All About Nutritious Leeks

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Qudsiya Raiees, MD Written by - Dr. Shilpa R



Leeks, also known as Allium porrum or Allium ampeloprasum 1Overview| Researched based study from , are the unsung heroes of the vegetable world and have been cherished for ages across diverse cuisines for their distinct flavor and several health benefits. Along with onions and garlic, these thin, green stalks are members of the Alliaceae family 2Overview| Researched based study from , but they frequently get overlooked in favor of their more well-known relatives. Leeks have long been praised for their culinary diversity and potential health benefits because they are rich in critical elements.

This article delves into the nutritional profile, health benefits, culinary uses, and potential side effects and precautions of leeks, guiding you on choosing, preparing, and incorporating them into your diet.

Leeks, also known as Allium porrum or Allium ampeloprasum, are the unsung heroes of the vegetable world and have been cherished for ages across diverse cuisines for their distinct flavor and several health benefits.



Leeks are an excellent addition to a balanced diet because they are packed with vital nutrients. 100 grams of Leeks (bulb and bottom leaf section), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt, provide around:

  • Water – 90.8 g
  • Calories – 31 Kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 7.6 g (3% of DV)
  • Protein – 0.81 g (2% of DV)
  • Fat – 0.2 g
  • Fiber – 1 g (4% of DV) 3Nutrition| Researched based study from


  • Potassium – 87 mg (2% of DV)
  • Calcium – 30 mg (2% of DV)
  • Magnesium – 14 mg (3% of DV)
  • Phosphorus – 17 mg (1% of DV)
  • Sodium – 10 mg
  • Manganese – 0.247 mg (11% of DV)
  • Iron – 1.1 mg (6% of DV)
  • Zinc – 0.06 mg (1% of DV)
  • Copper – 0.062 mg (7% of DV)
  • Selenium – 0.5 µg (1% of DV)


  • Vitamin C – 4.2 mg (5% of DV)
  • Niacin – 0.2 mg (1% of DV)
  • Vitamin B-6 – 0.113 mg (7% of DV)
  • Riboflavin – 0.02 mg (2% of DV)
  • Pantothenic acid – 0.072 mg (1% of DV)
  • Thiamin – 0.026 mg (2% of DV)
  • Vitamin K – 25.4 µg (21% of DV)
  • Vitamin A – 41 µg (5% of DV)
  • Beta carotene – 487 µg
  • Folate – 24 µg (6% of DV) 4Nutrition| Researched based study from
  • Lutein + Zeaxanthin – 925 µg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – 0.5 mg (3% of DV)

(Note: g – grams, mg – milligrams, µg – micrograms, %, (DV) Daily Value – is the number of nutrients on a plate of food that go toward a person’s daily dietary needs.)

Health benefits

Health benefits of Leeks.

Health Benefits of Leeks

Leeks are rich in vitamins such as A, C, and K and several B vitamins (B6, folate), which play crucial roles in our body. Leeks have the following health benefits:

  • Have Antioxidant property
  • Boosts skin health
  • Enhances heart health
  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves gut health
  • Helps in weight loss.

Have Antioxidant property

  • Strong antioxidants called flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin, are found in leeks5Health benefits| Researched based study from
  • By reducing oxidative stress, these substances may reduce the possibility of developing chronic illnesses like certain cancers and heart diseases6Health benefits| Researched based study from

Promotes skin health

  • Leeks are high in vitamins A, C, E, zinc, copper, and selenium, all believed to improve skin health7Health benefits| Researched based study from

Enhances heart health

  • Leeks include plant compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease overall, blood clots, inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol8Health benefits| Researched based study from

Strengthens bones

  • Calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, and iron, essential for maintaining bone density, are minerals found in leeks9Health benefits| Researched based study from
  • Additionally, leeks contain a lot of vitamin K, which is well known for helping to maintain strong bones10Health benefits| Researched based study from

Improves gut health

  • Leeks’ soluble and insoluble fibers feed the good bacteria in your stomach.
  • These bacteria, in turn, lessen inflammation and support the health of the digestive system11Health benefits| Researched based study from

Helps in weight loss

  • You can feel full and avoid becoming hungry because of the fiber and water in leeks, which may aid in weight loss12Health benefits| Researched based study from This vegetable has a negligibly low-calorie count3Health benefits| Researched based study from


How to choose them?

  • When buying leeks, look for those with straight, sturdy stems and vivid green leaves.
  • Avoid leeks with yellowing or withering leaves, as these could be signs of aging or poor storage conditions.
  • Crispness and a light onion scent are characteristics of the best leeks.
  • Leeks can be prepared in various sizes, although smaller ones are typically more flavorful and delicate.
  • Place them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer after gently wrapping them in a paper towel to extend their shelf life.
  • Leeks should be adequately washed before cooking because dirt tends to collect between their layers.

Culinary uses

Culinary uses of Leeks

  • Leeks have a wonderful mild onion flavor that complements various meals.
  • They can be used raw or cooked, giving depth to soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries.
  • Trim off the roots and the crowns with the dark green foliage, saving the light green and white portions for cooking.
  • Leeks are commonly prepared as a delicious side dish by sautéing them in olive oil until they are soft and caramelized.
  • They may also be included in pasta recipes, omelets, or as a quiche filling.
  • Leeks can also be pickled or braised, providing a variety of gastronomic pleasures.

Side Effects

Side effects of Leeks

Leeks are typically safe to consume, although some people may encounter the following side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Skin rashes 13Side effects| Researched based study from
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Itchy skin
  • Swollen throat, tongue, and lips



  • Problems with digestion – Although leeks are generally safe to eat, their fiber content can result in some digestive discomfort. Therefore, they should be gradually added to one’s diet so that the digestive system can adapt.
  • Allergy – Leeks are members of the allium family; thus, some people may be allergic or have digestive problems if consumed. It is best to speak with a doctor before introducing leeks to your diet if you have a history of allergies to onions or garlic14Precautions| Researched based study from
  • Toxic to pets – Keep your pets away from leeks and their Allium relatives since they harm dogs and cats13Precautions| Researched based study from



With Blood thinners

  • It is essential to exercise caution while consuming leeks if you are on blood-thinning medications, including warfarin, as the presence of vitamin K may impair the effectiveness of these drugs15Interactions| Researched based study from

Always talk to your doctor before making dietary changes, especially if you’re taking any particular drugs.

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

With various health advantages and gastronomic delights, leeks deserve their place on the pedestal of nourishing and tasty vegetables. Leeks provide a lot of vitamins and minerals and a lot of fiber, which all help to improve general health. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional for individualized dietary recommendations, and keep in mind to use caution if you have allergies or are on any medications. Enjoy the versatility of the leek and its healthiness in various mouthwatering meals that will improve your dining experiences and energize your body.

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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