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Benefits of Leek
he leek is a vegetable that belongs, along with onion and garlic, to the genus Allium.
1. Leek
The leek is a vegetable that belongs, along with onions and garlic, to the genusAllium, however unlike its fellow members, leeks do not form bulbs. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths called the stem or stalk. While leeks may appear unassuming or even boring, they have several health benefits that are similar to those of garlic and onion.
2. Description
Leeks, known scientifically as Allium porrum, are related to garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions. Leeks look like large scallions, having a very small bulb and a long white cylindrical stalk of superimposed layers that flows into green, tightly wrapped, flat leaves. Cultivated leeks are usually about 12 inches in length and one to two inches in diameter and feature a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of shallots but sweeter and more subtle. Wild leeks, known as ramps, are much smaller in size, but have a stronger, more intense flavor. They are available for a short period of time each year and are often widely sought out at farmers markets when they are in season.
3. Hardiness
Leeks grow best in a moderate climate, but unlike many fruits and vegetables, they can survive and even thrive in temperatures that are below freezing. A hardy vegetable, you can grow leeks from seed or transplant them from a pot to the garden, or vice versa, without the vegetable suffering any ill effects, making leeks an ideal vegetable crop for the amateur gardener.
4. History
Leeks enjoy a long and rich history, one that can trace its heritage back through antiquity. Thought to be native to Central Asia, they have been cultivated in this region and in Europe for thousands of years. Leeks were prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans and were especially revered for their beneficial effect upon the throat. The Greek philosopher Aristotle credited the clear voice of the partridge to a diet of leeks, while the Roman emperor Nero supposedly ate leeks everyday to make his voice stronger.
5. High in Vitamin C
Citrus fruits are known for their high vitamin C content, but many people dont realize that some leafy vegetables, such as leeks, are also rich in vitamin C. Washington State University notes that a 3.5 ounce serving of leeks contains 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Getting enough vitamin C through the foods you eat is imperative, since your body can neither produce nor store the vitamin.


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