Tip elaborated by Ametller Origen, BBHI collaborating entity in the field of nutrition.
The leek is part of the garlic and onion family. We can find leeks all year round, but they are a winter vegetable that is very resistant to cold, which is when they have a more intense flavor and a larger size.
Leeks are sometimes overlooked, but they are a source of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), a type of fermentable fiber that favors the growth of beneficial bacteria in our colon. In addition, they improve intestinal transit and are useful for cases of constipation. (1,2)
Secondly, leeks help when it comes to hydrating our body as they are 90% water. In addition, they contain flavonoids, some compounds with antioxidant capacity and others with diuretic capacity, helping to purify the body through urine. (3)
As for vitamins, leeks are rich in folic acid, which is important for the correct formation of our blood cells.
They are also a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant able to counteract the harmful action of free radicals, but it is necessary to be careful when cooking them, because heat reduces their vitamin C content. Therefore you should avoid cooking leeks at very high temperatures and for a long time.
When it comes to cooking leeks, the famous French dish vichyssoise comes to mind, but this vegetable offers us infinite possibilities to enjoy its taste, similar to onion but sweeter.
Leeks can be prepared raw, finely chopped and added to a salad or, on the coldest days, made into a soup, added to purées, quiches or tortillas or used as the base for a baked fish.
The stems should be firm and greenish with a very white root, avoiding those that have a yellowish color and stems with dry tips. They should be kept refrigerated, without cutting the stems.
Links to reference studies: