British Leeks Now in Season - A Super Cheap Super Food
Move over expensive acai powder and blueberries, there's a new superfood in town - the everyday British leek, now in season until the end of April. Research* is mounting that the fibre in leeks – a prebiotic called inulin - may strengthen the immune system via our gut and help to protect us from flu and colds.
Jeannette Hyde, Registered Nutritional Therapist said: “Inulin is a prebiotic, a fibre which acts as food for special bacteria in the gut called bifidobacteria. We need healthy levels of bifidobacteria to support our immune system in winter and ward off flu and colds.
“Seventy percent of the immune system is right there in the gut, communicating with our gut bacteria all day long to protect us. It's important to give our gut bacteria the food goodies they need - like inulin - to thrive and support the immune system.
“Many people on the Western diet of processed foods are often short of bifidobacteria because their microbiome (the bacteria in the gut) is fibre-starved. Leeks are a cheap and easy way to help your gut bacteria flourish and help your health.
“We often think we need to spend lots of money on supplements or expensive superfoods like exotic berries flown from far away to strengthen the immune system. But powerful foods can be right on our doorstep, much cheaper – as the chart below shows - and minus the air miles. I predict in 2019 leeks will be featuring on many an Instagram feed. Definitely mine anyway!” says Jeannette Hyde.
Price per kilo of superfoods:
- Leeks - £2
- Blueberries – £13
- Acai powder - £91
The British Leek Growers' Association advises that there are many ways you can enjoy leeks from a warming soup to adding them to stews or stir-frying them in a little olive oil as a cheap side dish.
Their website has a wide variety of seasonal recipes which can be found at www.britishleeks.co.uk