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Leeks contain anti-cancer compounds

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: leeks, anti-cancer compounds, health news

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(NewsTarget) Although leeks may taste similar to onions, they are actually related to the asparagus family. They originated in The Mediterranean and Asia but are now also grown in more temperate parts of the world. These veggies contain anti-cancer compounds called kaempferol (which is also known for promoting cardiovascular health) and quercetin (which is known to inhibit carcinogenic development in the body). These compounds are especially beneficial in fighting against prostate and colon cancers.

Leeks are very low in calories, making them an excellent addition to dieters` meals. When boiled, half a cup contains just 15 calories. They are a good source of a number of nutrients, among them iron, folate, calcium, manganese, B-Vitamins, zeaxanthin, lutein, Vitamins C, A and K and nickel. They are also a source of dietary fibre, especially the darker green outer parts.

For many years, leeks have been used to treat a number of ailments. Their healing properties seem to be enhanced when they are consumed in juice form. Their iron content is excellent for those suffering from anaemia, and because they also contain Vitamin C, this helps the body to absorb the iron more readily. Leek juice helps to detox the body by assisting with cleansing of the colon. They have a high potassium content, which enables them to assist with lowering blood pressure.

Pregnant women can benefit greatly from eating leeks or consuming the juice because of their folate content. This mineral is essential for preventing brain defects in babies. Along with phosphorus and magnesium, folic acid is also essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Their fibre content helps reduce intestinal bloating, improve digestion and repopulate the good bacteria which are found in the colon.

Because they contain antiseptic and anti-inflammatory compounds, leek juice can help ease conditions such as urinary tract inflammation, gout and arthritis. Adding some celery juice to your leek juice will provide you with a powerful all-natural aphrodisiac. Leeks are able to soothe the respiratory tract, making them an effective treatment for colds and flu and hay fever. These veggies are able to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the blood and reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines.

Leeks can be used to prepare a number of dishes, including soups, stews, omelettes, salads and broths. Their juice can be blended with celery and carrot juices. Because they contain nickel, people who are allergic to it should consume leeks with caution. They contain oxalate, so individuals who suffer from kidney stones should also be cautious when consuming them.



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here

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