Leek is a close relative of garlic and onion, and its subterranean and above-ground part is edible. It takes like onion, although it is botanically closer to garlic. There are 4 types of leek: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring and summer one have a longer stem (grows up to half a meter) and brighter leaves. Autumn and winter leek is slightly smaller, darker and tastes more bitter.
It is a great addition to soups, salads, risotto, roasted dishes, potatoes. It contains a lot of proteins, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6, manganese, iron, folic acid. It contains many thiosulphinates and sulphides that act as natural antibiotics, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthen the immune system and prevent the formation of cancer cells.
It is interesting that leek loses very little nutrients when cooked, but if you use a simple trick, you can even reduce the loss. Just add the vegetables when the water is hot. During slow heating, losses are greatest. This applies to all vegetables.
Another feature of leek to pay attention to: it contains a lot of essential oils that stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and urine, which acts cleansingly, helps to restore the intestinal flora and has a mild laxative effect.
In ancient Chinese medicine, tea made from leek was used to treat headaches, lower the bodyheat, treats bowel problems. Due to its antibiotic properties it was used to relieve itching and swelling caused by insect stings.
Modern medicine has found that it very effectively reduces blood pressure, heals gastrointestinal cancer and inhibits intestinal parasites. It also lowers the level of fats in the blood (they lead to stroke), helps with rheumatism, obesity, heartburn, chronic blood vessel disease, hemorrhoids.
And some nutritional data. 85% of leek is water, and 100 grams contain only 61 calories. So it also helps with weight loss.
Leek should be on the menu every day, especially since it also grows in the winter. We can therefore have it fresh all year long.