What is aging? Ageing or aging is the process of becoming older. Aging happens when the division of cells in an organism starts to cease. In human, aging represents the accumulation of changes in human beings over time. Aging encompasses physical, psychological and social changes. Many of us want to avoid physical aging. Well, there are various ways to do that. One of them is by managing our diets. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables to fulfill the micronutrients needed by our body. One of the vegetables that are very good to supply micronutrients is leek. We can add leek to our daily meals to get the benefits of leek for anti-aging. Feature picture credit to Pixabay.
Aging is among the greatest known risk factors for most human diseases. Other ways to slow down aging are by applying intermittent fasting, exercising regularly, drinking enough water, and having enough sleep.
Some Signs Of Aging
1. Hair: gradually becomes thin, caused by hormonal shifts that happen around menopause. Similarly, brows and lashes become wimpy because of change in hormones.
2. Skin: Turkey neck caused by sagging of the neck skin, brown spots, and other signs of sun damage. Wrinkles appear on the face, including eyes area. Wrinkled knees and elbow.
3. Vision: the lenses of the eyes become less flexible (presbyopia). A decline in night vision and visual sharpness.
4. Bones: gradually lose some of the mineral contents in bones.
5. Metabolism and Body Composition: metabolism slows. Hormone changes result in more body fat and less muscle mass.
6. Brain and Nervous System: starting in the 30’s, the brain’s weight, size of nerve network and its blood flow decrease.
7. Heart: naturally become less efficient and our heart has to work harder than it did in the past. A Gradual decline in energy or endurance will be noticed.
8. Sexual function: lower levels of hormones, starting in 50’s year old.
To delay or even reverse these signs, people do efforts as much as they can. Various researchers had been done to overcome problems and symptoms caused by aging. One of good food to help combat aging symptoms is the leek, a sister plant to onion and garlic that offers wide benefits for human health.
What Are Leeks?
Leeks ( Allium porrum ) are part of the vegetable genus Allium, part of the Amaryllidaceae family. All part of the leek are edible but they are utilized in different ways.
Since leek is crunchy and has a more subtle and sweeter taste than onions, it is delicious! Add it to soup, salad or other foods to get the benefits of leek for anti-aging.
Leeks Nutrition Facts:
So, what are the benefits of leek? The benefits of the leek are not only as a perfume and flavoring of cuisine but also as a powerful vegetable in providing benefits for the body health. Leek’s leaves contain some healthy nutrients, such as inulin, allicin, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, fat, folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium, calories, carbohydrates, kaempferol, polyphenols, and many other contents. No wonder this leaf becomes one of the natural healthy herb leaves.
The Benefits Of Leek For Anti Aging:
1. Great source of anti-aging nutrient
We can LIVE YOUNGER with leek because it contains:
– Kaempferol. This flavonoid has been repeatedly shown to help protect blood vessel linings from damage.
– Polyphenols. A type of antioxidant that helps fight cancer cells, reduces inflammation, promotes normal blood pressure, protects skin from ultraviolet radiation, and fight free radicals that age skin. The total polyphenol content in leek is greater than the one in carrots, cherry tomatoes, and red bell pepper.
– Folate. This essential B vitamin is present in leek in one of its bioactive forms: 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5MTHF. Leek is a green vegetable that has the richest source of folate. Low folate intake can cause devastating effects on health, such as birth defects, cancer, and blood diseases.
Research that reveals the benefits of the leek for anti-aging also mentions that DNA damage can be prevented by vitamin C contained in the intake of the leek.
2. Good for nervous systems.
Leek provides a high amount of vitamin B6 ( pyridoxine ). Pyridoxine is vital for the health of both the nervous and immune system.
Leeks, and also onions, garlic, and celery, have been known for their aphrodisiac effects for years. To see the difference, make a juice with leeks and celery.
4. Reduces the total blood pressure and the risk of stroke
Allicin is a biologically-active component of garlic. Allicin reduces blood vessel stiffness by helping the release of nitric oxide (NO) in the blood vessel wall. This can result in the reduction of total blood pressure. Allicin also has a “clot-breaking” action in the blood vessels which can decrease the risk of stroke.
5. Protects us from cancer
Leeks have the ability to protect our body against different kinds of cancer, particularly the stomach, prostate, and colon cancer. There are more than one element in leek that is responsible for the ability to prevent cancer. The elements are :
– Inulin. In one study published in Genetics and Molecular Research, inulin was tested for its antimutagenic properties – meaning its ability to protect DNA from damage that causes mutations. It is often considered that mutations from damaged DNA are the reason many cancers form.
