition of the leek
Leek is a vegetable, a perennial herbaceous plant whose Latin name is Allium porrum. This vegetable is part of the Liliaceae family, which therefore classifies it in the same category as onions, garlic, shallot, peeling, chives, and Chinese onion (1).
Liliaceae are biennial, tall, slender grasses with a long cylindrical stem made up of concentric layers of overlapping leaves. The edible part of the plant is also made up of a bundle of leaf sheaths sometimes called twists.
Historically, many scientific names have been used for leeks, but they are now all categorized as cultivars of Allium porrum (2). The name “leek” was developed from the Anglo-Saxon word “leac”.
The active elements of leek
Leek contains (3):
- Vitamins (A, C, K …)
- Minerals (potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium).
- Essential oils, the composition of which can be detected,
- Sulfur proteins,
- Ascorbic acid
- Nicotinic acid,
- Many antioxidants such as thiosulfonates
- polyphenols, including the flavonoid kaempferol
Although less well studied than other allium vegetables (especially garlic and onions), leeks nonetheless contain many sulfur compounds that are similar or identical to the sulfur compounds in these other better-studied vegetables.
The sheer amount of sulfur found in leeks can play an important role in supporting our body’s antioxidant and detox systems as well as connective tissue formation.
Although leeks contain proportionately fewer thiosulfonates than garlic, they still have significant amounts of these groups of antioxidants such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and allyl propyl disulfide.
These compounds turn into allicin by enzymatic reaction when the leek stalk is subjected to crushing, cutting, etc. The total measured antioxidant resistance of 100 grams of the leek is 490 TE (Trolox equivalents).
Leeks are moderately low in calories. 100 g of fresh stems carry 61 calories. In addition, the elongated stems provide good amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
A good source of various vitamins
Leeks are an excellent source of vitamins that are essential for optimal health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several essential vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine in appropriate proportions. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in newborns.
In addition, leeks are one of the best sources of vitamin A and other antioxidants, phenolic flavonoids such as carotenes, xanthine, and lutein. They are also a source of other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E (5).
Vitamin C helps the human body to develop resistance against infectious agents and to eliminate harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals. In addition, the stems of the leek contain small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
The benefits of leeks for humans
- Anti-cancer properties: Leek juices are a good source of allyl sulfides which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, especially stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
- Protects against heart disease: Several studies have shown that members of the Allium family, including leeks, have a mild blood pressure-lowering effect and may help prevent heart disease like arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart failure. Leek was shown in this study (6) to help protect and improve liver function.
- Fight against infections: Leek juices also work as an antiseptic agent, which helps the body fight infections. You can apply a little leek juice (extract) to a wound to prevent infection.
- Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels: Leek is one of the few foods that contain prebiotics, a kind of good bacteria that is necessary for better absorption of nutrients. Leek juice removes harmful waste in the body, stimulates peristaltic action, and helps in the secretion of digestive fluids, thus improving digestive function.
- Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels: Regular consumption of leeks has been associated with lowering negative cholesterol (LDL) and increased levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
- Good for pregnant women: Leek juice is essential for pregnant women because it contains a considerable amount of folic acid. Consuming folate during pregnancy, research shows reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
- Strengthens bones: Leeks are a rich source of calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are essential for healthy bones. They help transform vitamin D into its active form in the body and thus strengthen bones.
- Prevention of anemia: Due to its iron content, leeks can also help prevent different types of anemia, especially iron-deficiency anemia. It is also rich in vitamin C, which can help in better absorption of iron in the body.
Leek juice recipes
- 6 leek stalks
- ½ liter of mineral water
- ½ finger of ginger
- 1 defatted stock cube for flavor
- Wash the leeks and ginger well
- Remove their roots from the leeks (if necessary) and cut them into pieces
- Boil water
- Add the leek pieces and the broth
- Pass everything in a blender or blender
This leek juice will help you lose weight. Yep, leek really is a wonderful vegetable, because its detoxifying effects are great for helping those who want to lose weight.
For this purpose, the recipe for leek juice or broth is very simple. This juice is also to drink in case of colds, colds, and sore throat. Drink it lukewarm for best effects.
Carrot leek smoothie
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- ½ cup of parsley
- 1 cup of mineral water
- 4 ice cubes (more or less according to your tastes)
Clean your ingredients (carrots, leeks, parsley) and put them in the blender. Also, add water and ice cubes. You can add less water or a little more depending on the desired consistency.
This juice is made from beta carotene, which is good for the eyes and the blood system. Parsley is also a super cleanser at all levels of your body. It mainly maintains the liver, kidney, blood system, and urinary tract.
All of these nutrients combined with those of the leek make your leek juice rich enough for superb health.
The indications and contraindications for the consumption of leek
Leeks are frequently eaten by everyone in many recipes and daily dishes; and few people have complained about the possible harmful effects of leek. You are therefore free to consume it in reasonable quantities, like any other legume element in your diet. For those who consume leek juice according to specific recipes for purposes such as weight loss or other forms of holistic medicine, it is always advisable to refer to your doctor.
The same goes for the consumption of this vegetable in children and pregnant women. For people already allergic to onions or garlic, it would also be safer to check allergy to leeks, in view of the fact that these vegetables are part of the same type. It is also necessary to note that leek juice can be substituted by other vegetables that are much more effective and belonging to the same family in the context of medical treatment.
Onion and garlic are, in fact, widely used for this purpose. However, the consumption of garlic and onion presents more inconvenience, in particular relating to the very strong odor that they give off, as well as their very pronounced taste which is not in accordance with everyone’s preference…
Aside from its health benefits, the leek is a delicious vegetable, even in the form of juice. You can create different juice recipes yourself. Mix its green part with fruit, especially apples, carrots, lemon, or ginger.
You can also make leek juice with sugar or other vegetables. If you have any leek juice recipes, don’t forget to share them with the Bonheur et Santé community.