: Healing Facts: Leeks
By Michael T. Murray, ND
Leeks are a relative to the onion and garlic family, but are different as people consume their leaves rather than the bulb. They are a native to Central Asia, and have been cultivated in the region for thousands of years. Greeks and Romans popularized the vegetable, where it was thought to have a beneficial effect on the throat.
It has even been said that the Roman emperor Nero ate leeks every day to help strengthen his voice. From Rome, leeks spread to the United Kingdom, where it thrived in the chilly environment. Leeks are even the national emblem of Wales and are still integral to the diet of many northern Europeans.
- Leeks are a good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as folic acid and dietary fiber.
- They are also rich in the minerals manganese and iron.
- Studies have shown that leeks are effective at lowering cholesterol levels, improve the immune system, and help fight cancer.
- Leeks have many similar health benefits as onions and garlic, however, because they are less dense, higher quantities of leeks need to be consumed to produce the benefits.
Leeks can be used in almost any way that an onion can. Add them to salads, omelets or soups, such as potato leek. One of my favorite leek dishes is a ham, leek and morel quiche. What is your favorite leek recipe? For more information on leeks and other vegetables, check out my “Encyclopedia of Healing Foods”.
Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
© 2014 doctormurray.com