Veggie Of The Month: Leek

Fresh leeks in a basket
Written by Risa Schulman
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2 minutes

With long, white stems and green tops, leeks tend to look like a giant green onion. While they’re part of the onion family, leeks have a subtle, more mild flavor. Learn more about the health benefits of leeks and discover how to add this versatile vegetable to your diet.

Top Health Benefits of Leeks

Packed with Antioxidants

Leeks contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and certain cancers when used as part of a diet rich in plant-based foods.1,2,3 The vegetable also contains allicin, which has cholesterol-lowering and antimicrobial qualities.4,5 Regular consumption of this and other organosulfur compounds in leeks may benefit health.

Supports Heart Health

Several nutrients in leeks have heart-healthy properties. The antioxidant compounds in leeks which have anti-inflammatory properties, which may also support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 6,7,8 These properties, combined with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet low in saturated fat, may reduce your overall risk of heart disease.

Promotes Healthy Digestion

Full of soluble fiber, leeks also support gut health. When regularly consumed, the prebiotics found in leeks can help reduce inflammation, promote your gut’s health, and may even help your body absorb important nutrients.9,10

Recipes With Leeks

The white part of leeks can be used just about any way that you’d use an onion. Toss them into a quiche or chicken dish to add a depth of flavor to your meal. When leeks are cooked, their flavor becomes mild and sweeter, making them a perfect option for a unique side dish. Try roasted leeks with pairings like parmesan and mushroom, or simply braise them to enjoy their one-of-a-kind flavor.

Leeks are a diverse vegetable that can add new life into favorite dishes. Try substituting them for onions in a recipe you love, or try them as a side dish. Either way, you can reap the many benefits of this delicious veggie!

Looking for more heart-healthy recipe ideas? Check out our free heart healthy cookbook.

Written by:

Risa Schulman


Risa Schulman, Ph.D. has been helping companies and people build wellness for 25 years.

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