FEA­TURED IN­GRE­DI­ENT: Leeks

Better Nutrition - - HEALTHYDISH -

Leeks are a mem­ber of the al­lium fam­ily, which in­cludes health foods such as onions, shal­lots, and gar­lic. In fact, you can think of a leek as a sweet ver­sion of an onion. They con­tain a whole phar­macy of health­boost­ing com­po­nents, in­clud­ing key sul­fur com­pounds. The ac­tive sub­stances in leeks pro­vide pro­tec­tion against some can­cers. They also help block the re­ac­tions of hor­mones and chem­i­cal path­ways within the body that pro­mote can­cer. Plus, reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of al­lium veg­eta­bles is as­so­ci­ated with a re­duced risk of both prostate and colon can­cer. Leeks are also a good source of two of the most im­por­tant carotenoids for eye health, lutein and zeaxanthin. One 54- calo­rie leek con­tains 1,691 mcg of these two su­per­star nu­tri­ents, which are cur­rently the sub­ject of ex­ten­sive re­search for their abil­ity to pre­vent mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, the No. 1 cause of blind­ness in adults. Leeks are also packed with fiber, cal­cium, iron, mag­ne­sium, phos­pho­rus, potas­sium, vi­ta­min K, and more than 1,400 IUs of vi­ta­min A.

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