– Allicin. An organosulfur compound that produces sulfenic acid as it digests. Sulfenic acid neutralizes the spread of free radicals in our body faster than any other nutrient.
– Kaempferol. A flavonol which has functioned as an antioxidant, and also relieves oxidative stress in the blood.
6. Protects us from heart disease
Properties of the leek are also able to nourish the heart. Sulfur contained in the leek prevents the onset of heart disease. The leaves if consumed every day will provide good benefits for our hearts. In addition, our hearts will be stronger in expelling the disease. Several studies have shown that a member of the Allium family, including leeks, have a slight blood pressure lowering effect and may help prevent heart diseases like arteriosclerosis, stroke and cardiac failure. Folate in leek reduces chances of homocysteine concentration in the blood which can cause various heart ailments.
7. Maintains body endurance
A 100 gram serving of leeks contains 61 calories with no cholesterol. A large portion of the calorie content of leeks is carbohydrates, the most important energy source as they turned into glucose. Carbohydrates are the most abundant macronutrients in leeks. A medium-sized leek provides about 10-12 gms of carbohydrates, 3 gms out of these are sugars and the rest is complex slow-digesting carbohydrate.
8. Improves vision
Benefits of leek for anti-aging, especially for eye health, is obtained from its vitamin A ( 55 % RDA ), lutein and zeaxanthin content. They protect our eye tissues from the harmful oxidation of DNA and cell membranes. The consumption of leeks in adequate amounts protects our eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Leek’s natural leaf will help nourish the eyes and keep our eyesight clear and sharp.
9. Keeps our bones healthy
Calcium is one of the nutrients needed by our bones to stay strong and prevent porously. Leeks are a rich source of calcium and also magnesium. The calcium along with magnesium is essential for bone health, helping to convert vitamin D into its active form in the body and strengthen the bones.
10. Prevents anemia
Properties of the leek are very good to prevent anemia disease. The leaf has a natural iron content to help the body in multiplying the production of red blood cells. It is also rich in vitamin C, which can help for better absorption of iron in the body.
11. Helps lower cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in our body will be bad, for example, the incidence of complications. To lower cholesterol, consume leeks regularly. A regular intake of leeks has been associated with the decrease in bad ( LDL ) cholesterol and raise in the level of good ( HDL ) cholesterol.
12. Smoothens digestion
Some healthy nutritious compounds in green leeks will make our digestion smoother. The leaves will help digestion in processing food scraps to be easily removed from the body. Leek contains probiotics, a type of good bacteria, which is necessary for a better nutrient absorption. It eliminates noxious waste matter in the body, stimulates peristaltic action and secretes digestive fluids, thereby improving digestive function. Leek provides fiber (1.8 g of fiber for every 100 g serving) needed for healthy digestion.
13. As a deworming medicine
Deworming can be treated with leek since this large onion leaf will kill and repel worms that enter into the body without side effects.
14. Prevents diabetes
The use of leek in preventing disease also includes preventing diabetes. This leaf contains many good natural benefits to prevent the rise in blood sugar levels.
15. Nourishes and brightens our skins
Leek is a good source of vitamin C and A along with several antioxidants, hence the vegetable is great for our skin. It cleanses our body, making our skin look radiant. The green leaves contain 100 times more beta-carotene and twice as much vitamin C as in the white parts. The combination of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as other powerful antioxidants in leeks, protects our skin against damage by free radicals and ultraviolet rays of the sun.
16. Good for hair health
Leek is an important source of iron which helps the hair follicles to grow. Furthermore, it is rich in vitamin C that promotes the absorption of iron by the body. Deficiency of iron can cause anemia which is one of the causes of hair loss.
17. Fights infection
Leek also acts as an antiseptic agent, which helps the body fight infection. We may apply leek extract on a wound to prevent infection.
18. Builds strong immunity
Leek contains vitamin A and C needed for strong immunity. Efficacy of the leek is powerful to keep our immune system. Therefore, our body’s immune system will be strengthened so it can keep us from infectious diseases and virus or bacteria attacks.
19. Promotes weight loss
Leeks are natural appetite suppressants. They provide a feeling of fullness due to their high fiber content that suppresses our hunger.
20. Balsamic action
Balsamic (adj): Having the health-giving properties of balsam, soothing, restorative (The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language, 4th Edition). Leek juice has a balsamic action on the respiratory tract due to the presence of volatile oils. Thus, it can relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold, and hay fever.
Another good news is that leek tastes delicious. I love eating raw leek and I’m used to adding a raw leek to my daily meals after I know how great it’s nutrition contents for my health. Try adding leek to your food and get many benefits of leek for anti-aging.